Q&A Heath Shuler

The 35-year-old former Redskins QB—and North Carolina Democrat—was sworn in as a U.S. congressman last week
January 15, 2007

SI: Will this go-round in Washington end better?

Shuler: Absolutely [laughs]. Who knows, if I had not gotten injured, I may have been able to bounce back in the NFL. I was with a great team with the Raiders at the end of my career [in 1999]. But everything happens for a reason, and I'm real excited about this opportunity.

SI: How would you compare the political press with the sports media?

Shuler: The sports press is more difficult. Let's say your left tackle whiffs for two sacks in a game. We know that's not good, but how do you say that? Do you say, "He's horrible; he can't get the job done?" That's a more difficult question than being asked, "What are we going to do about ethics issues?"

SI: You did an interview with a website called stopshuler.com, which a Redskins fan started to try to keep you from returning to the nation's capital. Did you check out the site after you won?

Shuler: I would like to tell you that I saw the website, but my staff only told me about it. I can handle those things. If you can't laugh at yourself, then you don't have a very good sense of humor.

SI: Which current athlete would make a good politician?

Shuler: Peyton Manning. I really admire that young man.

SI: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has long said that the best job in America is NFL commissioner. How would she do in that position?

Shuler: You know what, I think the commissioner right now has done a great job. And what Paul Tagliabue did was incredible. That would be some big shoes to fill.

SI: That's a very diplomatic response, Congressman.

Shuler: [Laughs.]

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PHOTOALAN MARLER/AP (SHULER) PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (SHULER ACTION)
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