The Starting 9 podcast on Barstool Sports is one of my favorite podcasts in the game currently. Carrabis, Dallas, and J-Hay mix humor with insight and give a refreshing view on my favorite dying game; baseball. I don't always agree with everything they say, but imo that's what makes it work and keeps me coming back. After Pardon My Take and Crimetown (I'm two years behind..sry), it rounds out my top three favos.
On last week's episode producer Justin Havens brought up the potential for a podcast down the road discussing what went wrong for three franchises from the last decade who had great runs, and at times were dominate-- but were never able to win the World Series. The three teams in reference are the Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers.
All have their own unique story that deserves to be told.
The Washington Nationals had all the talent in the world, but questionable leadership and decision making caused them to never even win a playoff series. San Diego Charger of LT -ish run for them.
The Detroit Tigers are the team here unlike the others. They have a rich history of success and glory. Championships on the backs of great starting pitcher and all time hitters, with a sprinkle of fantastic managing (look up Mayo Smith in the 68 WS). A franchise who before Jim Leyland showed up, had been one of the worst in all of sports for over a decade. Under his tutelage (100% first time in history of DOL I've used that word) they were perennial World Series contenders, who won two pennants. However in the Fall Classic went 1-8 in World Series; being upset each time. (maybe not a technical upset in 2012? but I thought they were gonna roll).
Then there's the Texas Rangers. A team who had the chance to be the ultimate comeback story. They were nearly the 2015 Royals..avenged a previous year's defeat in the World Series. Only to become the 1986 Red Sox---losing the World Series in heartbreaking, almost impossible to even write, fashion when a strike away from a championship.
We put soooooooo much emphasis on championships in sports, and rightfully so. It's the reason most (if not all--but for sure Herm Edwards) play the game---whatever game it may be. When I played high school football (nbd) all I cared about was winning a state championship. It's what I played for.
In sports sometimes because a team doesn't win it all-- they may be forgotten despite being great. You have to either really choke or have some sort of record setting season to live on in sports lore. Like nobody remembers the 2008 Angels who won 100 games and had a closer in K-Rod who broke the all time saves record--because they lost the ALDS to the Red Sox. They weren't some all time team, but winning 100 games is a pretty big deal (even if their run differential suggests they were an 88 win team).
Of course the all time great teams who don't pull it off like the 2007 Patriots or 1998 Vikings, or failed experiments with overwhelming talent like the 2003-04 Lakers or 2011 Eagle live on in infamy. The 2001 Mariners will always be remembered for winning 116 games and not even making the World Series.
But usually, teams who don't get it done are forgotten over time.
This is a really rudimentary take by me but it is so unfair, winning a championship is fucking hard. Like are the 2006 Cardinals better than the 2001 Mariners? The 2015 Pirates won 98 games but ran into a pitcher in the midst of an all-time pitching run in a one game playoff. Arguably Arrita's signature start as a Cub. Sometimes it's luck! I'm sorry. But it's true. David Tyree was lucky. In baseball and basketball there are 30 teams. NHL has 31 and the NFL has 32. In today's view of sports it's so championship or bust. As a Boston sports fan I get it better than most. 2017 Patriots are seen as a failure. For most franchises a trip to the championship (even if they lose) would be cause for celebration. The city of Cleveland held a parade for the 95 Indians despite losing the World Series to the Braves.
To win a championship you need luck in addition to skill. Everything has to break your way, the best team doesn't always win (as we'll see in a few instances in this series). I think the 2007 Pats are better than any of the 5 Super Bowl winning Patriot teams, but they didn't win their last game so "nobody cares". They are forever a punchline.
As a baseball fan, and more importantly as someone who lives in the past.. I loved the idea of really digging into these three franchises rise and fall that ended up with a combined 0 World Series wins. I love the Red Sox, but I am going to give that corny line baseball fans use "I'm a baseball fan first".
I love the history of the game. I can recite countless stats and World Series winners. It's just something I enjoy. I also firsthand got to experience one of the best nights of my life because of one of these teams I'm going to discuss short comings (s/o the 2013 Red Sox).
