Colts Season Ticket Members Have Lunch With Hasselbeck

On Tuesday, selected season ticket members were treated to lunch at the Colts’ West 56th Street complex and story time with Matt Hasselbeck.

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The locker room was empty, but the pavilion was overflowing with a sea of blue at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on Tuesday during the bye week.

The Colts held a luncheon for 150 selected season ticket members and their guests, who had the opportunity to hear from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who was interviewed by the voice of the Colts, Bob Lamey.

Hasselbeck grew up in a football family. His dad, Don, played tight end for the Patriots, Raiders, Vikings, and Giants. Still, he says he wasn't encouraged to play football. In fact, quite the opposite.

"So, there's three boys and we loved to play football in the yard, loved to play football at recess. And my dad had so many surgeries and so many injuries, he was like, 'Hey, play golf. Play baseball. Play something else.'"

The problem, Hasselbeck says, is that he wasn't good at any of those things. Eventually, the boys wore Don down.

"He made a deal with us saying, 'Hey, when I'm done playing professional football, you guys can play,' thinking we would just forget that."

They didn't forget. And their persistence paid off.

"The irony is, we weren't allowed to play football and then myself and both my younger brothers earned scholarships to play college football. My parents now take credit for it, but they had nothing to do with it," he jokes.

But deciding where to play college football didn't exactly go as Hasselbeck had planned.

"I wanted to go to Stanford. So, I sent my tapes to Bill Walsh. Bill Walsh wrote me back. He said, 'Wow! I really loved your tape. Not interested in you at this time, but who's number 34?' That was my running back, so he went to Stanford and I didn't go to Stanford."

Instead, Hasselbeck ended up at Boston College, where Tom Coughlin, who coached his dad, was head coach at the time. But that didn't really go as planned either.

"I get there and three months later, he leaves and takes the head coaching job at the Jacksonville Jaguars. So, I was stuck at BC. But that's college football," he says. "The great thing about it though, is I met my wife at freshman orientation. So it all worked out in the end."

Season Ticket Members Luncheon with special guests Bob Lamey and Matt Hasselbeck.

And after playing for the Packers, Seahawks, and Titans, Hasselbeck found himself with another decision to make.

"I really wasn't considering this when I was a free agent, wasn't considering this opportunity, to be a backup quarterback for a team that I was competing with a couple years earlier."

In the end, it was the culture, the potential, and even the fans that sold him on the Colts.

"The more I learned about Chuck (Pagano), my impression of Andrew, and just what this team could be, the fact they still had Robert Mathis, it became a real attractive organization to me. One that's used to winning, expects to win, and I played here in the RCA Dome and it was so loud you couldn't even function in the offense. Those things were important to me. And you get here and it's real."

And it just got more real for Hasselbeck. Starting two games for an injured Andrew Luck earlier this season, he was called upon again on Tuesday afternoon, when news broke that Luck had suffered a lacerated kidney and abdominal tear against the Broncos.

Matt Hasselbeck's football career has an underlying theme of things not going as planned, yet somehow working out.

Now, he's got the opportunity to take a season that hasn't gone as planned, and do the same thing.

The Colts host two lunches a year for season ticket members, who are also eligible to win prizes including gift cards, signed memorabilia, and even trip accommodations courtesy of *RCI. *

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To get on the wait list for Colts season tickets, go to: *http://www.colts.com/tickets/season-tickets/index.html.*

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