The Call You Never Want To Get

2015wk2_seahawks_gb_blog_10March 16, 2016 started out like any regular day.  I put my pants on…because that’s what people do in the mornings, and headed out to conquer my day.  I was down in Salt Lake City doing some intense training at a place called Gym Jones (same gym that trained the guys for the movie 300).  I had moved down there for five weeks to get focused and recalibrate for the 2016 season with the Seahawks.  After starting out that year 2-4, we were able to come back and make a pretty serious run in the playoffs, beating the Minnesota Vikings, but losing to the Carolina Panthers.  Even though we lost against a team that we should have beat, we definitely accomplished more than anyone thought we could have at the beginning of the year.

The previous year had been a blur.  My wife Matti and I got married on March 29, 2015, and I signed a three year contract with the Seahawks just about two weeks before that.  After another long season, I was really looking forward to being away from home and decompressing.  I knew that I needed to if I was going to be ready for the next season.  After all, I still had two more years on my contract and it seemed like everything was going well.

That afternoon, after a heavy day of training, I ran over to a golf course for a lesson.  I was always sick of guys going out golfing together from the team and me never being able to be competitive.  About midway through the lesson, I hear my phone buzzing.  I glance at it and it says “John Schneider.”  My heart dropped.  For those of you who don’t know, he is the Seahawks General Manager.  A man that I have the utmost respect for, not only as a leader, but as a person.  It went to voicemail.  It’s never a good thing when the GM calls you in the middle of March and you have two more years on your contract.  I glanced at the guy who had been giving me my lesson and I could tell he felt uncomfortable.  I don’t blame him.  I had a look of grief on my face that would bring Dwayne Johnson to tears.  I knew what was about to happen.  I had always wondered when this day would come.  John Schneider was about to give me that ten million dollar contract extension because I was such a nice guy….NOT.

I called him back and it went to his voicemail.  The next eight minutes were the most agonizing of my life.  It was like that bandaid that is just barely hanging on as you wait to rip it off.  Finally he called, I let it ring a couple of times, obviously I had to play it cool.  He got right to the point.  “Gresh, there is no easy way to say this, but we’re releasing you.  We aren’t going to bother with trying to trade you, we just want to go ahead and part ways.  We found someone else.”  I didn’t know what to say.  He handed the phone to my head coach Pete Carroll.  “Gresh, thank you so much for all you have done for us over the years.  We appreciate you and wish you all the best.”  A huge rush of emotions came flooding in.  I responded with a heartfelt thank you.  I told Coach Carroll how it had been my dream to play for him since I was in high school and how grateful I was for the opportunity.  After the exchange of pleasantries I hung up the phone.  Absolutely the worst break up ever.  Everything I had known for the last six years had happened in Seattle.  I mean, I won a freakin’ Super Bowl with the men on the other end of this empty phone call.  All I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and not feel what I was feeling.

All of us are going to have heartbreaks.  You can’t avoid it. As much as I didn’t want to feel the pain, I knew that I needed to.  I experienced a loss and it hurt.  Instead of shoving those emotions deep down where no one could see them, I opened them up to trusted family and friends.  I hated it.  But you know what?  Eventually the sting started to lesson.  We can spend our whole lives running from emotions and unless you let yourself feel it, you will never heal it.

Life is this beautiful flower-filled mine field that gives us the most breathtaking joys and most devastating losses.  The valleys of life help us appreciate the peaks.  It makes us who we are.  When you eventually step on one of those life crisis mines, be brave.  Find someone who loves you and open up about it.  Be kind to yourself by allowing your soul to heal through the strength of others.  One of the most important relationships you have is the one with yourself.  Treat that person with the highest honor and dignity, because you deserve to be loved well.

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51 Comments

  • Robyn Corcoran June 25, 2016, 8:16 pm Reply

    Sometimes you run across people that completely speak to your soul. They have just the exact words that you have in your head and you think you’re the only one. Clint, thank you for your heart and your honesty and showing us that it’s ok to feel the feels. You and your wife are two people that I look up to greatly and I’m thankful for the words you both share!! Thank you!

    • Clint June 25, 2016, 1:50 pm

      Bless you Robyn!!

