Harold Warren Moon (born November 18, 1956) is a former American and Canadian football quarterback who played professionally for 23 seasons. He spent the majority of his career with the Houston Oilers of the National Football League (NFL) and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Moon also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.
Moon began his professional career with the Eskimos in 1978, after going unselected in the NFL Draft. His success during his six seasons in the CFL led him to the NFL in 1984 with the Oilers. Over his 17 NFL seasons, Moon was named to nine Pro Bowls and made seven playoff appearances. Following ten seasons with the Oilers, he had brief multiple-year stints with the Vikings, Seahawks, and Chiefs before retiring at age 44.
At the time of his retirement, Moon held several all-time professional gridiron football passing records. He was less successful in the NFL postseason, never advancing beyond the division round of the playoffs, although he won five Grey Cups in the CFL. Moon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming the first African-American quarterback and the first undrafted quarterback to receive the honor.
Moon in 2007
|Born:||November 18, 1956|
Los Angeles, California
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||221 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Los Angeles (CA) Hamilton|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Career CFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
|Player stats at CFL.ca (archive)|
Born in Los Angeles, California, Moon was the middle child amongst six sisters. His father, Harold, was a laborer and died of liver disease when Moon was seven years old. His mother, Pat, was a nurse, and Warren learned to cook, sew, iron and housekeep to help take care of the family. He decided early on that he could play only one sport in high school because he had to work the rest of the year to help the family. He chose to play football as a quarterback since he found that he could throw a football longer, harder, and straighter than anyone he knew.
He enrolled at Alexander Hamilton High School, using the address of one of his mother's friends to gain the advantages of a better academic and athletic reputation than his neighborhood high school could offer. He had little playing time until his junior year, when he took over as varsity starting quarterback. In his senior season in 1973, they reached the city playoffs, and Moon was named to the all-city team.
Moon attended two-year West Los Angeles College, and was a record-setting quarterback as a freshman in 1974, but only a handful of four-year colleges showed interest in signing him. Offensive coordinator Dick Scesniak of the University of Washington in Seattle, however, was eager to sign the rifle-armed Moon. Adamant that he play quarterback, Moon considered himself to be perhaps a slightly above-average athlete who lacked either the size, speed, or strength to play other positions.
Under new head coach Don James, Washington was 11–11 in Moon's first two seasons as a starter, but as a senior in 1977, he led the Huskies to the Pac-8 title and a 27–20 upset win in the Rose Bowl over Michigan. Moon was named the game's Most Valuable Player on the strength of two short touchdown runs and a third-quarter 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robert "Spider" Gaines.
Despite his collegiate success, Moon went unselected in the twelve-round NFL Draft. With no takers in the NFL, he turned to the Canadian Football League. Moon signed with the Edmonton Eskimos, where he and Tom Wilkinson shared signal-calling duties and helped lead the Eskimos to a record five consecutive Grey Cup victories in 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982.
Moon won the offensive Grey Cup Most Valuable Player award in the 1980 and 1982 games, and became the first professional quarterback to pass for 5,000 yards in a season by reaching exactly 5,000 yards in 1982. In his final CFL season of 1983, he threw for a league record 5,648 yards and won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award. In his six years in the CFL, Moon amassed 1,369 completions on 2,382 attempts (57.4 completion percentage) for 21,228 yards and 144 touchdown passes. He also led his team to victory in 9 of 10 postseason games. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Eskimos' Wall of Honour. In 2006, he was ranked fifth on a list of the greatest 50 CFL players presented by Canadian sports network TSN.
Moon's decision to enter the NFL touched off a bidding war for his services, won by the Houston Oilers, led by Hugh Campbell, his head coach for his first five seasons in Edmonton. Gifford Nielsen—the starting quarterback in 1983—retired after Moon joined the team, stating that Moon becoming the starter was inevitable. Moon had a difficult adjustment period, but threw for a franchise-record 3,338 yards in his first season in 1984, but Campbell was just 8–22 (.267) at the helm and did not finish the 1985 season. When new head coach Jerry Glanville found ways to best use Moon's strong arm in 1986, the team began having success. In the strike-marred 1987 season, the Oilers posted a 9–6 record, their first winning season since 1980. In his first postseason game in the NFL, Moon passed for 237 yards and a touchdown in the Oilers' 23–20 overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard round of the playoffs.
