By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — For a dozen years, Randy Moss was a video game come to life.
Every Sunday — whether it was for Minnesota, Oakland or New England — Moss would suit up and manage to become the most captivating man on the field.
Whether it was with explosive breakaway speed, or exceptional pass-catching ability, or unparalleled hand-eye coordination, Moss was a truly unique receiver. He’s currently ranked third all time in receiving yards, second all time in receiving touchdowns and 15th all time in receptions.
And now, on this date, February 13, Moss is officially 40 years old. And while nobody has forgotten how great Moss was … it’s never a bad idea to be reminded of how great Moss was.
Here’s a look at pretty much his entire jaw-dropping career:
(Some of these require clicking the links to visit YouTube, due to NFL rules.)
Here’s the famous one-hander over Darrelle Revis:
Here’s Randy in the glory days with Tom Brady:
This is how that 2007 season got started:
A classic Gillette Stadium moment:
This touchdown right here was preposterous:
Even late in his career, at 35 years old, he showed a few flashes:
His catch vs. the Jets in 2008 to force overtime was unbelievable:
This is just enjoyable:
Joe Buck, avert your eyes!!
This touchdown against the Dolphins showed that it often didn’t matter what kind of coverage you threw at No. 81. He was going to come down with the football.
This play, from his days at Marshall, is hilarious. This screen pass is not designed to go for 90 yards … unless it’s going to Moss.
It turns out, that skill translated to the NFL, too.
He can return punts, too. With ease.
Who does this? Really.
It’s underrated how difficult this is.
Same with this:
Faster than everyone, even when he’s tip-toeing in the snow.
If not for that pesky helmet catch by David Tyree, this would’ve gone down as the game-winning touchdown to cap off a perfect 19-0 season.
And here’s the most recent thing Moss has done on a football field:
Moss recorded 11 seasons with 1,000 receiving yards or more, six of which were for at least 1,300 yards. His two years in Oakland are widely regarded as a failure, but consider that he caught 102 passes for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns in those seasons. For most NFL receivers, two years with that production would represent a career highlight.
He led the league in receiving touchdowns five times, first as a rookie in 1998 and for the last time in 2009 at age 32. His record for most receiving touchdowns in a single season (23) still stands.
He’ll be eligible for the Hall of Fame next season, and unless he falls victim to the strange politicking that the voters are applying on Terrell Owens, he’s a lock to be enshrined in Canton in short order.
But in the here and now, for the moment, the man has been ready for exactly 40 years.