Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Moss returns to Minnesota.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss made his return to the Twin Cities last evening. As expected, he was greeted warmly by the Vikings faithful, who rooted him on from 1998 through 2004.

For the most part, Moss has not commented a whole lot on the 2005 trade which sent him from the Minnesota Vikings to the Raiders.

But when superstar lap dog Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman spoke to Moss after the Raiders’ 16-13 win over the Vikings, ol’ Randy opened up a little regarding his feelings for the Vikings organization.

“…to hell with the organization. I'm still mad at them. I wanted to really stay.”

Keep in mind it was the previous ownership of Red McCombs who sent Moss packing. Not that Moss cares to distinguish between the McCombs era and the current ownership of Zygi Wilf et al.

Personally, I endorsed the Moss trade. Regardless of his all-world talent, his cancerous attitude seemed to overshadow any of his stellar on-field accomplishments.

In his next-to-last game in a Vikings uniform, Moss turned in a great performance in a playoff game victory against the Green Bay Packers. Yet what is he remembered for? After his second touchdown catch, effectively sealing the Vikes win, Moss simulated an act of mooning the Packers crowd.

In this his ninth season in the NFL, Moss looks to be on the downside of his career. Nagging injuries in each of the past two seasons caused him to have his two worst years as a pro, statistically speaking.

Who can forget the first few seasons of his career when Moss played with a Gibraltar-sized chip on his shoulder? After a phenomenal college career at Marshall University, Moss could have justifiably been a Top 5 pick in the 1998 NFL draft. Instead, Moss slid all the way down to 21st, a real blow to his ego (not to mention his wallet). For the most part, Moss let his on-field play do the talking when he put up statistically the finest three seasons ever for a wide receiver.

Then came 2001.

Moss received an 8 year, $75 million extension from the Vikings. It was at that point where his on-field performance, while still productive, seemed to become lackluster. In the middle of the ’01 season he uttered the infamous phrase “I play when I want play.” He went out and proved such a notion by routinely dogging it on many of the offensive plays which did not directly involve him.

Three years and many on-and-off field indiscretions later, Moss was dealt.

Given the warm reception Moss received last night from Vikings fans, I guess I’m in the minority amongst the Vikes faithful.

My applause was heard loudest in March of 2005 when the Minnesota Vikings said “No Mas.”

Or was it “No Moss”?

Either one would suffice.

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