CHARLOTTE – The car is stuck in traffic, so Randy Moss and Charles Woodson are talking about waffles. Red velvet waffles, to be more precise. Randy took Charles to the Terrace Cafe after their 5:30 a.m. workout, and Charles had to get the red velvet waffles. They were so good that Charles was still talking about them a few hours before kickoff between the Dolphins and Panthers to close out Week 10 of the NFL season.
“You saw clouds, huh?” Moss asks Charles from the back seat, while picking at a plate of fried flounder made by tailgaters at Camp Meathead – featured on “The Randy and Charles Show,” the pair’s video series where they spend time with fans at each week’s Monday Night Football stop.
“Man, if my alarm hadn’t gone off I might still be seeing clouds,” Woodson replies.
The relationship between Woodson and Moss is a close one, and one that’s growing by the week. Woodson’s more laid back, and lets Moss’ natural charisma show through. And Moss is bringing out the fun-loving side of Woodson. It’s natural for them both, and in his second year at ESPN, Moss is starting to show some serious star power the way he consistently managed to take over games during his playing days.
UPROXX Sports caught up with Moss from Bank of America Stadium in the midst of recording Monday Night Countdown and discussed everything from his thoughts on his 30 for 30 (Rand University) and this season’s NFL controversies to how parenting takes a good sense of humor.
Martin Rickman: So you been in Charlotte now for a while. You mentioned a few times now, “This is home.” Does this feel like home to you now?
Randy Moss: I mean it’s close to West Virginia. It’s where I grew up from. Other than Pittsburgh, this is the closest city to West Virginia. I like Charlotte, I really do. It’s great to raise a family. It’s a great city. International airport so there’s a lot of perks here in this city, man. Me being close to home, being close to mom, it’s a win-win situation. So, yeah, I do call it home.
How often do you get back to West Virginia?
Just whenever I can. Just being here with my family. School starting, man, I gotta big plate to fill each week, so getting back home, man. I’m 40 years old. Getting back there much, not much.
Yeah. It’s just nice to know that it’s at arm’s length, you know. I’m the same way. My folks are up in Ohio. You know you can hop in the car, you can get there.
Yeah, any type of emergencies, where you can like you said, just get in the car, just four-hour drive. Like I said, man, I’ve always been true to my roots, Appalachian Mountains. Here, it’s no different. I like a lot here. I like it a lot, man. Like I said, I wouldn’t change it. I’ve lived in different parts of the country and I wouldn’t change it.
You’ve had a little bit of time to sit with your 30 for 30 now. Right when it comes out or when it’s filming, you think different things about it, but have you had a chance to watch it again recently? Have you changed your mind?
I still didn’t like the 30 for 30. No matter how it’s painted or what picture it painted, it still wasn’t the truth. I don’t attempt and won’t attempt to do anything. I’d really like to get my story out there, but I really wish I was doing it myself instead of relying on somebody like, you know, the guys that did it.
You’d want it to be your story?
Yeah, My story, not somebody else’s put together or some other stuff that they heard that they put in the story to make it a story. That’s not a story to me. I’m bitter about it because you lend somebody your time, you open your heart, you open up your community. All of a sudden, you tell them things that you did not want to say. Things that you did not want to be on there. Then they end up being on there. Regardless of whether it good for TV or not – but it’s still your story. Whenever I get the chance to put it back out there, I’ll do it my way.
Now there’s more of a chance than ever really for the player to own that, to tell that story, to say the things that they want. It seems like that a lot of those guys have more accessibility. You get to be a person and not just an athlete.
I’m older now. I’m 40 years old, so all the stuff is behind me man, so I just look forward. Whatever it is, it is. I just live and learn.
You’re in year two here with ESPN. When I came out last year for the Monday Night game and watched you, you were having a good time, but it seems like it’s just so much more natural to you now.
Oh man, we have a great time, man. I think it’s more of the guys, that we put together, the nucleus, the team, Sunday Countdown, Monday Night Countdown. It’s actually a good feel. Then we come out here to the Monday Night Football venue to be able to be around the coaches, to be around the players. Still get to see the Drew Breeses, the Aaron Rodgers, the stuff like that, so it’s good to still be around the game cause you still get to see the stars. You get to see them warm up. Then get a little bit of reminiscing at the same time. It’s a good feeling.
