Welcome to the 25 SKOL’s of Christmas!
In a similar vein to how Freeform has done the 25 days of Christmas, we will look back at different moments in Vikings history to bring a little extra joy to you this holiday season.
It’s that simple. The holidays can be a trying time for some people and we want to put a smile on people’s faces by reminiscing about some truly joyous times in Vikings history.
On the first SKOL of Christmas, the Vikings gave to me: Randy Moss in the NFL draft.
We all know the story with Moss. He was never overlooked based on talent, but rather his off-the-field issues. Things were well documented, including getting dismissed by Bobby Bowden at Florida State. His talent could have had him in the top five of the 1998 NFL draft, but the issues he had crushed his draft stock.
The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones had told Moss they were going to select him but they passed and took pass rusher Greg Ellis out of of North Carolina instead. That led to the infamous Thanksgiving day game where he torched the Cowboys for 163 yards and three touchdowns on three catches.
The Vikings were in an interesting spot at the time. If they didn’t come back from a 19-3 deficit and beat the New York Giants in the 1997 wild card game, head coach Dennis Green likely gets fired after a turbulent season that saw his book get released and trash ownership.
Green saw something in the young Moss and thought that he could take a receiving corps that had two 1,000-yard receivers in Cris Carter and Jake Reed to a new level. Green also thought that they had the support system to help him get there and, as Moss put it, fit in.
Once he joined the Vikings, the rest is history. He changed things for the Vikings, including being the catalyst for not only two NFC Championship Game appearances in his first three years, but also the best scoring offense in NFL history to that point in 1998.
Probably the most impressive accomplishment for Moss was that the Green Bay Packers drafted defensive backs with their first three draft picks (Antuan Edwards, Mike McKenzie, Fred Vinson) and he changed the game completely.
Even though his time was short-lived with the Vikings only appearing in 113 games, he arguably saved Vikings’ football as the team never had a blacked-out game again. He also made a lot of those in my generation Vikings fans for life and brought a special kind of joy to the fanbase that we haven’t seen since.
Sit back and enjoy the joyful memories that Moss brought us, and also enjoy a nearly 10-minute clip of Moss catching 40+ yard touchdown passes.