Mark Moseley has never played in a Super Bowl. He hasn't watched many, either.
The Philadelphia Eagles acquired Moseley in the 14th round of the 1970 draft and cut him in training camp in 1971. He was signed by the Houston Oilers, but cut the next year.
"I remember I couldn't watch the Super Bowl in '72," said Moseley. "I was working installing septic tanks, so there was no way I could watch. I didn't have much money and I had to work."
Moseley spent two years writing letters to every team in the league. He couldn't afford many long-distance calls or training camp trips. For two years--while no one answered the letters--he kept in shape by running with his wife Sharon playing piggyback.
Finally, the Redskins signed Moseley for $19,000 in 1974. Since that time, he has maintained an erratic viewing schedule on Super Sundays. "I haven't watched it the last three or four years," he said. "By the end of the season I'm usually tired of football. Last year I was in Mexico."
But Moseley, at 34 the NFL's most valuable player, remembers a day in front of the television set that still provides him an ongoing fantasy.
It was Jan. 17, 1971, the Baltimore Colts playing the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V. With 56 seconds remaining, Baltimore's Jim O'Brien, kicked a 32-yard field goal to snap a 13-13 tie.
"I've had that dream ever since then," said Moseley. "I was just sitting at home. I watched Jim O'Brien hit that field goal at the end of the game and I turned to my father and told him, 'I'm going to be in that situation someday.' "
The Redskins have picked a good year to count on their kicker in critical situations. On his way to setting an NFL record with 23 consecutive field goals, Moseley's kicking provided the margin of victory in five of the Redskins' first six wins.
Although Moseley made 95 percent of his field goals in the regular season (20 of 21), he has been relatively inaccurate in the Redskins' playoff games with Detroit, Minnesota and Dallas. He is two of six, having missed from 42, 47, 39 and 27 yards.
Of the reversal, Dallas kicker Rafael Septien was bold enough to suggest that Moseley may have had more than a bit of luck going for him during the record-setting streak.
"I was disappointed when the streak ended because I had a good thing going but in the back of my mind I knew it had to end," said Moseley. "Now, it's nothing technical I'm doing wrong, absolutely not. I've missed a few field goals, but I don't think I'm having trouble."
Joe Theismann said, "Mark has gone from perfect to almost perfect."
And Coach Joe Gibbs said, "If your field goal kicker is going to miss one, you like him to miss ones you don't need."
Theismann and Gibbs are eager to see Moseley come into today's Super Bowl against Miami with a clear and confident head, but two for six is hardly "near perfect."
As is his custom, Moseley will use at least one roll of tape to lock his right ankle into a 90-degree angle before today's game. He will don four or five pairs of socks. He will pull on a tight, square-toed leather shoe.
He may even think a little about one of the few Super Bowls he has watched. The one in which the kicker won the game.
"I've had years to think about this game," said Moseley. "I have to prove myself every day and it's not a matter of what I did yesterday, but what I do today."