From The Fans to #4


Posted Mar 6, 2005


When it was announced on Saturday that Trent Dilfer had been traded to the Cleveland Browns, Seahawks.NET's message board lit up with the thoughts and feelings of fans who wanted #4 to know how they felt, and the impression he left on Seattle in his time here.

Many of those thoughts and feelings are here - a reflection of a man and an athlete who diplayed every single attribute we'd like all our sports stars to show.

Landhawk1 - When we constantly see so many examples of what is "wrong" with professional sports, here's a guy who is a great example of what is "right"!

Taking an incentive-heavy contract, supporting Matt when he could have complained and been a distraction, charity work, strong values, class and showing a supreme amount of grace under the most devastating of all losses.....

During his time in Seattle, Trent Dilfer displayed more class, dignity, caring, leadership and intestinal fortitude than almost anyone that I can remember. Good luck Trent.....I'll be keeping my #4 jersey and I'll remember you for being a good member of our team and more importantly a good human being.....the world could use a few more guys like you!
MysterMatt - The Browns now have a bunch of new fans, that's for sure.

I've never felt so bittersweet about a trade in my life. Trent is an example for all professional athletes to aspire to in terms of commitment to team and realization of how lucky he is to be blessed with the ability to be a professional athlete. He shows us all how to live with grace under fire and demonstrate gratitude to those who care for him.

He also helped this team win football games and made Matt Hasselbeck into the player/leader he is today. We owe him a ton and I'll be a fan of his wherever he goes. I just hope the player we get for the pick he brought us can live in his shadow and thrive.
jammerhawk - He still remains one of my favorite players and is a classy team guy. We did right by him and were true to our promise. I wish him nothing but good luck!
HAWKFAN1975 - The sports world could use more class act guys like Trent. He was more than a back up QB for this team. He was a mentor, a leader, and in my mind, the pefecect example of what an athlete should be.

I wish him well in Cleveland, and I hope his legacy will continue in some of the remaining players on this team.
SeahawksFan8 - Trent will be missed by me, he was a great guy and was the heart of the team in my opinion. Seeing him smile no matter what was going on, I wish Trent the best of luck with the Browns. I am sad that Trent has to leave but happy that he will be starting for the Browns. Trent brought more to this team than great play, he brought a Christian attitude to this team, he was a team player. I hate to say this but losing Trent feels like losing a best friend.
DrDiags - His classic call-in to KJR at the end of last season started me to opening my eyes to the fact that there was a whole lot more wrong with the Hawks than I really understood. He was able to call out folks without turning into a tell-all novel. His run against the Cardinals was funny but also showed how he would do whatever was necessary to win. Cleveland just got some good protection as their new regime settles into place.

Dilfer to Winslow... Touchdown!!!!
rorygee - Every team needs a conscience and the Hawks had Dilfer. Hasselbeck can thank Trent for helping him grow as an NFL player and never once trying to say that Matt should not be the man. When Trent came in to lead the team and showed such raw emotion, it was sure fun to be at Husky Stadium that day.

I think the two bits of emotion for me were:
They day the Hawks signed him and we all kind of giggled but then grew to appreciate what the Hawks had (and he was so grateful the Hawks knew what they had)

And the personal bits of his life that made me realize that as much as I love football, I love my family more and that these guys are the same.....Trent was (is) a person first and a football player second....I think I respected him more for this than anything he did on the field.

Good luck Trent !!!!!! but not against the Hawks.
SilverSeahawk - He's a warrior, that's for sure. His 2nd season in Tampa, he started all 16 games and threw FOUR touchdowns combined with 18 INTs. I remember hearing him talk about how he used to get booed out of restaurants. Somewhere along the way, he fought back and got humbled. Won a Super Bowl as the starting QB of the Baltimore Ravens. While he did have a top defense, he completely bought into the team concept and was huge in that run. Possibly his best attribute in that Super Bowl run was poise. He's a true student of the game and the consumate team guy. He came to Seattle expected to be the backup to Matt Hasselbeck, but clearly outplayed him and nearly led us to the playoffs in 2001. Hass took the job back in mid-2002 when Dilfer got hurt, but rather than pouting about not getting his job back, Dilfer did what he could to help Matt get all that he could out of his abilities. While he has had starting ability for years, he has never complained. His teammates constantly rave about how supportive he has been. His presence will definately be missed.
ArosNET - Trent Dilfer exemplified the very heart of the athlete I admire the most, which is unfortunately exceedingly rare in today's professional sports world: He put the team first, above himself each and every time.

