When Randy Moss is not watching his son play college football at North Carolina State, he’s training for his next Spartan race or hosting a CrossFit bootcamp in Charlotte. And on Saturday nights, he goes up to Bristol, Conn. to spend his Sunday mornings serving as a talking head on ESPN’s revamped Sunday NFL Countdown and then travels to wherever Monday Night Football is for the pre- and post-game shows.
Based on his busy schedule, one can assume that Moss is thriving in life after the NFL, right? Not quite; the 14-year NFL veteran bluntly says that he stays this busy because he misses football. He could have kept playing after 2012—and he arguably could still play today—and he’s trying to fill that void in some way.
“It’s just keeping me busy. When you’re sort of bored with life you really start to have negative thoughts and think about negative things,” Moss told SI.com Monday night in ESPN’s trailer before the Buccaneers-Panthers game. “For the most part I try to stay busy and that’s a good thing. Fitness, health I’ve always been into that no matter what people have said about me. Now that I’m older, physically, I’m in the best shape of my life.
“It’s seeing and hearing people after retirement, early death, early sickness. There’s a lot of things that can come from this game of football and not everything is positive.”
That itch, he said, will never go away.
“But to be able to officially let it go, it took about a good year or two to finally let it go. And it’s hard,” Moss said. “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.”
Since retiring, Moss started the Randy Moss Football Academy in Charlotte, and he’s worked with a range of players, from high schoolers to Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor. Last year he collaborated with well-known CrossFit trainer Emily “Breeze” Ross to start a bootcamp twice a week. Hundreds of people could show up to the Charlotte facility for free and train with one of the greatest receivers of all time.
His duties for Monday Night Football only allow him to attend bootcamp once a week, but Moss maintains that at age 39, he’s still got it. Eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, there’s no chance of him coming back to the field. But Moss believes there’s no doubt he could still go out and be productive in a 16-game season.