On career day, most kids share how their father is a banker, a postman, or maybe a veterinarian who brings in cuddly animals for show ‘n tell. But if you grew up in the Schlereth household like Alex did, your dad was a professional football player.
Now Mark Schlereth, three-time Super Bowl champion and former All-Pro offensive guard and his daughter share how the family life they experienced isn’t that different from the norm. Except that cheering for the home team meant trips to Hawaii for the Pro-Bowl to watch dad…
Training camp: “I never defined myself as a pro-football player but rather a father, husband and Christian. These are the ways I define myself”, says Mark of his outlook. He was indeed very involved with his family, which includes his wife Lisa, daughters Alex and Avery and of course Detroit Tiger, Daniel. From coaching youth soccer to making lunches, Mark was present and an active part of their lives. Even after one of his multiple knee surgeries, the kids were thoughtful enough to make him a sandwich; it was a peanut butter, mayo and cheese creation. But just like a great dad would do, you laugh and hope that next time its ham and cheese.
One may think that it’d be hard to have quality time as a family of a pro-athlete but sports actually played a pivotal role in their upbringing; whether it was witnessing wins and losses or supporting each other, Mark reflects that spending time together was the most important aspect. Schlereth, now an ESPN fixture, has even had his family life featured via ESPN.com for “Meet the Schlereths,” a reality-based web series that showcased their family travelling to watch Daniel play college baseball. “Through sports we got to invest in each other’s lives”, he says. But now it is Alex’s time to shine as her passion for sports is quickly making her a name to remember all on her own.
Off the bench: Alex shares that “people probably have a different perspective of growing up in my family. I didn’t really notice I had a different or special upbringing until I was older. Dad just went to work but his job was football”. Sure they went to NFL games and rode home with a star player/dad, but growing up with a family that revolved around sports, she’s happy to have had that bonding experience.
After calling Colorado home, Alex moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. She appeared on the web series Desire but wanted to shift her focus back towards sports. Hoping to break into the sideline reporting world, she has been a co-host on FOX Sports’ Barfly with columnist Mark Kriegel and is also a spokesperson for the active wear line, Hard Ninety.
For Alex, growing up with the support of such a tight-knit family and having that translate into a love of sports is a blessing. Even now they still travel the country to cheer for Daniel at MLB games and she says “sports still keeps our family very close”.
The Schlereth family may have had unique experiences growing up, but in the end it’s the actions of love and support for each other that seem to make the difference in their individual success. They know how to root for one another and for Alex, on the brink of realizing her dreams, having a family back home to count on is a gift. Who knows what will be next for the NFL darling and her family, but whatever the future holds, it’s sure to be “Stinkin Good”…
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