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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Zulgad: Hall selection committee needs to get it right when it comes to Randy Moss

By Judd Zulgad

The 48-person committee that selects the Pro Football Hall of Fame class each year will spend much of Saturday gathered in a meeting room in Minneapolis deciding upon the latest group of former players who will get a bust in Canton, Ohio.

This committee consists of one media representative from each city with an NFL team, New York has two voters, and there are 16 at-large selectors, all of whom are active members of the media, and two members of the Hall of Fame (Dan Fouts and James Lofton).

There will be several difficult decisions to make. One that shouldn’t be tough is whether former Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss goes into the Hall in his first year of eligibility. It will be disappointing if this is anything more than a brief discussion that ends with everyone giving Moss the thumbs up.

I’ve been writing about this for a few years now and my feeling hasn’t changed. Moss is a first-ballot Hall of Famer despite the fact he doesn’t have a Super Bowl title to his name.

One would think the selection committee would agree, but this group has been unpredictable when it comes to wide receivers. Whether it’s because this has become a pass-happy league, leading to the assumption the rules favor wide receivers too much, or because personal feelings get in the way at times, we have seen some deserving receivers have to wait their turn or continue to get spurned.

Former Vikings standout Cris Carter did not get in until his sixth try, despite the fact he caught 1,101 passes for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns during his career and was only the second player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions. Carter caught at least 70 passes on 10 occasions. His wait to gain entry into the Hall came to an end in 2013.

Terrell Owens, who is second all-time in career receiving yards (15,934), eighth all-time in receptions (1,078) and third all-time in touchdowns (153), is 0-for-2 when it comes to getting into the Hall.

Owens’ first two snubs were followed by talk about his shortcomings as a teammate and the fact he played for five teams in his 15-year career. This is an incredibly slippery slope considering how many players elected to the Hall also likely had plenty of character flaws.

Owens has Hall of Fame statistics and should be in by now. It’s logical to wonder how the committee will handle this situation now that Moss has joined Owens among the finalists.

They should put both in Saturday, but it will be a huge swing and a miss if they decide to make Moss wait. Moss, like Owens, played for multiple teams during his 14-year career. This included two stops in Minnesota, as well as stints in Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco

I was never a fan of Moss’ as a human being. While you heard plenty of stories about all the good he did behind the scenes in giving his time to kids, there was plenty of firsthand evidence of how poorly he could treat people and his complete distrust of adults kept many at arm’s length.

None of that matters in this case.

What matters is that upon his arrival in Minnesota, Moss helped to change the NFL and brought an excitement level that had not been seen. There was a staleness surrounding the Vikings when Moss arrived in 1998, despite the fact the franchise was making regular playoff appearances. Moss changed all of that with his electrifying play and a younger fan base began to take notice of the Vikings.

One of Moss’ most memorable games during his rookie season came in a 37-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers on a Monday night in October in Lambeau Field. Moss caught five passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. In a 46-36 victory over Dallas on Thanksgiving Day of that season, Moss caught three passes, all going for touchdowns, and had 163 receiving yards.

Moss’ critics will point to his comments to the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman about how he played when he wanted to play. But Moss still ranks eighth all-time in receptions (1,078), fourth in receiving yards (15,292) and second in touchdowns (156).

Moss might have been brash and he was certainly a recalcitrant, but he also was an incredible talent whom the Vikings stole with the 21st pick in the draft because so many teams felt he would be a bad fit.

Vikings coach Dennis Green didn’t worry about that, instead focusing on Moss’ talent level. Moss rewarded him with a style of play that overshadowed any character flaws he might have possessed.

It’s now time for the 48-person selection committee to reward Moss for his incredible talents by making him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

The post Zulgad: Hall selection committee needs to get it right when it comes to Randy Moss appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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