Through his contract negotiations to the heartbreak of losing his son, Trent gave each of us reason to believe in honor, class and integrity again. Not since the likes of Steve Largent have Seahawks fans been blessed with such a presence on and off the field.

May Cleveland bring you continued success, Trent. You may be wearing orange and brown now, but you will always be family to us.
rockhawkx - As said before, the Browns just gained a whole lotta fans (and instant respect) from their Western Neighbors.

Trent was one of the few people in this world that inspired both on and off the field. I still remember the chills I got when he threw his first touchdown pass in the preseason game after he lost his son.

I will miss watching him run down in front of my section on gameday during the pregame, taking a knee, and saying a little prayer in the endzone.

Our team still has its body, but today it lost a big piece of its heart. God Speed Trent.
kf3339 - I have had the fortune to follow Trent from his playing days at Fresno State thru his time at Tampa Bay, Baltimore and finally as a Hawk. I have many great memories of watching him play and leading teams to victories. There are too many to name hear.

What I will say is that Trent has always shown himself to be a strong leader and class act. I was thrilled when he signed with the Hawks which is my favorite team. I still believe that Holmgren lost a chance to make the playoffs Trents first year by not starting him exclusively the last half of that year.

He deserves the chance to start, and the Hawks did the right thing trading him to the Browns. While my loyalty will always be to the Hawks, I have a new team to root for next year. The Browns just made themselves a lot better, both on and off the field.

Good Luck to you Trent. Show the Dogpound what you are made of, and make all your fans proud!!!!!!!!!!!!
DilferSeahawks04 - Best memory of Trent came last season when they were playing Arizona here and it was the play that gave them their 8th victory of the season when Dilfer ran for seven yards and was being chased by that Cardinal defender who tried to stripped the ball instead of tackling him! I remember Trent said that he heard Robbie Tobeck on that play yelling, "tuck the ball, Trent! tuck the ball!" and he did just that!

Later I remember Coach Holmgren said, "it was the longest seven yards I have ever seen" and when I saw him on TV mentioning that I cracked up so hard!
dfarrar777 - Preseason, 2003. Against the Chiefs. Dilfer leads the Seahawks on a touchdown drive at the beginning of the second half in which he goes 6 of 7 for 59 yards. The emotion from his teammates was palpable after that touchdown – they were welcoming one of their own back to the field after the loss of his son. I cried...I think many of us cried.

That day speaks to what Trent Dilfer is all about. In an era that rewards the likes of Jose Canseco with more media coverage than even he can handle, the quiet, dignified determination Dilfer displayed through a hardscrabble beginning in the NFL is far too seldom seen. And rewarded even less.

Dilfer won’t make the Hall of Fame like Steve Young just did, but he shares a similar career arc – a nasty NFL initiation, followed by a gradual maturation process on the field …followed, eventually, by the rare opportunity to hold the Lombardi Trophy. When Brian Billick decided that Trent Dilfer was “expendable” after Super Bowl XXXV, the Seahawks were smart enough to jump on that one right away. Have the Ravens had a serviceable quarterback since then? Maybe the “NFL Gods” exact their wrath when you cast aside a man who has learned his lessons so humbly. And when Matt Hasselback’s star ascended and Dilfer was relegated to the bench, who helped Matt more than just about anyone? You guessed it.

As courageous as he has always been on the field, the will and strength that Trent and the entire Dilfer family showed in the face of the passing of little 5-year old Trevin Dilfer after a battle with heart disease in 2003 was so much more inspirational and touching than anything that can ever happen on a football field. When life intervened in the worst way possible, Trent Dilfer showed what he was really made of. When he considered retiring after Trevin’s death, his teammates asked him to come back – for his good and for their own.
       