Prior to the 1989 season, Moon signed a five-year, $10-million contract extension, which made him the highest-paid player in the NFL at that time. In 1990, Moon led the league with 4,689 passing yards. He also led the league in attempts (584), completions (362), and touchdowns (33), and tied Dan Marino's record with nine 300-yard games in a season. That included throwing for 527 yards against Kansas City on December 16, 1990, the second-most passing yards ever in a single game. The following year, he again led the league in passing yards, with 4,690. At the same time, he joined Marino and Dan Fouts as the only quarterbacks to post back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons. Moon also established new NFL records that season with 655 attempts and 404 completions.
In 1992, Moon played only eleven games due to injuries, but the Oilers still managed to achieve a 10–6 record, including a victory over the Buffalo Bills, in the final game of the season. Two weeks later, the Oilers faced the Bills again in the first round of the AFC playoffs. Aided by Moon's 222 passing yards and four touchdowns in the first half, Houston built up a 28–3 halftime lead and increased it to 35–3 when Buffalo quarterback Frank Reich's first pass of the third quarter was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The Bills stormed back with five unanswered second-half touchdowns to take a 38–35 lead with time running out in the final period. Moon managed to lead the Oilers on a last-second field goal drive to tie the game at 38 and force overtime, but threw an interception in the extra period that set up Buffalo kicker Steve Christie's game-winning field goal. The Bills' rally from a 32-point deficit was the largest comeback victory in NFL history and is now known in NFL lore simply as the Comeback. Moon finished the game with 36 completions for 371 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions. His 36 completions was an NFL postseason record.
The 1993 season was the Oilers' best with Moon, but was his last with the team. Houston went 12–4 and won the AFC Central division crown, but lost to Joe Montana and the Kansas City Chiefs 28–20 in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Moon set a franchise record with Houston for wins with 70, which stood until Steve McNair broke it in 2004, long after the team had become the Tennessee Titans. He also left the Oilers as the franchise leader in passing touchdowns, passing yards, pass attempts, and pass completions, all of which still stand today.
Moon was traded to the Minnesota Vikings after the season, where he passed for over 4,200 yards in each of his first two seasons, but missed half of the 1996 season with a broken collarbone. The Vikings' starting quarterback job was given to Brad Johnson and Moon was released after he refused to take a $3.8-million pay cut to serve as Johnson's backup. Moon then signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent, made the Pro Bowl, and was named Pro Bowl MVP. After a two-year stint in the Pacific Northwest, an aging Moon signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs as a backup in 1999. He played in only three games in two years with the Chiefs and announced his retirement at age 44 in January 2001. His 291st (308th, including postseason play) and final touchdown pass was an 8-yard pass to Troy Drayton against the Rams on October 22, 2000, a game in which the Chiefs defeated the defending champs, 54-34.
Combining his NFL and CFL stats, Moon's numbers are nearly unmatched in professional football annals: 5,357 completions in 9,205 attempts for 70,553 yards and 435 touchdowns. Even if his Canadian Football League statistics are discounted, Moon's NFL career numbers are still exceptional: 3,988 completions for 49,325 yards, 291 touchdown passes, 1,736 yards rushing, and 22 rushing touchdowns. Warren Moon also held individual NFL lifetime records for most fumbles recovered (56) and most fumbles made (162), but this was surpassed by Brett Favre in 2010. Moon was in the top five all-time when he retired for passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, and pass completions.
