The retirement of Randy Moss makes me feel old.
It feels like just yesterday Moss was a prodigal rookie in Minnesota, a perfectly appropriate heir apparent to the butter-smooth Cris Carter. The Marshall boy took the league by storm with a 1,300-yard, 17-touchdown freshman campaign with the Vikings, immediately becoming one of the league’s elite wideouts.
That was 13 years and 10 1,000-yard seasons ago. But news that the 34-year-old Moss is retiring just feels … weird. Only four years ago he was the league’s most dominant receiver, racking up 23 touchdown catches as New England ran the regular-season table. Only two years ago he had 83 catches (the fourth highest total in his career) and one of his most complete seasons as a pro.
But the cold yet conspicuous reality of the NFL is that players can lose it as quickly as they can acquire it. And Moss faded from the NFL’s superstar club as quickly as he joined it 13 years prior.
Moss ultimately walked away because there simply wasn’t much interest in his services. His final team (if he stays retired) was technically Tennessee, but few will remember Moss every donned a Titans jersey. Moss’ run in Nashville epitomized his downfall — he caught just six passes in eight games to cap his career in grim fashion.
But hopefully we’ll remember Moss for his ridiculous 23 touchdowns in 2007, his unreal 2003 campaign in Minnesota, and his unprecedented ability to make magic happen.