Mike Reilly quickly realized Joey Moss had a huge reputation that preceded him in Edmonton.
Moss was the locker room legend that Reilly was told about by members of the organization after Edmonton traded for him in January 2013.
“I’ve seen guys that are ambassadors for teams for various reasons. Everybody says they mean so much and they’re such an important person. It’s true but it never really quite lives up to the hype. Joey was a different breed — he not just lived up to the hype, he exceeded it in every manner and every form,” Reilly said on TSN 1260 radio in Edmonton.
“I loved being around Joey. People say it, but they really mean it — he was the best part of the day when you come into the locker room and you’d see him. Generally he didn’t have a smile for me, we had a great relationship, one where how it is with me with one of the guys. He would just mess with me all the time and I would give it right back to him.”
Usually when Reilly arrived at the locker room each day, Moss had a scowl on his face pretending to be upset with the franchise quarterback. It was his way of teasing Reilly in good fun and he’d take it a step further by messing with his locker, moving stuff around or hiding items.
“He would come into the training room when I was on the table getting iced. He knew that I was strapped to the table, I couldn’t move and get away from him, and he took advantage of that. It was hilarious. Most stories can’t be told publicly,” Reilly said.
“Every once in a while he would do something that would not necessarily cross the line, but took some stones to do it. He’d mess with something important that I was dealing with and I’d have to chase him around the locker room. He was a tough one to catch.”
Reilly spent six seasons in Edmonton, leading the franchise to a Grey Cup in 2015. Moss was there behind the scenes doing whatever he could to help make the team be at its best off the field and in preparation for game day. Just like anyone else in the locker room, Moss was treated as one of the crew.
“As much fun as we had with Joey, as much of a good time and comedy relief in a certain sense that he provided, he was also there to do a job. He did it incredibly well, he worked extremely hard, you never really saw Joey just sitting down and relaxing,” Reilly said.
“He worked extremely hard and he was very passionate about doing whatever he could to make our team a better team and he certainly exceeded the expectations. I don’t think that you’ll ever find another one quite like Joey.”
Moss passed away at the age of 57 on Monday, October 27. He was a legendary figure with the Oilers and the Edmonton Football Team as a locker room attendant for both franchises. Reilly went back to B.C. after the 2018 season, but it’s clear Moss left a lasting impression on the star quarterback.
“Heartfelt condolences go out to the Moss family,” Reilly said. “I consider myself lucky to have spent time with Joey Moss.”