Moon was named to 9 Pro Bowl games (1988–1995, 1997). He works as a broadcaster for the Seattle Seahawks on both TV and radio. On radio, he is a play-by-play announcer with former Seattle Seahawks receiver Steve Raible. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming both the first Canadian Football Hall of Fame player, first undrafted quarterback, and first African-American quarterback honored; he was elected in his first year of eligibility. The Tennessee Titans retired his number at halftime on October 1, 2006 vs the Dallas Cowboys. Moon won his first Super Bowl ring in 2014 as a broadcaster for the Seattle Seahawks.
Moon has mentored Cam Newton, the first overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, alluding to their common experiences as prominent African-American quarterbacks. He was suspended indefinitely from his sportscaster position after he was sued, in December 2017, for sexual harassment.
|Led the league|
Warren Moon remains statistically one of the best players ever for the Oilers/Titans franchise. As of 2017's NFL off-season, Moon still held at least 37 Titans franchise records, including:
Moon married Felicia Hendricks, whom he had known since they were 16 years old, in 1981. In 1994, a former Vikings cheerleader accused Moon of sexually harassing her and the case was settled out of court. In 1995, Moon was arrested after an incident with his wife at their home. Moon was acquitted after his wife testified that she initiated violence and that he was trying to restrain her. They divorced in 2001. They have four children together, including a daughter, Blair, who was a member of Tulane's women's volleyball team. Moon has been married to Mandy Ritter since 2005.
Moon appeared in the film Any Given Sunday in a cameo role as a head coach from New York.
In 2007, Moon was arrested for suspicion of DUI in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle. The charges were reduced to first-degree negligent driving after Moon registered breath-alcohol levels below 0.07 at the police station. Moon pleaded guilty to the negligent driving charge, and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.
The 1978 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game, played on Monday, January 2, and was the 64th Rose Bowl Game. The Washington Huskies, champions of the Pacific-8 Conference, defeated the favored Michigan Wolverines, champions of the Big Ten Conference, 27–20. Washington quarterback Warren Moon was named the Rose Bowl Player of the Game.The Huskies led 17–0 at the half and extended it to 24–0 early in the third quarter, then held off a Wolverine comeback with two interceptions deep in their own territory in the last two minutes to win by seven. It was the second of three consecutive losses in the Rose Bowl for Michigan, a two-touchdown favorite entering this game.The face value of game tickets was $17.50 each.1988 Houston Oilers season
The 1988 season was the Houston Oilers 29th season and their 19th in the National Football League (NFL). The franchise scored 424 points, which was second in the AFC and second overall in the NFL. The defense gave up 365 points. Their record of 10 wins and 6 losses resulted in a third-place finish in the AFC Central Division. The Oilers appeared once on Monday Night Football and appeared in the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Warren Moon would be selected for the Pro Bowl. The Oilers would make the playoffs for the 2nd straight season. They defeated the Cleveland Browns 24-23 in the Wild Card game. However, in the divisional playoffs, they lost 17-10 to the Bills.1990 Houston Oilers season
The 1990 Houston Oilers season was the 31st season and their 21st in the National Football League (NFL). The Oilers scored 405 points which ranked second in the AFC and second overall in the NFL. Their defense gave up 307 points. During the season, the Oilers appeared once on Monday Night Football and defeated the Buffalo Bills. On December 16, 1990, Warren Moon threw for 527 yards in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Moon was part of the Oilers "Run and shoot" era. The run and shoot offense also incorporated teammates Ernest Givens, Drew Hill, Haywood Jeffires and Curtis Duncan. The 1990 season saw the Oilers appear in the playoffs for the 4th consecutive season. They finished tied for first in the AFC Central with the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, as all 3 teams finished with identical 9-7 records. The Bengals would be awarded the division title by having a better division record than Houston or Pittsburgh. The Oilers would win the tiebreaker over the Steelers by having a better division record than them. The Oilers finished the season 9-7, and clinched a wild card spot. In the wild card game, they were embarrassed by the Bengals 41-14, ending Houston's season in a flash.1991 Houston Oilers season
