The silent treatment

Silence is golden for Matt Hasselbeck.

Especially on game day, when the chaotic atmosphere in the locker room before kickoff can be a cacophony of sounds and music.

Asked today what kind of music he uses to get him in the mood, the Seahawks’ quarterback offered, “I could let you in on my secret right now.”

After a brief pause, and a quick glance over each shoulder, he added, “OK, typically what I do is I’ll have noise-cancellation headphones on. But it’s not plugged into anything.”

Huh? “I just don’t want to hear people, or their music,” Hasselbeck said. “I just need silence; focus. Otherwise people want to talk to you. So I wear headphones with no music. Just leave me alone.”

He even carries out the ploy like a well-executed play-action fake.

“I just tuck (the cord) into my shorts or my pocket,” he said.

What’s going through his mind during his self-imposed silent treatment?

“Nothing,” he said. “It’s game day. It’s kind of the calm before the storm. You just want to be focused and relaxed.”

Not that Hasselbeck begrudges his teammates who use music – everything from gospel to hip-hop to heavy metal – to get them in the mood their seeking.

“I’m not going down and covering a kick, either,” he said. “Those guys are getting up, and I’m trying to stay in control.”

This need for silence and focus actually starts before game day.

“My wife and kids usually get out of the house on Saturday, because they know I’m a little cranky,” he said.

There is, of course, a need for that solitude.

“Saturdays are a big study day for me,” Hasselbeck explained. “A lot of memorization. Similar to cramming for a final. Not that fun.”

Just the root of a funny story.


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