TCD Exclusive: My dad is Mark Schlereth, NFL analyst & former NFL star

You can’t choose your parents, but I’ve got to say I got pretty lucky.

My dad is Mark Schlereth — three-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time Pro Bowler and now, Fox Sports 1 NFL Analyst.

He was an offensive lineman in the NFL for 12 years.

I was a sophomore in high school when he retired from the league. Safe to say, I spent most of my life in a stadium.

From the outside, this appears like an awesome way to grow up.

It was, don’t get me wrong, but it also wasn’t easy at times.

From a young age, football was all I ever knew. My dad was just my dad and football was just his job, just like any other kid that had a father that worked.

Cut to middle school — other kids made me realize that my dad’s job was just a little bit different than their dads’ jobs.

This was when my dad signed with the Denver Broncos after playing six years with the Washington Redskins.

I left my “football family” in D.C., where I was always surrounded with kids whose father’s did the same thing as mine.

That wasn’t exactly the situation in Denver.

Now I was in a new community, attending a new school, with new kids and my dad’s salary was being reported in the newspapers.

I hated feeling like an outsider. I hated being pegged as the “spoiled, rich girl” because of what my father did for a living. These kids didn’t know me.

I remember I told my mom she couldn’t come pick me up from school in her Mercedes, because I was so embarrassed that she drove that car.

It could only go up from there and it certainly did.

While it took a little while for people to get to know me, I eventually became one of them, just with a few perks on the side.

My dad had the privilege of playing in three Super Bowls and winning all three, one with the Redskins and two with the Broncos.

I was lucky to be old enough to remember all three.

Funny enough, I also remember not wanting to go to the stadium every Sunday to watch another “stupid football game,” or participating in a Super Bowl parade. I especially remember hating not being able to see my dad all the time.

Those are the emotions and feelings of a young person who didn’t know any different than her dad playing football.

I know what you’re thinking, this girl is crazy! I even think I’m a little crazy writing it.

Who wouldn’t want to go to football games every Sunday and go to Super Bowls and stuff?!

Do you ever have that feeling when you’re in something that you can’t see it clearly until you step away and look at it from the outside? Then you get a completely different perspective.

That’s what happened when I got older.

Looking back, it was tough at times to grow up “unconventionally,” but I gained more than I could ever imagine.

It helped shape the person I am today.

I feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world to be the daughter of a man who worked so hard day in and day out to achieve a dream he dreamt since he was a little kid.

I was a part of a journey that few get to go on.

Watching him built my character, taught me perseverance and endurance, how to overcome obstacles and what it means to be a part of a team.

It showed me that I could dream big and if I worked hard enough I could fulfill the dreams I had as a little kid.

Those are the lessons that I will never forget and that I will hold close to my heart forever.

My dad is my hero and my life would never be what it is today if it wasn’t for all the sacrifices he made to provide for my mom and my siblings.

I will forever be grateful that I have him to look up to, the greatest example of how a man should be.

Oh yeah, and go Broncos!

— Alex

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