Sports

SIDELINES: It doesn't suck to be Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks' rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was in Federal Way Monday at Walt's Auto Repair. Wilson signed an autograph for everybody who waited in line, despite having a prior charity engagement.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

It definitely doesn’t suck to be Russell Wilson.

The 23-year-old is only one of 32 starting NFL quarterbacks in the world and winning games in impressive fashion for the 5-4 Seattle Seahawks.

Wilson’s popularity bus made a stop in Federal Way Monday evening. The quarterback was in town to sign autographs and pose for photos at Walt’s Auto Care Center. Wilson’s appearance drew a line around the block of Seahawks’ fans, both young and old, willing to wait in the cold and windy Pacific Northwest weather.

Wilson’s appearance in Federal Way came just a day after he led the Seahawks to a dominating 30-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field. Wilson completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns and kept numerous plays alive with his scrambling ability. Even more importantly, Wilson didn’t turn the ball over.

“It’s amazing. It really is,” Seattle Seahawk guard John Moffitt said. “He’s playing great ball. He’s not a regular rookie. He wants to learn. He wants to grow and we keep seeing it, week-in and week-out.”

The growth of Wilson will be great for the Seahawks on the field, but will be bad for Seattle fans hoping to get up-close and personal with the quarterback.

No offense to Walt’s, but I’m pretty sure that Wilson is the only NFL starting quarterback who is making appearances at a suburban auto repair shop. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are too busy making millions doing commercials for Gatorade, Dodge and Nyquil, among others.

Even fellow rookie starters like Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are pretty much set for life with their contracts and endorsement deals. As a third-round draft pick, Wilson signed a four-year, $2.99 million deal with the Seahawks after he was drafted in April. The contract averages $747,500 a season, which would be a life-changer for you and I, but is change-in-the-couch type stuff to other NFL quarterbacks.

It’s a contract that is the “cheapest” of any starting quarterback in the NFL. The only quarterback even close is Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, who makes $1.3 million a season after being a second-round pick last year.

And it’s not because these quarterbacks aren’t good guys. I’m sure they would love meeting and greeting with their fans. It’s because the quarterback of an NFL team is always the coolest dude in the room. Always.

Because of that, if they allowed it, they would be pulled in a million different directions. Guys like Brady could sign autographs and pose for pictures 24/7/365 and not please everybody.

So, what I’m saying, is enjoy Wilson’s accessibility while you can. It’s not going to last long. And it will have nothing to do with the type of person Wilson is.

By all accounts, Wilson is a great guy off the field.

I witnessed that first-hand Monday night when he graciously signed an autograph for everybody in line, despite having a prior charity engagement scheduled. Wilson was only scheduled to be at Walt’s for an hour, but stayed well past his allotted time.

It’s obvious that Wilson has that “it” factor you are looking for in a quarterback and he’s only going to get better.

“He just continues to grow every single week,” said Golden Tate, who has five touchdown catches this season, including two during the win over Minnesota. “It’s interesting seeing the growing pains, seeing the highs and lows. I’m enjoying watching him. He’s a guy who wants to be the best and he’s developing into a leader on our team. I’m excited to be able to play with him.”

It doesn’t suck to be Russell Wilson.

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