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The Moss Man Birthday Party Part II

Sometime around 12:30 am--about 36 hours before a certain wide receiver would be excused from the opening day of OTAs--the Santana Moss birthday bus arrived, carrying what we were told was a 40-person strong contingent of inner circle guests. We had asked for light on the red carpet, to allow for visible video interviews--how else to ensure maximum exposure for 3 Kings Cleaners and Snow Queen Vodka. We were told they would work on it. The hotel costs $800 million, and no one knows where the light switch is.

But light or no light, here came the VIPs, as other guests who might or might not have been on one of the 17 lists began snapping photos.

First came Moss. Photos from his Friday night "White Party" showed him, appropriately, in white, with a white do rag. Now, he was in black, with chains and a black do rag. He was brought forward for interviews. I asked about the ensemble.

"Yeah, I think I look a little jiggy," he said. I asked about the celebration; "It's been a long time since I celebrated like this," he said. "I just decided that I wanted to do something in D.C.; they've showed me so much love, so I wanted to kind of do something up here and show them love."

And I asked about the weekend thus far; "Oh man it's great, you don't see it?" he said, gesturing around. "I can't wait to get inside."

Then he posed for a Polaroid shot with Liz Glover of Wonkette fame. He was followed on the red carpet by brother Sinorice, who was showing off his Super Bowl ring. But I was distracted by Edgerrin James, wearing a striped polo shirt and a white towel over his shoulder. Auditioning for offseason work as a renegade college basketball coach, I guess. And in fact, when I went up to the party later, James was way out of the VIP area, mingling with the commoners, still with the white towel over his shoulder. Instead of asking about the towel, I asked him about the athlete birthday extravaganza phenomenon.

Edgerrin James and his towel.

"It's different when it's someone from the University of Miami," he said. "That's Santana Moss, that's our family, so we're always gonna show up and support him. Any time a Hurricane do something, we're gonna be here no matter what city they in....You know, as long as we're all together, we make the best of every situation, we make it better than it's supposed to be."

I asked what to expect from the actual party, since at this point I had yet to climb the elevator to the land of flavored vodka and silver-clad go-go dancers.

"Oh, you need to come inside," James said. "Come inside, see what we do. You can try to imitate it but you won't be able to duplicate it, because there's only one University of Miami. The way we do things is different from everybody else. You got to come see, come see how we do."

Having been to relatively few birthday extravaganza events at ultra lounges, I was unsure how I would judge whether this party would be done in a way different from everybody else's. At some point in the interview, I also asked Edgerrin James whether they play parlor games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey at athlete birthday parties. He stared away from me. Before that glorious moment could fade from memory, Reggie Wayne appeared and started rubbing my head. I asked him about what would go in inside.

Reggie Wayne, discussing his "I just look" club behavior.

"Hey man, if I tell you I've got to kill you dawg," he said. "I'm gonna just let you know like this: whatever we do, we do it big."

Wayne began talking about University of Miami bonds, and I asked whether those were stronger than the bonds of, say, an Indianapolis Colt or Washington Redskin.

"Yeah, for REAL for real, and you can say it again," Wayne said. "We've been through all the hard times, all the hardship, and you understand all the pain....It's a brotherhood, brothers from another mother all across the board, and it's a bond."

As for his party behavior, "I''m incognito," Wayne promised. "I stand in the corner. I just look. For real, that's all I do man, because I don't club, I don't club at all. This is my first time in 2008."

I assumed that instead he spends his offseason hours at the coffee shop and said as much; "I go to the lounge," he corrected me.

Then he began talking with the Examiner interns, whose questions again were of the "best present you've ever given" variety. And now Reggie Wayne began explaining about how he had once given his younger brother a cheetah named Blackie, and how Blackie "grew and grew and grew, and it got too wild for us," Wayne said. "It's not like raising a dog."

Indeed not. Meantime, the VIP's kept coming: Willis McGahee, Rock Cartwright (wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt that read "Rock"), Carlos Rogers (forced to stand in line for way too long, possibly having lost some clout with his injured knee), lineman Anthony Montgomery, reserve defensive back John Eubanks, former George Washington guard Keri Gonsalves, former Maryland wide receiver Danny Melendez and Redskins tackle Stephon Heyer. That's whom I recognized, anyhow, although the previous night have apparently included appearances by Shawne Merriman, Fred Smoot and Chad Johnson.

I asked Montgomery, too, about the birthday extravaganza phenomenon.

"I don't know," he said. "I mean, if it's your birthday, you want to celebrate it. We're all living the good life, so why not celebrate it?"

This was the good life, I asked, gesturing at the people waiting in line, the darkened red carpet, the women whose dresses simply must qualify as performance enhancing substances in several countries.

"Uh, yeah, it is," Montgomery said.

(I went upstairs for a few minutes, but really, there's only so much time a backpack-and-notebook wielding blogger wants to spend watching NFL players celebrate among silver-clad go-go dancers. I stayed long enough to hear the DJ announce "Please make way for the cake, because the candles on here could start a fire," and then I left.)

Examiner write-up here.

Reliable Source write-up here.

D.C. Fab photos here.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 2, 2008; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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