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  1. #1
    VikingsTw is offline Jersey Retired
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    Posted on Wed, Dec. 29, 2004

    Randy Moss believes in charity

    BY SEAN JENSEN

    Pioneer Press

    Vikings receiver Randy Moss immediately added members to his fan club when he first graced the corridors of Catholic Charities' St. Joseph's Home for Children six years ago.

    Students, teachers and counselors were flattered and awed that the superstar rookie receiver was volunteering at St. Joe's, a Minneapolis haven for children in crisis since 1869.

    "I saw him on TV a couple of times," one 10-year-old student says. "It was really cool to meet one of the coolest football players in the (NFL)."

    One of the matriarchs at St. Joe's wasn't as easily impressed. Cleo Luzar, a volunteer at St. Joe's for more than 40 years, considered Moss too "abrupt" with the children in 1998.

    "He'd lost me as an advocate," says Luzar, 87, a finalist for the Vikings' Community Quarterback award. "I was very upset with him."

    Luzar was skeptical when she learned Moss wanted to initiate a reading program at St. Joe's and Bancroft Elementary School earlier this year. But Moss quickly gained another fan on the first of his three visits to St. Joe's.

    Luzar watched Moss gently approach a boy counselors and teachers at St. Joe's could not connect with.

    "He was terribly shy," Luzar says of the boy. "Our children come here with all sorts of things that have happened to them. He just hid behind a post."

    Moss engaged the boy in a short conversation, and he coaxed him to join classmates for lunch. Most of the teachers and counselors cried.

    Moss declined several interview requests for this story. Agent Dante DiTrapano explained his client prefers to keep his philanthropy to himself.

    "He's not doing it to get attention," DiTrapano said. "He does it because it feels good to him and it's beneficial to the kids. He does things with kids all the time, things no one knows about."

    Since his rookie year, Moss has paid for four season tickets so three students at St. Joe's, based on the recommendation of teachers, can attend Vikings home games with an adult chaperone.

    Every summer, Moss holds an event for the youth of Charleston, W.Va. This past summer, he provided them with a free carnival, including rides and games. Last year, he took hundreds of them on a bus trip to an amusement park in Ohio.

    Two weeks ago, Moss granted a dying girl's request to see him play. She attended the game in Detroit, where she watched him catch four passes for 102 yards and one touchdown in the Vikings' 28-27 victory. In addition, Moss suggested to coach Mike Tice at the beginning of the month that the Vikings should take advantage of playing on Dec. 24. So they arranged for hundreds of needy and homeless families to attend a holiday party at Winter Park on Dec. 20.

    "Randy is a very private person and he believes in charity," DiTrapano said, "and true charity is giving not for publicity but to help others."

    Vikings receiver Nate Burleson didn't even know Moss had started the reading program. "That doesn't surprise me," he said. "He doesn't try to toot his own horn. He always handles kids first. Stuff like that shows me what type of person he is."

    As a boy growing up in Rand, W.V., Moss loved a reading program in which he was rewarded with a personal pizza. He asked Brad Madson, the Vikings' director of community relations, to set up a similar program at two schools. They decided on Bancroft, where late Vikings right tackle Korey Stringer regularly volunteered, and St. Joe's.

    Three times during the season, Moss personally distributed pizzas to each student who wrote a book report. At St. Joe's, Moss listened to each of the students' reports. In all, 50 students participated in the program at St. Joe's, reading more than 250 books from October to December.

    Mary Schoelch said Moss would engage students in discussions about the latest Harry Potter book, and he even would suggest books that he liked as a boy.

    "Our children respond by racing off to the library the moment he leaves the building," said Schoelch, the volunteer coordinator at St. Joe's. "He showed such genuine interest in their book reports. He'd say, 'Hey, I read that book as a little boy.' They connected with him as a fellow reader."

    On the last visit of this season, students at St. Joe's presented Moss with a large framed photo from his first visit on Oct. 19. Upon his arrival then, six of the youngest children at the school asked Moss if they could hug him. Moss obliged, and the seven of them embraced. Schoelch had the black-and-white photo enlarged and framed with a caption that reads, "The Most Important Huddle You'll Ever Be In."

    "Randy's won a ton of awards from the NFL," Madson said. "I remember seeing his rookie of the year trophy in the garbage. Those individual awards don't touch him. But he really appreciated this picture."

    Later, Moss told Madson, "This is going up in the house."

    Tice said Moss always has favored children over adults. Leery of adults who seek to sell his autograph for profit, Moss freely poses for pictures with children and leans toward signing torn scraps of paper, not expensive footballs and helmets.

    "He knows kids tell the truth," Tice said. "That's important to him."

    Moss is not scheduled to visit St. Joe's again this football season, but the students are not the only ones eagerly awaiting his return.

    "When they knew he was coming, they looked forward to it," Luzar said. "You could see the excitement the week before. They would come up and say, 'Do you know Randy Moss is coming, Grandma Cleo?'

    "We can all hardly wait."

  2. #2
    TheAnimal93 is offline Team Alumni
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    thats a great story. obviously moss is a private person and deserves more respect than he gets as a human being!

  3. #3
    rjkvikings's Avatar
    rjkvikings is offline Asst. Coach
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    The best part is that he doesn't want these stories written because if he did he would talk to the press about it. He doesn't care what other people and the press say about him as long as he knows he is doing good.

  4. #4
    XTAP59's Avatar
    XTAP59 is offline Coordinator
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    Exactly. Just because he doesn't trust the media, and with good reason, it doesn't mean Moss is a bad guy, a thug, punk, or crybaby. It means he has been burned by the media and keeps to himself about his on field performances and guards his personal life even more.

    LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL
    http://lotgk.wordpress.com

  5. #5
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
    ultravikingfan is offline Administrator
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    What an awesome story! Randy is such a great person off the field. Earlier this year I read the ESPN The Magazine. It was great! It is too bad that people want to lament of the facs such as the traffic cop, playing when he wants to, and giving the refs a shower! I guess it is human nature to try to make those who make more money and are famous look more human by hammering us with the negatives!

  6. #6
    packmanxxxi is offline Asst. Coach
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    so tell me this....

    Why when an article comes out about Moss' negatives do you dismiss it, but when an article about his positives comes out you embrace it and cherish it?

    Truth is, NONE of you know Moss. You think what you want. Is what he did here a good thing? Absolutly? But in the midst of it, NEVER forget his drug problem, nor that little incident of running over a cop, somehting you and I would STILL be in jail for...
    3 Straight Division Champs

  7. #7
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
    ultravikingfan is offline Administrator
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    People can change. Of course I don't know him, and I do think what I want. I think he has seen the error of his ways and has matured.

  8. #8
    VKG4LFE's Avatar
    VKG4LFE is offline Jersey Retired Tetris Champion, Monkey GO Happy 4 Champion
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    You don't know him either, yet you rip on him relentlessly for things in the past.

    I get the most pissed off looks from people with my VKG 4 LFE Wisconsin license plate, and I LOVE IT!!

  9. #9
    packmanxxxi is offline Asst. Coach
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    And I think he showed his true colors in the PAcker game and Collinsworth, as much as I hate him, called him on it. Moss took plays off. Over and over. Watch the game. I have, many times now. Was he hurting? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, there was no effort.... hey, more power to ya to like this guy. All I know is you havent won the division since when???? oh yeah.. I alsmot forgot...
    3 Straight Division Champs

  10. #10
    packmanxxxi is offline Asst. Coach
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    This is for the Moss haters!

    no, I dont know him, never claimed too... just know the facts of whats happened. I dont rip on his person, just on his actions...
    3 Straight Division Champs

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