Every player who makes it to the National Football League has already had what I call "moment of glory" in his athletic career, in some cases multiple moments of glory. He either caught the winning touchdown pass in a bowl game in college, threw a winning touchdown pass in a key conference game, kicked a winning field goal for a high school state title, made a key block, tackle, sack, fumble recovery or interception in a big game.
Those glorious moments come less frequently once the player makes it to the NFL and thus the joy of creating that moment feels that much better.
Can you just imagine the joy Richard Sherman must have felt when he intercepted Todd Collins pass in the 4th quarter last Saturday and ran it back 78 yards for the touchdown. "A lot of guys don't realize, I played offense in high school, I can shake and bake pretty good," Trufant said with a smile after the Seahawks 35-14 win over the Redskins Saturday.
During that 78 yard return Marcus had to feel just a little bit like that kid at Wilson high in Tacoma a few years ago, running with the football toward the end zone without a care in the world. Sure it was the game winner and it meant the Seahawks will play Green Bay in a divisional game Saturday January 12 but there has to be more to it than that.
When Matt Hasselbeck pump faked a pass to the right side toward LaRon Landry who had intercepted him twice earlier, then launched a perfect strike to D.J. Hackett for a 20 yard touchdown and the lead he must have felt the same kind of pure elation he felt as a senior at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Mass. in the early 1990s.
When asked about motivation for a recent late season regular season game defensive end Patrick Kerney said, "It's motivation enough just to play in the game. If I'm playing ping pong I'm going to try to beat you."
I get the impression that everyone on this Seahawks team feels that passion every time they step onto the field. Sure the money is good, really good and they know it but they also know the work is fun and when you have that "moment of glory" there is no substitution for it in any other line of work.