Fans of the Tennessee Titans are starting to buzz after hearing news that Justin Hunter appears to be the next Randy Moss. After a nice preseason, the hype is nearing “out of hand” status.
The comparison to Moss has been made on several occasions this offseason/preseason. Hunter stands at 6’4” tall, and weighs in at 203 pounds. He’s not overly imposing, but he is incredibly agile and speedy – all the ingredients for a big-play monster.
Naturally, a fan base that has lacked such a playmaker is quick to praise potential. When they see someone with the physical gifts Justin Hunter possesses, it induces hope. Here comes the snowball.
When fans eager to find their guiding light encounter a player with the ceiling of Justin Hunter, all bets are off. Eventually, we all end up saying things like “Justin Hunter is the next Randy Moss.”
What actually warrants that?
Randy Moss bolted to 1,313 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in his rookie season. He’s played 10 seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving and 9 seasons with double-digit touchdowns. Not to mention, his 23-touchdown campaign in 2007, which happens to be the single season NFL record.
He’s destined for Canton, and will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest receivers to play the game.
Since when did 354 yards and 4 touchdowns suggest that kind of career? It’s not fair to hurl such lofty comparisons at Justin Hunter.
But, let’s take away the actual football analysis of Justin Hunter, and examine this issue from a purely superstitious angle. After all, football fans are incredibly superstitious
When have the Titans ever had the best receiver in the NFL? What makes us think we need the best receiver in the NFL to succeed?
We hitched our wagon plenty of times before to guys named Roydell Williams, Brandon Jones, Lavelle Hawkins, & Tyrone Calico. All we got for those efforts were a bunch of cuts and a pretty unbelievable story about the backseat of a van.
And then….there’s Kenny Britt.
In 2009, the Rutgers product became the first “next Randy Moss” for similar reasons as Justin Hunter. He was super-athletic, and could dominate one-on-one matchups. After years of nagging injuries and run-ins with the law, the Britt project was deemed a failure and he was let go by the Titans.
Don’t forget 2010 – when the actual Randy Moss became the “next Randy Moss.”
People were actually saying Moss’ addition made the Titans a Super Bowl contender! Oh, hindsight, you give us so many good laughs.
Moss was in the twilight of his career, and the coaching staff never found a way of utilizing him properly.
So, maybe it’s karma? Maybe the more we throw at a player, the less he becomes!
I know, it’s getting a little confusing at this point – but if you can’t gather my point quite yet, I’ll lay it out in plain English: don’t let your own desire to find the next great generational player effect your enjoyment of the game.