In all sports looking back at "what ifs?" or "what could've beens?" are something I find very interesting. Mainly because I feel like my whole life to this point is a what could've been stemming all the way back from my day in the sun on the Rosie O'Donnell Show in 1996. Also because at the end of the day those are arguments that can never really have a winner or loser. Yeah we all think Ken Griffey would've been the greatest player ever if he didn't get hurt...but idk maybe he couldn't had a really shitty season when healthy or something? That was not the best example but just stay with me!
I'm sure Starting 9 will do a great job talking about these teams postseason woes during the off-season, and ftr the next two will not have these lengthy intros that I have become notorious (d.o.z.) for. But as a writer who is desperately trying to get his fastball back I figured this would be the perfect chance to get back to doing what I love. I'm going to break down all three franchises rise to perennial contender, the decisions, and moments that cost them and hopefully answer the question: why did these teams never win a World Series? I'm not a baseball writer, I'm a blogger. This is me giving opinions, backed with some stats about what went wrong. I love talking baseball but am not nearly as polished with new age stats and all that shit so if that's what you're looking for you've come to the wrong place. However if you want take a look back at what went wrong for these three franchises I think this is a blog series for you.
Without further ado, let's talk #Nattitude.
I guess the Nationals story goes all the way back to 1969 when the Montreal Expos began playing baseball in the newly formed National League East.
The Expos history and what caused the Expos to leave Montreal for D.C. and become the Nats is a very interesting, and at times heartbreaking one; but not one I'm going to dive into here. I'd highly suggest watching the MLB Network documentary: The Colorful Montreal Expos if you wanna know more about that.
In late September 2004 it was announced the Expos would be heading to Washington, D.C.
Apart from Alfonso Soriano's lone season in the National's capital where he had a 40/40 (46/41 to be exact) season nothing too noteworthy or exciting was happening for the Nats. Other than Soriano all I can really remember from the pre-Harper/Strasburg Nats is when they spelled Adam Dunn's jersey wrong.
To their credit they were able to go 81-81 in their first season, which considering the turmoil from the move is pretty impressive. But the Nationals didn't really have too much buzz. They played at old RFK Stadium until 2008 when Nationals Park opened, but a new ballpark didn't mean more fans. After a minor bump in 2008 attendance actually fell below the numbers of their final season at RFK.
The Nationals finished 8th in attendance in their inaugural season. A spike like that is expected when a team is new. If you look back throughout history you'll see most expansion or relocated franchises (even if they suck) tend to drawn well their first season. If they keep sucking those numbers don't hold up. The 1998 Devil Rays were 7th in the AL in attendance (their first year) and by 2001 were 14th aka dead last in the American League. It looked like the Nats were in line for a similar fate.
Nationals attendance finishes 2005-2009:
2005: 2,731,993 (8th of 16)
2006: 2,153,056 (11th of 16)
2007: 1,943,812 (14th of 16)
2008: 2,320,400 (13th of 16)
2009: 1,817,226 (13th of 16)
It wasn't until the 2009 MLB Draft when people really started getting excited about this team.
The MLB draft (especially at this time) was miles behind the NFL or NBA in terms of hype and excitement. Casual fans don't really know the hot baseball prospects coming out of high school or college. But this year there was a pitcher by the name of Stephen Strasburg from San Diego State who got everybody talking.
I had never seen a prospect so hyped before in my (at the time short) baseball fandom. I was a junior in high school when he got drafted, close to the peak of my Red Sox fandom and absolutely in love with baseball. Everybody was talking about this guy being the next Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens with his fastball. Scouts were talking about how hard he threw. Frequently reaching triple digits. Dude was getting shout outs in Wale (talk about failing to live up to the hype) songs before he finished his first full season.
At San Diego State under Tony Gwynn (R.I.P.) Strasburg was an absolute stud. These are his numbers as a starter his sophomore and junior year. There's a reason so many people were talking about this guy in an era where outside of baseball executives most people didn't even know who was going to be drafted.
2008 (junior year) btw they get more ridiculous as you go down:
97 innings pitched
ONE HOME RUN ALLOWED
2009 (senior year):
109 innings pitched
kinda fell off here....4 home runs allowed
Then when he made his major league debut on June 8th, 2010 Strasburg just happened to break the Nationals record for most strikeouts in a game. In his debut start. Fans were going crazy, there was a playoff atmosphere. Strasburg struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates over 7 innings while only allowing 2 runs in a winning effort taking the national media by storm. It looked like this kid was going to live up to all the hype.
