Metrodome memories: Randy Moss' first game


“Metrodome Memories” is a regular BringMeTheNews feature that will recount the goodbad and the ugly until the Dome sweet Dome is dismantled forever.

The last time we came to you with a Metrodome memory, it was a Viking wide receiver producing an unforgettable moment.

That man, Cris Carter, had a lot to do with the maturation of another Viking wide receiver that produced plenty of unforgettables himself, the first of which came on Sep. 6, 1998.

Originally a Notre Dame commit, Randy Moss was dynamic, enough so for then-Fighting Irish coach Lou Holtz to say Moss was "the best high school football player I've ever seen."

Problem was, Moss was in the news for his off-field exploits as much as his on-field talents.

Moss' dream was to play for Holtz at Notre Dame, but was denied enrollment because of his part in a high school fight that would eventually lead to Moss being sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Florida State was Moss' next stop, but that too would be short-lived, as Moss was redshirted in his first year as a Seminole and once again, would never see the field. This time drugs did in Moss when he tested positive for marijuana during his probation stemming from the high school fight, leading to Florida State dismissing the talented wideout.

Transferring to another Division I-A school would have meant Moss would miss another year, so instead, he enrolled at Marshall University, a DI-AA (now FCS) that was only an hour from his home.

The long awaited debut of Randy at the college level was instantly worth it.

Moss caught 28 touchdowns in his first season with the Thundering Herd, tying Jerry Rice for the most touchdowns in a single season at any NCAA level. He also posted over 1,700 receiving yards, while setting nearly every school record in receiving categories.

Marshall moved to the Division I-A (now FBS) level in Randy's sophomore season, and the adjustment didn't challenge Moss in the slightest, as he would be named a first-team All-American. He left Marshall after that season with 54 touchdowns and more than 3,500 yards through the air.

At his pro day, one that nearly every NFL team attended, Moss ran a 4.25 40-yard dash into the wind. He also posted a 39-inch vertical and flashed impressive hands throughout.

His speed electric, his physical gifts unquestioned, but his off-the-field issues undeniable, Moss slipped out of the top 10 in the draft despite some scouts saying he was the greatest prospect they'd ever seen.

Moss and his 4.25 40 were selected by the Vikings 21st, and his first game in the dome netted four receptions, 95 yards, and two touchdowns, in a 31-7 win. His first touchdown of the game, and his career, is below.

It was the first in a career full of firsts that led to some calling Moss the greatest wide receiver ever.

Here's Moss' first Monday Night Football touchdown.

Here's his first Thanksgiving day performance.

Finally, here's one of the retrospectives of Randy, an ESPN compilation put to music by DJ Steve Porter titled "one clap."

A career that will without question land Moss in the Hall of Fame, and it all started at the Dome on Sep. 6, 1998.

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