February 5, 2014 – During the pregame show for Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox Television, Howie Long interviewed Russell Wilson, the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, about his relationship with and memories of his father, Harrison Wilson. His father, the son of educators, often took the time to take advantage of teachable moments with his two sport star.
“He would always drop nuggets”, Russell Wilson told Howie Long about private times with his father.
“He would always tell me there is a king in every crowd”, he remembered. That was wisdom and Harrison encouraged his son to be a leader and instilled in him the perseverance to embrace process, which requires preparation, delayed gratification and education.
Harrison Wilson helped his son focus by getting, the then high school aged, Russell to promise that he would get his degree in college before exploring offers to play professional baseball, having been drafted by the Baltimore Orioles. He turned down the money and enrolled at North Carolina State University, where he thrived.
The process was not over. Even as he experienced success and notoriety as the signal caller of the N.C. State Wolfpack, the major leagues came knocking again in 2010. He decided to try his hand as now the Colorado Rockies drafted him to play baseball. He excitedly rushed home to tell his father about his decision to play baseball. His dad was ill and semi-lucid but Russell told him anyway. The next day at 55 years old Harrison Wilson passed away.
Even after mourning and playing 32 minor league games the process was not over. Russell Wilson decided to continue to split time between college football and pro baseball but would have to miss spring football practice. This worried and upset, Tom O’Brien his football coach at the time, who asked Russell to commit to football only. When Wilson refused, O’Brien name Mike Glennon as the starter.
The process continued. Russell Wilson kept his promise and graduated early with a degree in broadcasting and communications. This allowed him to transfer from North Carolina State to the University of Wisconsin, where the leadership he learned from his father impressed the team so much they named him team captain before he even played a game. He played well but was lost in a deep quarterback draft when he was turning pro.
Though Wilson clearly had 1st round talent, he was drafted in the 3rd round because of his less than 6-foot height, by the Seattle Seahawks, who had just signed free agent Matt Flynn to start. Russell Wilson beat out Flynn for the starting job, led the Seahawks to consecutive playoff appearances and now a Super Bowl victory, besting the record-breaking future hall of fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
Russell Wilson, was in a crowd but finally after a dominating, virtually error-free 2 touchdown and zero interception performance in a 43-8 Super Bowl victory, it is easier to see he is and always has been a king.
Sources: Fox Broadcasting Network's Super Bowl Pregame Show; Washington Post Article: http://www.realclearsports.com/2014/02/02/russell_wilson039s_dreams_from...