Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews never made an NFL catch coming into the Super Bowl.
In the first half against the New England Patriots, he had two catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Matthews was never supposed to see the field for Seattle. He came into training camp as the No. 7 wide receiver on the team. But with the offseason departure of Sidney Rice, the Percy Harvin trade, and the injury to Paul Richardson, he found himself on the field in the biggest game of the year.
Sports Illustrated Robert Klemko wrote about him after the NFC title game, and his story really drives home how unlikely Matthews’ rise to prominence has been.
In 2008, Matthews was a junior college player looking to transfer to USC, where head coach Pete Carroll had built a perennially great team. One day, on a whim, he decided to try and get Carroll to recruit him by knocking on his door and giving him a highlight DVD.
One afternoon before a JUCO game, Matthews was lounging at a teammate’s home in Palos Verdes when his host mentioned he lived next door to the Trojans’ head coach, Pete Carroll.
Matthews casually told his friends he’d be right back, then slipped out the front door.
“So I ran out to my car, and I had a box of DVDs of my highlights,” Matthews says. “I took a disc — and this was real bold of me, but I was real desperate.”
It didn’t work! Carroll wasn’t home. Matthews says he ended up giving the DVD to Carroll’s wife, he never heard back from Carroll himself, and he went to Kentucky instead of USC.
When Carroll signed Matthews as a free agent before the 2014 season, he didn’t even remember the DVD.
Matthews told Emily Kaplan of the MMQB that he was working two jobs — one at Foot Locker and another as a security guard — when the Seahawks called him for a tryout. He told the Seahawks at the time, “I don’t get off of work until 9 p.m. I don’t know if I’ll make it.”
Less than a year later, he’s catching touchdowns in the Super Bowl.
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