Matt Birk and Randy Moss were teammates for seven seasons in Minnesota, and they didn’t always see eye to eye. But with the football world in Minnesota this week and Moss up for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Birk has given Moss a strong endorsement.
“If I had a vote, I wouldn’t have to think three seconds — I’d put him in,” Birk told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Questions have been raised about whether Moss could be denied induction on the same grounds that Terrell Owens was last year: Namely that he wasn’t a good teammate and could be a bigger headache than he was worth in the locker room. If anyone were to feel that way, it might be Birk: The two of them butted heads after Moss walked off the field with three seconds left in Week 17 of the 2004 season. That offseason, the Vikings traded Moss to Oakland.
But Birk says Moss did far more to help the team than to hurt the team.
“There’s a lot more good than bad with him,” Birk said. “I think, maybe contrary to what picture gets painted, he was a good teammate. Not perfect, but none of us are. He was a good guy in the locker room, never walked around like he was bigger or better than anybody on the team. For the most part, I really enjoyed playing with him. I like Randy. He made me look good.”
Birk says Moss’s legacy is so strong that even the generation of fans that didn’t see him play knows how great he was.
“He’s a generational player,” Birk said. “I have a 9-year-old son, and when he and his buddies are playing football, they’ll say, ‘Oh, you just got Mossed.’ They never saw Randy Moss play, but they know what ‘getting Mossed’ means.”
On Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee is likely to ensure that generations of football fans know what “getting Mossed” means, forever.