The Nationals sold out his first start. Over 40,000 fans packed the house to see the 2009 #1 overall pick make his debut. After winning his first two career starts Stephen Strasburg found himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Strasburg was everywhere. In one month his jersey sold more than any Nationals jersey had ever sold in the entire franchise's history.
Donovan McNabb has the second-hottest selling jersey in the NFL. That seemed pretty good. But then along came Stephen Strasburg, who -- in the month of June -- had the top selling jersey in all of baseball. Since Alex Ovechkin is annually either No. 1 or No. 2 in NHL sales, this is potentially an unprecedented era.
Ah yes, surely these are the golden days of D.C. sports, at least as measured in national jersey sales numbers.
No, this is actually quite remarkable. According to MLB:
* More than 78,000 Strasburg jerseys were sold through July 1, making his the top-selling Nats jersey of all time. Yes, in one month he outpaced the entire career of Ryan Zimmerman for jersey sales.
* Strasburg's jersey was the best-selling MLB model in June, and he is believed to have sold more jerseys in that month than any player in his first month in MLB history. Take that, Cy Young.
First off, seeing that Donovan McNabb line is hilarious.
Unfortunately for Strasburg like most hard throwers he would need Tommy John Surgery. That is not hilarious. The rookie sensation's 2010 season was short lived as he was only to pitch 68 innings. He was v impressive in his 12 starts posted a 5-3 record with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts. Good for 12.2 K/9. Despite the injury those 12 starts gave National fans something to really be excited about for the first time in franchise history. They also had this kid from Las Vegas named Bryce Harper to look forward to as well.
However, this surgery and it's after-effects could very well be what started the Nationals run of early postseason exits.
I don't wanna give you guys 5000 words to read in one sitting. I'll get into that and the drafting of Bryce Harper in the next installment of Close, But No Commissioner's Trophy.
House Keeping That Nobody Cares About (I desperately hope you care) Bonus Tedy Bruschi Twitter Fight
It's your boy the ole doz man! Back from yet another extended break from DOL. However unlike many others in the past this was not by choice!
Weebly hadn't been working for me (could very well just be me being horrible with technology). There were multiple occasions where I wanted to write but couldn't because the blog was broken.
Of course I mean get high off of the rush of an online madden victory.
Weebly worked today so here I am baby, signed, sealed, delivered.
FTR I have tried to write since my last day earlier this month. Of course there were days when I didn't feel like writing for one reason or another. It's a combination of laziness and self-doubt. I get in my own head and down on myself. Being completely serious I believe I am talented enough to work for Barstool. If given the opportunity I'd do anything to make it work. I know I'm funny, intelligent, full of ideas and can make people laugh. There's also many more people out there who feel the same way. It just sucks because a lot of the reasons I've been not writing as much are my own fault. Ever since I left Nashville I've been pretty depressed and expressed that by putting on (probz more) half of the weight I lost in 2016. I was depressed and honestly thought about killing myself more than normal, and went to food to cope. Once things started turning around I still kept eating and now I just feel like a drug addict except instead of opioids my drug of choice is anything with carbs and cheese.
People will say shit like "If you want it bad enough, you'd do anything to make it happen" Like I should work harder and stop at nothing to make it happen. Which is true. I 1000% agree I could do more. Only problem is with real life that gets kinda tough. I have a full time job, a girlfriend (crazy, right?), and trying/failing to get back in shape to worry about. After a work day I'm tired and just wanna relax. It's hard to wanna write a blog that you feel like nobody is gonna read. It's hard to stay motivated I'm just being honest. But I'm moving into a new house with some friends in less then a week and am gonna try to use that as a started over point to focus myself to my content. I wanna start a podcast again. I think 3MP had some potential but overall was trash. We put maybe an hour of planning into three episodes combined and it showed. I know I need to work on my on air voice. I'm funny and know what I'm talking about but end up biting my own tongue getting all twisted up, or cut people off because even after nearly 27 years on this planet I still don't know how to have a conversation. I'm kinda rambling but that's okay that's what this blog is about, but I just get down on myself, dude. It sucks I feel like I'm never gonna make it so why even try? Which I know is a toxic attitude to have and I'm trying to fix it. Even just typing this shit now I feel better just to be speaking my voice again. I feel like blogging is not like riding a bike; you definitely can lose it. I feel like I hit my peak in 2016 when I first started and was writing pretty much daily. I'm hoping I can regain my fastball because right now I'm throwing a flat 84 which isn't gonna cut it. I'm hoping that overtime I'll be confident in my writing again. Thanks for reading up to this point I've got a new series on baseball that I'm really excited for that I kinda stole from Justin Havens that I'm gonna start after this blog. I've got a lot of real life shit to worry about but am going to try my best to write more and stop making excuses.