The 1991 Houston Oilers season was the 32nd season and their 22nd in the National Football League (NFL). Haywood Jeffires would become the second Oiler to have 100 receptions in a season. The first Oiler to accomplish the feat was Charley Hennigan in 1964. Jeffires would be the fifth receiver in NFL history to have a 100 reception season. The Oilers scored 386 points and gave up 251 points. The franchise earned its first division title since the AFL-NFL merger, having last won a division title in the 1967 American Football League season. The franchise finished the season with 11 wins compared to 5 losses and appeared twice on Monday Night Football.1994 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1994 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 34th in the National Football League and their third under head coach Dennis Green. The team finished with a 10–6 record and reached the playoffs for a third straight season, but also failed to make it out of the Wild Card round for the third year in a row, losing 35–18 to their division rival Chicago Bears.1998 Pro Bowl
The 1998 Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 1997 season. The game was played on February 1, 1998, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was AFC 29, NFC 24. Warren Moon of the Seattle Seahawks, invited to participate because of an injury to John Elway, was the game's MVP. The referee was Gary Lane. The halftime show was Montell Jordan.69th Grey Cup
The 69th Grey Cup was played on November 22, 1981, at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec in front of 52,487 fans. The 1981 Grey Cup game is considered to be one of the ten best Grey Cup games of all time. CFL football fans saw an unexpectedly exciting game, as the 22.5 point underdog Ottawa Rough Riders, sporting a woeful record of 5-11 (which is the worst record in CFL history by any Grey Cup finalist team), came within 3 seconds of denying the Edmonton Eskimos the title. The Esks, with a 14-1-1 record, were almost the victims of what would have been the biggest upset in the history of the Grey Cup.
This was the final appearance in the Grey Cup game for the Ottawa Rough Riders, who folded in 1996. A team from Ottawa would not return to the Grey Cup until 2015, when the second-year Redblacks faced off, incidentally, against the Edmonton Eskimos. Canadian Football Hall of Fame legends Tom Wilkinson (Edmonton) and Tony Gabriel (Ottawa) played their final game in the 69th Grey Cup as did veteran Edmonton centre Bob Howes. Future US Congressman J.C. Watts was Ottawa's quarterback. He won the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player (Offensive) award.Brian Kelly (wide receiver)
Brian Kelly (born March 27, 1956) is a former Canadian Football League wide receiver for the Edmonton Eskimos who, in nine years from 1979–1987 caught 575 passes for 11,169 yards and 97 touchdowns. Kelly was a member of 5 Grey Cup Championship teams in Edmonton. Kelly was the number 1 target of Eskimos Quarterback Warren Moon in the early 80's. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Kelly was voted one of the CFL's top 50 players (#20) in a poll conducted by Canadian sports network TSN. He graduated from Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, CaliforniaDave Cutler (Canadian football)
David Robert Stuart Cutler (born October 17, 1945) is a former all-star place kicker with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Cutler is considered by many to be one of the best field goal kickers in CFL history.Dave Fennell
Dave Fennell (born February 4, 1952) is a former defensive lineman for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. After graduating from the University of North Dakota in 1973, he played for Edmonton from 1974–83, and helped lead the team to five straight Grey Cup championships from 1978-82 as a key member of the "Alberta Crude" defense.
Fennell was named CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 1978, CFL Most Outstanding Canadian in 1979, and Defensive Star of the 1978 and 1982 Grey Cup games. He was a CFL and Western All-Star at Defensive Tackle from 1977 to 1981, and was runner-up for the Most Outstanding Canadian Award in 1980. His nickname was "Doctor Death."
Fennell is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Eskimos Hall of Fame. In November, 2006, he was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#24) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network The Sports Network/TSN.
Fennell earned a law degree from the University of Alberta in 1979. After retiring from football, he founded Golden Star Resources, one of the largest and most successful mining companies in Canada. He is currently executive vice-chairman and a director of Miramar Mining Corporation.