    • Plainolsteve June 29, 2016, 8:30 am

      I have a Clint Gresham jersey. I don’t care who their long snapper is, I’m still wearing it on blue Fridays…

    • Jill June 30, 2016, 8:02 pm

      I always told my sons that someday, somewhere someone will be better than you and when it happens don’t let it ruin all the joy you’ve found so far and shared with so many. You were able to live out a dream that so many dreamed and were not able to do. There is so much more to life than the game, but what a joy the game can bring. Go live the next chapter of your life continue to make us proud.

  • Gregg Johnson June 25, 2016, 1:39 pm Reply

    Clint …great response to a most challenging situation…we are defined by the mountain that stops us…you haven’t stopped…

  • Nina Johnson June 25, 2016, 1:41 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story with everyone and inspiring so many with it. I really enjoyed watching you play for the Seahawks! Best wishes and many blessing on your new chapter!
    -Nina
    12th man

  • Daniel Davenport June 25, 2016, 3:05 pm Reply

    Clint,
    Thanks for sharing. Anyone invited to train at Gym Jones must be able to endure the suffering. You have the character and commitment to Christ to endure whatever life throws at you. 2 Timothy 2:3

  • Matt Harrington June 25, 2016, 3:08 pm Reply

    I was honored to meet you & listen to your personal testimony at my kids’ little Christian school. Your genuineness sets you apart from so many others. As a 12, it was a HUGE blow to see you go. But we true fans will miss Gresh the person much more than the Longsnapper. Your encouragement to others & testimony is what our family loved. Stay true to the course, bro & God will handle the rest!

  • Barbara June 25, 2016, 4:26 pm Reply

    Clint, I too am a Wyldlife leader and a from the beginning Seahawks fan. I thank you for sharing your heart with us fans and middle schoolers. My family got a hard phone call 6 years ago when our 24 year old son took his life. God uses all things in life to bring our stories to others. ‘To know Him and to make Him known.’ He uses all circumstances. I know you will go on to achieve great things.

  • Ofelia June 25, 2016, 5:32 pm Reply

    It’s hard to see you go, but I know JS and PC is just doing their job. I wish you all the best, from a 12 who also just got laid off. I am still your twitter follower though and I know lots of 12s are.

  • Scott Cooper June 25, 2016, 6:01 pm Reply

    Love ya Clint!

  • David Clemmer June 25, 2016, 7:57 pm Reply

    I want to thank you Clint for being a great witness both on and off the field for Christ. As a Younglife Committee member I know the impact you have had and continue to have on the kids God put in your path. I will be proud to continue to wear your jersey and share with anyone who asks what you stand for and the King you represent! Blessings to your family!

    • Donna J Palmberg June 25, 2016, 8:40 pm

      Yes, Clint… You have been a positive influence in the entire Seattle community because of the depth of your Christian commitment and creative ways to share in on and off the field. We appreciate the contribution you’ve made as a Seahawk player and role model for the youth of the Pacific Northwest. Praying another great opportunity will open up for you and Maddy.

  • Anita June 25, 2016, 7:58 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is a side we don’t often hear. You are a class act and I look forward to hearing about the things God has in store for you.

  • Kevin Peck June 25, 2016, 8:01 pm Reply

    Brother Clint, when I say this, I mean it with the utmost sincerity. Trust in Christ. We got through things in life, or should I say, He takes us through things. To teach us to rely on Him more. Believe me my friend, it’s a hard lesson to learn. Just trust Him. He will get you and yours through this. He may shut one door, but He will always open another.

  • Glenn Bartlett June 25, 2016, 8:07 pm Reply

    Clint, sucks… I feel your pain, after 23 years at Intel just the Summer I got kinda the same thing. Let go because being successful was just not good enough anymore. So, I know exactly how it feels, but look at the bright side, unlike me you’re still very young and have the whole rest of your life ahead of you and with blogs like this you should jump into writing maybe? God bless and good luck!

  • Marianne Reed June 25, 2016, 8:21 pm Reply

    Thank for this. The part where you allow your soul to heal through the strength in others man I really appreciate that. It spoke volumes to me. God must of known I needed to hear this. Good Luck with everything.

  • Mark June 25, 2016, 8:29 pm Reply

    Hi Clint, I heard you speak at our church a while back. I know God has plans for you. I love and respect you as a brother in Christ. Most importantly God has your back. Best wishes and God bless.

  • Angela Pope June 25, 2016, 8:35 pm Reply

    Clint,
    My family was Blessed to hear your testimony when you came to our church a few years ago Lake Sawyer Christian Church. I am so sorry you got let go from the Hawks, but i know God must have even bigger plans for you. I know you have a heart for ministry and young life. Sometimes God uses our greatest hurts and losses to launch our greatest ministry for His Glory. Keep seeking His will!

