John Morgan over on Field Gulls has been KILLING Matt Hasselbeck lately. I can barely get through that article, frankly. Each word is a shank stabbing my brainpan. It's not that Morgan is wrong, or that his reasoning is flawed. I just am emotionally invested in Hasselbeck's fate in a way that I haven't been since Steve Largent. His jersey is the one I drape over my ample frame on game days, and I've never felt as personally connected to a player since I've been a fan.
Beck is a fan favorite in general because he comes off as down-to-Earth while having a dorky/spazzy streak that you rarely see in an NFL Quarterback. In addition, he's led the Seahawks through the longest period of sustained success in franchise history while playing with toughness (verging on recklessness). He's the leader of our team, despite two sub-par seasons.
Personally, I also feel connected to Hass given that we are almost exactly the same age (I'm 35, and he'll turn 35 in September). Irrationally, I sort of take it personally when people talk about Beck as a broken-down-heap of an old man, which makes me root for him that much harder. We're both married with kids, both Red Sox fans. I love the guy.
Morgan makes the logical case that even a great year from Hasselbeck would be counter-productive to the Seahawks' long-term interests. He might be right, but I don't care. Even if it makes no sense to resign Hasselbeck after this season, I want him to leave Seattle on a high note. In my deluded fantasy land, Beck has a crazy late-career renaissance, resigns with the Seahawks, and keeps kicking ass well into Obama's 2nd Administration. The chances of that happening are on par with Mel Gibson winning another Oscar, so I'm left just hoping for one last entertaining, competitive (and hopefully winning) season from Beck before he retires or signs with another team.
I'm not entirely myopic. If Beck sucks, or gets hurt, or the team is sitting at 2-6 at midseason, it's clearly Whitehurst/Losman time. In all those scenarios, however, I'll be more than a little heartbroken. Not just because of another doomed season, but because that last connection to the Holmgren glory days will truly be gone.
Training Camp is just days away. I want to see every player at the top of their games, but personally what I want most is to see Beck zipping the ball to Housh, JC, Tate, etc. I want to see him not just hang onto the starting job because he's the grizzled, experienced vet. I want him to WIN that job by giving us all a look at a man who has returned to Pro Bowl form. When I am at Training Camp on August 12, I will there in my Hasselbeck jersey, cheering him and the rest of the Hawks on.
What do you all think? Is it absolute madness to think Beck has one more great year left in him?