- Joined Jan 2, 2009
Of Moss and men: He ranks himself the greatest
May 26, 2009 7:40 PM
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Randy Moss is not a fan of Mark Murphy's list.
Murphy, an 11-year NFL safety and a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, ranked LeBron James fourth among the greatest receivers he has played with, competed against, coached or watched. James Lofton was first, Jerry Rice second, Steve Largent third.
[table][tr][td] [/td] [td][/td] [/tr][tr][td] [/td] [td]David Drapkin/Getty Images[/td] [/tr][tr][td] [/td] [td]Randy Moss said he considers himself the best receiver to ever play the game.[/td] [/tr][/table]
When I shared Murphy's rundown during an interview with Moss on Monday, the New England Patriots receiver wasn't impressed.
Moss' reaction had little to do with James being on the list. It had everything to with Moss not being on top.
"I'm the best wide receiver of all-time, hands down," Moss said in an interview for ESPN.com's package that examined how James would fare in the NFL. "I could really give a damn what [Murphy] says.
"I don't really like to judge people or other athletes. I know what I'm able to do on the field, but the things I'm able to do to dictate how a defense plays the game, I don't think there's no other receiver but myself and Jerry Rice to be able to do that."
In case you haven't seen the stories, Moss contended James would be a star receiver, better than San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates.
Moss, who turned 32 in February, still has a few years left. He ranks 15th in career receptions with 843, ninth in yards with 13,210 and third in receiving touchdowns with 135.
I asked if Moss felt he needed to break some of Rice's career records for the ultimate validation.
"Me, personally? No. But for the football fans and the sport itself? Yes," Moss said. "But records are meant to be broken. I think that I've made a mark for myself and my name to go down as if not the greatest but one of the greatest players.
"To hell with wide receiver. I think I go down as one of the greatest players to ever play this game."
Then Moss slammed on the brakes and put his career in a different context.
"I don't really know where I rank at, but as long as I get a Super Bowl ring before I leave this game, I think my life and my goal would be complete in the NFL," he said.
I wanted to speak with Moss for the LeBron package because he, too, was a phenomenal two-sport star in high school. Many believe Moss could have pursued a career in either football or basketball.
I also was intrigued with Moss' role as half-owner for Randy Moss Motorsports and wanted to see if NASCAR was a tempting diversion for him.
His football fans needn't worry about the track luring him away prematurely.
"Football is my love. That's my life," Moss said. "There's a lot of things I haven't done on the football field that I still want to do. I don't know what life after football holds for me. I would love for it to be in NASCAR if that's what it is.
"There's still a lot of football left in my body, and I want to definitely play until the wheels fall off."