Randy Moss Saves the Vikings, Act II


No one man has ever rocked the Metrodome like Randy Moss. Not Adrian Peterson. Not Cris Carter. Not Kirby Puckett. Not Justin Morneau. Not even Mick Jagger.

In 1997 four of the Vikings eight home games failed to sell out and were blacked out locally. They were perennially 9-7 and bounced in the Wild Card Round. They needed something fresh. They needed something exciting. They needed Randy Moss.

It began in Week 1 with juggling TD catch vs. Tampa Bay and continued through a rainy night in Lambeau and magical Thanksgiving in Dallas. The Vikes cruised through the regular season with a 15-1 record and scored more points than any team in NFL history.

Everyone in Minnesota it seemed either had or wanted a #84 jersey. I worked at a store that sold sports apparel in 1998 and Moss jerseys were impossible to keep in stock. We turned away dozens of patrons every day empty handed.

I’ve always felt the Vikings made a mistake in trading Moss. He was a hero to Generation Xers. We recognized his greatness and accepted his faults. Unlike our Baby Boomer parents we didn’t expect anything from him but a spectacular performance on Sunday. Sure, he could be self centered, childish and disrespectful of authority, but often he was just doing things we wished we could get away with and we loved him for it. He was special and therefore, should be treated as such.

After being exiled to Oakland for what amounted to Troy Williamson, Napoleon Harris and Sam Cowart, our hero was reborn in New England. He snared an NFL record 23 TD passes in 2007 while helping the Patriots post a 16-0 record and top the ‘98 Vikings record for points scored in a single season. It’s no coincidence the top two scoring teams in NFL history featured Randy Moss.

Now Moss is back and just in time. The Vikings season thus far has had all of the joy of a death march. They are mired in last year’s disappointment. Their offense is stale, their quarterback is old. Moss injects excitement, hope and energy into a franchise that desperately needs it. Again.

Welcome home Randy, we hope you stay awhile.

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