I know deep down I have what it takes to make it. I need to stop being such a pussy and getting discouraged and keep fighting. I owe it to myself and the people in my life fighting through actual problems. Obviously there's way bigger shit in the world, than Ryan M******t trying to make it the sports media game, but man it just sucks when it feels like you're fighting such an impossible fight. Plus when you see the newer content people at BSS that you know you're better than it just makes it sting more. I don't mean that as a slight although I'm sure it came off as one but it's just how I think. You gotta be competitive to make it in this game and I am done being scared to truly try. There's literally thousands (probably millions) of people out there like me who think they're a lot better than what they do than they really are who just want a chance. I know in the grand scheme of things I sound like a whiny bitch here, and at the end of the day it's just me chasing a dream. Everything should be okay either way. I'm a white dude in America with two college degrees and a rich dad. Real life happens and can put shit in perspective really quickly. I have an aunt who had heart surgery today. I just found out a few days ago that one of my friends has leukemia, and I've got another who needs a new kidney. I know a self-absorbed fat fuck's dream to work for a company he's slowly starting to hate isn't even a blip on the important things in life radar but in short thanks for the support so far.
Enough of that shit. While I was gone you may have missed me get told by a personal hero of mine that I need to get out of the stone age.
ICYMI the NFL drastically changed the tackling rules this off season.
They're literally trying to ruin football. If you've been under a rock, let me fill you in. If you lower your head to make contact it's a penalty. It drives me crazy. Just because helmets hit doesn't automatically mean you're going to get an concussion. Plus when guys do hard, clean shoulder hits in real time the shitty refs can't tell the difference and throw the flag anyways. This is all imo an overreaction to the Ryan Shazier injury. Sorry but he just used poor tackling form which led to his injury. Any pop warner volunteer coach could tell you that. It's just like what happened with Kevin Everett of the Bills in 2007.
To me it's eerily similar to the Buster Posey rule in baseball that eliminated home plate collisions. Sucks to say but both changes were overreactions to where a player being in bad position ruined it for everybody else.
I understand you want to make the game safer for players but this new helmet rule has gone too far. Hits and violence are going to happen. IT'S FOOTBALL. Play golf if you don't want to get hit. I know we want to do all we can to make the game safer but at the end of the day I think this rule change is a little extreme. It neuters football, almost entirely kills the already on it's deathbed fullback position and just bums me out as a fan.
Tedy Bruschi, New England Patriot team Hall of Famer took to twitter to talk about the new rule the other week. I disagreed and might've been a little bit trolly but I think my point is still valid. I don't believe he actually wants to take violence out of the game (at least I hope not).
I don't disagree about some players needing to change the way they tackle. Like Brandon Meriweather hits don't really belong in the game. But just because a player lowers his shoulders (which physically also lowers his head) doesn't mean it's a dirty hit. IMO it was just a lazy rule change that I don't think the NFL truly understood the severity when they imposed it. Between this and trying to kill kickoffs I really hate where the NFL is going. When Mark Cuban said a few years ago that the NFL was going to implode people laughed, now I'm starting to think he's right. Rome is what led to the fall of Rome and I wouldn't be surprised if the NFL had a similar fate.
My biggest point is that now we know the risks of football. We are more advanced than even 5 years ago. If you wanna put your body on the line for fame and fortune you should be allowed to. This is (for now) America. Players know the risk, and a lot of them wanna hit. So let them.
