RAND, W.Va. -- Randy Moss' hometown is capitalizing on the San Francisco 49ers wide receivers' longtime reference to fictitious alma mater "Rand University."
Moss, who will play in Sunday's Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens, grew up in a single-parent home with three siblings in Rand, located six miles from the state Capitol. The unincorporated town has about 1,600 residents.
Moss played college ball at Marshall, but has jokingly referred to "Rand University" as his alma mater. While the university doesn't exist, residents say the university actually is the Rand 7-Eleven, the town's center of activity.
"A lot of people thought it was an actual college," said Moss friend Tremale Straughter. "I had to set them straight.
"It just means Rand. The hangout spot is the 7-Eleven."
Cierra Jones, the daughter of Moss' personal assistant, is using that reference to promote the town and Moss. She has sold more than 250 T-shirts with the "Rand University" emblem.
"Once he said it, people started going crazy, and I thought why not capitalize on it?" Jones said. "I took it to an artist and he was able to make it look like something from a real university.
"For him to pay homage to Rand, he could have easily said Randy Moss from Charleston, but he always says Rand. That's awesome."