Quotulatiousness

January 31, 2013

Randy Moss is not the greatest NFL receiver … but he could have been

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 00:01

Judd Zulgad agrees that Randy Moss was a great wide receiver during his career in Minnesota, was even better in New England, but he was not the best ever:

Randy Moss declared this week that he believes he is the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game.

Moss is wrong. He’s not.

That honor belongs to Jerry Rice and from there the debate about who is second can begin.

But in giving ESPN and sports-talk shows invaluable fodder to discuss during Super Bowl week, one has to wonder this about Moss: Will he wake up one day long after his NFL career is over and realize that he could have been the greatest receiver to have played if only he had elected to apply himself.

There are no denying Moss’ talents.

Moss, who at 35 is spending the twilight of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, served almost immediate notice upon his arrival with the Minnesota Vikings in 1998 that NFL teams had made a mistake by passing on him 19 times in the first round of that draft.

In his rookie season, Moss helped to redefine how we thought about the wide receiver position.

[. . .]

Cris Carter might not have been beloved by the media, but he tried his best to mold Moss into a professional in 1998. Moss arrived back in Minnesota for a tumultuous month in 2010 and did far more damage than good in numerous areas, including when it came to Percy Harvin’s development.

Moss attempted to point out Wednesday the quality of quarterbacks that Rice had to work with during the majority of his career. What Moss failed to mention is that he spent three-plus seasons with a first-ballot Hall of Famer in Tom Brady and broke Rice’s record by catching 23 touchdown passes in 2007.

Guess who ruined the relationship between Moss and the Patriots? It wasn’t the football team. Rice bounced around late in his career because he wanted to hang on too long. Moss began to bounce around during the prime of his career because he had become a pain.

Moss, like Brady, should go into Canton, Ohio, on the first ballot when he’s eligible — it looks like he wants to stick around for at least one more season — and he should go down as a receiver who helped change the NFL as we know it.

What he won’t go down as is the greatest receiver of all time. For that, Randy Moss has no one to blame but himself.

November 10, 2012

The Two Scotts’ NFL picks (beat up on Buffalo edition)

Filed under: Football, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 11:09

It’s not nice to pick on poor, defenceless Buffalo … but that won’t stop either Scott:

Buffalo (plus 11) at New England

Scott Feschuk: As a Bills fan, I’ve so far refrained from criticizing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, largely because he represents a genuine upgrade over guys like Trent Edwards and J.P. Losman. Remember Losman? You couldn’t find a more incompetent quarterback if you took Ryan Leaf’s brain, stuffed it inside Matt Leinart’s skull and handed the skull to JaMarcus Russell to throw 12 feet over the head of a wide-open receiver. But enough is enough. Fitzpatrick just isn’t getting it done and the fact that he graduated from Harvard and probably knows how to use a protractor does not make up for the fact HE NO CAN THROWY MR. OBLONG. Right now, the only thing that will save 2012 for Buffalo fans is if it turns out that the Bills’ season syncs up perfectly with Dark Side of the Moon. Fingers crossed. Pick: Buffalo.

Scott Reid: Breaking News — the Buffalo Bills, whose defence has allowed an NFL all-time high forty squinjillion points, has fired its entire defensive team and replaced them with the Muppets and Wall-E.

Head coach Chan Gailey explained that, while unconventional, the technically lifeless Muppets would still represent a substantial upgrade to most positions. “Gonzo played a little Division II ball before he got into show biz and Kermit has great instincts around the ball — as long as we can keep that pig away.” New free safety Animal had this to add in an interview with WNY Sports, “Lurrghh.” In other news, the Bills denied that they’ve been negotiating with Tennessee for the rights to field goal kicker Stuart Little. Pick: New England.

February 5, 2012

Your Super Bowl TV watching schedule

Filed under: Football, Humour, Media — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 11:54

Scott Stinson charts exactly what will happen over the long, long, long, long, long, long, long hours of the pre-game show leading up to kickoff sometime in the next 48 hours:

Planning to watch the Super Bowl? A little leery about the six-and-a-half-hour pre-game show? Fear not, we can provide you with an approximate guide for what you will see. Read this, then spend time with your family instead. Win-win! (All times approximate, by which we mean made up.)

12:00 p.m. NBC’s broadcast is coming to you live from Indianapolis, which means we begin with Bob Costas trying to: (a) argue that Indianapolis is a great place and that the game is somehow more meaningful for being there; and (b) keep a straight face

12:32 p.m. First shot of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski walking on his injured ankle. Will he play? Will he be effective? Fortunately, we have six hours to listen to people come up with ever more inventive ways to say “maybe.”

