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Riley had started with him in 1986, handling his various marketing opportunities, which had started to grow; as the Oilers played better, his name became more widely known. Eventually, with Moon now endorsing at least eight products, most of her work was shifted to Crescent Moon, his charitable foundation.
The foundation was started in 1989. Moon had been doing charitable work for several agencies, but he decided to concentrate on raising money for one foundation to do work that he thought should be done. That work was with kids. Before long the foundation was thriving, heading toward a point where 82 kids would be attending college on Crescent Moon scholarships during the 1993 school year. The foundation also sponsored field trips to zoos and museums and restaurants. Kids were sent to camp by the foundation. Sports clinics were held by the foundation, with Moon shaking every kid's hand, posing for an individual Polaroid with each kid, then signing his name across the front.
"You have to understand how isolated some of these kids are," Moon says. "They may never leave a four-block radius during their lives. We take kids out.... They live in the city and they never have ridden on an elevator."
Now, on the afternoon of Jan. 20, Riley hurried to the studio for the taping of the show, but her trip was interrupted by a flat tire. She pulled to the side of the freeway and felt lucky when a sheriff's deputy pulled in behind her. The deputy offered to change the tire. Amazed at her good fortune, she moved to the side of the car and leaned against a 36-inch-high concrete barrier. She felt good that she did not have to deal with changing the flat tire by herself.
Coming down the road, however, was a car being driven by a 19-year-old kid. The kid was taking a test drive in a new Lexus with his friend and his friend's wife, who was sitting in the backseat. The test drive was being conducted at approximately 80 miles per hour. Seeing the flashing lights of the deputy's van, the 19-year-old abruptly hit the brakes. He went out of control. His car slammed into Riley's car, knocking her and the deputy over the concrete barrier. The woman in the backseat of the moving car was killed. The driver and his friend were not injured, because the impact was cushioned by front-seat air bags. The deputy sustained a broken leg.
Riley was taken to the Ben Taub Hospital trauma center. Her leg was broken in six places, and she had facial injuries. Her first visitor was Moon. His arrival sparked an increase of diligent activity around the patient. He stayed the night and stayed closely in touch with her for the seven surgical procedures that followed. Ten more still await. "Despite being a guy who is not real good at blood and gore, even though he is a football player, he was right there," she says. "He was very caring and concerned. There are times he's hard to work for—it's always hard to work for a man whose standard is perfection, because he works everyone's butts off—but it's certainly worth it. The people who work for him love him and his wife and his kids. They truly do."
She said there was a nickname for him in the office. The nickname is Dad.
He is the father. Always, the father....
He will be 37 years old in November. His age has finally caught up with his disposition. There is a maturity to his face, a hairline that has started to retreat. He has a Denzel Washington sort of good looks. He is the player on his team. Every complete pass he throws adds yardage to the all-time Houston passing record he already owns.
He and Felicia have been married for more than 12 years. They moved with their children a year ago from a house in Sugar Land that was spacious enough to be profiled on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Their new house, in Missouri City, has a gym and a movie theater, a large pond in the back where the kids can fish and a tall wall in the front for privacy. The house was two years in the building, with Moon involved until the last brad was nailed. The location of the house is interesting, set in the midst of more modest homes. Gilbride, the offensive coordinator, is a neighbor in one of the modest houses. The wall is jokingly called Kevin's wall, built so Gilbride cannot see what Moon is doing in luxury.