Weebly finally works again!
Song: Everybody Party Tonight
Artist: Cobra Man
Album: Toxic Planet
Can a season really be ended if it never began?
The Yankees announced that OF Jacoby Ellsbury's 2018 campaign is over.....without ever officially beginning. Ellsbury has not appeared in a single game all season. 21 million dollars to literally not work. What a sport!
Of course my connection to Jacoby is that he was a fantastic, yet often injured CF for the Red Sox from 2007-2013. A career capped off with World Series championships. I'll never forget the spark he was for the 07 sox as rookie. Then the stolen base in the World Series, Tacoby Bellsbury. Man that nickname should've taken off. It was my yahoo fantasy baseball name for two years.
I hate Pete Abe ( I was once 3 feet away from him at Fenway once and he's maaaybe 5 4?) but man that is a solid point.
When Jacoby signed with the Yankees I was upset just because I liked Jacoby and hate(d) the Yankees. Even though I thought moving on was the right call, it just sucks he ended up in pinstripes. I had a legitimate nightmare about that very scenario happening in 2011 (his could've been MVP / possible roids year?) and I woke up in like a panic, where you realize it was just a dream but are still freaking out and don't calm down right away. Like when you think you killed someone in a dream and wake up and are like wait... that didn't happen right?
Okay then. While I hate what Jacoby did by going to New York, I also love it for the long term effect it's had on them. Then again more credit to them for giving him horrendous contract that the Red Sox were smart enough to avoid. 153 million over 7. Jacoby is in year 5. lol Imagine having that plus Pablo and Hanley?
Even though I'm happy he's fucking over the Yankees, hard. It makes me sad to see how bad Jacoby has been post Sox. Lot of battles with injuries and just unproductive play.
I'd love to see them just outright release him then watch him have like 3 good years for the Cardinals or some classic NL team.
(this has been my photo on my yahoo email since 2007)
Remy, 65, was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008. He has suffered multiple recurrences. In February 2017, he announced that the disease had returned, but he was back in the booth early in the regular season that year. In mid-June of last season, a recurrence required surgery and chemotherapy. Remy missed most of the second half, but did return for a few games in September.
Remy, a longtime smoker, first underwent surgery in November 2008 to remove a cancerous area from his lung. He endured complications during that recovery, including an infection and a prolonged bout with pneumonia.
He still didn’t feel like his usual self when the 2009 Red Sox season began, leading to a leave of absence that kept him out from April 30 until mid-August. He revealed upon his return that he had been battling depression.
In April 2013, Remy announced that he’d suffered a relapse that offseason when cancer was found in a different spot on his lungs during his regular six-month CT scan that January.
“If I can help anybody, that’s great,” said Remy when asked why he revealed the 2013 relapse. “Last time this happened to me, I got so many letters from people who have gone through cancer, who are fighting it at that particular point in time, and I felt like I did them some good.”
He did not miss time during the 2013 season while recovering from that surgery. But that August, Remy took an immediate leave of absence when his son, Jared, was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel. Jared Remy pled guilty in August 2014 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
A Somerset native, Remy spent 10 years as a second baseman in the major leagues, including seven with the Red Sox (1978-84). He has been a NESN broadcaster on Red Sox games since 1988. Last January, the network announced that he’d signed a multiyear contract extension
Horrible news came out today: The Red Sox announcer that broadcaster and former 2nd basemen Jerry Remy has lung cancer again. This is his 6th bout with the disease.
Obviously it's horrible fucking news and we are all pulling for the Rem Dog to be back in the booth come 2019, but it's just a really downer on an otherwise spectacular season, so far. Real life still happens. Definitely puts a damper on things. Remy is the man I will not accept any other answer.
Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy were the voices of my childhood and a huge part of my daily like from April-October every year of my life since 2003. Now without Don; it's just Jerry. Lone survivor. If there's one thing the Remdog has done....it's survive, as mentioned earlier this is his SIXTH battle with Lung Cancer.
Jerry Remy's laugh whenever him or Don would mess around was the best and I remember those moments a lot better than a lot of the games that were taking place in the background. Too many to mention but The Pizza Throw is the #1 highlight and of course I'll include it at the end of the blog.
