Matt Hasselbeck has done more for his franchise than any other quarterback in Seahawks history. He has won games nobody expected him to. He led this franchise into and during its most prolific years. He is as fierce a competitor as they come. And he has been The Hawks’ quarterback for an entire decade.
So why is it ok that the Seahawks didn’t sign him before the work stoppage?
Sure it’s easy to remember his heroic game against the Saints as well as a great performance in Chicago despite the loss, yet it’s also hard to forget his tendency to throw interceptions in bunches. In Matt’s defense, this was his third offensive system in as many years. In Pete’s defense, at times Matt looked worse than some of this year’s rookies at the same position.I have always been a big fan of Matt’s. I picked him as this year’s Offensive MVP, (despite Joe’s disapproval), yet I am willing to go into next season without him.
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” A lot of fans gave up on Hasselbeck earlier in the previous season. And even a few more fans never liked him in the first place. He is the only Seahawks qb to play in a Super Bowl, and he played well enough to win it. He was also at the helm during the debacle called “The Mora” year. Despite his roller coaster of a career, Hasselbeck has always stayed the same. The optimistic player who is always quick to point out his own flaws before others. He is also quick to point out the strengths of others amidst success rather than selling himself. If you’re still not getting it, think the opposite of Shaun Alexander.
Hasselbeck has seen it all during his 10 years in Seattle. Having ended this season on a high note, especially at home, it just seems like the right time for him to ride off into the sunset .
One of my least favorite things about players is their inability to quit while they’re ahead, the most obvious example being Brett Favre. The same could be said in the music industry as well. Eddie Van Halen is a fraction of the player he once was, yet he is currently making a brand new record with David Lee Roth. Do people still want to hear newVan Halen songs? Hell no. It’s over produced and lacks the edginess of youth. The tables have turned from the fans craving them to them craving the fans. Mistakes like this one have a tendency to tarnish all the great things a person did early in their career. Again I would use the example of Brett Favre. He will be known by many more for his pathetic decline than his illustrious career.
Matt Hasselbeck is teetering between these two worlds right now. Last season, he lost his fan base when his home town crowd turned on him chanting the name of a backup quarterback who has never done and will never do a fraction of the things Hasselbeck has done for this team. Hasselbeck, being the veteran professional that he is, stood on the sidelines and listened choosing not to attack the fans but to live to fight another day. In the end, he did just that.
I know I am being selfish, but I want my last memories of Hasselbeck as a Seahawk to be of him hoisting his son onto his shoulders and holding his little girl’s hand as his silhouette fades into the locker room after the greatest game of his career. It was as close to riding off into the sunset as I have ever seen, and that’s the memory fans would love him to leave with.
I doubt Hasselbeck will retire, so he will probably get picked up by another team which I am absolutely ok with. At least there he doesn’t tarnish his career in the eyes of Seahawk fans. At least he will fade out in another city where we don’t have to watch his slow demise as the inevitability of age becomes his opponent.
It may not sound like it, but Matt Hasselbeck is one of my favorite Seahawks of all time. Sure he’s had his bad games, but he’s had his great ones too. But most importantly he’s been here… for a decade. Showing his loyalty through both the wins and the losses. He has never wavered in that loyalty being a beacon of leadership by example for his team. Being able to step up as well as down when the time calls. Never questioning his coach, teammates, or the fans.
That’s the Hasselbeck I want to remember.
Eddie Van Halen has turned into a toothless drunk trying to find a career he already burnt through, and Brett Fave has went from one of the most likeable guys in sports to a dirty old man. I can honestly say I was a fan of both of these guys at different times in my life, but now I find myself using them for punchlines rather than benchmarks. Hasselbeck deserves a benchmark status with this team, and if he does not return for next season, I belive he will have that status.
Although the Seahawks exceeded expectations by making the playoffs and pulling off one of the greatest upsets in playoff history, it’s hard to find and MVP candidate. This biggest problem is that nobody really stands out. Sure, a few guys had a big game or two this season, but consistency was one thing the Hawks never really had. I got it narrowed down to 3 players on offense: Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, and Matt Hasselbeck.
Unfortunately for Mike Williams, Michael Vick decided to have the best year of his career despite having the worst 3 years of his life just prior. On one hand, good for Vick. He’s probably traveled farther between failure and success than any athlete in recent history. On the other hand, so has Mike Williams. Williams did the unheard of by shaking off his “Bust” status this season. Although Williams only had 751 yards and 2 td, he seemed to gain momentum as the season endured. Williams played through injury and said all the right things. He has earned the status as a legitimate wide receiver in the NFL, and has left fans with high expectations believing that last season was just the beginning. This award could very well be Williams’ next season and many more to come, but this season is just way too early.
Marshawn Lynch had one of the greatest runs in NFL history against New Orleans. He eluded well over half of the entire defense to score on a run designed to kill time. The problem with Lynch is that his play on the field looks nothing like his statistics. Seattle finished 2nd to last in rushing last season. The offensive line struggled early losing their coach in the preseason and Max Unger early in the regular season. Despite the poor blocking, Marshawn Lynch made some incredible moves this season and demonstrated a power and tenacity when breaking tackles that had long been forgotten in Seattle. The only bad thing was that all this happened behind the line of scrimmage. Lynch routinely turned 4 yard losses into no gains. Tom Cable and the return of Max Unger should help the line considerably next season. Marshawn Lynch is the player that I am most excited to see next year. His attitude and effort could not be better right now, but he will need a better line to get this award next season.
Matt Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to victory in one of the greatest games in franchise history. He also threw just as many interceptions as he did touchdowns during the regular season. Hasselbeck did not start well, but he did finish strong. In his first 4 games he threw for a total of 840 yds, 4td, and 6int. He was obviously struggling with a new offense and the lack of a running game only put more pressure on Matt. Oh, and did I mention that this was his 3rd head coach in as many years. Hasselbeck may not be the most accurate passer in the league, nor does he have the big arm, but he has moxie. He beat the life out of New Orleans in front of the same crowd that chanted, “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie….,” and he never made us feel bad about it. Hasselbeck then went into Chicago and did everything in his power to will his team to victory, but fell just short. Dropped balls were an issue in that game, yet Matt still managed to rack up 258 yards, 3 td, and 0 int. On any other playoff team, Hasselbeck might have followed up the game of his life by having another one just like it. I know he had a rough start and nearly lost his job to the likes of a guy referred to as, “clipboard Jesus,” but he finished strong when it counted most amassing 7 td and just 1 int in 2 playoff games. Matt Hasselbeck is this year’s MVP.
Honorable Mention: Leon Washington took back 3 kicks for touchdowns; his longest being 101 yards. Without Leon Washington, Seattle loses to the Chargers, and without that win, miss the playoffs and the greatest upset in franchise history. Washington provided some big plays early in the season. I hope Seattle uses Washington for more than just returns next season. His combination of speed and hands is lethal enough to have at least a few plays designed around it.
Here’s to Pete’s inaugural season as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He exceeded expectations and left fans wanting more. Let’s just hope this momentum can carry effectively into next year.