He is the father of John Fennell, a member of the Canadian luge team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.Jim Germany
Jim Germany (born February 2, 1953), was a star running back in the Canadian Football League.He played his college football at New Mexico State University, where he inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994. Drafted by the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals in 1975, in the 2nd round, 46th overall, he never played in the NFL and came to Canada.
His seven-year career with the Edmonton Eskimos, starting in 1977, saw him paired with Neil Lumsden and quarterbacks Warren Moon and Tom Wilkinson. Together they formed the backfield backbone of the Eskimos' 5 Grey Cup championship dynasty. Germany rushed for 1,000 yards 3 times, 1004 yards in 1977, 1324 yards in 1979, and 1019 yards in 1980, and he was an all star in 1981. In 1981, he tied a CFL record with 18 rushing touchdowns.Larry Highbaugh
Larry Highbaugh (January 14, 1950 – March 21, 2017) was an American defensive back who played with the British Columbia Lions from 1971–1972 and the Edmonton Eskimos from 1972–1983 of the Canadian Football League.
He won six Grey Cup championships while with the Eskimos and was a three-time CFL All-Star.Highbaugh was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and in November, 2006, was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#38) of the league's modern era by Canadian television sports network TSN.
After his football career ended he taught at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, Georgia and died there at age 67.
His grandson, Tre Roberson, is a cornerback who plays for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
Roberson was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft.
Prior to entering the NFL, Roberson was a collegiate quarterback at Indiana University and Illinois State University. Roberson had a 3–4 win/loss ratio for his career as the starting quarterback at Indiana and a 23–5 ratio for Illinois State.List of Canadian Football League annual passing leaders
The CFL was officially formed in 1958. Statistics for the IRFU/Eastern Division date back to 1954 whereas WIFU/Western Division statistics date back to 1950.List of Minnesota Vikings starting quarterbacks
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). A franchise was granted to Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter in 1959 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). The ownership forfeited their AFL membership in January 1960 and received the National Football League's 14th franchise on January 28, 1960 that started play in 1961.The Vikings have had 36 starting quarterbacks in the history of their franchise; they have never had more than three starting quarterbacks in one season. The Vikings' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Fran Tarkenton, Brett Favre and Warren Moon. The team's first starting quarterback was George Shaw; he was replaced by Tarkenton in the franchise's first game, and the future Hall of Famer retained the starting role for most of the remainder of the season. As of the 2018 season, Minnesota's starting quarterback is Kirk Cousins.List of Seattle Seahawks broadcasters
As of 2013, the Seahawks' flagship stations are 710 KIRO-AM and 97.3 KIRO-FM. 710 AM is the only AM radio station the team has ever been affiliated with, although it has been simulcast on various FM radio stations co-owned with KIRO. Current announcers are former Seahawks receiver Steve Raible (who was the team's color commentator from 1982–2003) and Warren Moon, a former NFL quarterback. Pete Gross, who called the games from 1976 until just days before his death from cancer in 1992, is a member of the team's Ring of Honor. Games are heard on 46 stations in five states and Canada.List of Tennessee Titans starting quarterbacks
These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Titans.Norm Kimball
Norman H. Kimball (born c. 1931) is a Canadian former football executive. Joining the organization in 1961, he served as the general manager of the Edmonton Eskimos from 1966 to 1985. He won the Grey Cup with the team in 1975 and for five years straight from 1978 to 1982. From 1971 to 1974, he was Chairman of the CFL General Managers. In 1975, he became the Chairman of the CFL's Player Relations Committee. He was also President and Chief Operating Officer of the Montreal Alouettes from 1986 to 1987. Kimball was elected as a builder in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on May 11, 1991. In 2011, Kimball was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.Ron Estay
Ron Estay (born December 22, 1948) is a former defensive lineman for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL).Warren Moon (footballer)
Warren Moon (born 27 May 1982) is an Australian footballer.
Warren Moon—awards, championships, and honors