By now, you should know who is Russell Wilson. By now, you should know which team won the Super Bowl XLVIII. For now, you should get to know who Wilson look up to throughout his life for inspiration and courage. For now, you should get to know who Jesus is. The Seattle Seahawks Christian quarterback said twice that "God is so good" - once immediately in the post game interview and another during his address upon receiving the prized Vince Lombardi Trophy.
"We believe we would get here. At the beginning of the season I told our guys, 'Hey, why not us?'" said Wilson after leading the Seattle Seahawks to defeat the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. Then, he explained how his late father had instill in him the faith in God and himself at an young age.
"He used to always tell me 'Russ, why not you?' And what that meant was believe in yourself, believe in the talent God has given you even though you are 5'11", and you can go a long ways," he said. "That's why I decided to play football, and I wanted to go against the odds a little bit."
Wilson's father, the late Harrison B. Wilson III, played football for Dartmouth in the 1970s and was a lawyer who raised two kids with Tammy. Both elder Wilson and his wife are strong believers, and brought their children to church regularly. Former NFL linebacker Reggie Williams knew about him and saw Wilson growing up.
"All the things you heard about him with his teammates, all the things you heard about him from everyone at that school?" said Williams, who played 14 years with the Cincinnati Bengals and was on both their Super Bowl teams, the Sporting News reported. "Russell is everything that his father was, on the football field and in academic and social settings."
The elder Wilson died in 2010 from complications of diabetes while Russell was at North Carolina State, and just after he was picked by the Colorado Rockies organization.
Although his father is not around to witness this amazing accomplishment, Wilson, a devout Christian, realizes that God, who is heaven, has a purpose for him and will never leave him no matter where he is in his life.
In an interview with Pastor Mark Driscoll from Seattle-based Mars Hill Church last November, Russell shared, "I try to live humbly... without Him, I wouldn't be where I am today.... God has put me on that field for a reason, in front of 80,000 people."
After leading the Seahawks to victory, Wilson remembered God and led his fellow Christian teammates to kneel and pray on the field, giving thanks and glory to God.
"He brought me a really long way. It's unbelievable. It's kind of surreal to be honest with you," he told Christian Broadcasting Network after the game. "Sitting there holding that trophy up and I'm looking up, I'm just so thankful for everything that I've been given."
As the fourth youngest NFL quarterback to win the Super Bowl, Wilson explained on "CBS This Morning" how he faced his adversities.
"God's given me so much talent and my height doesn't define my skill set," he said. "I believe that God has given me a right arm and for some reason even though I'm 5'11" to be able to make the throws and make great decisions on the field and all that.
"I think to be a great quarterback, you have to have a great leadership, great attention to detail, and a relentless competitive nature," said Wilson, who is the second African-American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl. "And that's what I try to bring to the table and I have a long way to go. I'm still learning and I'm still on a constant quest for knowledge."
On the field, Wilson is expected to continue to sharpen his game as a quarterback and strive to set new records as the Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning has this year. Off the field, he is expected to continue in his pursuit in the knowledge of God and the Lord's Great Commission of making Him known. Inadvertently, he will most likely be using his newly given platform as a Super Bowl champion for that purpose.
When Driscoll asked him how he would want to encourage the youth that look up to him, Wilson said he hopes they will "live with an open heart, try to learn as much as they can about the Lord, [and] try to get inside their Bible." And he said with humility that the person who he looks up to is Jesus Christ.