In April of 2003, Trent Dilfer’s 5-year-old son, Trevin, died of heart disease. Dilfer, then the backup quarterback for the Seahawks, was so despondent that he thought he had no reason to keep playing football, and little reason to live.
But Dilfer ended up playing five more NFL seasons and is now working as a broadcaster, and Dilfer says it was his Seahawks teammate, Matt Hasselbeck, who did more than anyone to get him to start playing again, and to start living again.
“[Hasselbeck was] walking me through the most difficult time of my life. I mean I was a mess,” Dilfer said, via USA Today. “I’ll be very transparent. I mean I was 265 pounds and drinking myself to sleep. I’m depressed, my wife’s going, ‘What’s going on?’ And it’s that guy, Matthew Hasselbeck, that says, ‘This is over. I love you too much to let you do this to yourself. You need to come back up to Seattle.’ And I credit Matthew Hasselbeck for the type of father I am, the type of husband I am, because he really saved my life in 2003.”
Dilfer’s comments came in the context of the strong relationship Hasselbeck has with Jake Locker, the quarterback who has supplanted Hasselbeck as the Titans’ starter. Dilfer says there’s no better teammate to have than Hasselbeck.
“Jake Locker might be the luckiest guy in the NFL right now,” Dilfer said. “He’s got a good football team, he’s got a great coaching staff, and he’s got the best dude in the world — who probably should be playing — mentoring him and pushing him and teaching him those lessons. So Jake Locker, his family, his kids — not to mention the organization — are better off because Matthew Hasselbeck’s here. It’s great for Jake Locker, it’s tough for Matthew, but I guarantee you nobody will handle it better than Matthew.”
Dilfer may know better than anyone what kind of teammate Hasselbeck is.