On the early August day the Redskins returned from training camp in Richmond, Kirk Cousins went to the mall. Not for shopping, but a fan promotional event. He wouldn't be named Washington's starting quarterback for another three weeks, but over 200 fans, including one decked out in Cousins gear, showed at Dulles Town Center for the picture taking, autograph signing event.
When the session ended and all the fans moved on, Cousins gathered his belongings, politely said goodbye to various store employees and headed for the exits. He walked through the mall and without any notice from other patrons, just another guy on his cell phone.
Four months and 14 starts as an NFL quarterback later, so much has changed. Cousins went from backup to unsteady starter to viral video star to statistical dynamo to one win away Saturday from leading the Redskins to an NFC East title. He might not be the local athlete of the year based purely on performance, but factor in the amount of attention spent on his situation plus the Redskins' place of importance in this town and it seems impossible that Cousins could walk through public spaces now without generating attention.
Turns out little has changed.
"I went to Best Buy last night to buy my wife a present," Cousins said to BreakingBurgundy.com following Thursday's practice. "Nobody noticed."
While tall at 6-foot-3, Cousins doesn't have gargantuan size like many of his hulking teammates. In that respect, it's perhaps understandable he could move through the aisles of televisions and electronics undetected. Still, the face of a quarterback of any team and especially this one is surely recognizable. Cousins said no disguises were worn, no hoodies or hats covering his head. He was a guy in a store looking for a present. Two days before Christmas, that's hardly remarkable.
So how bold could Cousins go with his attire before somebody noticed? Does he think he could wear his No. 8 jersey in public and get away with it?
Sitting in front of his locker and sifting through his football gear, Cousins lifted his head up and through a warm smile said, "Now that might draw attention."
So, it turns out some may have in fact recognized the Redskins star, but the QB didn't notice [h/t Washington Post's Dan Steinberg]
As for what he's hoping for this Christmas, Cousins didn't mention any specific wish list nor did he seemed pressed. He said his wife, Julie, gets it done when it comes to picking out presents.
From a football perspective, the one gift he wants is obvious.
"An NFC East title would be great," he said.
Get that done, Kirk, with a win Saturday in Philadelphia and your days of anonymous shopping might be over in these parts.
To get instant Redskins notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HERE.