Guest post By Cousin Daisy
One assumed the West Virginia country boy, retired – now unretired – All Pro NFL player, Randy Moss was content catching fish instead of balls. (Follow West Virginian Pro Bass Fisherman Jeremy Starks @StarksJeremy for pictures of Moss’ latest fishing trip)
Moss, who turns 35 today, has also been catching the appreciation and applause from some unlikely hometown fans for the gifts he gives; gifts that even the mercurial Moss who does his giving under the radar can’t deny because they have his name written all over it.
Moss, who announced today that he wants to return to football, is never quite predictable – even with his philanthropy. If you live in the Kanawha Valley, the area surrounding Charleston, West Virginia, which is Moss’s childhood home, you have probably noticed the Randy Moss signature logo on jackets and sweatshirts on folks walking down Washington Street, waiting on the bus, in-line at the convenience store or in the biddy ball stand.
The folks wearing his signature logo are the people that probably could not afford the sticker price for this label; but they don’t have to. The Moss-brand sweat shirts, jackets, hats and shirts you see on the streets of Charleston were given away free.
The Moss brand means something to those wearing them; many say they keep the shirts as pristine and new as possible. For others, they become a lucky jacket or something practical, needed and appreciated. Each garment comes with a story – how they got it, how much they treasure it and how wearing Moss makes them feel valued, like a champion, a pro and proud West Virginian.
The development of these rather unlikely brand advocates started in 2009, when Moss donated hundreds if not thousands of pieces of clothing to the homeless and working poor through Manna Meal (he also personally served a meal) and it seems like he’s continued that tradition of giving to the needy very quietly.
This year he donated more Moss apparel to West Virginia veterans. Prior to his generosity the only people you would see wearing the Randy Moss signature brand in Charleston were people with a personal connection to Randy or Rand (his hometown), and those loyal fans that purchased the Moss brand from his website. The clothing line at one time was sold on www.therealrandymoss.com, but never marketed to mass consumers. It appears Moss does not try to sell his apparel brand – not right now anyway. Rather, he gives away free of charge a warm jacket, hope and a little token of that Moss attitude that says “Take me as I am or leave me alone.”
And in the end, he may have established one of the most authentic brands – at least in the Kanawha Valley. He’s a good ole boy, that’s for sure. Making away and giving away. That’s the real Randy Moss, verified. He deserves some appreciation — tell him what you think or just Happy Birthday @darealotismoss on Twitter.
You never know, he might just send you a free shirt, too. Nothing is predictable with Moss.
*Note the photographs featured are not necessarily of the working poor or homeless