It is the leadership…the grace…the generosity of spirit of Trent Dilfer that I will miss. Passing touchdowns are so much easier to replace than these things…
cammo - The sports world needs more people like Trent Dilfer. Period.
Hllywood - A class act. His experience and attitude will be missed.

Thanks for showing me how a "REAL" pro is supposed to act.

Best of Luck! Thanks Again.
SharkHawk - This is very sad for me. Trent was one of the guys that I voted for and felt a strong connection to. Once Mack Strong is gone I don't think there will be anybody left that I am a big fan of.

This team and the league in general has just changed so much over the years. It's hard to find a guy that you really feel loyal to and vote for, because people move around so much. Oh well.... Good luck Trent. You are my favorite player and I'll miss having you on my favorite team.
Heyseed - number four in your programs,

number one in your hearts.

Thanks Trent.
BucketheadJones - When the Seahawks acquired Trent Dilfer, I knew him only by the way the national media represented him. He was a "loser" who was booed out of Tampa. The high first round draft pick was a bust and the contempt for Dilfer could be felt all the way to the Pacific Northwest.

To the modern scientific instruments of the NFL scouting machine, Dilfer was barely a blip on the radar anymore. What it failed to measure - as it often does - was the heart and spirit of the man.

What is often conveniently forgotten was that Dilfer lead the Bucanneers to their first playoff appearance in 15 years and was the only Tampa QB to play in the Pro Bowl. What's not forgotten was that he raised the Lombardi Trophy as a starting QB in Baltimore. Still, his reputation barely registered above zero as the Ravens defense got all the credit. Before he even received his title ring, Dilfer was released by the Ravens. They didn't even bother to call.

When Dilfer came to the Seahawks, we all got to see for ourselves that perception isn't always reality. Dilfer was a first-class teammate and mentor to Hasselbeck when many other experienced NFL QBs might be lobbying for the starring role. He was ready when called upon and nearly led the Seahawks to the playoffs that first season.

He had earned the respect of his coach, team and city and was promised the starting job if he'd sign a contract to return to Seattle. He agreed, but insisted that the contract be heavily inscentive-laden so that he would earn his money - a characteristically unselfish move that protected the organization's substantial investment in Hasselbeck.

From that point on, no one in Seattle could question that Dilfer is a team-first guy - he put his money where most NFL player's mouths are. A few games into his new starting job, his season is ended by injury and Hasselbeck would never relinquish the job again.

While many people might say that "adversity" is the first thing that comes to mind when you say "Trent Dilfer," for me, it's "grace."

That grace was never more evident that at the passing of his five-year old son Trevin. Nothing Dilfer had gone through - as horrific as it had been on some levels - could compare to losing his "little buddy." No one who saw Trent and his wife, Cass, on ESPN's "Sunday Conversation" talk about their loss some weeks later could have done so dry-eyed. Frankly, I bawled.

But what was so powerful and inspiring to me was the grace and strength that they had at such a time. They were hurting and they were honest and humble and most of all they had faith. I lost my younger sister five years ago and they gave me a beautiful example to try to live up to.

I'm thankful for the time he was here in Seattle so that we all could get the opportunity to see that for some NFL players, there so much more to look up to beneath the surface.

I'd just like to shake Trent Dilfer's hand and wish him all the best. He's the finest example of a teammate, and more importanly, of a man, that I've ever seen in pro sports.

God Bless, Trent & Cass.
FlyingGreg - Trent, you may have been a back-up on the Seahawks depth chart, but you will never be a back-up in the game of life.

In an era of selfish and spoiled athletes, the humility and class you have shown during your time in Seattle will be remembered more than your contributions on the field.

