Despite the utter irrationality of it, us sports fans get attached to, and emotionally connected to, certain players. For me, the first players I felt this way about were Largent and Krieg (big shock, huh?). For a long time, I never had that sort of feeling towards another Seahawk... but then it emerged again between me and Matthew Hasselbeck.
I've talked in this space before about WHY I have this connection, so without rehashing, the last few weeks (hell, last few YEARS) haven't just been painful because of the teams' performance, but also because it has hurt to watch Beck's struggles and overall decline.
It's now become clear that Hasselbeck almost certainly won't be back as Seattle's quarterback in 2011, which lends an even greater level of drama to Sunday's game. Oh, you say Charlie Whitehurst is going to start? Pfft. I'll believe that when I see it. No matter what Carroll or the media says all week, I can't imagine Hasselbeck standing on the sidelines WATCHING what might be his last game as a Seahawk. If he can walk and throw on Sunday, he will play. I simply cannot imagine Hasselbeck's final Seahawks play as that ass-muscle-pulling, un-touched debacle in Tampa, can you?
Will he be effective? I hope so, but that's a leap of faith. He might take the field, and find the ball sailing on him, and Carroll would have to yank him... But what if he has a great game or two left in him? What if we get surprised, and he plays like he did in Glendale and New Orleans? We could see transcendence, or the sad end of a Seahawks legend. Either way, the human drama will be nearly unbearable (for me, at least) if Hasselbeck actually plays.
Near the end of The Truman Show, Phillip Baker Hall exclaims to Ed Harris, as Harris is damn-near murdering Jim Carrey: "He can't DIE on live television!" Harris responds: "He was BORN on live television!" In terms of their professional careers, all NFL players die on live television... As a Hasselbeck fanboy, I want to see the end of his Seattle tenure pushed back at least one more week... After that, who knows? Maybe the 2010 Seahawks can emulate the 1987 SuperSonics?
What do you think, sirs?