Where Are They Now – Mark Moseley

By Jim Gehman

If perseverance had a face , it would look like Mark Moseley. Following two seasons in the NFL, with Philadelphia
in 1970 and Houston the following year, one day after the Oilers’ season-opening loss to Denver in 1972, he was surprised to find himself as a place kicker without a team.

“It’s kind of a long story, but I got blackballed,” said Moseley. “When they fired [Ed Hughes as the head coach following the 1971 season], they hired Bill Peterson, who was supposed to be this big, hotshot college coach from
Florida. He cut me after the first game for no reason. He was using me as an example because we got beat by the Broncos and he thought he had to cut somebody. So he cut me! I came in on Monday morning, and he was in the parking lot and called me over and said, ‘I waived you this morning.’ So I went in and started packing my bags and none of the [assistant] coaches or even the general manager even knew that he waived me. That’s how I ended up being out of football.”

Moseley spent the rest of that year, and all of 1973, writing to and calling every team in the league. And finally in 1974, Washington’s head coach George Allen returned his call.

“He remembered that I kicked [two] field goals against the Redskins in a driving rainstorm at RFK Stadium [while with the Oilers Oct. 10, 1971],” Moseley said. “So he had his camera guy, who was Nate Fine at the time, go back and find out who that kicker was. [Allen] called me up and asked me if I had been training and wanted to play again. I said yeah, I was ready, and so he sent me a contract. I showed up in July in Carlisle, [Pa.] for training camp and competed against 12 other guys for the job and ended up getting it.

“I think more than anything, I just never wavered,” he said. “I always had a lot of confidence in my ability. And then when I came in there, I was kicking the ball very well. And as I improved, I just kind of knocked the kickers off one at a time and I went through the preseason without any misses. I made 16 in a row. That kind of impressed [Allen].”

Allen would just the first to be impressed. Moseley led the NFC in scoring in 1976, and again three seasons later. Extraordinary accomplishments, but he was just getting warmed up.

In 1982, his ninth season with the Redskins, Moseley led the league in scoring and, for the first and only time in NFL history, he was named as the league’s most valuable player as a kicker.

“I’m very proud of that year,” said Moseley. “I’m proud of almost my entire career because I don’t think I ever slacked. I was one of those guys that worked my hardest all the time to be the best that I can be and give everything that I had to my team to help them win. That’s probably what I’m most proud of.

“But I think that year of ’82 because of what it meant to our team, had I not been kicking as well as I was, we would not have ever even made the playoffs that year,” he said. “But as it was, it got us to the playoffs, and then our offense kicked into gear after that, and we just breezed through the playoffs and got to the Super Bowl [XVII] and won it.”

Moseley, Washington’s all-time career scoring leader, applies those same qualities today as the director of franchise development for Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants.

“It’s very competitive and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s right down my alley getting to work with people, teaching them to build Five Guys, and watching them become successful,” said Moseley, who is also the president of the Redskins’ Alumni Association. “I’ve been there since the beginning and we have just under 700 stores open now, and over 3,000 stores sold all over the United States and Canada.

“Being a former athlete has taught me how to be competitive, and I don’t have to have somebody looking over my shoulder to get me to do my job. And being an athlete taught me how to be good with people and how to work hard and have the work ethic you have to have to be successful in life.”

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