Well, it was Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday — an event, that used to be useful to the media, but now is just an embarrassing parade of clowns. It came and went with all the uselessness we’ve come to expect. Without actually listening to any of the reports, I assume someone dressed like Nacho Libre asked Colin Kaepernick to marry him. A not-so-funny media member with a funny hat asked a player to sing a song. One football player interveiwed another football player in a hi-larious twist on the way things are supposed to happen. And the important players and coaches said absolutely nothing of interest.
But one player who isn’t important anymore said something to get his name in the news and it worked perfectly. All anyone was talking about was Randy Moss saying he was the best receiver of all time. Oh my gosh! But what about Jerry Rice! Clamored people. He has more of everything than Moss – yards, TDs, rings, appearances on Dancing With the Stars. Moss said he thinks he’s the greatest receiver because the entire way defense is played was changed because of him. A valid point of sorts.
But Jerry Rice was there to clear the air, with a response that is what the kids these days would call a humble-brag: “I’m very surprised Randy Moss used that in those words that he’s the greatest. You’d never hear me say I’m the greatest football player to ever play the game. I let my body of work speak for itself, and I think I was able to be very productive on the football field.”
Pardon me Jerry, but Randy said he was the greatest “receiver”, you said you were the greatest “player” of all time. You know, right while you were saying I’d never hear you say it. You pretty much said it. Just sayin’.
But anyway, who cares? Both players should think they are the best of all time. Why not?
Anyway, this “debate”, made me think of a perfect parallel that can be drawn to the NBA about who is the gretest all-around player of all time.
Michael Jordan is Jerry Rice – He’s got the rings, the stats, the calm under pressure, the 100-megawatt smile. Jordan is the best basketball player and Rice is the best receiver. It’s not open for debate … yet.
Kobe Bryant is Randy Moss – An individual with unique talent. They had unbelievably prolific careers, but egos that got in the way some times. And when things are going south, they look out for themselves. Randy Moss by not trying, and Kobe by trying to score 80 points per game whether it’s good for the team or not. But when things are going well, they are unstoppable. Among the greatest talents of all time, but both missing that certain something to put them in the Rice/Jordan class.
Then comes the third entry to both debates.
LeBron James is Calvin Johnson — Just like LeBron was labelled, and has proven to be, a combination of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson; Calvin Johnson has been called a combination of Jerry Rice and Randy Moss. A previously unseen combination of speed, size, hands, route-running and football IQ. Of course, just like LeBron, Calvin would have to get some rings and playoff victories and pesky things like that to really enter the conversation. But just like no one, including Jordan, can do all the things that LeBron does to help his team win. There has never been a receiver, including Rice, with the all-around combination of skill that Johnson possesses.
So the REAL debate isn’t is Randy Moss/Kobe Bryant better than Jerry Rice/Michael Jordan? They aren’t. Debate over. But rather can Calvin Johnson/LeBron James put together enough of a career to eclipse Rice/Jordan? The answer to that isn’t so cut and dry.