Life After Football: The Story of T.J. Moe
Photo Credit: TLBTV
Football fans seldom think about playing the sport itself, T.J Moe is an exception.
Ever since he saw his first game with his Dad, the former NFL wide receiver knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“I was a big football fan and I think the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 and my dad had season tickets and we would watch the games and go to a game or two every year,” Moe said.
Moe started his career at 7-years-old, played every position in pop warner, and would continue to play football into high school as well as basketball. However, his heart was always into football, where the highlight of his high school career was a record-shattering performance.
“We had a lot of really fun games, we had a game against Jefferson City my senior year where I set the state record for total yards,” Moe said. “I had 667 total yards of offense. I played quarterback and had eight total touchdowns. We actually lost the game but I think that was one of the most fun games I’ve ever played in.”
When it came time to pick a college, he had offers from institutions throughout the country including Stanford and Wake Forest, but Moe said he had his heart set on the University of Missouri—his state school.
“I knew I wanted to go to my state school,” Moe said. ” I had a few other offers as well to other schools I could have gone to at the time but that is where I wanted to end up.”
He joined the University of Missouri Tigers football team where he played slot receiver for his entire tenure leading up to his and the football team’s most memorable moment in 2010, when they beat the at the time ranked No.1 football team in the country Oklahoma.
With college football over and done with, he put his sights on a career in the National Football League. Moe said while he was in school, Missouri ended up assisting him in getting ready to play professionally.
“Mizzou had a really good program for getting us ready while we were still in school,” Moe said. “Then I went down to Florida and trained at a place called ignition training in Naples and the guys there did a really good job training us for six weeks running all the drills every day and eating right, just doing everything they asked me to do and going to try and put on a show.”
Because of the training and assistance he was given in Missouri and in Tampa, Moe recorded the best three-cone drill time out of any wide receiver at the combine. Despite going undrafted, Moe caught the attention of multiple teams, including the New England Patriots and their head coach Bill Belichick.
“I had seven teams reach out to me after the draft, the Patriots were one of them and they were the best choice,” Moe said. “My skill set as a slot receiver fit their system I thought a lot better than some of the other places I could’ve gone.”
Moe signed a contract worth $30,000 in guaranteed money, which was the highest amount the Patriots paid any undrafted free agent that season. He seemed ready to make a case for a roster spot despite the depth the Patriots had at the position.
He hit the ground running in New England, taking the field for offseason training activities and did not shy away from saying how complex the New England Patriots’ system was.
“It’s probably the most complicated offense in the history of football,” Moe said. “They just add something every year, they know they’re doing, they’ll go back to games they played in 2003 and say we ran this play against these guys, so here’s what we’re going to do. It’s very complex but if you’re a smart guy it’s not something you can’t pick up.”
In his short time with the team, Moe harked back to the experience he had to catch passes with quarterback Tom Brady and how good it was to catch passes as well as learn from him.
“Tom’s the greatest to ever do it,” Moe said. “Anytime you get to be around the best quarterback to ever play the game and the best head coach to ever coach the game that’s a pretty neat experience.”
This experience was short-lived, however, as Moe was placed on injured reserve on June 1 after tearing his Achilles and would never get to see the field. The Patriots released him on March 10, 2014, and Moe joined his childhood team the St. Louis Rams for training camp but got cut shortly after.
Moe found his way back into the world of sports not as a player, but as a journalist and a talk show host covering his alma mater.
“I get to cover my old school and it’s a lot of fun, I still know a lot of people up there,” Moe said. “Barry Odom the head coach now, he was the safeties coach when I was in school and we’re close.”
On top of doing sports talk radio, Moe also has his own podcast with friend Eric Messersmith that he has been taking steps to grow more and more.
“That stuff’s a lot of fun, carving out a media career in life after football, figuring out how the business goes, how to build an audience,” Moe said. “It’s a little bit of a different world then putting your head down and lifting weights.”
Instead of training different muscle groups, Moe spends his days pumping his brain up with certain subjects for his podcast called “Take No Offense”. The show combines podcasting with a live internet show that airs three times a week from all of his personal social media accounts in which he has gathered thousands of followers.
Fans catch the show on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s live at noon but Moe said there’s much more content for fans to enjoy as they try to make a transition to more of a podcast format.
“On Thursday night’s we have a guest and we are now doing a lot of the college football stuff, as well as covering the St.Louis Cardinals trying to become more of a traditional podcast rather than just an internet show,” Moe said.
While he doesn’t play anymore, Moe can’t help but be happy where he is as he is having a lot of fun with a career that while difficult, presented him with fantastic opportunities for building his life after football.