Former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss' "ESPN 30 for 30" documentary premieres on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.
Randy Moss' 'ESPN 30 for 30" documentary will premiere on Nov. 11.
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ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter Ben Goessling wrote a blog about Moss' new documentary:
"For as brilliant as Adrian Peterson has been on the field for the Minnesota Vikings, there probably hasn't been an athlete in the team's history who could match Randy Moss for sheer explosiveness. The wide receiver tore through the NFL with such force as a rookie, scoring 17 touchdowns for a team that set the league's single-season scoring record on the way to the NFC Championship Game, that he almost single-handedly forced defenses to change their approach to pass coverage.
"The Tampa 2 defense, and bracket coverage with a cornerback and safety, rose to prominence as teams searched for ways to take away the most dominant vertical threat in the game. A year after Moss tore through them for 343 yards in two matchups, the Green Bay Packers -- who had won 37 games and been to two Super Bowls in the previous three seasons -- used their top three draft picks on cornerbacks, ostensibly to deal with the receiver who would go on to torment them for six more seasons.
"And yet Moss remained an enigma to people in Minnesota, either because of his acts of indifference (loafing on plays that weren't designed for him, famously stating, 'I play when I want to play,' walking off the field early during a 2004 loss to the [Washington] Redskins), aggression (bumping a Minneapolis traffic officer with his car, berating corporate sponsors in 2001) or petulance (squirting an official with a water bottle during a 2000 playoff game, pretending to moon Packers fans during a 2005 playoff game). Marveling at his on-field feats was easy; understanding what made him tick was not.
"That's largely why I'm excited to watch Marquis Daisy's film, 'Rand University,' which premieres at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday night on ESPN as part of ESPN's '30 for 30' documentary series. The film spends plenty of time working at Moss' hometown of Rand, West Virginia, and why he made it out of an environment that has seen many other athletes fall by the wayside. Moss' career often pivoted on his personal troubles, and his assertion at Super Bowl XLVII that he was better than Jerry Rice fell flat in part because there was a feeling Moss left something on the table.
"It's why he's still so fascinating -- more than nine years after the Vikings traded him to Oakland and four years after his ill-fated return to Minnesota -- and look at the forces that shaped him promises to be fascinating."
For his part, Daisy mentioned on the documentary's official website that he is "elated" at the chance to direct a film about Moss, one of the NFL's all-time greats:
"Sixteen years later, I'm approached by ESPN Films to direct a film on Randy Moss. Naturally, I was elated with the opportunity. My excitment did not stem from his athletic prowess or from the controversy that he experienced in the spotlight as a pro, but rather, his modest upbringing. His humble beginnings, dating back to tiny, isolated Rand, West Virginia, attracted me more than anything.
"While most of the world knows Moss as a future Hall of Fame football player, I was most impressed by what he had to overcome to reach this stage. A few brushes with the law, lost opportunities and redemption are all themes that remind me of my own childhood. Like Randy, I've been able to overcome some of my own shortcomings due to some lucky breaks. How could a young boy from rural West Virginia, who grew up in a single-parent home go from jail to stardom? This fascinates me as a filmmaker.
"In setting out to make a film on Randy Moss, I wanted to accomplish two things. First, I wanted to really take the viewer into the mind of Moss. He is a very complex and private individual. He has traditionally been hands-off with the media, for a reason. Throughout the course of his career, he has kept a very close-knit circle, and through this film, I wanted to give the audience insight into why this is. Second, I wanted to make the town of Rand, West Virginia, as big of a character as Moss himself. His unparalleled affection for his place he calls home, despite a turbulent relationship with the state of West Virginia, is captivating and a big part of who he is today.
"Throughout the course of production on this film, I have entrenched myself in Randy Moss's life. I am hopeful that my passion for his story comes across and shows that redemption is always possible, espeically if a small town country boy like Randy Moss was able to accomplish it."
Moss played in the NFL from 1998-2012 and caught for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns on 982 receptions in 218 career regular-season games for the Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans, per Pro-Football-Reference.com.
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