Last year, I turned off nine games because I was angry and felt hopeless. This season I haven't turned off a single game even the blowouts because the games felt interesting for whatever reason. After Matt fumbled and then threw the pick to Grimes, I turned off my first game this season because I was heartbroken. Not for any resulting loss, but because given the chance to close out his career well Matt was playing like a broken man trying to spark something that had no fuel.
I rarely find myself in tears. Sunday, dark overcast sky greeted me as I switched my TV off, and I broke down. It's just a game, sure. I know it doesn't mean much at all in life. This knowledge doesn't change how much I care or give in sake of 3 hours to pretend that I don't live in a body that's as broken as mine and these players, these men that suit up in the colors of my favorite team are people I consider of some personal value.
It was almost identical to a breakdown that I had during the infamous fumble game for Shaun Alexander. Though in the end Matt was credited with it, I will never forget the lost look in Shaun's face. I will never forget how gutted I felt. I thought I had steeled my mind to the end for Matt. Simplifying it as a victory count. Something to shoot for, give Matt some kind of meaning to finish the year and give me something to pretend that this pain wouldn't come.
I'm ready for this to be over. There are no games that he can impact now that will soften the blow. Shaun closed out his career by playing a key role in the Raven's defeat. That game for me was a easy way to say goodbye and understand that I was watching the last games of his career as a hawk.
I think that's what I had hoped for here. A performance worthy of the young gunslinger I came to love. A game which I could hang my hat on as a final memory and put away my memories proudly for the young hawk fans that will someday, I hope, want to know what I can tell them about Matt Hasselbeck. I never got my goodbye game, perhaps I missed it, but right now, I'm too heartbroken to give much thought to the past or the future.