Super Bowl Media Day is a beat unto itself, with players from both teams taking turns sitting around on the host stadium's floor, answer whatever random question someone can shout at them. Yesterday was that day for Super Bowl XLVII, with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers taking turns answering questions around the Superdome.
As the media circus was going on all around the stadium, however, one man simply won the day - San Francisco wide receiver Randy Moss. Moss spent most of the 2012 season avoiding the media, but on Tuesday, everything Moss said was Media Day worthy material. Moss did things like declare himself the greatest wide receiver to play the game, explain that the 49ers are "determined" to win the game, how he cried during the 2011 season in which he did not play, how he is like Michael Jackson, and one what he would do if he had an imaginary girlfriend.
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Here are some of Moss' exact quotes from the day, a day when reporters could not tear themselves away from Moss, despite all the other players available to interview.
On his place in league history: "Now that I'm older, I do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever do it. No disrespect to Jerry Rice. I don't really live on numbers. I really live on impact and what you're able to do out on the field. I really think I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game."
On the 2007 Patriots Super Bowl experience compared to this year's run with the 49ers: "In '07 with the Patriots, we were riding high being undefeated going up to the Super Bowl, I think that's just something we wanted to accomplish as a whole team, to set ourselves in history. But being here with the Niners, they were so close last year, I think just the way we practice, the way the guys speak in the locker room, they were determined to get back here."
On the 2007 Patriots' Super Bowl loss: "I still think about it. I still think about the loss in '07. I can still say that I haven't seen the game. There's just something about '07, being undefeated going into a Super Bowl and losing it like that. I'll never forget that moment because it's not fun when you're sweating and you have confetti dropping down and sticking to your face knowing that you're not on the winning side of the confetti."
On getting another Super Bowl chance late in his career: "It's actually a dream, really. By me taking a year off and having to work out for almost a whole year, being able to come back and be in the Super Bowl one year later is just a dream. I really didn't expect this. Everybody has their own goals and has their own dreams of what they want to do and what they want to accomplish. For me to be here, I couldn't have told you this back in June or July. It would've been more of a, ‘Keep your fingers crossed. I hope I'm in New Orleans for the Super Bowl in February.' Now that it's here, I just want to make the best of it and take advantage of it and bring a trophy back to San Francisco."
On what having a Super Bowl championship would mean to him: "I think that what I've accomplished in my professional career and throughout my whole life of playing football, I've really wanted a championship on every level. I've always told myself that I wanted to win a championship on this level. Having a Super Bowl ring, I think my career would be complete."
On if winning this Super Bowl will make up for losing in 2007: "No, I think I'll still remember that because if I win this one, that means I could have had two. That's something I'll never forget."
On if he came back just to win a Super Bowl: "No, I think the reason I came back was I really wasn't ready to leave the game. I think I told y'all earlier, just going through some family problems with my kids and trying to put them on the same page because football takes a lot of our time up. Sometimes we forget, as parents, about our main objective in life. I think that I keep my family dear to my heart. I really do. I play each and every game. I collect the game check and my family spends it. I think that for me to be able to take a year off; I've said it before that I really did cry, I really did. I love this game of football so much. I don't like everything that comes with it, but going out on the field between the white lines and playing football is something I've always done. I've been doing it since I was six years old. For me to be able to just walk away from the game, knowing that I wasn't ready, mentally or physically, it really hurt me, man. It really depressed me. It warmed me up to know that I wasn't ready to leave the game. Now that I've made the decision to come back and play, it was something that I was ready to do. I think that my conditioning in the offseason really showed that I was ready to go. I feel good. I really do. Throughout the whole season, I've been healthy. I've come out of games where it felt like I didn't really do anything. I always want to compete. I always want to contribute to the team. For me to be here, it's just like a dream because I would have never thought in a million years that this would happen. It's something that you keep your fingers crossed and hope you get here."
On what he wants out of life: "I think it was [Michael Jackson's] sister or his brother -- one of them said, 'Michael just always wanted to be normal.' I'm not putting myself on Michael Jackson's pedestal, but I kind of understood where they were coming from. I always wanted to be able to go to the park and play a game or go shopping or go to the grocery store. I've always wanted to be normal."
On returning to football: "I think that for me to be able to take a year off; I've said it before that I really did cry, I really did. I love this game of football so much. I don't like everything that comes with it, but going out on the field between the white lines and playing football is something I've always done. I've been doing it since I was six years old. For me to be able to just walk away from the game, knowing that I wasn't ready, mentally or physically, it really hurt me, man. It really depressed me. It warmed me up to know that I wasn'€™t ready to leave the game."
