When to fold ‘em? That is the question.
Randy Moss. You were something, sir. Downright scary. Fast as hell and a gifted athlete with a football mind to boot. It’s no wonder you will one day see your head in bronze at a certain shrine located in Canton, Ohio. Notice my use of the past tense, though: “were.” It’s not an insult, but, rather, a statement of fact. The only question is: when does Randy Moss realize he may not be Randy Moss anymore. Or, more accurately, when does he recognize it’s time to stop trying. The time may be now.
You see, this is the Randy Moss I remember. This Randy Moss was a freak of nature. He played at a different speed and with a different level of ability. This Randy Moss played at another speed. This Randy Moss went over 1,000 yards 10 of his first 12 seasons including an 86 catch, 13 touchdown season in 2009 in New England. He mocked defenses. He dogged d-backs (see D’Angelo Hall describe it below). He DOMINATED.
Then, he spent 2010 bouncing around from the Pats to the Vikings to the Titans managing only 28 receptions, 393 yards and 5 TDs. That could’ve been a sign. He retired and sat out the 2011 season. A change-the-game player no more. Then, he decided to lace them up again.
It’s not to say that players can’t hold on as long as they want. They clearly can and many do. And, no, it’s not “sad” to watch Randy Moss play now. He’s still a serviceable NFL receiver who can burn you on occasion. He still can still bring in a nice paycheck too. But is this what Randy Moss wants or wanted?
A year out of retirement, the preseason buzz was about how sharp and impressive Moss was in Niners workouts. Summer hyperbole always fades as the fall arrives and the real season kicks in. Yet, here we are six games into the 2012 season. After grabbing a touchdown reception on opening day, Moss has yet to find the endzone again. In fact, his 12 receptions put him on pace for his lowest receptions total in history. Sure, Alex Smith is no Tom Brady or even Daunte Culpepper in his prime. Still.
The Randy Moss I knew continues to fade into the distance. At 35 years old and with what will be 14 seasons under his belt, you would think that this season in the Bay could be Moss’s finish line. We’d argue it probably should be.