It's a strange time to be a Seahawks fan. In just over a year we've seen our roster completely overhauled and remade. Two of our biggest heroes are now gone. Arguably the two most prominent faces of the franchise are no longer technically on the roster, but they'll always be Seahawks.
Matt Hasselbeck and Lofa Tatupu have moved on but both have left an indelible mark on the city, the Seahawks organization, and especially the fans.
Tats and Hass are probably my two favorite Seahawks of all time, period.
Matt Hasselbeck has been the unquestioned leader of the offense for almost a decade and Lofa Tatupu has been the field General on defense since the day he was drafted. Both players are tough, fiery and vocal. There haven't been many players on the Seahawks that can pump up the crowd better than these two so it's going to be very, very strange to go to a game and not see them on the field.
Instead of waxing poetic about them, I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite memories of the two and then open it up for commentary. These players deserve a tribute better than I'd be able to put together, but if they ever saw this I'd like for them to know how much they've meant to their fans.
First, Lofa Tatupu. It's very hard to pick out a distinct favorite memory or favorite play that Lofa made in his career here with the Seahawks but honestly my most lasting memory of him doesn't even involve him playing in the game. I will always remember the triumphant entrances he made from the lockerroom tunnel into Qwest Field, surrounded by explosions and fire, a fucking Hawk flying by, and Lofa fist pumping and gesticulating wildly while holding a 12th man flag and Bittersweet Symphony blaring through the loudspeakers.
Honest to god, it literally gives me goosebumps thinking about it right now. He's the prototypical warrior type of football player that is impossible not to love. His play was every bit as impressive, but few players were capable of pumping up the crowd as Tatupu was. I'll miss him as a Seahawk immensely.
I've got a ton of great memories of Matt Hasselbeck's great years here in Seattle, but I think, honestly, my favorite memory of all time is a bit of an obscure one. It came in 2008 during a home game against the Rams. I don't remember many details of the actual game, but I was in attendance at Qwest field when the Seahawks decided to run up the middle with Julius Jones from the Rams 29 yard line. If I remember it correctly, Jones was rebuffed at the line but bounced it back outside to the left.
At first, it didn't look like much was going to happen but Matt Hasselbeck sure seemed to see an opportunity. He waved at Jones with a "Hey, look!! Come this way!!" type of motion and headed up field to lead-block like he was Mack Strong or something. The rest was a bit of a blur as Jones made his way upfield because I was jumping up and down in excitement, but as Jones was nearing the goal line the Rams defense was closing in.
Didn't matter to Matt and he went headlong into a cut block that took out two Rams defenders and opened up a lane for Julius Jones like Moses had just parted the Red Sea. At that point I completely lost my mind in excitement and laughter and joy and ecstatic screaming and jumping and missed high fives. Here you have your starting quarterback cut blocking two Rams and taking them out like they were bowling pins. That my friends, is Matt Hasselbeck in a nutshell. He'll do anything to win, and I love him for it.
Not the best video of it, but this was all I could find.