"We want the ball," he said excitedly, "and we'll score."
Spoiler: They don't. Al Harris of the Packers intercepted a Hasselbeck pass after three hours of overtime and sprinted 52 meters to win the game.
Hasselbeck had reason to be confident. On a 20-degree day at Lambeau Field, he had gone 305 meters in a 7-degree wind chill before losing the game.
“It was my first playoff game as a starter, and it felt like we were playing with house money. We were just happy to be there somehow, ”he said in a telephone interview. “I played against my old team and was the person I was talking to at the time [kicker] Ryan Longwell. … I was his keeper when I was in Green Bay [for two seasons], We had played there earlier in the year and [Seahawks coach] Mike Holmgren – all of my coaches were from Green Bay. We all went home. "
His coaches had warned him about being overly emotional, but Hasselbeck continued to think about his performance in a 35-13 loss at Green Bay in October. He had also been warned about this game.
"They all told me, 'Hey, listen. You have to control your emotions. You play against your friends. Control your feelings, blah, blah, blah. "Well, I did. I played well when I played it earlier in the year, but I didn't play inspired," Said Hasselbeck, "It was not exciting and fun. I played like it was a job. I was sitting there [as a backup in Green Bay] and saw Brett Favre play and just cut it off as if he were on a break or as if he were in the front yard with his brothers and friends. And the lesson I learned was: fun, This is a game. You play a fun game against your friends. Cut it loose. "
The second meeting was a different story. The Seahawks led 20:13 after three quarters and went into extra time to eliminate a favorite Green Bay team that had won six of their last seven regular season games.
"Nobody gives us a chance [to win]"Said Hasselbeck." … we are in the game, we play okay and we actually live. They have a chance to win it in the fourth quarter, and they don't. "
In fact, the Seahawks were late before going 67 yards to reach the score, a Shaun Alexander touchdown from a yard 51 seconds ahead.
"We were a new team and happy to be there," said Hasselbeck. “Part of it was that we had fun and smiled on our faces. Some of it was, as Mike Holmgren told us, "You are talented enough. You have enough talent; you just have to believe that you could eventually play in games like this. “… When we went back to tossing coins, everyone had their captains – I think they had six; we had three – they didn't all come out. Only Ryan Longwell and I don't know who else got out, but their best players didn't. So I knew what that meant. They were embarrassed that we were still in the game – the little brother was connected to the big brother.
“I was just having fun with my buddy and set fire to my own teammates – my new friends. I feel kind of bad that it was picked up by the referee's microphone, but I don't regret saying it. It was super fun and funny. I'm sorry we didn't win and obviously made a break at the end of the game to lose the game. "
In retrospect, Hasselbeck said about this game and the occasional mockery of his comment: "It's all good; I'm an adult." What bothers him more is a snow-covered game in the division round that followed the 2007 season against the Packers again The Seahawks led the highly favored NFC North champions early on, but Green Bay had a good lead of 21 straight points in less than 10 minutes of the first half.
"This is the game that haunts me because I felt we were a much better team and could have gone further." [in the playoffs]"Hasselbeck said of the 42-20 loss." We were 14 – not early – and then the snow fell so hard that you could hardly see it. They came back and hit us. Brett Favre had a passport for a landing, when we thought we had it and it was just a crushing, crushing blow. ”
On Sunday night in Green Bay, the only Super Bowl-honored playoff quarterbacks – the Seahawks Russell Wilson and Packers Aaron Rodgers – will compete and share their own crazy story. In the post-2014 NFC championship game, Wilson made a wild comeback from Seahawks when he won 28:22 after extra time. Visiting Green Bay was just under two minutes ahead of the final whistle, but Seattle scored a draw within five minutes and scored again after Green Bay was unable to make up for the onside kick that followed. The game ended in overtime and Seattle won it on Wilson's 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse on first possession.
These Seahawks would lose in the Super Bowl. In fact, after these teams' last three playoff matches, the winner lost their next game.
Looking back at the 2004 defeat, Hasselbeck said: “The hardest thing for me would have been if Green Bay had won the Super Bowl this year. Then you have the feeling: "Oh, we were so close." If you are eliminated from the playoffs, you are so unfortunate that the team that eliminated you from the playoffs has withdrawn from the playoffs. "
"Every time these two teams play against each other," said Hasselbeck, "something wild and crazy happens."