  • Nick Robertson June 25, 2016, 8:38 pm Reply

    Thankyou for sharing your testimony at such a hard time. You have and will bless many with your words and actions
    Nick

  • Will June 25, 2016, 9:14 pm Reply

    Wow, this made me tear up. I remember where I was when I found out that Seattle cut you. I was in my car at home, I called my dad and he was just like, “he’s a long snapper,” and I just shut him down with that cliché “but he’s more than a long snapper, he loves Jesus, and is a great husband, and he has a three-year deal.” It was so sad. Thank you for being an example to everyone.

  • Dave Saisslin June 25, 2016, 9:17 pm Reply

    Clint, you have done more for me then you know. I have a daughter who loves reading your posts about how much you love Jesus and your wife. She hopes (as well as her mom and I) that she finds a man like you who will lead her well and look to Jesus for answers… even to hard questions ones like this. We’ll miss seeing you on the field at the Clink and hope you catch up with another team. God bless

  • Sharee Creel June 25, 2016, 9:56 pm Reply

    Simple as this….You are the better man. May God continue to bless and keep you and Matti in the palm of His hand!! His ways are not our ways but He sees the big picture, we do not for a reason!
    Prayers from the Creel Family in Sammamish, WA and we WILL miss watching you do your thing with the Seahawks!!

  • Craig Shurick June 25, 2016, 10:25 pm Reply

    Wow Clint! This blew me away. Not you getting cut as that happens in professional sports BUT in how you recovered and in how you trusted your gut level feelings to us, your fans. Thank you Man. I believe that this testimony will reach thousands of souls, souls that are hurting and making decisions even about life as they know it. Thank you Brother.

  • Brian Aronson June 25, 2016, 10:59 pm Reply

    Hi Clint, I was totally bummed when I heard the news. I even tried contacting the head office and coaches but to no avail. Saw you at Calvary Fellowship. It was very cool! God bless you and may He give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 🙂

  • Lily June 25, 2016, 11:03 pm Reply

    Goodness, I can’t explain how much I needed to hear something like this. Thank you so much for sharing this! Even though you aren’t on the active roster for Seattle anymore, you’ll always be my favorite long snapper! Best of luck in life and what you’re doing now!

  • Rene Alldridge June 25, 2016, 11:17 pm Reply

    Thank you for investing in to this community so much. The impact you have had on Young Life and Christian’s in general speaks volumes of who you and your wife are. We are huge fans and cheerleaders of yours no matter where you land next. Thank you for being hands and feet of God’s goodness.

  • Randy Feisley June 26, 2016, 12:18 am Reply

    I’m sorry this happen to you! Thank God you had Matti to help you though a difficult time. As corny as it may sound; you got traded to a better team, Team Matti.
    Jaden and I love you more than you will ever know. You came into our lives at exactly the right time. Thank you for making him feel special and I will always be so very grateful for that!

  • Nicole June 26, 2016, 1:13 am Reply

    I was so upset with the Seahawks when I heard you were leaving. My kids took a pic with you at North Creek Church and you signed a DVD for them. We treasure it. Thank you!

  • Michael Erickson June 26, 2016, 7:35 am Reply

    Clint Gresham you’ll always be a part of the history of the greatest era in Seattle sports. The 12’s will forever respect you. Thank you for your commitment, dedication, & service to the fans & the team.

  • David Hagen June 26, 2016, 8:04 am Reply

    clint your best is on the way. You spoke at our church, and brought a great message, I have no doubt that your most important stuff is still there for you

  • Michael Gordon June 26, 2016, 9:17 am Reply

    The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.

  • Michael Gordon June 26, 2016, 9:21 am Reply

    The Will of God will never take you where the a Grace of God will not protect you.

  • The Gilbaugh's June 26, 2016, 12:04 pm Reply

    A crushing blow and you are still praising Jesus. My kids have met you in 2 occasions at our churches (Life Center Tacoma). They made their own Gresham jerseys and you autographed them both times. You have been an inspiration to our family. We all believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God gave you the Seahawks platform to prepare you for the ministry you are entering. Excited to witness it!

  • Ronney Heslip June 26, 2016, 1:23 pm Reply

    As your middle school football coach,i too, felt hurt when i found out the news…quite frankly i’m still trying to put it in perspective. The NFL is a business and being a man of God you should know we should be thankful for all things that he allows to happen in our life.
    You were a champion at Hamlin M.S. a Bowl Champion at TCU and a Super Bowl Champion at Seattle.

