It would have been nice to see Randy Moss snag a Super Bowl ring in New Orleans.
Had San Francisco finished off its incredible comeback with a victory, Moss would have gotten his ring he so deeply covets (as do all NFL player). It would have come his way 20 years after he won a Class AAA state championship ring with old DuPont High School here in West Virginia.
DuPont consolidated with East Bank in 1999 to form Riverside.
In the 1993 season, Moss and a band of talented Panthers defeated the Brooke Bruins, 22-3, for the title. It marked the last AAA championship game to be played at Laidley Field in Charleston. The following year all three title games in West Virginia were staged in Wheeling and have unfolded at Island Stadium ever since.
Moss’ second Super Bowl was a bit quiet from a production standpoint. He had two catches in the game.
Still, it was nice to see the West Virginia native return to the NFL. Moss spent a year away from the game after spending time on three rosters (Patriots, Vikings and Titans) in the 2010 season.
Moss turned some heads during Super Bowl media day by claiming to be the greatest receiver in the history of the game. It is certainly open for debate, but Moss’ game through the years puts him at or near the top of the list.
It was interesting to note that on his Super Bowl weekend, Cris Carter, a teammate from his first go-round with the Vikings, learned he will be going into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame this August.
When I think of Randy, my mind races back to his DuPont days. I was living in that area and would run most days on the track at H.B. Douglas Field, which served for years as the home of the Panthers.
I got to know Randy and his good friend Bobbie Howard, who later starred at Notre Dame and then competed for the Chicago Bears as a linebacker.
Randy was a good kid. Very friendly.
He’s had his dark moments since. Then again, haven’t we all.
I was hopeful Randy’s Super Bowl ring was about to come his way.
While it didn’t, the good news is that Randy is planning to return to the league next season and perhaps several more.
Maybe, just maybe he will get that ring in the Super Bowl of 2014. If so, that would come 20 seasons after his senior DuPont team was beaten at Laidley Field in the Class AAA semifinals by eventual champion South Charleston, guided by Bryce Casto.
The game ended one of the most remarkable football careers in state history.
There may be debate as to whether Randy is the greatest NFL wide receiver ever, but there’s little argument that he ranks as the best football player of all-time in the great state of West Virginia.
Come to think of it, he’s one of if not the greatest athletes the state has ever produced. After all, Randy Moss was also something else in basketball, baseball and track and field.
He was one of a kind. Something our state may never see again.