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Happy birthday, Randy Moss


A problem off the field. A solution on it. The Freak.

Whatever you called Randy Moss in his time with the Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and San Francisco 49ers, you could never argue with the bottom line in any workplace.


Moss' troubles started early. Originally a Notre Dame commit, an off-field fight that reportedly revolved around race kept Moss from ever wearing an Irish uniform.

Randy would enroll at Florida State, but a drug-related probation violation while he was serving a jail sentence for the fight got him in deeper trouble, which included a dismissal from FSU.

At long last, Moss would see a college football field after two years of dealing with legal issues, and it would be right in his backyard at Marshall University.

Once there, "The Freak" was unleashed.

Stats stacked up, records fell, and Moss was dubbed by some, including Dallas owner Jerry Jones, as the greatest individual prospect they'd ever seen.

Despite the consensus on Moss' talent, he slipped to 21 in the 1998 NFL Draft because teams feared he would be too much of an off-field distraction, leading Moss to vow that all the teams that passed on him "would regret it".

Randy made good on his word, and one of the first teams to experience the wrath of Randy, was Jones' Cowboys.

They wouldn't be the last, as Moss put up six straight 1,000-plus yards seasons to start his career with Minnesota, reaching double-digits in touchdowns five of those years.

Moss was an enigma, one that could flip the switch as he famously noted with his "I play when I want to play" interview. A man that could put up 13 receiving touchdowns in a year, but in that season's last game, walk off the field before triple-zeros showed on the game clock, with no remorse or second thought.

He could quit on the Oakland Raiders, but in his first season in New England after coming over from "The Black Hole", put up the single-greatest receiving season in the history of football.

Moss could brush a $10,000 fine off like it was a speck of dirt on his shoulder, push a traffic cop down the street with his car, and be chastised by Joe Buck for fake-mooning the Green Bay crowd (below), but still have thousands and thousands of loyal fans that adored him for his immeasurable talent.

Randy lived quite the double-life while he was playing, though as he turns 37-years-old today, he seems to have matured, grown up, and settled down, even burying the hatchet with Buck on FOX, where he now serves as an NFL analyst.

A tad jarring to see Randy as a corporate suit? A bit strange to hear him reasoning with other talent and supplying us with "analysis" on FOX Sports 1? A tiny bit perplexing to try and comprehend how far Randy has come since we first fell in love with the ultra-talent out of Marshall? Sure.

But what should scare and amaze fans the most in Randy-retrospect is how Moss produced despite off-field trouble. Imagine if "The Freak" would've focused all his energy on football and stayed out of trouble away from the game, he could've been the greatest receiver the game has ever seen.

His scariest accomplishment? That he probably still was.

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