WASHINGTON — When was the last time you thought about former NFL running back Shaun Alexander. For most fans of the Washington Redskins, it was sometime around Week 5 of the 2008 NFL season, when he was released from his lackluster stint with the team.
In a time before running-backs-by-committee, Alexander was a bona fide stud for the Seahawks and countless fantasy football owners. He piled up nearly 11,000 yards from scrimmage, averaged 4.3 yards per carry, scored 112 touchdowns in 96 career starts.
In the Pacific Northwest, he remains a minor deity, unable to go anywhere in public without being recognized for the athlete he used to be.
But as Dan Steinberg discovered in a wide-ranging interview for the Washington Post, Alexander parlayed his four-game, 11-carry, 24-yard career with the Redskins into eight years of blissful retirement in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Unlike Alabama and Seattle, where he is the stuff of legends, Alexander blends right into his Northern Virginia community and has built a life with his wife and eight (soon to be nine) children.
He has dabbled in politics, activism and mentoring. He was close enough with Alfred Morris, that when the latter left for Dallas last offseason, he stored his things at Alexander’s house.
Perhaps most importantly, he has gained perspective through introspection and faith. During a recent episode of his podcast, “Finish the Game,” Alexander offered this to those still feeling the bitter divide of the 2016 election season:
“This is still America; we’re the greatest country in the world,” Alexander said. “America, I just challenge you all: Whether you voted for Hillary Clinton or whether you voted for Donald Trump, we can all disagree inside the house, but the rest of the world needs to know that we are fully together, all of us.
“Our job now is to actually make America great again.”