As part of the #NFL100 campaign celebrating the league's centennial season, NFL Network on Fridays has been rolling out new episodes of its 100 Greatest content series.
This week's segments break down the first grouping of the "greatest characters" in NFL history, including a trio of Vikings Legends.
The series debuted in Week 2 and will run through Week 11 with two, one-hour episodes airing back-to-back each Friday night. Five categories are covered in the series: Plays (Sept. 13 & Sept. 20), Games (Sept. 27 & Oct. 4), Characters (Oct. 11 & Oct. 18), Game-Changers (Oct. 25 & Nov. 1) and Teams (Nov. 8 & Nov. 15).
The NFL and the Associated Press (AP) came together to select the 100 greatest in the five categories, comprising an 80-person blue-ribbon panel. In addition to the rankings, NFL Films conducted more than 400 interviews with celebrities, current NFL stars and Legends.
94. DE Jared Allen (2008-13)
When Vikings fans think of Jared Allen, it's likely they picture his signature mullet.
A throwback video at the Metrodome captures Allen saying the following: "Playoff football. You've gotta have a mullet and a Fu Manchu [mustache]."
The defensive end's gregarious personality showed up both on and off the field throughout his NFL career. Allen played the first four seasons of his career in Kansas City before the Vikings acquired him via trade in 2008.
Over six seasons in Purple, Allen started 96 games and racked up 85.5 sacks, earning him four Pro Bowl appearances and three All-Pro designations.
Two of his former Chiefs teammates described Allen to NFL Network:
"Fun-loving, happy-go-lucky guy. A goofball," said Dante Hall. "You would think he was all serious, get after the quarterback, but this guy was the biggest jokester. Always had a big smile on his face, fun to be around."
Added Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez: "He had a pink Cadillac with horns on the edge of it. That was his car. And he'd come wearing this big cowboy hat. He was always fun to play with, and he was a hell of a football player."
45. WR Randy Moss (1998-2005; 2010)
Randy Moss came on the scene when Minnesota drafted him 21st overall in 1998. That season, he racked up 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns en route to being named the NFL Rookie of the Year.
But the young receiver's impact on the game went beyond the stat sheet.
"With Randy, it was more than just who he was on the field," said TV personality Rachel Lindsay. "It was the cornrows, sometimes he'd wear the Afro. He was just such a dynamic player, and as a teenager, that was so fun to watch. It was like, I hadn't seen anything like it."
Sounds bytes captured just snippets of Moss' personality:
I'm ready. I came out the womb ready.
I want the football. I don't care how you give it to me – just get me the rock.
What's up, football world? I know y'all been waiting.
"Randy was pretty doggone funny, too," said former guard Chester Pitts. " 'Straight cash, homie'? To this day, that's a go-to for [people] – I don't care who you are or where you're from."
Former Vikings defensive tackle and fellow Hall of Famer John Randle said that Moss' fiery edge "made the game so much fun."
"He was like a defensive guy playing offense," Randle said. "He was the guy talking smack."
And as for Moss' thoughts now?
"I wouldn't change it, man," Moss said. "A 14-year career, a Hall of Famer, being able to take my health with me – and a little bit of straight cash – I'm good."
31. DT John Randle (1990-2000)
From pregame to postgame, it seemed John Randle's motor never stopped.
The defensive tackle went from undrafted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame by dominating on the gridiron. His play – and his trash talk – put fear into the hearts of offensive players.
"You would hear him talking through the cadence. He was conversating the offensive line, and our guys are not paying attention," said former quarterback Donovan McNabb. "I would say he's probably No. 1 on my list [for characters], the way that he acted."
Randle was known for getting into the heads of opponents, and they occasionally retaliated.
"You started talking to them. Sometimes it made them mad, pissed them off," Randle said. "It got Trent Dilfer kicked out of a game."
And if the constant chatter wasn't enough, he painted on eye black for the iconic, Batman-esque mask he also became known for.
"John wore war paint. He threatened you on every play; he threatened you, he threatened your family," recalled Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders. "But it was all in good fun."