You got some of those guys, though, that are maybe a year or two from being out whether it’s Drew, Tom Brady or any of those guys. Is that a little twinge that maybe that next era’s coming or are you just excited for what’s next?
I don’t look at a lot of that. I look at football and I do look at the changing of the guard. At the same time, you know the game has to change with the guys too. It’s doing that. I think for the most part that the league is headed in the right direction. I know there’s a few things that you gotta clean up, a lot of loose screws here, you know with the commissioner, just a lot of stuff that’s going on, man. I think for the most part the players, the fans are somewhat pleased with the game.
Do you think we’ll look back on this year as a really important one for the history of the NFL?
Naw, not really. I don’t think of it other than being, you know guys being on IR. The protesting is gonna continue being the same. Nothing really to look back on. I mean there’s really nothing. You have all the protesting coming up and you got one of the bigger sponsors in the National Football League with Papa John’s coming out with his statement. There is a lot of stuff to reflect on. There’s a lot of stuff to shake your head at. At the same time, man, I think there’s probably some more things happening as far as tragedies and things like that. I don’t really think this year is really no different than any other year. It just happens to be this year.
With having Charles here, what does that do for you? You guys having the opportunity to work together – you seem to know each other pretty well.
I think me and Charles have followed each other from high school. I think that’s the good thing. To be able to follow someone for a very long time. Then you kinda feel like you do know them, that you do have a rapport. I think a lot of people look at me and Charles’ relationship on the air, that it’s real genuine man. I think the respect we have for one another is definitely above any other. I think that when you’re able to gain the respect on the field, then it trickles off the field, you’re winning. You’re doing something right.
You can see that too, cause it feels genuine. You guys have that respect. You have a good time. Sometimes you can have respect without a good time. Sometimes you can have a good time without respect. But when you have both …
You gotta have a sense of humor. I think that’s the most important thing. He’s married with kids. I’m married with kids. If you have kids, and you don’t have a sense of humor, I mean, give up your kids. Give up your kids now. Move out of the house. I think it’s just more of us being able to be around our families, being around kids, doing charity work for so many years. To be able to develop the type of humor that you need for television, the stuff that you know what definitely will trickle down to the viewers. Then they can also sit at home and be able to enjoy watching television because I’m a big TV watcher. I like a lot of things as far as the sports world and stuff like that. You know when you sit down at home and I’ll watch ESPN and I’ll watch Mike [Smith] and Jemele Hill. I just want to sit down and be entertained. I think, for the most part, it’s just more being able to sprinkle some humor in when being serious. I think that’s really what goes well.
Outside of sports, what do you like to watch?
My wife owns and controls the TV, so I watch her reality shows, watch Dr. Phil, watch Good Morning America. I watch a lot of stuff, man, I really do. I watch a lot of stuff. I think that now that there’s so much going on in our country, in our world, that you really have to open your mind up, not just to the United States of America, but to the whole globe and I think that me, I’ve always been a world news type guy. Now that I’m older, a little bit more mature, my life has slowed down big time, that I can definitely sit down and watch an hour of news. Sit down and watch recorded shows that my wife has. It’s just more of growing and my life slowing down a little bit. So that’s a big thing.
When you work with someone as close as you work with Charles, you guys sometimes learn from each other. What do you think he’s learned from you? What have you learned from him?
I can’t really say what he’s learned from me. I think what I’ve learned from him is just a lot of patience. You know Charles is really laid back. I think sometimes that my biggest goal is I didn’t know how he was going to be on a television because he’s so laid back. At the same time, I said to myself, “You know what? I don’t care if he’s laid-back. I’m bringing it out of him.” It goes hand-in-hand for him to bring it out of me also. I think when you look at the team of Matt [Hasselbeck], myself, Charles, Steve [Young], Suzy [Kolber], the Sunday crew with Coach [Rex] Ryan and Sam Ponder. It’s kind of like we bring the best out of one another. I think that doing this I didn’t know what kind of fun we were gonna have. Was it all serious? Was it gonna be straight-faced and stuff like that? The more feedback I’ve been getting, man, it’s like “you’re having a good time on there.”