The NFL is littered with great players from past through present but there is a category that separates great players. Just because you are a Hall of Fame player from your generation still doesn’t guarantee you a spot in this category.
That category is called the “transcendent player” category and it highlights players that could have played during any era. It is rare for a past player to be able to have the same type of impact in today’s game but there are a few that fall into that category.
Players like Deion Sanders, Larry Allen, and Barry Sanders would no doubt still be superstars in today’s game but Randy Moss proclaiming himself the greatest wide receiver ever while dismissing Rice in the same sentence is a great way to be excluded within NFL circles.
In an era where passing the ball was still overshadowed by a strong running game, Rice was able to accumulate such a commanding lead in almost every statistical category that it is unlikely any receiver can ever catch him.
Randy Moss is a transcendent football player that was even more imposing when he was motivated but telling everyone you are the greatest wideout when you have 567 fewer catches, 7,603 less receiving yards, 41 fewer touchdowns, and most importantly 3 less Super Bowl victories is a colossal reach.
It was even more insulting for him to proclaim Terrell Owens as the second-best receiver and not acknowledge a third receiver’s name before dumping the great Jerry Rice around fourth. If Moss doubles down on his take, it might be time for Rice to do a little more than tweet stats back at Moss.
I am still bitter at the San Francisco 49ers trading ahead of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL draft for the rights to select Jerry Rice but I still have enough sense to admit Rice is the greatest to ever play the game.
Other than Tom Brady, Jerry Rice might be the favorite if the NFL were ever to go the NBA route and place a player shadow on their seal ala Jerry West. I understand that legacies grow after a persons playing days are over but inflating yourself over the greatest at your position is sports suicide.