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Original Issue

Matt Hasselbeck


On his love of the Celtics

Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, the Chief [Robert Parish]. The way they played, the way they carried themselves. Living in Boston [for most of my childhood] was so wonderful. I used to shoot baskets in my driveway with my Bird jersey on. Then when we lived in L.A., I was on a basketball team called the Celtics. Larry Legend was my guy.

On his upbringing as the son of well-traveled NFL tight end Don Hasselbeck

I feel fortunate to have experienced so many different parts of the country. New England, L.A., Minnesota, New York. My best sports memory is being with my dad at the Raiders-Redskins Super Bowl in Tampa [in 1984]. He was with the Raiders, and he blocked an extra point. I was in third grade.

On Raiders owner Al Davis

When we lived in L.A., he was this secretive guy. I guess he still is. But before almost every game I've played against the Raiders, Mr. Davis has come up and said, "Tell your fath-ah I'll always remember that blocked extra point in the Super Bowl." I guess once a Raider, always a Raider.

On picking Boston College over UCLA coming out of high school

I sort of wanted to go to Stanford, but [then coach] Bill Walsh wasn't interested. I really liked [then BC coach] Tom Coughlin during the recruiting process. What an impressive guy. Then when I went on my recruiting visit to UCLA in 1993, the big TV show was Beverly Hills, 90210, and some of the cast was at a party I attended that weekend. That's about as incriminating as I can get about my visit there, O.K.? When I visited BC, I got picked up by the strength coach in his beat-up car, dropped off at a player's dorm room, ate in the dining hall, slept on the floor. BC just felt more like me.

On Brett Favre, whom he backed up in 1999 and 2000 in Green Bay

The biggest thing he taught me is to have no fear. Sometimes if he's seen me make a play that he didn't like, he'll leave me a message out here with our strength coach, "Tell old Hass to trade in the skirt for some shoulder pads." His message: Fear nothing. I really admire how he couldn't care less.

On raising a family in Seattle

It's all about my kids now. They're four [Annabelle], two [Mallory] and six months [Henry] old. And I think I might be out here a while. The other day, we were in the car and I said, "Where do you guys want to go for lunch?" And my two-year-old--my two-year-old--says, "Starbucks!"

On their chances to make it to Super Bowl XL

The best thing we've done is keep our focus week by week. We don't look ahead. People talk about stuff like [the Super Bowl], but I don't think about it. I'll just tell you, it's a great time to be a Seahawk.





Photograph by Rich Frishman