Counting down the weekdays to Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 in Houston, we look back at the 50 greatest Super Bowl competitors from the ASN family of schools as calculated one year ago. Today: 10
What do Bill Belichick and Jay-Z have in common? In some ways, they defined how Randy Moss remembers his two Super Bowl experiences.
Moss, who played two seasons at Marshall when the Thundering Herd was a member of the MAC, competed in Super Bowl XLII with the New England Patriots and Super Bowl XLVII with the San Francisco 49ers.
Those star-studded events left a lasting impression.
“I remember Belichick saying this, ‘Guys, when you’re warming up, you’re going to see stars, you’re going to see the beautifuls, you’re going to see the Halle Berrys, they’re going to be on the sidelines taking pictures of you,” Moss said on Fox Sports’ Randy Moss Remembers: Super Bowl Edition in 2015.
“So, he was like, ‘Guys, I’ve experienced it first hand’ where his guys go out there and see Kevin Costner or somebody and they say, ‘I’m going to show Kevin Costner that I got good feet’ and before you know it, you come back to the locker room needing a dad-gum IV because you used all your energy in the last 10 minutes out there showing off for Kevin Costner.
“Luckily, I didn’t warm up,” Moss quipped, “because I might have showed Kevin Costner I could run a 4.1.”
But that speech stayed with Moss, whose Patriots and 49ers both lost their Super Bowl bids. Five years later, when the 49ers played the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome in New Orleans, Moss spotted Jay-Z in the stands.
Did he show off? Or even say hello? Nope.
“He’s all by hisself, no security, he’s just chilling,” Moss said. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘Should I say what’s up to Jay-Z or what?’ Well I didn’t … because I’m thinking like, man, I got a football game to win. But, hey, that’s Jay-Z over there.’
“I’m walking on the field right before the lights went off at the Superdome and I’m thinking dad-you-gum-it, you have just said ‘What’s up?’ to Jay-Z and I know that has nothing to do with football, but that’s one of my craziest moments in the Superdome during the game.”
Fans may better remember Moss’ contributions on the field. In his first season with the Patriots, New England went 16-0 during the regular season while Moss set an NFL record for most touchdown receptions (23) and set a Patriots record with 1,493 yards on 98 receptions. In the Super Bowl, he scored a go-ahead touchdown on a 6-yard catch, but the Giants responded and won the game, 17-14.
In the final season of his career, Moss caught 28 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns for the 49ers, who fell to the Ravens, 34-31, in the Super Bowl. Moss caught two passes for 41 yards in that game.
Moss had a memorable 14-year career during which he was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times, led the NFL in receiving touchdowns five times and was four-time All-Pro. He is second in NFL history with 156 touchdown receptions.
Jill R. Dorson is a freelance writer based in San Diego.