12:45 p.m. Costas gives an earnest speech about Indianapolis, home of the iconic Colts franchise. Not mentioned: Most of the iconic stuff happened in Baltimore, before the owner snuck the team out of town in the dead of night. In Indy, the history of the franchise’s fortunes can be summed up as “crappycrappycrappyPeytonManningcrappy.”

1:02 p.m. Time to soak in some of the exciting moments from the official “tailgate” party, which is in fact nowhere near a parking lot. Musical act falls under the category of “Popular Enough Once That Some People in Audience Have Heard of Them, But Not So Popular That We Would Want Them on TV For Long.” So, Fleetwood Mac, Alabama or 3 Doors Down.

1:04 p.m. The real question here is whether the performance rivals that of the tailgate party a few years back, when Journey appeared and caused America to collectively wonder when Steve Perry turned into a Fillipino guy with long hair.

Update: For those of you who only watch the Super Bowl for the ads (and I know there are lots of you), Reuters has most of the “big” ads collated into one post for your convenience. This is especially useful for those of us north of the 49th parallel, where many of the ads will be overlaid with the same crappy commercials we’ve seen all year. I’m not normally a fan of “there ought to be a law” solutions, but I’d be less than upset if CRTC regulations prohibited showing the same commercial 6-8 times per hour. (If nothing else, that level of repetition probably irritates potential customers more than it attracts them.)

Update, 6 February: It looks like the Reuters collection in the first update was intended to emphasize the lamest of the ads. There’s another collection in the National Post with more. (I don’t follow hockey, but I did think the Budweiser hockey ad was well done, even if they just stole the idea from an improv group.)

November 2, 2010

Vikings coach taking heat for throwing away 3rd round pick in Moss trade

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 08:42

When it was first announced, the trade with the New England Patriots for Randy Moss looked like a daring, innovative solution to some of the problems the Vikings were facing this season. They gave up a third-round pick in the draft for a volatile, aging, but still talented wide receiver — a point of weakness this season with Sidney Rice still on the PUP list. A third-rounder seemed like a pretty fair exchange to shore up the weakest link on the team.

Until yesterday, of course, when Brad Childress waived Moss. It’s not clear if he informed the ownership before doing so:

Super Bowl? How about super bizarre?

Less than a month after bringing Randy Moss back to the Minnesota Vikings, coach Brad Childress jettisoned the star wide receiver after four games.

According to an NFL source, Childress did not immediately inform owner Zygi Wilf of his intentions, upsetting the owner, who had just given up a draft choice and committed millions to the mercurial receiver. The apparent lack of communication meant Moss was not put on waivers by the 3 p.m. deadline and the team did not confirm he was gone until issuing a statement Monday night.

A third-round pick for 3/4 of a season of Moss still seemed like the solution to the passing game problems. A third-round pick in exchange for four games now looks like the worst trade in the NFL this season.

If Moss is claimed off waivers, the team that gets him would inherit the final year of a contract that is worth $6.4 million in base salary. But if Moss passes through waivers, the Vikings will owe Moss the remaining $3.888 million on his deal and another team could sign Moss for approximately $450,000.

The Vikings have to hope that someone like the Buffalo Bills or the Seattle Seahawks are willing to pay nearly $4 million to get Moss. Otherwise, they’re out both the draft pick and the rest of Randy’s salary for the year.

November 1, 2010

Randy Moss “honeymoon” already at an end

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 07:30

Many commentators were reminding us that Randy Moss has a history of falling “out of love” with his current team fairly soon, unless he gets a steady diet of big plays. Big plays aren’t in the Vikings playbook this year, so the honeymoon is already over:

Straight regret, homey.

Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss sure sounded like he missed the New England Patriots in his full-court media press after Sunday’s 28-18 loss.

Moss clutched the podium for an impromptu five-minute press conference in which he refused to answer questions, gushed over the Patriots organization and ripped Vikings players and coaches for not listening to his tips about his old team from 2007 to Oct. 6, 2010.

[. . .]

“If it’s going to be an interview, I’m going to conduct it,” Moss said. “So I’m going to answer my own questions then give you all the answers.”

His first attempt focused mainly on his love for the Patriots, listing off everyone from quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick, owner Robert Kraft and various Patriots team captains.
Belichick is “the best coach in football history” in Moss’ eyes.

