Randy Moss had answered 31 questions - 4,500 words worth of responses - when he got this one Tuesday during Media Day: When you were a younger player, did you aspire to be the greatest receiver ever? Was that something in your mind to accomplish?
Here's Moss' word-for-word answer:
RM: "Uh, I don't think (I wanted) to be the greatest receiver ever. Now that I'm older I do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever do it. I don't think numbers stand. Because you can talk about this and this .. I think that I've had ... this year has been a down year for me statistically. The year before I retired was a down year, then in Oakland was a down year. So I don't really live on numbers. I live on impact and what you're able to do out on that field. So I really believe that I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game."
Somewhere out there, of course, Jerry Rice is loudly clearing his throat. In his 14th season, Rice caught 82 passes for 1,157 yards and nine touchdowns, and he played another six seasons after that and caught another 33 touchdowns. Moss' regular-season tally in this, his 14th season, is 28 catches, 434 yards and three touchdowns.
Moss acknowledged his "down year," and admitted he was frustrated at being a decoy, which usually is his role when he steps onto the field. "I don't really like that, but it's something that I'm used to.," he said. "I have to grow to understand and grow to like it. I've always been a team player. I've never been about self. Anything that is going to push our team to victory and hopefully win a Super Bowl, I'm willing to do."
Moss' answer, however, shouldn't come as a shock. If Vernon Davis were asked if he's the best tight end of all time, he would answer in the affirmative. (In fact, I think he has). As other players, including some 49ers, have noted today, every top-flight, competitive athlete thinks he or she is the best at what he or she does. That's what makes them competitive, top-flight athletes.
-- Matt Barrows