They gathered in luxury box No. 37 after the Seahawks clinched a playoff berth behind the strength of No. 37, behind 154 yards and three touchdowns from No. 37. They were family, here...
They gathered in luxury box No. 37 after the Seahawks clinched a playoff berth behind the strength of No. 37, behind 154 yards and three touchdowns from No. 37.
They were family, here to revel in the day that Shaun Alexander broke the Seahawks’ season rushing record. Here to watch Shaun Alexander find the end zone — the way he always does, like a homing device is implanted in his helmet — then turn and point to where they were sitting.
There were at least a dozen of them, sitting around a table littered with leftover food, listening to postgame interviews, talking about their favorite famous relative.
Shaun Alexander’s good-luck charm sat by herself in the second row of seats on the right side. Carol Alexander wasn’t going to miss this game. She doesn’t miss any game with this kind of historical significance.
And somehow, whenever Carol Alexander watches her son play in person, Alexander shines and scores and shrugs, unable to explain the connection that exists. He scores five touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings. He breaks the Seahawks’ season touchdown record in 2002. Then rewrites that record on another Sunday in 2004 when Mom’s in town.
Nine times she has watched from a luxury box instead of on her television set. Eight times the Seahawks won.
“I don’t know what it is,” Carol Alexander said, offering a shrug of her own. “Maybe it’s my prayers. Or maybe I’m just good luck. But I do know this: It warms my heart.”
They missed Carol Alexander in Kentucky over the holidays, but the sacrifice paid off yesterday. Who knows? In a roundabout way, maybe Carol Alexander clinched this playoff berth.
Her son certainly played his part, carrying 30 times on a record-setting afternoon. Alexander passed Chris Warren for the most rushing yards (1,616 and counting). He also passed, interestingly enough, Shaun Alexander for most TDs (19) in a season.
He also regained the NFL rushing and touchdown leads with Mom high above the field. And sparked the Seahawks’ offense by taking on an unusual role for himself — barking and fighting and yelling at the Cardinals’ defensive linemen. But no cussing, Alexander noted, with Mom listening in the suite.
“It feels like I changed roles this week,” Alexander said.
Center Robbie Tobeck added: “You can tell Shaun wants it right now. He wants to be a leader on this team, wants to be one of the go-to guys, wants to be that guy.”
Alexander has been all of those things throughout the most productive season of his career. And he was again yesterday, particularly on his last touchdown run that put this game just out of the Arizona Cardinals’ reach.
The play is called “36 F,” and the Seahawks normally run it for a fullback. This time, they ran it for Alexander, who broke over the right side, cut back toward the middle and finished with a Sprinkler celebration 23 yards later in the end zone.
“I normally get 7 or 8 yards on it,” fullback Heath Evans said. “But he’s Shaun Alexander, so he breaks it for a touchdown. I can cut it back, but not like that. I would have seen what he saw, but I wouldn’t have been able to get to where he got. He’s just a special player.”
The kind that flies his mother in for every special game. Asked whether Carol Alexander would hang around until the season ended, Alexander said she’s going back to Kentucky. But …
“There’s a good chance she’ll be back here sometime around the second week in January,” he said, smiling.
Greg Bishop: 206-464-3191 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Like a broken record|
|Shaun Alexander has a career-high 1,616 yards this season, breaking Chris Warren’s 1994 franchise record. His 19 TDs this season also is a team record.|