Jerry has been doing a great job this season. His chemistry with Eck has to be the highlight. Jerry, O'B and of course Eck when in the booth altogether has been can't miss stuff. I'm so sad we're gonna be missing out on Jerry because of stupid fucking cancer. Like seriously, cancer? Literally nobody likes you, it's so annoying just go away already. I was just talking about Saturday how mad I was that I watched the game on FS1 and not NESN because I assumed they didn't have the game since it was the Saturday Game of the Week.
Sadly, was the last chance this season we all had the chance to listen to Jerry Remy this season. Well technically the time table hasn't been announced yet, but it's not like cancer is something that only puts you on the 10-day dl.
I wish you nothing but a speedy recovery, Rem Dog.
We all love you.
Just listen to his laugh when he Eck tells this story. This was the funniest moment post-Don by a mile.
"Ahhhh, here goes the Pizza! See it?"
11 years ago today Barry Lamar Bonds broke the all-time home run record.
And nobody fucking cares.
It's so crazy to me. Look I get it, I know Barry is a steroid guy. Everybody on earth knows that. You know it, I know it, starving kids in huts with no water or technology know it.
In a sport where stastistics and records are so highly celebrated, most people don't care about Barry Bonds breaking the home run record. Some don't even recognize him as the all-time leader.
I still think Barry Bonds was a HOFer before steroids, and should be in Cooperstown. He had seasons where his on base was over .600. Idc what you're on that's insane. We also need to accept the fact that nearly everybody was on steroids during this era...hence the name. Baseball players are held to such a higher standard. In the NFL nobody gives a fuck about juicing, it's almost encouraged. Like Rodney Harrison getting busted isn't what will keep him out of the HOF.
I just think back to that 07 summer, I was in Florida visiting my family. I remember Barry tied the record on the road at Petco Park and then afterwards every single Giants game was on ESPN until he broke the record. As a baseball nut I'd watch every game. It might've actually even been once he was one away because I felt like the Giants were on ESPN every night for two weeks.
Finally, on August 7th, 2007 Barry Bonds hit home run 756 off of Nationals pitcher Mike Bascik, a man who's name has been forgotten unlike Al Downing who gave up 714 to Hammerin' Hank. Bascik, much like Bonds was out of baseball after the 2007 season. To me that's still such a shame. Barry Bonds in 2007 at age hit 28 home runs and had an OBP% of .480 (which led the NL). He FOR SURE could've been a DH in '08 but was black balled and never played again after 2007. Fun fact the Giants lost the game that night, but I don't think the fans in attendance really cared. Also...those Nationals uniforms were soooo ugly. Thank God they got rid of the Natinals disgraces.
Of all the steroid guys I think Bonds gets the worst of it because he was an all time great without them. He's not a Brady Anderson type. Bonds in Pittsburgh was already a future HOFer, but after the 98 chase with Sosa and Big Mac he got jealous and started juicing to put up better, bigger numbers like them.
I'm kinda rambling as this summer I haven't written much, but it just rubs me the wrong way how much disrespect Barry Bonds gets.
Look at these numbers:
Steroids or not, he's one of the best baseball players of all time. To me he is the all-time home run leader. I consider myself a Barry Bonds fan. He was a bad, baaaad man and deserves his spot in Cooperstown. I will not forget what Barry Bonds accomplished.
Song: The Rock Show
Artist: Blink 182
Album: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
Last night was the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement in Canton, Ohio. The 2018 class was loaded like a some Frisky Fries. The man who led the way on the famous Packer sweep, Jerry Kramer FINALLY got his due after retiring in 1968. Kramer was the only man on the NFL's 50th anniversary team not in the HOF.
For years being an offensive linemen, and being on the greatest dynasty of all time was held against him. I mean, how many hall of famers can one team have?
The other players inducted were T.O. (who didn't show up), Brian Urlacher, Brian Dawkins, Ray Lewis (who sweat through his jacket, while telling us we need prayer in school), and of course the one and only Randy Moss. The man who's name inspired a game for kids across the country trying to make acrobatic catches. YOU GOT MOSSED!
Not to keep picking on the (alleged) murderer, but his bust is up there with that Ronaldo one for worst I've ever seen. Looks NOTHING like him.
