Nov.11, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) warms up before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Ok to Miss Matt Hasselbeck

The 2013 edition of the Seattle Seahawks, barring horrific injury or unexpected regression, has a chance to be the best team Seattle has ever fielded. That’s no guarantee of a Super Bowl. That’s no guarantee of a division title. It’s no guarantee that they don’t go 0-16. However, if someone offers you an over/under of 0.5 wins for the season bet your life savings on the over. Times are good and Seahawks fans should, and I think largely do, appreciate what they have at this moment.

For this reason it is odd that I have been overcome with nostalgia for some vastly inferior Seahawks teams from the not too distant past. Specifically, I’ve caught a bad case of Matt Hasselbeck-related melancholy  Given the dearth of quarterback depth right now, Hasselbeck would have been a great addition this off-season, from a football standpoint. The kind of nostalgia I’m talking about though, is too strong to be based on the desire for a second string quarterback upgrade.

Before we go deeper down the rabbit hole, this is the video that got me thinking about Mr. Hasselbeck in the first place.

The thing that stood out to me that in this video is that Hasselbeck just seems to be a really fun enjoyable person to be around. I realized that I don’t miss Matt Hasselbeck as our quarterback. Russell Wilson is more exciting and arguably had a better rookie year than any season Hasselbeck had. I miss Hasselbeck as a guy.

This is an unusual thought for me to have. Firstly, I’m largely drawn to football based on my own experiences playing and a very strong interest in the strategy of the game. I’m much more interested in statistics than narratives; personalities have never been a big part of my fan experience. Of course, I have my favorites like anyone else. My current favorite player is Kam Chancellor but I couldn’t tell you anything about the man except that I love his unorthodox size for a safety and the way he hits.

Matt Hasselbeck is a big exception to the way I think about football players. Most players seem to be either in the camp of cliché artist or smack talker. I often find myself bored with the predictable nature of their interviews. Hasselbeck is different. He strikes me as a guy with a sense of humor who is very genuine and transparent. I find both traits refreshing and entertaining. My usual assumption with players is that I don’t know much about them as people because I am exposed to such a small sample of their personalities. For some reason I always felt like Matt Hasselbeck was someone I sort of knew.  For example, this video from a couple of years ago depicts a guy who is a multi-millionaire star athlete who acts like he’s just a guy. That is a pretty rare find.

Here’s another brief example.

I promise this post won’t devolve into me just sharing examples of Matt Hasselbeck being cool because I think you get it at this point. Or not. Either way I’m not really in the business of just posting a bunch of links.

Ultimately, I miss having Matt Hasselbeck on the Seahawks because of the person he is, and that’s probably a first for me. I’m not trying to deify the man, he just seemed like a really decent human being to me and I always liked having him on the team. I also don’t mean to criticize Russell Wilson. Wilson seems like an intelligent, hardworking and well-spoken man and I have nothing against him. I just don’t yet feel like I know much about him as a person, and, based on the way he carries himself, I’m not sure I ever will. It is Wilson’s prerogative to present himself any way he likes and I don’t begrudge him that. Maybe I’m just not a great interpreter of him and other fans feel like they know him inside and out. It’s hard for me to say.

The point is, even though I would take Russell Wilson over Matt Hasselbeck as starting quarterback every time, it doesn’t mean I don’t miss Matt. There is a lot more to sports fandom than X’s and O’s, wins and losses, or numbers on a page. I suppose it took a video of a third string quarterback I’ve never heard of hitting a half court shot to remind me of that today.

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Tags: Matt Hasselbeck Russell Wilson

  • seattle fan

    so love him too .. integrity and positivity … not a great player i will have to admit but the man …off the field would love to have him back in the city… in the community but he will never come back … the way the Seahawks let him go … I wouldn’t want to come back … so I will be a fan of the man not a team loved him in Tennessee, as a Titan and now in Indiana, as a Colt. Seattle Seahawks will always be my Team but cant I have a man in the NFL to look at that is a true man?

  • 12s Rising

    Im taking nothing away from Russell Wilson, I think he is a fantastic football player and person, but in my eyes he cannot replace Matt Hasselbeck, just yet, do to the fact that Matt is the only Seattle QB to lead a Seattle team to a Super Bowl. You said in the article that Russell probably had a better rookie season than any season Matt had but until Russell makes a Super Bowl start, in my opinion, Matt still overshadows Wilson.. #GoHawks

  • Thea

    I moved here 10 years ago and Matt was my favorite Seahawk for the next few years. Thank you so much for the wonderful article which expresses everything I feel. I’m excited about the future for my Hawks and wouldn’t change anything about them now but it was a painful transition made harder because I feel the same way about Matt. I hope he does come back. I would love to see him as an analyst. Imagine that personality on the screen. Not to mention that wonderful smile.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I’ fairly confident Matt will sign a 1 day contract and retire a Seahawk when the time comes. Hopefully, #8 will move to the ring of honor at that time as well.

  • Hawkman54

    Not a great Player- REALLY ! exactly what did he do to get labeled like that. When the O-line went to shambles and he got pummeled weekly? You weren’t watching the same team as me I guess. If not for Tim Ruskell and his destruction of what TT and MH built , Matt would have had us back to the SB- Until RW does what MATT Already has done lets leave the mantle sitting to the side !!!!!!!!

    • Hawk_Eye

      He was a good, but not great quarterback. I thought he actually over-acheived with his skill set. Great man thought. I always thought he was a little too much of a comedian to be a great leader.

  • det8frat

    Love that guy! I’m hoping that he retires a Seahawk and then goes onto jump in with Warren Moon as a Hawks commentator, ESPN announcer, Monday Night Football, etc. His sense of humor and game smarts would be a definite addition to any sportscast.