Randy Gene Moss was born on February 13, 1977 in West Virginia. He would grow up to be one of the greatest receivers in NFL history.
In high school he excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was even on the school's debate team, too. He helped lead DuPont High to back-to-back state championships in 1992 and 1993 in football. On the court, Moss was twice named West Virginia Player of the Year in basketball (1993, 1994). He was teammates with future NBA player Jason Williams, and the two of them formed a dynamic duo. Check out their highlights:
Moss was all set to play football at Notre Dame for Lou Holtz, but a misdemeanor battery charge in a fight denied him that chance. Moss would transfer to Florida State to play for Bobby Bowden, but under NCAA transfer rules he had to sit out a season. His redshirt freshman year at Florida State he ran a 4.25 40-yard dash. Only Deion Sanders was faster (4.23). But again Moss got into trouble, this time with a marijuana possession and was kicked off the FSU team. He would transfer to Marshall University where he would become one of the most legendary college players ever.
In his freshman season at Marshall all Moss did was catch 28 touchdowns, tying Jerry Rice's 1984 record, and most receiving yards gained by a freshman in a season (1709 on 78 catches), a record which still stands. In his sophomore year he teammed up with future NFL quarterback Chad Pennington for 96 catches, 1,820 yards and 26 touchdowns. He won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's leading wide receiver, and was a finalist for the 1997 Heisman Trophy.
Watch his college highlights, they are amazing:
In the 1988 NFL Draft, several teams passed on Moss because of his troubled background. But the Minnesota Vikings took a chance on him with the 21st overall pick. And he never proved them wrong. All Moss did his rookie season was become a Pro Bowl starter and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for his rookie-record 17 touchdown receptions and the third highest receiving yardage (1,313) total. Oh, and he helped lead the Vikings record-setting offense and the team to a 15-1 record.
In 14 seasons with the Vikings, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, and San Francisco 49ers, Moss would go on to catch 982 for 15,292 yards, and 156 touchdowns .
In 2007 he was a big part of the Patriots' record setting offense that went 16-0 in the regular season. He caught an NFL record 23 TDs (Tom Brady had a record 50 touchdown passes that season). In Super Bowl XLII he scored the go ahead touchdown with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants, and if not for Eli Manning and David Tyree, that probably would have been the winning touchdown to cap a 19-0 season.
Check out his best NFL highlights:
Moss has also given us memorable moments on camera, like his "straight cash, homey" line here:
And his famous mooning of the Green Bay Packers fans at Lambeau Field:
He was so fun to watch. Here's to you Randy Moss. Happy birthday.