On the Jim and John Harbaugh storyline: "I don't really think that I could talk to my brother for that week. If our mom came down to have dinner, I'd probably have to cancel that. I understand that it's the 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens, but I know John and Jim would like to beat one another. That's bragging rights forever. You know what I'm saying? They could be long gone, grandfathers or great grandfathers, but they still have something to hold over the other brother's head."
On being a leader with the 49ers this year: "I never considered myself trying to be a leader... I just wanted to come in and play football... If there's anything I've been able to give back to the younger guys, it is my experience. That's something I've taken to heart. Just looking at the younger guys and how they look at me is something I never imagined."
On how he would describe Jim Harbaugh: "A coach."
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On his role as a decoy in the 49ers offense: "I don't like my role; I don't. I like to be out there playing football. One thing that I've always had to really understand was being a decoy. It was put to me, Coach Dennis Green just said, ‘Even though the football is not in your hand, you're still out there dictating how the defense is playing the offense.' It took me awhile to really understand where he was coming from. Later on and now in my career, I understand that my presence out on the field, I don't always have to touch the ball to be able to help the offense score touchdowns. Like I said, I don't really like that, but it's something that I'm used to. I have to grow to understand and grow to like it. I've always been a team player. I've never been about self. Anything that is going to push our team to victory and hopefully win a Super Bowl, I'm willing to do."
On where he ranks Colin Kaepernick among the other quarterbacks that he's played with: "I've never really ranked them. I think for what me and Tom Brady accomplished in '07 would put him at the top, just because trying to be undefeated and coming to the Super Bowl. I can't really rank Kaepernick because he came in midseason. It was Alex Smith's team and Kaep took over. All I can say about Kaep is I'm happy to play with him. I wish he would take some of the heat of those balls sometimes. His future is very bright. Either he or Frank Gore asked me, they said, ‘Moss, how long do you think this pistol offense will work?' I said, ‘Man, as long as you keep doing what you're doing, it'll go as far you will take it.' I'm a big fan of Kaepernick's. I told him and he'll tell you, it could've been April or it could've been May, that I saw something in him. I pulled him to the side and shared a few words with him. I'm not going to share what we were talking about. I had just seen something in him. He's very athletic. Just seeing his focus and determination to go out and lead the offense up and down the field like the Atlanta game, it's what you want to see in your quarterback. Alex Smith, I'm not taking anything from Alex Smith. I've watch him and I don't really think that in his career that Alex had a fair chance because he could never get a coaching staff or offense to grasp and learn. Each and every year, it was always an offense this year and another offense the next year and then the following year had another offense. Alex Smith can still play this game. He really can. He can still play the game. He's still throwing the ball in practice. When it comes to sports, I think you take advantage of your opportunities. One thing that Kaep did was he took advantage of his opportunities. He's a blessed young man. Not just this year, I'm looking for big things out of Kaepernick."
On having an imaginary girlfriend: "If I did have an imaginary girlfriend I never told anybody about it."
On what would happen if someone tried to hoax him: "Speaking of the linebacker from Notre Dame, I feel for the young guy. We all do some things in our life that we wish we could have back or we regret. Like I said, when you're going to a prestigious school such as Notre Dame and being in the limelight, being up for the Heisman, I think that you have to expect-I've always said you have to take the good with the good and the bad with the bad. I've been a fan of his since he came on the scene playing football and being catfished I guess. He's not the only one. Big ups to him and I hope he keeps his head up."
On his personal finances: "I collect every game check and my family spends it."
And, of course, the consensus "Greatest of All Time" wide receiver, Jerry Rice, could not allow a comment like Moss' GOAT comparison pass by without a response. On ESPN yesterday, the Hall of Famer and former 49ers wide receiver said, "You know, I was really surprised that Randy Moss made that comment, because, how can you not bring stats in, or how you impacted the game. I impacted the game by winning Super Bowls," Rice said, holding up his right hand with a Super Bowl ring on it. "Randy is still trying to win his first one, and I wish him the best, but I was very surprised that he said he's the best receiver to ever play the game. I leave that up to my fans to make that statement."
Just to serve as a comparison:
|Randy Moss||Jerry Rice|
|982 (9th)||Receptions||1,549 (1st)|
|15,292 (3rd)||Yards||22,895 (1st)|
|156 (2nd)||Rec TDs||197 (1st)|
|0||Super Bowl Titles||3|