AW

Super Bowl XLVII Media Day: Randy Moss – Best Wide Receiver Ever?

In Sports on January 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Rice v Moss

Every year, Super Bowl Media Day brings out thousands of people with media credentials.  This year, there were over 5,000 credentials given out to reporters from 24 different countries.  With that many “reporters” present, it stands to reason that there will be a wide range of questions from the bizarre to the insightful to the controversial.  This year, there was a bit of controversy surrounding Ray Lewis and allegations that he has used a banned substance, but Randy Moss stating that he is the best wide receiver in NFL history is what has sports media and football fans buzzing.

Does Moss have a legitimate claim to be considered the best wide receiver in NFL history?  Among the best, absolutely, but the distinction of best ever still belongs to Jerry Rice.  According to Moss, statistics should not be the only factor that is used when determining the best ever.  For the record, Rice’s statistics are by far, the best ever for a wide receiver, but that is not the only reason that he is almost unanimously considered to be the best wide receiver ever.

Moss is correct that statistics should not be the only factor in determining the best ever, but the other factors only serve to distance Rice further from Moss.  Aside from being a more dangerous deep threat in the vertical passing game, Moss lags behind Rice in every other wide receiver category.

No one can argue that Moss is one of the most talented wide receivers of all time.  And if he had Rice’s work ethic, he may very well have elevated himself to the lofty status of best wide receiver in NFL history.  However, Moss was known for taking plays off, even during his peak years with the Minnesota Vikings.  Rice, on the other hand, gave the proverbial 110% on every play, even when the ball wasn’t coming his way.  Rice blocked, went across the middle and fought for yards after he caught the ball in addition to scoring touchdowns with regularity.  Moss, on the other hand, has always been more about scoring touchdowns and making highlight reel catches, but he has never been very interested in doing the dirty work that Rice took pride in doing.

The greatest players in every sport are the ones who lead by example and help elevate the play of their teammates.  Rice was a leader on one of the most prolific dynasties in NFL history.  His work ethic in practice set the tone for the rest of his team, and his game preparation was as thorough as any player to ever play the game.  He is largely responsible for the Super Bowls that the San Francisco Forty Niners won in the 1980’s.  Moss may very well win his first Super Bowl on Sunday while wearing the same Niner uniform that Rice once wore, but if he does, the hero of the game will more than likely to be one of Moss’s teammates.

Moss may truly believe that he is the best wide receiver in NFL history, but he will be hard-pressed to find many who agree with him.

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