Randy Moss elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Randy Moss, the greatest deep threat in NFL history, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday. Considered one of the most electric, game-changing players the sport has ever seen, Moss will forever be represented by a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio.

The legendary wide receiver holds many NFL accolades, including Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1998, when he caught 69 passes for 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also caught an NFL-record 23 receiving touchdowns in 2007, was named to six Pro Bowls, four All-Pro first teams, and of course, will forever be remembered for fake-mooning Packers fans in Green Bay, much to the chagrin of sportscaster Joe Buck.

In his 14-year career, Moss caught 982 passes (15th all-time) for 15,292 yards (fourth all-time) and 156 touchdowns (second all-time).

The former Viking had two stints in Minnesota. The “Super Freak” was drafted as a first-round pick (21st overall) by the Vikings in 1998 under head coach Dennis Green. Moss then returned for a brief period in 2010.

Between his stretches in Minnesota, Moss played two underwhelming seasons in Oakland before revitalizing his career in New England. With Tom Brady throwing to him, Moss caught 47 touchdowns in three seasons. In 2007, Moss caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards, with an NFL-record 23 touchdown catches as a Patriot. The Patriots went 16-0 that season but lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

The Patriots traded Moss and a 7th-round pick back to the Vikings in 2010 in exchange for a 3rd-round pick. Moss was waived by Minnesota less than a month later after criticizing head coach Brad Childress. He was claimed by the Tennessee Titans where he finished the season. After managing only 28 receptions for 393 yards (both career lows) in 2010, Moss decided to retire during the offseason.

He returned for the 2012 season and was a part of the San Fransisco 49ers’ run to Super Bowl XLVII. The 49ers were defeated by the Baltimore Ravens and Moss retired for good after the season. He never won a Super Bowl as a player but had two appearances.

When asked by Fox 9 reporter Jim Rich what the HOF honor means to him, Moss reflected on growing up in an unincorporated town in West Virginia.

“I always took pride in where I’m from,” Moss said. “I think it means to me that I did something that I know deep down inside that the people back in the state of West Virginia are proud of me, and it feels good.”

“The people here in [Minnesota] are as proud of you right now for what you’ve accomplished,” Rich replied. “You came in here, you held these people so close, Vikings fans, so close to your heart.”

“I still hold them close, man… I call them the true Viking fans because there’s been a lot of downs as a Minnesota Viking fan,” Moss told Rich. “And me going in, I’m considered one of their own, and I hold a special place in my heart for the Vikings, for the state. I did not want to move out of this state…I didn’t want to leave here. I wanted to retire here, raise my family here. And whatever the state presented me I just wanted to be there for them. And it’s not going to change. I hope the Vikings fans know that I’m still here, I’m still number 84.”

Moss will be the 14th Minnesota Viking to be enshrined as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s the third wide receiver to be inducted into the Hall in his first year of eligibility. The previous two were Steve Largent and Jerry Rice.

Congratulations to the 2018 Hall of Fame class which includes Moss, Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Brian Dawkins, Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, and Jerry Kramer.