March 8, 2008

The Legacy of Shaun Alexander

With the signing of Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett in recent days, it certainly appears that the Shaun Alexander era is coming to a close. My cut-throat reaction to the news left my wife slack-jawed:

"Well, thanks for the memories Shaun, but you're not very good anymore.. soooo.. bye!"
I always had mixed feelings about SA. I was never a flat-out hater, booing him at home games... but he was also never even close to one of my favorite players either. I never wanted a #37 jersey, for example. Why? Look at this guy's resume:

-2005 NFL MVP (including 28 touchdowns and 1880 rushing yards)
-112 career touchdowns (#1 in Seahawks history; #14 in NFL history)
-9,429 career rushing yards (#1 in Seahawks history)

But there's also a lot of stuff that, frankly, made him look like a self-centered pussy:

-The "stab in the back" comment after failing to win the NFL rushing crown in 2004.
-Rightly or wrongly, his rushing style made him often look like a douche. It may have saved wear and tear and prolonged his career, but it also didn't help him look like a hard-nosed tough guy.
-The (hopefully) coincidence that his best season occurred when he was up for a huge new contract, followed by a dizzying decline in production thereafter.
-His lack of abilty/enthusiasm in pass blocking and/or pass catching out of the backfield, forcing Holmgren to take one of his best players off the field in a lot of situations.

How should he be remembered? He won't (and shouldn't) get into Canton, but he should certainly end up in the Seahawks Ring of Honor ASAP. Here's what I'll remember as the top 5 highlights of his Seattle career:

5. 201 yards on 40(!) carries in the snow v. GB on MNF in 2006
4. His 88-yard TD run at Arizona in 2005
3. FIVE first-half TDs v. Minnesota on SNF in 2002
2. 266 yards and 3 TDs on Sunday Night Football v. Oakland in 2001
1. 132 yards on 34 carries/2 TDs in the 2005 NFC Title Game victory over Carolina

Let's not be dicks about this.. what are your fondest memories of SA in Seattle blue?


Michael Steffes said...

Almost all of 2005 was a thing of beauty, sans Redskins playoff game. I was in person when he scored 4 TD's twice. AZ and Houston. I will miss Shuan, but if the Hawks can get back to the championship game or even the Superbowl, it will be because they finally could run the ball again.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of great memories of SA. 2005 of course, everything that was listed. But it kills me that what should be my favorite player in Seahawk history is the way he is. The whining, all the church references, claiming God healed his cracked foot in 3 days. The soft play and ridiculous arrogance. Why can't the best statistical RB in Seahawks history have a little heart, or better yet some balls. He certainly seemed like he was HOF bound after 2005, and I was loving the idea of seeing that run. Now I have to watch him just get cut, and the worst part is that I know it's the right move.

MP said...

All the memories you listed are the ones that stand out to me.
In particular, the 2005 Skins game when he went out with a concussion is telling. I've never seen a 225lb man as soft as him, with the exception of Perez Hilton.

Oh, and from one WWU Alumni to another, this site is great!

DKSB said...

Thanks for the love from a fellow Bellinghamster, man!

Yeah, SA's not exactly the toughest guy in world, but he DID redeem himself in the NFC Championship game, as I recall...

Anonymous said...

My best SA memory will always be his 3rd qtr long run that happened every game. I think they put a stat up that he had the longest streak of games with a 10+ yard run in history ecliping Barry Sanders whos streak ended with retirement. Watch the old games, every third qtr he broke one for a good game. Pre-injuries he also had one the highest td/carry ratios in the history of the game. Everytime in 05 they threw the ball inside the 20 everyone would scream as the receiver would drop an easy pass to just run the damn ball!
This and the addicts page is taking up so much of my time, thank you!!!!