Good luck in Cleveland!
macphisto - Though from the Cleveland area, I've lived in Tampa Bay for years. Because of this I'm quite familiar with Dilfer. The man was mistreated in this area and is still looked at with disdain by fans who often do not look at the whole picture. Yet during the years that people accosted him and booed him the man never did anything to lash out. He took it and was amazingly honest when interviewed. The problem here was that the fans wanted to put the whole game on Trent's shoulders and very few QBs are capable of carrying a team on their shoulders; they need help. The Bucs had a poor receiving corps and a porous OL and yet Dilfer was able to win and have some good seasons. He's never been a 3000 yard+ QB, but he does what is necessary to win.

I despise the Ravens passionately. I think everyone can understand that considering how Modell took our beloved Browns away for what were, essentially, his own financial mistakes. It was hard to see them win a Super Bowl, but I was happy for two guys - Ozzie Newsome and Trent Dilfer. It was nice to see Dilfer do what was necessary to get his team to the dance and win it. Yes, the defense had a major role, but it generally does on any championship team. However, without a QB who can get the offense in the end zone a few times and not cause a bunch of costly turnovers you cannot win. Dilfer provided that and we got to see his awesome smile as he held the Lombardi Trophy. I know that hurt Bucs fans who felt Dilfer was worthless. Even in Baltimore he didn't have too terribly much to work with in the receiving corps., though Jamal Lewis was a huge factor on the ground and the OL could actually block. I was glad when Baltimore discounted him and let him go. I was very happy when he got the chance to start for the Seahawks. Being picked up by an offensive guru like Mike Holmgren told the world that Dilfer was worthwhile. Not the flashy type and certainly not Brett Favre (those kind of guys are so rare anyways), he could win games. Hasselbeck eventually reclaimed the spot after Trent got injured and you guys ended up in a very enviable position with a strong starter and a very strong backup on your roster.

But through it all, Trent Dilfer has shown great class. He always was a helper in the community here in Tampa and was one fo the few Bucs who would talk to fans and not just act high and lofty like so many players do (see Sapp, Warren).

I'm glad the Browns have such a class guy on the squad. I'm glad he's going to start (barring unforseen developments). I've also been impressed by the kindly words the Seahawks fans have had both here and on the Browns' fan site. It's clear that Dilfer finally found a place where he was given the respect he deserves and I want to thank you guys for that. As I've said, I've liked and followed him for years. I hope Cleveland can take a cue from the fans of Seattle and embrace the guy. The Browns organization has attempted to change from a deceitful, dishonest organization to one that is forthright. Savage and Crennel has definitely done a good job transforming the team in such a short time - adding Dilfer just makes it much better.

Too often a player, even a good one that is liked, gets traded and the fans tend to pile on. I've seen it elsewhere and seen it in Tampa where it is quite common. Kudos to you guys for giving respect and love where it is due. Kudos to Holmgren for abiding by his word and giving Trent a chance to start even though it was in his best interest to keep the veteran backup. Seattle has shown itself to have class in its front office and class in its fanbase.
depechevw - More than just the heart of a Superbowl champion. He has the heart of a champion in life.

Good luck Trent. I now have a reason to watch the Browns play!
Rotak - One of the nicest things said about any athlete is that he came to the field, gave his all, and was good off the field.

Yet, those words see woefully insufficient for Trent Dilfer. The guy came to the field, gave his all, every play, and was a beacon of courage off the field. Yet even that isn't good enough.

Trent is the kind of guy that even if one armed, blind, and deaf you would still consider having on your team. He is such an amazing team player and one of the few professional athletes that is not only a class act, but a true role-model. I usually scoff at the idea of role models. Never had an Idol, certainly never a professional athlete. Yet, if I had kids while Trent was a Seahawk, I would have absolutely no problem telling them that Trent is someone to model themselves after.
CHawk4ever - Trent gives freely and never asks for anything in return.

He took the bad press and continued to give.

He was shuffled from a Super Bowl title to a team of wannabes and still he gave.

He lost his son and yet he still gives.

He goes to a team where his services will once again be on display as the starting QB and who wants to bet he will give some more?

Trent has given the game much more than the game has given him.

I dare say in life and football Trent makes no distinction. He simply gives.


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 -by NorthwestFootball.net  Mar 5, 2005
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