When Matt Hasselbeck was drafted by the Packers, I remember exactly what I thought: “That is the perfect team for him. He’ll learn from the best and learn a system that is popular throughout the League. He can turn this into a nice little 10-15 year career as an NFL backup.”
Proves (once again) how much I know. But in fairness, you’d be hard pressed to find many on the BC campus in April 1998 that thought Matt would become a Pro Bowler heading towards his first Super Bowl. Joe Buck brought up the story this weekend about how Matt called Dan Henning a clown to his face when Henning left Matt on the bench at BC. No one mentioned which time he was left on the bench -- when he should have been starting over Mark Hartsell or when he was beat out by Scott Mutryn in the summer of 1996. Henning is and remains a moron, but a whole staff of people thought Matt was only the second best quarterback on the team. Hell, I even thought his brother Tim was going to be a better QB.
Matt deserves all the accolades for his success. He left BC with some of the tools to be great. Hasselbeck was always a smart and gutty player. It was his hard work that helped him build up his arm, size and speed to NFL levels.
Even though we left BC at the same time, Matt redshirted and was a year ahead of me academically so I never had a class with him. I did overlap his social circle a little from working with two of his roommates. My roommate also went to the same high school as the Hasselbecks. So I didn’t know him well, but I can say he is a genuinely good guy. He may come off cocky in some of these interviews, but he was doing missionary work on his spring breaks in college, was the type of guy that was friendly to strangers, and did all sorts of other goody two shoes stuff. And not in a "look at me" way.
BC has sent plenty of jerks into the NFL, so it is nice to see Matt Hasselbeck represent and exemplify the good things BC stands for. (He also married a BC girl, so you know he has good taste.)
ABC is broadcasting the Super Bowl, so Matt will have the chance to introduce himself. Even if he overlooks BC and mentions his high school, I’ll still be rooting for him. Go Seahawks!