The AFC east will feature two of the most impressive wide receivers in the NFL with Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. Though both are talented and have elevated their teams, both are not without their fair share of well-deserved criticism. In this multi-part series, we asked our experts about the two. In this installment, which WR is more hated, T.O. or Moss?
Tyler Dunne, Buffalo Football Report
Randy Moss' moon shot at Lambeau Field was disgusting. Don't get me wrong. None of Terrell Owens' self-serving celebrations have ever stooped to that level. But as Moss enters the twilight of his career, he has clearly matured. Owens? He has Benjamin Buttoned into a 5-year old.
Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss bends over to the crowd after catching a 34-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of their NFC wild-card game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 9, 2005, in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won 31-17. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
It would have been very easy for Moss to pout last season with Matt Cassel under center. Without Tom Brady, Moss had 483 less receiving yards and 12 less touchdowns along a playoff-less season. Balls were thrown high, wide and Moss' numbers took a big hit. But rather than publicly throw Cassel under the bus when the quarterback struggled early on, Moss was a trooper. He adjusted. He played on. He helped Cassel develop exponentially over the season.
If Owens was obligated to catch passes from someone who hasn't started since high school, the team would need to assign him a personal watchdog. The general manager would have a black eye, there'd be donuts at midfield and nasty rumors about the quarterback would be spreading throughout the locker room. Heck, the guy came close to all of the above with three of the best quarterbacks in our generation — Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo.
Owens' bad behavior has been consistent, not sporadic. It's not like T.O.'s antics break out like occasional cold sores — they're certainties. Numbing clockwork.
As euphoric as the Bills fan base is now over T.O.'s arrival, chances are it'll fade to hate by week eight. Owens is talented, without question. The position has never seen a physical freak of his proportions. He is sincerely dedicated in the weight room every off-season. Thing is, all those hang cleans and squats are about him.
San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas all opened their heart, their minds and their checkbooks to Owens. They forgot the past and gave him a chance. Any behavioral forays of the past were forgotten. Any behavioral problems of the present were given second chances. And year after year, the destructive narcissism continued. Each time, it reached a point where Owens team did everything it could to give him away.
At 36 years old, there isn't enough time for Owens to resurrect his reputation. Not that he'd want to anyways. T.O. lives in his world. In his world, he's the victim.
Yes, his world, is far more bizarre than anything Moss lives in.
Jon Scott, Patriots Insider
|Tom Brady keeping Randy Moss on track (AP Photo)|
Randy Moss and Terrell Owens are disliked for their bad behavior? You don't say.
Of course they've both done things, which they regret - or they should regret. It's really too hard to tell if they're truly remorseful, though both have made such claims. While both players have their advocates, more importantly both are disliked, even despised for their shenanigans
Moss performed plenty of negative feats off the field, from allegedly running over a traffic control officer, to walking off the field before the ball game as a Raider. Although during his time as Raider he didn't make many friends, Moss still has a huge fanbase from his days in Minnesota. During his tenure in New England his behavior has been exemplary. Maybe it's the coach, the team culture or maybe it's just because he wants that one thing which has eluded him - a Super Bowl ring.
Moss' moment of depravity came as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. After scoring a touchdown against the Packers in Green Bay, Moss trotted over to the goal post and faux mooned the crowd. As announcer Joe Buck put it, "That is a disgusting act by Randy Moss." The image has been burned into the minds of cheeseheads everywhere and lives on in video ( LINK ).
But that was the old Moss. Those days are gone. Perhaps the poll of public opinion on Moss has mellowed because he hasn't pulled any stunts lately. In Foxboro there have been no such mooning, or any negative incidents, which puts the onus back on T.O.
Owens has managed to get on the nerves of more fans from more teams than just about any other player in the league. From his sharpie signing or posterizing a TD on the Dallas star ( LINK ) as a member of the 49ers, to mocking Ray Lewis's dance in Philly or even mimicking the wing flap as a Cowboy, T.O. has continued to find new ways to incur fans' wrath. Fans voiced their pleasure even shouting chants of TO has BO in Jacksonville or hanging that same poster in Cleveland. It's clear, people genuinely dislike T.O.and have for a long time.
|Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) throws popcorn in his face after scoring a touchdown (AP Photo/Mike Thomas)|
In his third stint in the NFC, T.O. went to Dallas, to play for that same Cowboys team he angered just a few short years previously with the star celebration. Dallas fans were quick to embrace him, forgetting how T.O. threw the Philadelphia organization and his former Eagles QB (Donovan McNabb) under the bus, requiring his agent to take on reporters in the infamous "next question" press conference ( LINK ) after the team suspended Owens for the season. T.O. wasn't done there, he managed to throw his next QB, Tony Romo, under the bus in Dallas, earning yet another well-deserved parting of the ways as disillusioned Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided enough was enough.
T.O. has attempted to irk so many people with his demonstrations, there's little wonder how he managed to earn the most hated player in the NFL according to FOXsports.com's 2009 NFL Season Preview Guide's panel of NFL beat writers.
Whether it's T.O.'s "Getcha popcorn ready" stunt, his taunt of Randy Moss, or the public denials of his tendency to divide locker rooms, T.O. wins the more hated award over Moss easily. Perhaps only Chad Ochocinco has managed to garner more attention as a polarizing force
Good luck to Buffalo fans. You get what you wish for, and sometimes you get more than you expect with a guy like T.O.
See more TD celebrations.( LINK )
Be sure to check back as our experts debate more Moss vs TO questions.