Trent Dilfer has always been invested in sports. He played 13 seasons in the NFL and was the Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens during the 2000 season. He worked for ESPN after his playing days and has watched his daughters play their sports. Dilfer suffered dearly in 2003 when his only son, 5-year-old Trevin, died of heart disease. Dilfer struggled mightily, but Seattle Seahawks teammate Matt Hasselbeck proved to be a life saver.
Trent Dilfer’s football career
Trent Dilfer played his college football at Fresno State and was the sixth overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1994 NFL draft. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback played the first six years of his 13-year NFL career with the Buccaneers. He compiled a 38-38 record with the Bucs.
Dilfer enjoyed his best season during the 1997 season when he guided Tampa Bay to a 10-6 record. He threw for a career-high 21 touchdowns and threw for 2,555 yards. He made his first and only Pro Bowl that season. After his run in Tampa was over, he hooked on with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 and played in 11 games, starting eight.
Dilfer replaced the ineffective Tony Banks and led the Ravens to a 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl 35. That was his lone season in Baltimore as Dilfer then signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he backed up Matt Hasselbeck for four years. He closed out his career with a season with the Cleveland Browns and another with the San Francisco 49ers.
Dilfer gets devastating news
After a 40-day battle with heart disease, Trend Dilfer’s only son, Trevin, died on April 27, 2003, at a California hospital. Trevin was just 5 years old. Dilfer, who was the backup quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks struggled big time in trying to cope with his loss.
Dilfer remained out of the spotlight until it was time to report to camp that year. He spoke publicly for the first time about Trevin’s death in early June. He couldn’t speak without bursting into tears. “Today was a big step because this is my family as well,” said Dilfer in an ESPN article. “These guys and this team meant a lot to Trevin.
That day, Dilfer spoke very briefly with reporters. He didn’t take any questions. “It’s been obviously very, very difficult,” Dilfer said. “It’s been hard, but it’s great to get back with the guys and get my blood hopping for football again. He (Trevin) would be excited for me.”
Dilfer credits Matt Hasselbeck with saving his life
Trent Dilfer’s life was spiraling out of control after the death of his son Trevin. He was drinking and wasn’t taking care of himself. In a 2012 article in USA Today, Dilfer said he doesn’t know if he would’ve made it without the support of his teammate and friend Matt Hasselbeck.
“(Hasselbeck was) walking me through the most difficult time of my life. I mean I was a mess and I’ll be very transparent,” Dilfer said. “I mean I was 265 pounds and drinking myself to sleep and I’m depressed, my wife’s going, ‘What’s going on?’ And it’s that guy, Matthew Hasselbeck, that says, ‘This is over. I love you too much to let you do this to yourself. You need to come back up to Seattle.’ And I credit Matthew Hasselbeck for the type of father I am, the type of husband I am because he really saved my life in 2003.