Quick Thoughts on #8

Without a doubt I am the biggest Hasselbeck loyalist one could find. Bigger than Big Lo. More outspoken than Steve Raible. More outspoken than maybe even Coach Holmgren himself.

Even so, for a few short minutes last sunday I began to question myself.

Just for a minute, though.

I base everything on winning now. Madden is not real life. One cannot “tank,” and Coach Carroll understands this well. There are those who propose that starting Whitehurst would give the Seahawks not only a chance to see what eight million dollars has bought them, but also the chance to improve their draft position next April.

Proponents of Matt argue that he gives us the “best chance to win,” through experience and veteran leadership. Whitehurst, on the other hand, brings a bigger arm to the table along with a little mobility.

The NFL is all about experience. Experience will trump tools. Experience wins games. Experience stays cool under pressure. Experience bounces back from mistakes.

Winning the division should mean everything. Throw out draft stock, throw out the record. It is irrelevant. Even at 7-9, winning a division is winning a division. You put up the banner. You raise the 12th Man flag in a playoff game once again.

To win the division, to raise that banner, we must trust in the experience of #8. We must trust that he will bounce back. He deserves it. He has earned it. He won the job over Whitehurst to start the season, and he deserves to finish. Independent of what is projected to happen next year, Matthew Hasselbeck is still the quarterback and deserves the support of the 12th Man. His recent mistakes don’t diminish the fact that he has had some great games this year in pressure situations. Whitehurst has yet to show this. Hasselbeck really does give the Seahawks “the best chance to win.”

The old cliche rings true. Here’s to hoping the ol’ gunslinger’s passes ring true down the stretch as well.