Randy Moss explains why he wore sunglasses in infamous Heisman photo
In 1997, the Heisman Trophy finalists were in a class all their own. To this day, the group has no peers. It included three Hall of Famers — Randy Moss, Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson — and one of the most controversial draft picks in NFL history, Ryan Leaf.
Prior to the Heisman presentation, the group of four posed for what became an iconic photo. From left to right stood Woodson, Manning, Moss and Leaf.
The eccentric Moss stood out in the photo, largely because of his decision to wear a pair of Oakley sunglasses. At the time, many speculated that perhaps he was inhibited and attempting to hide it. But that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
While appearing on Monday night’s ManningCast, Moss explained the decision to shield his eyes.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 6, 2022
“I was just so nervous being on that stage with those guys,” Moss said. “(It) was the biggest platform I had ever been on up to that point. I was just nervous. So being able to find those glasses on the street from a vendor… I wore them and got in trouble (with) my Mom coming down the elevator.”
Moss likened it to Adam’s Sandler’s film, “Big Daddy.” In that movie, Julian, played by Dylan Sprouse, has to wear glasses in order to relieve himself. He tells Sandler’s character, Sonny, that he’s “hiding.”
“That’s what I felt from those Oakleys. I was just so nervous from the glitz and the glamour; the celebrities that were there. So I had those glasses on,” Moss said. “Didn’t (understand) the magnitude behind it.”
Moss also revealed that the Oakleys were not genuine — they were knock-offs.
“I had to find something,” he said with a laugh.
It didn’t take long for Moss to shed his fears once he entered the NFL. Pretty soon, he soaked up the spotlight and began to put on shows for millions across the world.