Michael Irvin joins Moss v. Rice debate

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A few places covered Randy Moss’ recent appearance on Terrell Owens’ podcast, ‘The Driveway Sit-Up Routine’ (That’s not what it’s really called, but, it might as well be). The coverage was mainly about Moss listing himself as the GOAT at the wide receiver position. Then I jumped into things and pointed out that Moss also listed Jerry Rice as the ‘Third or fourth best’ and that took off basically unlike any article I’ve ever written.

That lead to people in 49ers media saying things like “Moss embarrassed himself” without supporting that statement with evidence. It isn’t so insane for Moss to think that he’s the GOAT that it goes without saying, even in the 49ers bubble those writers write in.

What am I talking about?

Michael Irvin slams Randy Moss, calls Jerry Rice greatest receiver ever | RSN

For context, Irvin was 1B to Rice’s 1A back in the day more so because of who Irvin played for. The Dallas Cowboys supplanted the 49ers as the NFL dynasty in the early 90’s (thanks to the Minnesota Vikings and their trade for Herschel Walker), so, Irvin has credibility here.

“Jerry Rice is the greatest of all time,” Irvin said on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon, Ratto and Kolsky” show. “If anybody says anything other than that, they need to see some kind of doctor to examine his cranium. Period.”

That’s in good taste, considering.

The article on this topic does actually support it’s hubris with some semblance of an argument. So, before we hear more from Irvin, let’s break that down.

“The 49ers legend not only has every accolade one could take home, but he also was a three-time Super Bowl champion and was named the 1988 Super Bowl MVP. “

That’s situational though. Sure, Rice is great. But, he also played his first 14 seasons (the length of Moss’ entire career) with two quarterbacks, Joe Montana and Steve Young. So, Rice was great and had a crazy work ethic, but he also was lucky in terms of circumstance (the team he played for and also the fact that the West Coast offense was new and hard to crack).

“Irvin called out Moss and modern analysis for throwing winning and longevity out of the way. Not to mention, Rice does have just about every record a receiver could own. “

Longevity doesn’t mean much in this instance.

It’s one variable, but I can guarantee that if a team had to pick between peak Moss vs. peak Rice, they’d pick the former.

“You gotta pay homage to what this man has done. … This shouldn’t even be a discussion,” Irvin said. “I got Jerry Rice up there with the greatest player ever, period. I don’t wanna hear wide receiver. I’m talking about period, of all time.”


Rice is 1B. That’s how close it is. But had Moss had Brady for 14 seasons? No contest. He still amassed over 150 touchdowns despite playing with a bunch of QBs that make Kerry Collins look like one of the good ones.

The best way to put it?

If you replaced Rice with Cris Carter on those 49ers teams? He’d have done the same. If you put Rice on the ‘98 Vikings? Would Rice make Randall Cunningham look like a league MVP? Or Gus Frerrotte?

Or, like I’ve said, did Rice change how defenses played the game? Or was he also the product of a system. Moss wasn’t, he just outran the coverages created specifically to stop him.

I’m not unbiased here. Moss is my favorite player ever, but at least I admit that bias while also supporting my arguments with facts. These Niners guys think it’s so outrageous that people might think Moss is better that they don’t bother to say much outside of “Stats!”.

Like I’ve said before, Emmitt Smith has records but would you take him over Barry Sanders? Of course not. The same goes for Rice and Moss. Anyone putting together a Madden team would take Moss, because he was the most talented, complete and dangerous receiver ever.

Then again, Irvin was also the product of happenstance like Rice so maybe he has a point that he doesn’t yet see.

Sidenote: Moss has some support outside of this network. Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill said Moss is the GOAT, and he also is actually talented unlike Irvin.