Life was going pretty spectacularly for Clint Gresham, the former TCU long snapper who had made quite a nice career for himself in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Corpus Christi native had finished his sixth season with the franchise in 2015. Before the season, Gresham married his wife Matti, and a few weeks before that he had signed a new three-year contract.
Gresham had appeared in 96 consecutive games for the Seahawks. He’s the only long snapper the team had since Pete Carroll took over as coach in 2010.
But on March 16, barely two weeks before his first wedding anniversary, Gresham saw the name of the caller pop up on his phone and his “heart dropped,” as Gresham wrote on his blog earlier this month.
The 6-foot-3, 238-pounder chose to share his story of professional heartbreak at his new website, ClintGresham.com. Gresham details how he had just finished a heavy training session and headed over to a golf course for lessons because he was tired of not being able to compete against his teammates.
That’s when his phone buzzed and the name of Seahawks general manager John Schneider glared back at him. Gresham wrote:
“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.”
Gresham let it go to voicemail. He called Schneider back and he got sent to voicemail:
“The next eight minutes were the most agonizing of my life. It was like that band-aid 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.”
Gresham will certainly add this story to the others he relays to audiences as a motivational speaker.