  • Saul Saldana June 26, 2016, 1:33 pm Reply

    Clint , my name is Saul and I heard you give your testimony at a men’s conference at Brooklake Community Church n Federal Way . We men were very impressed by the message that you shared with us of how the Lord works with us to allow us to reach the destination that He has chosen for us . You are blessed .

  • Randy Alcorn June 26, 2016, 5:16 pm Reply

    Thanks for this, Clint. God has a sovereign plan and will work it all for good….but the pain is still real and takes some time, meanwhile you grow, as you have clearly been doing. Looking at life with an eternal perspective will always serve you well, bro. Best wishes in all that’s ahead for both you and Matti.

  • Lynda Y'Barbo June 26, 2016, 9:11 pm Reply

    Please tell me what everyone is seeing on your post about the windshield in the rain! I don’t know what it is! It looks like letters from the other car’s headlights! Thank you! Lynda

  • Karen June 27, 2016, 8:49 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing that. Kinda gave me hope, lost my son May 29th of this year a d so close to just giving up.

    • Paul June 28, 2016, 2:08 pm

      So sorry for your loss Karen..
      will pray for you!

  • Paul June 28, 2016, 2:06 pm Reply

    not sure if you ever listened to Psalm 23 by Shane and Shane. Your story reminded me of the song.
    No matter what season we’re in, God’s goodness and mercy will follow us.
    I’m going through a difficult time myself preparing for a wedding that my mother doesn’t want me to go through with.
    Regardless, I’m glad that my God is for me and not against me.
    Bless you brother!

  • Martha Booe June 29, 2016, 1:43 pm Reply

    Dear Clint,
    I am so very proud of you, as my first born and for the fine young man that you have become. I am proud that you are appreciated by so may people for your character, your honesty, humility, integrity and your dedication to being the best person you can be.

  • Austin June 29, 2016, 7:10 pm Reply

    You will always be one of my favorite Seahawks. Will keep on rocking that #49 jersey for years to come. Thanks for always being a positive influence and someone to look up to.

  • Jane Pettit June 30, 2016, 9:33 am Reply

    You write with courage, strength, and grace. Thank you for sharing such an important truth.
    P.S. I’ve known your parents since before you were born. I can imagine how proud they are of you, because of who you are.

  • Leslie June 30, 2016, 7:08 pm Reply

    Clint, For every door that closes, God will open another one and it will be amazing. Best of luck to you!

  • Dan Bursch July 21, 2016, 12:02 am Reply

    You express some powerful and deep truths with this short post. You are such a talented and gifted man of God, an influencer and a leader of men. I eagerly await what your future holds. Enjoy the ride.

  • Lynn C Dot August 17, 2016, 6:43 pm Reply

    I have your jersey! A big fan…

  • Roy Tucker August 21, 2016, 9:29 am Reply

    I’ve coveted long snapping to JR (Punt or EP) for a long time. You were “livin’ the dream” for a while.
    Rom. 8:28 we KNOW… it’s one thing for me to quote it to you when my life is rosy. But it demonstrates your faith when you get “that call” and can quote it. And it comforts you as well. Read the beginning of Job. Nothing can happen to you without His permission. Matt. 6:……34

  • Mark H August 21, 2016, 10:07 pm Reply

    Clint, didn’t meet you at our church in Black Diamond, Wa when you spoke, but my wife & 12yo son did. You took the time to talk & listen w/them; your sharing & testimony left them with a great lesson on faith & a great example of someone living for & loving God & people. We have your photo on our wall & a #49 jersey, of course! We’ll keep praying for God’s will for your next charge. Thanks!

  • Bill January 4, 2017, 3:34 pm Reply

    Clint,

    What in the world happened??? You were/are by far and away better than the Seahawks current long-snapper. In fact, it could be argued that the Seahawks may have won two more games this year had they not cut you… Your precision and timing was excellent… Special Teams is no longer special w/o you and your ability.

  • ben January 4, 2017, 3:51 pm Reply

    Mr Clint, a lot of the 12s still miss you, even before the entire season of long-snapping folly (as you can see from the comments here on your blog post). When Frese went to IR, well, let’s just say a lot of us our still mind boggled how come you’re not on the Hawks. Best wishes to you on everything!

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