Two of the greatest Minnesota sports personalities and performers of the last 25 years shared a stage Thursday night when Randy Moss joined Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21″ on TNT. The Timberwolves were featured against the Clippers in the second game of a doubleheader on the channel (a thriller won by the Wolves, by the way).
Both guys — who could be as difficult as they come and as engaging as they come when it came to dealing with the media and answering questions during their playing days — seemed very much at ease delving into some pretty interesting topics.
*After a humorous exchange where both guys watched commercials they starred in (Moss for DirecTV, Garnett for State Farm), Garnett asked if it’s surprising to Moss that the former wide receiver appears on-camera now for ESPN after his relationship with the media during his playing days. Said Moss: “When you’re young, you kind of do dumb things. As you get older, you can mature. Then you reflect back on some of the dumb stuff you did throughout your career. I’d have to say when I first started out in my career I was anti, no media, get out of my face. Now being on the other side of it … I’m overwhelmed by it now.”
*The conversation took an interesting turn toward loyalty — initiated by Garnett, who might have been reflecting on his own situation the first time around with the Wolves when he said, “Loyalty comes into play with players when a player is playing great and the organization needs him. Then the organization is trying to move him, puts it out like he’s a bad person … then it makes the player almost like a villain where trading is almost the only possibility.”
Garnett used that wind-up to ask Moss if he had to do it all over again, when would he have preferred to leave the Vikings.
Moss talked about being drafted in 1998 and having a father-son type relationship with former coach Dennis Green.
“I felt that he wanted me there in Minnesota but after he left it felt like they did not want Denny’s players there in Minnesota any more,” Moss said.
Green was let go by the Vikings near the end of the 2001 season, which was Moss’ fourth year in the league.
But Moss dropped a true shocker when he kept talking: “If I could go back and change things I probably would have left after the 15-1 season,” he said.
That, of course, was his rookie year of 1998 — when Moss took the league by storm with 17 touchdown catches. The Vikings went to the playoffs three more times during Moss’ time in Minnesota, including another NFC title game appearance. But they never quite re-captured the magic of 1998. Moss eventually fell out of favor and was traded to the Raiders after the 2004 season.
“I was loyal to the Minnesota Vikings. I was loyal to Coach Green and the organization,” Moss said. “For them to ship me out after (seven seasons) … what I do know now, I’d have probably gotten out of there my second year.”
You can watch the full exchange from that part of their conversation here. Garnett also tweeted a ton of other videos from their time together Thursday night on his Area 21 page.
— KG’s Area 21 (@KGArea21) January 20, 2017