Monday, January 7, 2008
"We Want the Ball & We're Going to Score"
Packer fans tend to be a little bias when reading about the Packers. This story is courtesy of the Seattle Times.
Every Seahawk knows about Lambeau and the tradition of the Packers. But most are just glad to still be alive in the playoffs and are looking forward to the challenge quarterback Brett Favre and the Packers present. Green Bay is 13-3 and the NFC's No. 2 seed in the postseason, and will be rested after a first-round bye.
"The same way we had the fans behind us [Saturday], they're going to have that next week so it's going to be a huge test," safety Brian Russell said. "Great team playing good football."
The Seahawks have been to Green Bay several times in recent years, so they don't figure to be too fazed. In the Holmgren era, the Seahawks have played Green Bay four times — three in the regular season and one playoff game — and are 1-3 in those games.
Seattle has also played at Green Bay twice in exhibition games in the past four seasons, once on Aug. 18 and also in 2004, and is 1-1.
"We know the challenges better than most," Holmgren said.
The last time the Seahawks played a meaningful game at Green Bay was in January 2004, a wild-card playoff game that Seattle lost in overtime, 33-27. Four current offensive starters took part in that game, as well as one 2007 defensive starter, cornerback Marcus Trufant.
It became apparent right after the Seahawks' wild-card win Saturday that people haven't forgotten Hasselbeck's bold "We want the ball, and we're going to score" prediction that was overheard via the referee's microphone after the overtime coin toss of that playoff game.
Today, Hasselbeck is still an excitable and confident player, but he goes back to Wisconsin a more mature and playoff-tested quarterback who hasn't forgotten what he learned from Favre and others.
"I remember the first time I went back there, it was a huge deal to me," said Hasselbeck, who was originally drafted by the Packers in the sixth round in 1998. "Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a special place to me. I think it is the greatest venue in all of sports. That organization is special because it is owned by the fans. If it wasn't for that organization, I would never have gotten a chance. I would be wearing a suit to work every day."
Not a jersey and helmet, or the jeans and sweaters he wears in postgame interviews.
"They helped me to fulfill my dream of playing in the NFL, and the people there are the same way," Hasselbeck added. "It's just a special thing when you get to play your friends
José Miguel Romero, Seattle Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: JS Online, Tom Lynn