His name already was in the record books and on the front page. So Mark Moseley sat in ABC's Washington studio at 7:15 yesterday morning, ready to explain life as a hero one more time on "Good Morning, America."
Moseley wore a three-piece suit, cowboy boots and a smile 42 yards wide. "I knew I wouldn't need much makeup for this," the Redskins kicker said in jest to his wife Sharon.
These days, there is no need to apply makeup of any sort to the work of Mark Moseley, age 34, National Football League season No. 12, Redskin season No. 9. After all, you only need makeup to hide imperfection.
This season, Moseley has been perfect.
In the Sunday afternoon snow at RFK Stadium, he kicked three more field goals, including the game-winner from 42 yards with four seconds left in the game, to beat the New York Giants, 15-14.
Consequently, Moseley broke Garo Yepremian's NFL record of 20 straight field goals, set in 1978-79. Moseley has made 21 straight, 18 this season.
The last kick was worth remembering:
"There was just so much riding on that (last) kick," Moseley said. "I had a different feeling than normal. I was not nervous; I was intense. My stomach was quivering. I was anxious to get it on.
"I could hear people in the stands screaming, 'Call timeout! Call timeout!' I ran onto the field, but Coach (Joe) Gibbs called me back, letting the clock run down some more. He's never done that before. He was so cool. It seemed like forever, waiting for the clock to run down to nine seconds.
"The snap and hold were perfect, just like they have been all year. They (Giants) really came after it. Dave (Butz, on the offensive line for the kick) said he was knocked on his rear. I heard the tap, someone (Giants linebacker Byron Hunt) hit it.
"But the ball never quivered. I hit it strong. I hit it hard. It was nowhere near going to be short. I hit that ball better than I hit any ball all season. It would have made it, I think, from somewhere in the 50s."
After the kick went through the uprights, Moseley thrust two fists toward the heavens, then caught holder Joe Theismann in his arms.
"All of the emotion came out on the field," said Moseley. "It was just elation, an elation you can't get any other way. Later, I congratulated Coach Gibbs on the win. He told me, 'I never really doubted it anyway.' "
And to think, the Redskins almost gave up on Mark Moseley. They almost traded him prior to this season. Moseley had a miserable 1980, making just 18 of 33 field goals. He suffered leg problems.
In 1981, the leg problems persisted; in eight different games last season, Moseley missed his first field goal try of the game. In all, he was 19 for 30. The doubts grew.
Then, in this year's training camp, Moseley had his first legitimate competition in years: rookie Dan Miller, 23, drafted by the Redskins in the 11th round. For a while, Miller was winning this duel. The job, it seemed, was his. Then, in the final preseason game against Cincinnati, Miller missed two field goals (45 yards, 37 yards).
So Mark Moseley won out. Miller went to the Redskins' taxi squad, then was cut.
Now, Moseley says of his training camp tribulations, "Probably too much was made of it. There wasn't much competition at other positions during camp, so this was something to write about. The kid was a good kicker . . . I knew Coach Gibbs would make the right decision."
After a quick kick with New England, Miller has latched on with Baltimore. The Colts talk of his potential, just as the Redskins did.
Miller says, "I never felt I had the Redskins' job. I was scrapping. Mark is self-motivated. He's a great kicker. If anything, I might have affected Mark for only a week or two, right after camp. By now, though, it's worn off."
The doubts have worn off Mark Moseley, too.
"Even before camp, I knew this was going to be my best season ever," Moseley says. "I don't know why. I just knew it. My goal at the beginning of the year was to go a full season without missing a kick. Will any kicker ever do that? I think I'll do it this year.
"Human nature tells you that it is more important to win a game than to set an individual record. What made the kick so great Sunday was that it did both."
Moseley says he would like to be as consistent as former Cleveland kicker Don Cockroft. Further, Moseley says he would like to emulate the longevity of Lou Groza and George Blanda, former NFL kicking greats, and Jan Stenerud, 40 and still kicking in Green Bay. "My leg still feels very strong," Moseley says.
But as he sat in a television studio, Moseley knew none of these venerable marksman had ever hit 21 in a row.
"I didn't know there could be such a contrast in one season: so low to so high," said Moseley.
During Sunday's game, Moseley said he wore a foot warmer on the sidelines; he also wore a plastic garbage bag to keep his foot dry.
"My wife brought the garbage bag to the game and a friend passed it down to me from the stands to the field," Moseley said. "You need all the help you can get in that weather."
Finally, Moseley went on "Good Morning, America." While they showed a replay of his final kick, Sharon Moseley, watching off camera, smiled. The whole interview lasted three minutes, at the most.
"Went well," said Mark Moseley.
His wife admitted, "They (ABC) called last week about this. I was afraid if Mark missed the last field goal, they would have canceled him."