By Dalton Hays aka DHays12

Right off the bat I am going to admit that this is an opinion, and I anticipate many skeptics, but this is what makes sports amazing, the ability to debate. Randy Moss was drafted by my favorite team in 1998, when I was just five years old. Unlike some Minnesota Vikings fans, I am still a Moss supporter; in fact, he is my favorite athlete of all time. I became a Randy Moss fan when I was in 3rd grade. Randy Moss was the type of athlete you wanted to play like. From eye popping catches to off the field antics, he always kept it interesting.

A few days before the 49ers vs. Ravens game, Moss came out and declared himself the greatest of all time, which to say the least caused a huge media uproar. I am here to tell you why he is correct to make that assumption. To start off, I am going to address the topic that everyone jumps to first, compare the stats. It is true that Rice leads Moss in most stats, but the stat that matters most is that Rice played in the league longer, and is not far ahead of Moss in some categories. If Moss was given the chance to play as many years as Rice, then maybe the Moss supporters would be saying compare the stats to the Rice supporters. Stats are not everything, especially if you take a look at who is throwing them the ball.

Here is a list of the quarterbacks who have started a game with Moss oppose to a list of the quarterbacks who have started a game with Rice:

Moss:

Rice:

Brad Johnson

Rob Johnson

Randall Cunningham

Matt Cavanaugh

Spergon Wynn

Marques Tuiasosopa

Todd Bauman

Ty Detmer

Daunte Culpepper

Jeff Brohm

Andrew Walter

Mike Moroski

Aaron Brooks

Steve Stenstrom

Kerry Collins

Matt Hasselbeck

Vince Young

Rich Miner

Rusty Smith

Jeff Kemp

Matt Cassel

Steve Bono

Jeff George

Elvis Grbac

Tom Brady

Jeff Garcia

Brett Favre

Rich Gannon

Trent Dilfer

Kerry Collins

Joe Montana

Steve Young

As you can see, despite playing more than 5 seasons more than Moss, Rice has only 4 more quarterbacks on his list. Not to mention that Rice played with Joe Montana and Steve Young for the vast majority of his career. There is no arguing that Jerry Rice had a far superior supporting cast for the majority of his years in the NFL. With Joe Montana and Steve Young throwing to Randy Moss for the majority of his career, his numbers would have been unreal. With Tom Brady, he was able to catch 23 touchdowns in a single season, going up against Darrelle Revis twice that year.

Randy Moss was able to create nightmares for every defender in his way; he even had an entirely new defensive strategy created in hopes of covering him. Jerry Rice might have been a better leader than Moss, but he could not stack up to Moss’ hands, speed, agility, and vertical jump. Moss said it best in an interview in the early 2000s; “If I can’t get to it, nobody can get to it!” I would even go so far as to say Randy Moss’ 1998 and 2007 seasons were more impressive than Jerry Rice’s entire career.

To say someone is better than another based off championship rings is not accurate and is being used way to often in today’s sports world. To claim that one is better than another based on rings is simply flawed. How many people think that Brandon Jacobs is better than Adrian Peterson, or that David Tyree is better than Larry Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson? Should Jeremy Shockey be considered a greater tight end than Tony Gonzalez based on rings? I didn’t think so. It is funny how people can state who is better than who based on championship rings, are they trying to imply that football is an individual game? In order to get that ring you have to be with a supporting cast that is capable of winning the big one.

If I was given the choice to start a team with Randy Moss in his prime, or Jerry Rice in his prime, I would give the nod to Moss. Plenty more research can be done on this topic, and I could keep adding to this paper until it reaches hundreds of pages, but I’m not going to make anyone have to read for hours when they have other things important going on. Randy Moss is the definition of my childhood, and maybe that is why my opinion (or Rice supporters opinions) is how it is. I honestly believe Randy Moss is the greatest of all time, but everyone has the right to their own opinion. For me it is the impact left on the game that outweighs stats. Although stats are very important, they can depend on who is surrounding you during the time you spend in the league. I will end my rant with this simple math statement that just about sums everything up for me……… 84>80.