Can Randy Moss join Super Bowl immortality, cement legacy with 49ers?
Randy Moss is certain to have a bust in Canton someday, but a Super Bowl ring is needed to truly cement his legacy.
Some great players in the NFL go an entire career without ever playing in a Super Bowl. Others get there only to find the road to glory and immortality paved with disappointment. All goes quiet from the mouths of NFL Hall of Famers such as Boomer Esiason, Chris Carter and Dan Marino, when the phrase Super Bowl champion is uttered. Absent is that coveted ring from their fingers; a rite of passage that gives them permission to enter championship discussions. Present are thoughts of not belonging in the exclusive fraternity of Super Bowl champions and memories that will haunt their conversations forever.
Super Bowl 47 gives Randy Moss what will likely be his last opportunity to put the exclamation mark on what has too been a Hall of Fame career. Moss, aka “The Freak” has been a prolific NFL receiver throughout his 15 year career. In 218 games he has amassed 982 receptions 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns. Randy Moss is currently third behind Jerry Rice (22,895) and Terrell Owens (15,934) for most receiving yards in NFL history. He is second to only Rice (197) in touchdowns.
Moss, who will turn 36 just 10 days after the Super Bowl, still possesses threatening speed despite only being a shell of his former self. His 28 receptions, 434 yards and three touchdowns in 2012 haven’t been a big part of how the 49ers got to the Super Bowl however, his locker room presence and ability to make defenses think twice about coverages played an intricate role in the details that comprise a championship caliber team.
Randy Moss’ first Super Bowl appearance came back in 2008 with the 16-0 New England Patriots. As a huge part of a record-breaking offense, his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter put the Patriots ahead for what appeared to be the game winning score. But as the story goes it was soon erased by Eli Manning and David Tyree’s late game heroics.
With a return trip to the big game on the horizon, Randy Moss’ NFL legacy hangs in the balance. A gifted receiver whose stats speak volumes, could potentially have reflections on his career debated and skewed by his on and off the field antics. Whether it was squirting an official with a water bottle, bumping a traffic control officer with his car or leaving the field early in the face of a loss, Moss’ career has been littered with incidents that undermine authority.
If Randy Moss wins a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers, most of his negative NFL press will be blanketed by the caption of Super Bowl Champion. But if he loses, his career will be defined by a bunch of “what ifs” and “almosts.” So for Randy’s sake, let’s hope Super Bowl 47 is the capstone on what has been a Hall of Fame career and not just another cavity in what could be viewed as a decayed reputation.
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