What better way for Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck to cap off an abortive 2008 campaign than by visiting Issaquah, WA sixth graders and trash talking an opponent he might never face in a meaningful game every again? From KING.com :
Hasselbeck is three games into his return from a bulging disk and nerve problem that cost him five games. This has been perhaps the worst and most disappointing season of the 33-year-old’s career. Yet he had his usual wit and deadpan humor all morning.
Andy Co’s family moved to Seattle from the Philippines two years ago. He wanted to play football this season but broke his arm, his disappointment fading only when he won Hasselbeck’s visit in an online contest.
He chose San Francisco and left Hasselbeck with Seattle in the Madden video game on the family’s Nintendo Wii.
“So we’re playing at Qwest Field? I appreciate you giving me home-field advantage,” Hasselbeck cracked. “We need it.”
At school, Hasselbeck told the students how his parents, including Don, a former NFL tight end who played for New England and remains a die-hard Patriots fan, didn’t allow him to play football growing up in the Boston suburbs until he was 12. He stayed active running cross country and playing baseball — and freeze tag.
“I don’t know, do people still play freeze tag?” he asked.
He took questions from students, many of whom were wearing his jersey.
“Do you think girls should be allowed to play in the NFL?” one girl asked.
“Girls can play in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger plays for the Steelers, right?” Hasselbeck said, in a playful flashback to Seattle’s Super Bowl loss three seasons ago.
“Joking. Totally joking. That was a joke,” Hasselbeck said, chuckling.