Santana Moss on Turning 30
"I mean, I actually feel wiser," Santana Moss told me Wednesday night, during the first part of a five-day celebration of his 30th birthday. "Every year I'm growing and becoming more of the man that I should be for my household....So I guess that's a part of being older, you get to start thinking more, and to start trying to make moves with stuff that you didn't do before."
What kind of stuff? Pondering what happens after the end of his career. Planning for his kids' futures. Showing his face at more community events. Putting more time into his foundation.
"You know, before I used to be the guy that said, 'Hey man, I don't want to be involved in this or I didn't want to be involved in that,' " he said. "You know, never shied away when it came to kids, but just other events. Now, I see myself, when I'm called upon, trying to show my face and trying to be there. I like to have fun, I like to party, I like to hang out. Now, I'm thinking like, every now and then, maybe I should go home, maybe I shouldn't go out tonight, maybe I should give that time to this person, that person. You know, I'm just thinking a little wiser.
"As far as the age goes, you're gonna get older every year. So if I was 10, you'd say, 'Do you feel like you're [turning] 11?' You never really feel like it, but you know you're 11, you know? I'm gonna be 30 June 1st, and I'm just pleased to be able to say that that day has come upon me. You have a lot of friends that didn't make it to that day, you have a lot of people that you grew up with, good people, that didn't get the chance. So I'm just proud man of anything that the Lord has blessed me with, and I try to build from it and try to just move on, not take it for granted."
And his legs? Do they feel like they're 30?
"Hard to say man," he said with a laugh. "I think regardless of what you do in life, when you play a sport, your legs gonna always feel the impact of that sport. But honestly, it's not about the legs, it's right here," he continued, pointing to his head. "At the end of the day, you tell yourself to get up and go. Your legs follow this....So, not really. I just feel like I know that every year is a year to cherish in this League, and I just cherish it, I just cherish every part of it. Because a lot of guys want to do what I'm doing, a lot of guys that didn't get the opportunity."
As for the week's events, they're, um, varied. Wednesday was an ESPN Zone Q&A (transcript here) and fundraiser, mixed in with a private party with 13-year old Rhett Stuart of the District and his friends.
The two met at an Obama fund-raiser co-hosted by Rhett's mother in September of '07. Rhett wanted to hold a charity fundraiser of his own in honor of his Bar Mitzvah, so his family got in touch with Santana's people, and they arranged for Rhett and his friends to each donate $50 to The Moss Foundation in exchange for a party attended by the man himself.
"I'm just pleased to have anything to do with some of these kids," Moss said. "I mean, I never know where this will take these kids, but I know for me, regardless of what kind of deed is done, I have something in my heart to just always find a way to give back, even when it's all about me. You know, you might look at this weekend, and say it's Santana Moss's 30th birthday, which a lot of guys might celebrate differently, we all know.
"I'm gonna have my fun, but I feel like on the eve of having my fun I should always have the chance to have time for the ones that look up or the ones that admire or want to be in my shoes."
Yesterday, Moss flew back to Miami, in advance of tonight's high-end party at Miami Beach's Eden Roc, hosted by Wild on E!'s Cindy Taylor, with guest appearances from Scarface's Steven Bauer, Louis Gosset Jr., Alonzo Mourning and Edward James Olmos, plus music from Biz Markie and a Frederick's of Hollywood/Bullets 4 Peace fashion show.
"A real nice, upscale event," Moss described. "It's gonna be a really nice, cocktail event, something that's not normal for me. Because where I'm from, the inner city, I'm always catering to the inner-city crowd. When I have my events, I'm having my events for the inner city most of the time when I'm in Miami. Up here, I got away from that."
But Moss said he didn't want to neglect D.C., so he's back here on Saturday for an event at Current on Connecticut Ave, featuring many of his friends from the U.
"I just welcome everybody always, when you hear something that I'm doing, to always feel free to come out, whether I invite you or not, because it's always a good cause behind it. It's never enough fun for me just to have it all to myself, it's always enough for everybody," he told me. "I mean, they give me so much on Sunday and throughout the year that I have to find a way to always do something up here."
As for any 30th birthday presents for himself, "I don't know, I think I might buy me a new 750 or something like that," he said with a smile.
Sure, why not.
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