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Randy Moss returns to football, fumbles Ustream press conference

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Legendary wide receiver Randy Moss announced his return to football Monday in his traditionally bizarre fashion: by live-streaming a declaration seen by only about 200 people.

"The real Moss is on his way back to the NFL," said Moss, 35, as reported by New England Cable News, which caught the live, unarchived broadcast. "I didn't want to make no splash, that's why I left it on Moss TV."

Moss, who holds the records for most touchdown catches in a season and is tied for second-most in a career, was referring to his Ustream account, which appears to have given him repeated trouble. He also recorded six videos and two audio-only files on that account Monday, but they’re mostly truncated clips that appear to be him figuring out how to broadcast.

NECN also reported that Moss’s agent called in late to the broadcast, apparently unaware Moss planned the announcement. The only warning Moss gave of his announcement was by tweeting this morning a vague message: “Download ustream an look for me an its only for moss fans!!” But he didn’t link to his Ustream account or give his username there.

The episode was reminiscent of the spontaneity Moss showed at press conferences during his playing years, such as deciding to ask his own interview questions in 2010 or announcing his retirement later that year through a one-sentence statement from his agent.

This isn’t the first time Moss has appeared to struggle with social media. He signed up for Twitter in 2009, and while his account was verified, it seemed to be largely run by his associates, frequently retweeting a marketing company he was associated with.

A week ago, Moss asked his followers to instead follow him at @DaRealOtisMoss, despite the ease for Twitter users to simply change their username and keep their followers. Not all his fans have complied; while 60,000 still follow his first account, only 20,000 follow @DaRealOtisMoss.

To his credit, Moss has been active on the account, personally responding to followers for the last few hours.

For comparison though, Shaquille O’Neal tweeted his retirement announcement last summer. A prolific tweeter who often has used the service to keep directly in touch with his fans, O’Neal’s retirement message was a similarly simple: “I’m retiring,” plus a link to a video on Tout.

That video was recorded for posterity. Instead of Moss’s 200 views, O’Neal’s announcement was retweeted over 10,000 times.