Update: Moss has been waived after his verbal love letter to the Patriots.

October 29, 2010

The Two Scotts disagree over Vikings-Patriots

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 09:47

Scott Feschuk and Scott Reid each pick the other team in their weekly football column:

Feschuk: Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of the Minnesota Vikings. Welcome to the NFL’s hottest soap opera, where tensions are running so high between Brett Favre and Brad Childress that it’s only a matter of time until they get in a fistfight or start making out. Favre has described his injury as a “broke foot” because he’s from Mississippi and words like “fractured” and “ankle” done got too many dem fancy “syllbulls” in ’em. Will Favre’s ankle be healthy enough for him to play but painful enough that he can limp around engendering our collective sympathy? We sure hope and also know so. Meanwhile, Childress keeps taking shots at his own players — most recently by saying he hopes he that “one of these days” he gets to coach a team as mentally tough as the Patriots. If the Vikings somehow turn this around, Childress may be the first NFL coach to be doused with Gatorade, then sealed inside the empty jug and rolled down a hill onto the interstate. Pick: Minnesota.

Reid: According to some reports, Brett Favre admits to sending suggestive texts to Jenn Sterger but denies he forwarded photographs of his wang chung. This is the beginning of the tried and true male tradition of the ‘half-lie.’ Confess to some sins (it’s generally smart to pick the lesser crimes that will prove to be eventually undeniable anyhow) in an effort to bolster your credibility as you reject the remaining — and usually more damaging — allegations. “Alright honey, I’ll admit: I gave that girl a ride in the car. Frankly, she looked a bit cold and I was already planning on driving by that spot under the bridge so it wasn’t even out of my way. But God as my witness, I did not let her touch me with her feet. She just made that part up to make me look bad in the eyes of my family, friends and law enforcement.” Of course, there are two vital steps to successfully pulling off the half-lie. First, you must volunteer the confession part early in order to pre-empt and create doubt about the really bad stuff. Second, yo, Kim Philby — have you ever heard of hotmail? Pick: New England.

October 6, 2010

Patriots trading Randy Moss?

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 09:02

An interesting development, indeed: NFL.com is reporting that a deal to send wide receiver Randy Moss back to Minnesota is “99 percent complete”:

The Patriots would receive a 2011 third-round draft pick in exchange for the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, who started his NFL career with the Vikings in 1998. Had New England allowed Moss to leave in free agency next offseason, it would have received a third-round selection in the 2012 draft as compensation.

Moss, who’s in the final year of his current contract, is scheduled to make $6.4 million in base salary this season. He wants a new deal, but he wouldn’t receive one from the Vikings as part of the trade, Lombardi reported.

[. . .]

What could change is the uniform that Moss wears, although he knows it well.

A first-round draft pick out of Marshall, Moss played in Minnesota from 1998 to 2004 and posted six 1,000-yard seasons. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders and had two mediocre seasons before being dealt to New England, where he enjoyed a resurgence. He caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes in 2007, his first season with the Patriots, and hasn’t had fewer than 1,000 receiving yards in a full season with the team.

If so, great! I was very sorry to see Randy leave the team, and it’s been an open secret for years that Brett Favre wanted to play with Moss. The Vikings are desperate for a number one receiver while Sidney Rice recovers from surgery, so this would be a no-brainer. I really hope this isn’t just empty rumours . . .

Update: It’s supposedly a done deal.

More than 38 years after quarterback Fran Tarkenton returned to the Vikings after once being traded away, receiver Randy Moss has gone home, too.

With the chances of the deal hovering in the high 90th percentile only an hour ago, the deal has been completed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Vikings get Moss, and the Patriots get a third-round pick in the 2011 draft.

The looming deal was first reported by Jay Glazer of FOX, who also reports that the deal is done. Glazer reports that the Vikings hope to get Moss to Minnesota ASAP in order to commence preparations for the Monday night game against the Jets. Practices begin on Thursday.

We haven’t done the research, but we’re assuming that Moss is the first player in NFL history to appear in back-to-back Monday Night Football games.

The parallels between Moss and Tarkenton are eerie. Both players started their careers with the Vikings and spent six years with the team. Both players were gone for five years. Both players eventually returned.

Let’s hope that the Tarkenton parallels continue . . . Tark was a key component of the dominant Viking teams that went to three Superbowls.

Update, the second: Randy Moss jerseys already on sale at the Vikings store:

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