Shots of Hennessy helped Santana Moss play the Cowboys

Ben Krimmel
October 20, 2018 - 2:02 pm
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James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

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People who say rivalries don't mean much to NFL players haven't heard about Santana Moss' injured heel and his special remedy that helped him take the field against the Cowboys in 2007. 

Speaking with 106.7 The Fan's Craig Hoffman on his "Train With The Best Podcast," the former Redskins wide receiver's story about a memorable day against Dallas began two weeks before the Cowboys game. Moss injured his heel in an overtime win against the Jets that saw him sidelined for a week.

"After I took that shoe off, took that cleat off, you fly back home, that heel was too big to put a shoe on," Moss said. "And here I am about to miss my second game and it's finna be Cowboys."

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder visited Moss in the training room that week and asked him what the team needed to do to get Moss to play in Dallas?

"I'm like, 'I don't know, man. It's almost impossible right now.' And he's like, 'We need you out there,'" Moss said. "And to hear your owner come to you like that. I was one of those guys, man. I played this game for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons I played this game was to show my appreciation to everybody that had confidence or gave me confidence or even had enough in them to say, 'This is my guy.'"

With that boost, Moss, known as The Cowboy Killer, formulated a plan to play. 

"We came up with this concoction of Toradol pill and some other kind of pill and my remedy that I had for all the things," Moss said. 

Moss' remedy: Sipping Hennessy. 

"People talk about us sipping, and they talk about it for the wrong reasons, I was doing it since college, but it was in track season that I first started it," the former University of Miami track and football star said. "Man, if I take this pill, that pill, and I get me a shot or two, I should be able to play. And that was my remedy." 

"And we called it the glass eye," Moss said about a term he learned while playing for the New York Jets. "You take this pill, you take that pill.... and you ain't gonna feel nothing, you're going to be able to hear (everything), but everything is going to be, like, at pause, you know, at a stand still until they blow that whistle."

"I learned early in my career that helped me play through an injury, through a high ankle sprain," Moss said. "I remember I did something when I was young, let's try it again. So, Dan (Snyder) was like, 'If you can do whatever you do.' But I didn't tell Dan about the drink." 

After trying out the concoction, sans Hennessy, at the Redskins' practice Friday before the game, Moss was sure it would work.

"I knew, deep down inside, if I take this shot before the game... it's gonna kill all of that. I ain't gonna feel that little limp," Moss said. 

And, to be clear, Hoffman asks, we're not talking about a pain killing injection?

"Nah, no medical shot. A shot of Henn," Moss said. 

On game day, Moss arrived at Cowboys Stadium early, as was his routine, and soon after arriving knew he was ready to play. 

"When they heard me in (the locker room) singing and whistling and having my music blasting, guys shaking their head, 'Oh, Shoot, 'Tana playin' today. I know that 'Tana.' And I was feelin' it." Moss recounts. 

Moss then started sipping Hennessy, followed by re-hydrating with lots of Gatorade.

"So once I got my groove on, didn't feel the pain, and do all of that stuff, now it's time to go out here and test this heel out. And, before I took the pills,  I tested it with just having the little squig in me. And when I bounced around up on the field, I said, 'Oh, OK. I'm playin' today,'" Moss said.  

That day Moss would catch nine passes from Jason Campbell for 121 yards and one touchdown, but in a losing effort. For Moss the game is memorable because of his play and because he feels the Redskins should have won.

"I was in a zone like no other, man," Moss said. "We coulda won that game if you see the highlight of the last drive of the game, Jason Campbell missed me in the back of the end zone on the same post route that I ran in '05 to win the game. And if he throws the ball a little lower, I beat everybody." 

The loss may still sting a little, but Moss and the Redskins would get their revenge later that season.

"You know, we went through all the stuff we went through with Sean (Taylor) passing and everything, we saw (Dallas) to get a playoff berth the last game of the season and I went ham again," Moss said. "I remember us beating them guys by 21... how to go off into the postseason, beating the Cowboys by 21 points for Sean." 

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