Matt Hasselbeck may be an aging backup quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts, but that hasn’t hindered his creativity. For years now, Hasselbeck has worn he No. 8 on his jersey, but when he was signed by the Colts this offseason, there was already a guy on the team wearing his number. This isn’t the first time a veteran has come to a team and had to negotiate to get his old jersey number, but rather than simply pay up for the number, Hasselbeck made quarterback Chandler Harnish an odd offer that was graciously accepted.
If Harnish could hit a half-court shot, he would give up the No. 8 but receive $8,000 for doing so. Harnish, who is an Indiana native and apparently a boastful basketball player, not only accepted Hasselbeck’s bizarre wager, he sunk the shot.
Harnish was “Mr. Irrelevant” in last year’s draft, and split his time last season between the Colts 53-man roster and the practice squad. This means that Harnish isn’t necessarily raking in the coin as a pro, and that $8,000 he won from Hasselbeck would go a long way in helping him out. but rather than keep the money for himself, Harnish donated the cash to Norwell HS Dollars for Scholars in honor of Heath Bumgarner, who was a high school senior at Norwell who was shot and killed last month while cleaning his gun.
So while Harnish may not have his old No. 8 anymore or the $8,000 he won, he’s got two things a lot of people don’t: he’s got pride and he’s got the bragging right that he hit a half-court shot. And to an Indiana kid, that’s almost as good as a Super Bowl.