First order of business, since I’m Monday-morning quarterbacking, is to apologize to Russell Wilson.
Yes, he’s the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, and I was rooting for Peyton Manning. I wasn’t rooting for the Denver Broncos. I don’t know most of them. Well, I don’t really know any of them.
I was rooting for Peyton because I like to root for history. I wanted him to become the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two teams. I wanted him to reach the highest pinnacle he could. And then I wanted him to retire.
After his injury and doubts about his return to football, he not only found a team, but he was relentless with that team, pushing them to the Big Game like old times. But it wasn’t like old times. I winced every time a defender got CLOSE to him. I was worried about his neck every game of the season.
But back to that apology.
I was so focused on Peyton that I paid no attention to Russell Wilson, a phenom from Virginia who played at N.C. State in my home state, a young man who turned down a professional baseball contract offer from the Baltimore Orioles while playing football and baseball at the Collegiate School, a Richmond high school, because his father wanted him to attend college.
Read The Washington Post’s Kent Babb describe his journey:
“Harry Wilson, the son of educators, was living with adult-onset diabetes. His vision was disappearing and his health was deteriorating. But he wanted his son to earn his degree. Russell had heard for years about how the family valued education and about Harry’s father, who was once the president of Norfolk State University and whose sons had become attorneys. With an education, Harry told his son, who knew what greater opportunities — bigger even than a million-dollar bonus — were possible?
Young Russell agreed, making the pledge and turning down the Orioles. And like when they let their hair grow, the father and son could experience this together, too. He signed in 2007 to attend North Carolina State, where he’d play baseball and football, beginning an unexpected journey to the Seattle Seahawks and the Super Bowl.