Assuming that freshly-retired Randy Moss remains retired (a proposition that isn’t as much of a certainty in sports as it used to be), he’ll be considered for induction into the Hall of Fame in five years.
Based on production and talent, it’s a no-brainer. But while polling Hall of Fame voters last year for a feature on the question of whether off-field conduct should matter, a voter who requested anonymity said that Moss should have to wait based not on off-field issues but on-field lack of effort.
“He’d roll over and die like a dog for teams when they needed him most,” the voter said. “He quit on his team in Minnesota. He quit for two years in Oakland. And he quit [in 2009] in New England.”
If Terrell Owens, with whom Moss is tied for second place on the all-time receiving touchdowns list with 153, also retires this year, it could get interesting to see which of the two gets in first.
“For one game, who gives his all?” the voter asked. “I’d pick Owens because I know he’ll give his all. I don’t know what Randy Moss is going to do.”
But what of T.O.’s legendary malcontentedness? “[Jerry] Rice was protected by the 49ers,” the voter said. “He didn’t spout off in the locker room because he’d be ushered out after being shut down by Deion Sanders. No one ever protected T.O. like that.”
It’s more than T.O. making himself look bad in the media. He has been disruptive and (as one source with knowledge of his locker-room antics recently described it) “malicious.”
In the end, Moss and Owens will make it into the Hall of Fame. The question is whether they’ll get in on the first try. It could be that they both will have to wait at least a year.