The man who once notoriously said “I play when I wanna play” had a hard time coming to terms with not playing football.
Randy Moss, a future Hall of Famer in his first year at ESPN, explains that he had a hard time putting the game behind him.
“[T]o be able to officially let it go, it took about a good year or two to finally let it go,” Moss told Jonathan Jones of SI.com. “And it’s hard. And that’s why I try to stay busy. You get depressed. You do get depressed.
“When you look at the game of football and what it’s done for different people’s families and where it has taken them, there is a certain type of loyalty to the game. . . . When you look at the game and respecting the game, not cheating the game, little things like that, the game has always been good to me. Now that I’m older, I look at the game and still miss it. But at the same time now is a time for me to give back and teach the game.”
It still sounds like Moss has a little bit of the itch to play.
“Where I’m at closing on 40 years old, I think being able to use me inside the 40-yard line for my height, still my skill set, still have quickness,” Moss said. “I think my speed has left a little bit. But my skillset, 16 games, I’d say anywhere between nine to 12 or 13 touchdowns. Somewhere in there.”
The musing is understandable. Moss routinely sees players who can’t come close to the things he could do in his prime. It’s surely tempting for Moss to think he could contribute, and it would be a great story if he did.
Especially if he were to return once more for the team that is stirring the same kind of local and national excitement last seen when he was a rookie in 1998.