When you think of top NFL receivers during the past ten years, who comes to mind? For me its Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Marvin Harrison, and Tim Brown come to mind as all-time great NFL wide receivers. Randy Moss and Terrell Owens are two of the most physically gifted wide receivers to every play in the NFL; however they will probably not be in the same class with the aforementioned receivers. Why? Because of one simple perception of them both: they were selfish while in the NFL.
Randy Moss selfish nature transpired both in incidents on and off the field. He has been characterized by coaches and players as having a poor work ethic and a player who sometimes quits. Numerous times during his career he can be seen in games taking plays off that did not feature him. In addition to the poor effort on the field at times, he outwardly showed or voiced his frustrations in press conferences and/or on the sidelines. He was fined for the infamous mooning incident in Green Bay and also a couple of run-ins with the law. This selfish mentality has "cut" Moss' career short in a manner of speaking and not allowed him to have a full career worthy of his God-given athletic ability and a chance to be talked about with the likes of Jerry Rice and Tim Brown.
Conversely, Terrell Owens has rarely if ever been questioned about his work ethic and mentality when it comes to playing NFL contest. His selfishness reared its ugly head instead in outward showmanship and public battles with quarterbacks he's played with and coaches he's played for. He's received numerous fines from the league for his elaborate touchdown celebrations which included using pom-poms, Sharpies, and popcorn as props. He bashed quarterbacks and coaches during and after games as well. After recovery from an ACL tear, Owens held public workouts to hopefully earn a NFL contract and was completely snubbed by all 32 NFL teams. Owens recently however opened up about his financial problems, his plans to play in the Arena League, and his strong desire to play again in the NFL, showing his ability to be modest and vulnerable.
Both players have felt the consequences of their antics during their playing careers and somewhat even now. Hopefully after both have been somewhat humbled recently, they will be more appreciative of the opportunity to play football for a living. I also hope young receivers that have shown some similar selfish tendencies (i.e. DeShawn Jackson and Stevie Johnson) learn from Moss and Owens' mistakes and curb some of their antics so they are not in similar positions during their careers. As Moss and Owens are both trying to make a comeback, hopefully they will both get an opportunity to prove their worth during the 2012 NFL season, but it is going to take a considerable amount of convincing for an organization to take that chance.
Shana White is a blog contributor for Gold Star Games http://www.goldstargames.com
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