The speeches were all pretty good. Even though Ray Lewis is a legitimate crazy person who decided to preach for 45 minutes there were a few parts of his I liked. But I'm here to talk about Randy Moss.
Randy is the GOAT.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame isn't like baseball where you go in with a cap of the team you're most well known for. Although sometimes even the the hats don't match up. To me Nolan Ryan is an Angel or Astro, not a Ranger. Vlad is an Expo, not an Angel. Greg Maddux didn't even pick a team.
In Canton you get the bust. I'm well aware if Randy Moss did have to go into the Hall with a team it'd be the Vikings, but his brief time in New England is something I'll never forget and always appreciate. All the touchdowns, the wins, and of course that famous 07 celebration we saw 23 times en route to a perfect regular season. You could argue that his time in New England is what solidified him as a Hall of Famer since his time in Oakland left a sour taste in Moss fans mouth's. Moss scored 3 touchdowns in 2006. He scored 4 against the Bills in Buffalo on a Monday Night Football blowout in the fall of 07.
In a sick twist of fate Randy Moss was the focal point on arguably the two greatest teams to not win the Super Bowl; the 1998 15-1 Minnesota Vikings as a rookie, and the 2007 16-0 New England Patriots where he broke Jerry Rice's single season receiving touchdown record. Randy Moss caught 23 touchdowns in 2007. In 2003 (the Patriots 2nd Super Bowl winning season) Tom Brady threw 23 touchdowns all year.
Randy was only in New England for a little over three seasons, but man did he make a lasting impact. His 2007 is still the gold standard of a season for a WR. 98 receptions, 1493 yards, 23 touchdowns.
In 44 games as a Patriot Randy Moss had 50 touchdowns, 3904 yards and 259 receptions. In Foxboro Randy's "average" was 6 catches for about 90 yards and over a touchdown a game. Don't forget one of those seasons was with Matt Cassel.
Randy Moss is the most talented WR I've ever seen play, and after a 2006 where Tom Brady's top target was crazy eyes Reche Caldwell, it was time for an upgrade. That upgrade was Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders for a measly 4th round pick. We all know how great that Patriots team was. 18-1. One stop away from the perfect season. The best offense I've ever seen. It's shame Brady really only had two full seasons with Moss. The epic, record breaking 07 campaign, then 09 after Brady was coming off his torn ACL, arguably the worst season of his career. I wish we could've seen what these guys could've done together had they had 5 or more years together. It's crazy to think about what they could've achieved together since in 2007 they both broke single season touchdown records. It's an absolute shame Brady missed all of 08, but even more so that the Patriots weren't able to win a Super Bowl with Randy Moss. top-10-ringless-patriots-of-the-belichick-era.html. Randy addressed that during his speech. He saved Belichick for last and at first I was worried he wasn't going to say anything about coach.
But when he apologized for Super Bowl 42 I nearly cried. It legit took me years to get over that game, and I'm really more so just at the point where I don't think about it, because if I start thinking about all the little things that went wrong to cause the greatest upset of my lifetime I'll drive myself fucking crazy. I'll never forget after that game watching it on our new HD tv that my dad had gotten just weeks before that I took down our Patriots flag after the game ended in disgust and my dad told me to put it back up. During that year my dad used to always joke that the Pats should trade Brady and Moss now to rebuild because their value would never be higher. It sucks because the Pats have been so successful and it's been such an incredible run, but not getting it done in 07 (and 11 too) against an inferior opponent both teams makes it really hard to deal with and in a way causes fans to not think about the 2007 Patriots because the wound still hurts. They are IMO the greatest team in NFL history, even though they didn't "finish the job". They fell victims to the luckiest play in NFL history. If there's one man who's fault it was no for the loss, its Randy Moss. People forget he scored what should've been the Super Bowl winning touchdown.
Randy was not expecting Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick to show up, they surprised him which made for a great moment.
Low key best part of the whole night.
Oh and Bill wore his nicest flip flops to this special event. #footballguy
I'll end the post with this question that I'm still not sure I can answer. I'd leaning towards yes but I can't think of a 2nd ring I'd trade after 2003. Maybe 04 and just go 01, 07, 14, 16?