Saturday, October 6, 2012

Randy Moss The Mossiah

Randy Moss The Mossiah, On the afternoon Randy Moss, the Mossiah, was claimed off waivers by the Tennessee Titans, Nashville was singing. In the moments before the Titans officially claimed Moss off waivers Wednesday, it was dreary in the city, raindrops were falling, clouds raced across the open expanse of the gray sky, it seemed like winter was near.

But Thursday. the sun was out, there were no clouds, and one of the two best wide receivers to ever play the game -- Jerry Rice is still the best -- will be suiting up for the Titans come next Sunday in Miami. Thirteen years after the Tennessee Titans passed on Randy Moss in the 1998 draft, making wide receiver Kevin Dyson the top wideout taken that year with the 16th overall pick, Moss is finally in Nashville.

Over the last decade and change, the Titans' decision to pass on Moss has been a lingering point of discussion in the city. Would Moss, in a Titans uniform, have altered the often-staid offensive philosophy of head coach Jeff Fisher? As Moss racked up 948 catches, 14,778 yards, 153 touchdowns and counting, Titans fans couldn't help but watch the highlights and sigh. He could have been the Titans, if only they'd taken the risk to draft him.

Meanwhile, Dyson, the man Tennessee did draft, is now the head coach of a suburban Nashville high school team. Dyson went on to tally 178 career catches, 2,325 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. It wasn't that Dyson was a bad player, just that he was always inextricably linked to Moss in the mind of Titans fans. When Dyson came up a yard short to end the 2000 Super Bowl, who among us didn't think during the long winter that followed, would Moss have scored there?

As Steve McNair came into his own at quarterback and began to throw the ball down the field -- eventually sharing the MVP with Peyton Manning in 2003 -- the Titans' own limitations at wideout became even more glaringly apparent. What might McNair have been capable of producing in his career with a player of Moss' stature lining up out wide? If only, Titans fans lamented, we'd taken Randy Moss back in 1998 with our 16th pick in the first round. Moss was still on the board until the 21st!

Woe is us, Tennessee fans thought, we're constrained to the dustbin of wide receiver history. Year after year, the Titans failed to have a game-breaking wideout, the curse of passing on Randy Moss. Give us your Yancey Thigpens and Carl Pickens, your

David Givens and Tyrone Calicos, all of whom arrived in the city with great promise, only to be dashed on the rocks of mediocrity along the shores of downtown's Cumberland River. Where, oh where, was a wide receiver who could make the crowd stand and cheer? Alas, it seemed possible Tennessee would never have one at all.
Title: Randy Moss The Mossiah
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