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Shaun Alexander's Network Of Mutuality

In 591 words, Shannon J. Owens has created a masterwork of social criticism--A thorough, incisive and logical article that argues, simply, Shaun Alexander is being persecuted for his devout Christianity.

"I'm asking God to close doors that need to be closed and open up whatever needs to be open so I can go there, win a Super Bowl, impact the team, impact the community," Alexander said. "That's been my goal."

Maybe if playing football was his only goal, some GMs wouldn't have called Alexander, 30, washed up.

Maybe, indeed. Maybe if Craig Terrill didn’t waste time playing guitar he’d have more sacks. Maybe if Deion Branch didn’t waste time rehabbing his knee he’d have more receptions. Maybe if Matt Hasselbeck didn’t waste time hocking Qwest he’d have more hair. Someone needs to wake these guys up lest Tim Ruskell think they’re washed up, because the end comes as quick as an Alexander cut.

And GMs possess little concern for a player's football ability. A new criteria for greatness has arisen, deeper, more powerful, and, dare I say, more sacred than speed, strength and athleticism: trust.

"He's never been known as a very tough player, and there have always been questions about his attitude," an NFC general manager said. "I'm not saying that because he's out there [unsigned] now. I would have told you the same thing four or five years ago. Basically I don't like him [as a back], and I don't trust him."...

But what has a running back with nearly 10,000 career rushing yards, who never has been arrested or embroiled in law-breaking drama, done to engender mistrust?

It's wrong for anyone to question Alexander's motives, given what he has accomplished, and this one reeks of a personal attack.

That whimper you here, far off, like a battered schnoodle, that's Bill Polian enduring the pangs of guilt. The ache of injustice. The burning urination of umbrage. What, indeed, has Shaun Alexander done to engender mistrust? I’d trust Alexander to water my plants, date my sister, even, affix my toupee. What more can one thirst from a multi-million dollar athlete?

Shameful. And exasperating. It's shamefully exasperating, like finding the fly in this Snagglepus suit.

Alexander may be but one man, but his struggle is indicative of a cathedral ceiling that limits all men of great faith. Equality is but a distant vision now, but through the selfless martyrdom of men like Shaun Alexander and the tireless vigilance of social critics like Shannon J. Owens, we may yet live to see a Christian man on the gridiron, in the laboratory or, even, in the White House.

We can pray.