INDIANAPOLIS --- Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck joined The Rich Eisen Show Tuesday to talk about his experience working as a color commentator in the booth for FOX calling the Rams at Cardinals game Sunday during the Colts bye week.
Here's a portion of that interview:
On what he said to Carson Palmer after he injured his knee when Hasselbeck saw him after the game:
"There's really no words. There's nothing you can say. I think I just patted him on the shoulder and said, 'Hey, you've had a heck of a year so far. Hang in there.' I do know just having been on teams where guys we were counting on (got hurt), in particular here in Indianapolis. Robert Mathis tore his Achilles this year. We were inspired by his attitude and how he's attacked his injury. Last year with Reggie Wayne, same thing. The players on the team currently still active are inspired by their teammates. You see them. You say, 'Wow, this guy would give anything to be out there with us.'"
Good job on Sunday, right up until the point when you called Ronde Barber Tiki. Then things got a little awkward, but you recovered.
"Well, when I got there I thought he was Shaun Alexander. I was really thrown off."
Didn't he respond by calling you Tim (Hasselbeck) though? Did he throw Tim back at you?
"Rich, maybe you get this. The whole weekend. I was there Friday, Saturday, Sunday. People were like, "Hey, Tim! How you doing?" Even (Cardinals Head Coach and former Colts Interim Head Coach) Bruce Arians called me Tim. On my way out, everybody's like, "Hey, Trent!" They thought I was Trent Dilfer. It just never ends. All bald white guys look the same."
Did you get randomly drug tested this week?
"I did (Monday). So this is my 17th year in the NFL, and I've set an all-time high, like a personal record, for the amount of times I've been drug tested. So, I've been really lucky earlier in my career, or I should just be playing the lottery more often right now, because my number seems to get drawn quite a bit right now."
(Plays clip of Hasselbeck breaking down a replay of Cardinals WR John Brown's TD… "Playaction once again...two naked bootlegs then a double move, the corner post to John Brown. An amazing throw, even better catch. And he might have even outdone it with the celebration. This is the kind of play this guy has been making all year.) Well done, Matthew.
You know what I did, honestly, Rich. I tried to let the crowd there in Arizona have center stage. The crowd really got into it in the 4th quarter. Sometimes it's better when the commentators don't say a thing. Just let the crowd, the atmosphere happen."
A very valuable lesson for aspiring play-by-play and color commentators everywhere...a job well done by Matt Hasselbeck, who now returns to his regularly scheduled programming.
(photo courtesy: @Hasselbeck)