Buffalo, N.Y. - Former Bills punter Brian Moorman was back in Western New York late this week for the first time since being cut by the Bills and then being signed by the Dallas Cowboys.
2 On Your Side's Scott Brown spoke with Moorman after an appearance at Orchard Park Middle School, where Moorman surprised kids there and accepted a check for $1,000 raised by four students for his PUNT Foundation, which is dedicated to helping children with cancer and their families.
Scott Brown: "Were you surprised (by being released), did it come out of the blue or did you have an inkling?"
Brian Moorman: "Surprised, yeah I would say that. In some ways it was a relief and others, (let's) take a fresh start and move on. Find a positive out of a negative and find a way to make it help in some way in what we're doing. I think the choice I made there was let's see if we can parlay this into helping kids with our foundation even more, create the awareness, make sure that people know we want to keep the foundation alive and going here in Buffalo and Western New York. Make sure that people know that even if I'm not living here right now or playing here that I'm part of this community.
"I don't have to be here physically to want to help the kids because it's not about me it's about what we're trying to do and who we're trying to help. So, if we can take this negative thing in my life and make it a positive that's my goal."
Scott Brown: "Given what you've done with the kids who have cancer did it help give you perspective in getting cut?"
Brian Moorman: "You couldn't say it in a better way to be quite honest with you. Why do I need to feel sorry for myself? Because I lost my job, are you kidding? I see these kids and I can't think about it too much because I'll get emotional about it because I get to know these kids and these families personally. A lot of kids persevere, but you know what, a lot of these kids lose their battle, that's the reality of it and why would I stop and say I feel sorry for myself because I've lost my job? Thousands of people lose their job everyday, I've just got find a way to move on and make it positive.
"It's not fair for me to sit there and feel sorry for myself when a child is suffering from a disease that's just not fair, when a parent has to watch their child suffer. But let's try to find a way to help them, let's try to find a way to put a smile on their face. Let's try to find out a way to make their life a little bit better and that's not going to work if I'm sulking and putting my head in the sand and worrying about me because it's not about me."
Scott Brown: "Share with us some of the messages or the reaction form people in Buffalo when they heard you had been cut?"
Brian Moorman: "Words can't express how much I appreciate the outpouring of support that I received. I couldn't believe the response I got from fans, friends, it was absolutely amazing and continues to roll in now. I keep getting texts and e-mails and tweets and Facebook messages. It was very heartwarming to know I had affected people in a positive way, whether it be on the field or off the field. I shoot more for the off the field effect than on the field.
"I want to be the kind of person off the field to be quite honest that everyone is proud to know and to know I've taken something good in my life and used it elsewhere and I think you've always got to remember where you came from and always give back."
Scott Brown: "How involved will you and your wife remain with the foundation and Western New York and Roswell?"
Brian Moorman: "The one thing we always wanted was to make sure we had this foundation firmly planted in Western New York so that we could continue it no matter where I am. I don't know what my future holds or where we'll be living or where I'll be playing. No matter what and that's what I tell people, it doesn't matter if I'm here or not, we're here.
"We're always going to be a part of this community one way or another, and I don't know where my landing spot is going to be, but we'll always have a firm spot here that we're always going to be helping. The one thing I know about Western New York is that they have the biggest heart in the country and it never ceases to amaze me how people open up their wallets no matter what. Whenever a cause comes up.
"People in Buffalo are always there to help and I don't have any doubt in my mind that we'll be able to continue this whether in my absence or if I'm here."
Scott Brown: "What's your message to the people of Buffalo? Thank you, I mean what else can you say? The support is amazing and I'd like the support for me as a person or me as a player to pour into the PUNT foundation. It's not about me so much as about other people and I'd like to see that.
"This has been an amazing ride for me to be part of this community and it's been really fun and I appreciate all the fans and everything... so you're not going to make me cry.
Scott Brown: "There was talk or speculation that there was tension between you and (special teams coach) Bruce DeHaven can you address that?"
Brian Moorman: "Uh, no. It's in the past, I'm still a Bills fan and I'll always be a Bills fan and I've got a lot of friends on that team and I want them to do well that's how I ended it with coach Gailey and Buddy Nix. I told them, I said I'll root you guys on I'm a big fan I think you're doing good stuff and these fans deserve a winning team so I hope to see that happen."
Scott Brown: "Do you want to retire whenever that day comes and come back for a day and do it as a Bill?"
Brian Moorman: "If they'll have me, I would love that. I owe a lot to Mr. Wilson. It took me three years to make it in the league and I landed in Buffalo and Mr. Wilson's been good to me for 12 years. Just think about the families we've helped because of him. I owed a lot to Mr. Wilson and the organization and most of all to the fans of Western New York and Buffalo.
"There's not much better than walking through the tunnel at Ralph Wilson Stadium and seeing the fans, they've been good to me over the years. How many punters in the league can say that they can see however many (of their) jerseys on Sundays? So they've embraced me and I'll never, ever forget that.
"This place will always have a huge, huge spot in my heart. I love Western New York for that, I love them for their support, I love them for their support of the foundation. It's always going to be home whether I'm here or not, whether I'm playing for the Dallas Cowboys or somebody else, this will always be home in some way or another."
For information about the PUNT Foundation: