The newly crowned Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson became the fourth second-year quarterback to win the prestigious game and cement their team as the best of the 2013-2014 season. The road to glory wasn't an easy one for Wilson, who dealt with many doubters. However, the inspiration from his parents and love of God have carried him beyond lengths.
Wilson's rise as one the league's best quarterbacks with this championship win silences many of his critics and doubters who never believed the 25-year-old could get make it in the NFL. Whether it was his small frame of standing only 5 feet 11 inches and 205 pounds, to lack of experience, or being the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, critics have doubted Wilson. However, Wilson has overcome all the odds and with a well-equipped team, lead the Seattle Seahawks to their very first championship after defeating the Denver Broncos on Sunday, February 2.
Wilson is of mixed race; his background is primarily African-American with a Native American mix. With his win at Super Bowl XLVIII, Wilson became the second African-American quarterback to win the championship. Despite the mix of races, one firm foundation implanted unto Wilson from his parents was hard work. "It started with hard work, and they were expected to excel academically and to study hard," says his uncle, Ben Wilson. "That was pretty firm. You weren't going to play if you didn't do well in school."
His father, Harrison B. Wilson III, was also a football and baseball athlete as his son. Similar in career paths, Wilson credits his father in the way he approaches the game. "I learned from my dad that you always have to persevere, have a great purpose in your life and understand where you're trying to go, have a great perspective," recalled Wilson of his father. "Those three things, those three 'P's,' that he used to always tell me were so real, and they still stick with me today."
Despite all the fame and glory that is coming to Wilson as his star rises, his humble attitude and credit leads back to his family and God. "Something my dad used to tell me, when I was younger, he used to always say, 'you know Russ, why not you?' And so I kind of translated that to 'why not us?'" said Wilson. The saying "why not us?" was used by Wilson to his teammates and coach Pete Carroll throughout the playoffs on the road to the Super Bowl. The hashtag #whynotus was used by fans through the post-season.
The day of the Super Bowl, Wilson added on his Facebook page that he went to church in the morning, and shared his gratitude with his family's support. "So amazing to have all of my family and friends in town for brunch this morning! I'm so blessed to have great people like this in my life," wrote the quarterback on his timeline. Once the Seahawks made history in winning their very first title in the 38-year-history of the franchise, Wilson once again thanked God first. "God is so good! Super Bowl XVIII Champion! #GoHawks."
Though Harry Wilson could not live to see his son's star rise in the NFL, his uncle assures that Wilson followed the path his father always taught him. "Harry was very proud of Russell and would be extremely proud of him today," says Ben Wilson. "It's not just that Russell is succeeding, but it is how he is succeeding. Harry taught Russell to respect the game, to respect his opponents, to play fair, and to win graciously and to lose graciously."