Can Russell Wilson Get Some Respect Now?



Okay, are we done? After throwing Russ Wilson under the bus for the first five weeks of the season – despite his team’s 3-2 record to stay atop the NFC West, a division which they ascended to the top of yesterday with two other rivals – and telling us that he was just another struggling rookie with control problems and a heigh issue, are we done?

On Sunday and against the New England Patriots and a man we can only assume is the idol of every quarterback born on or after 1987 – Tom Brady – Wilson put on a clinic. At least, he did when he had the ball. His final appearance – a cannon of a touchdown strike to wide receiver Sidney Rice to put the Seahawks ahead and for good, 24-23 – was the most-watched play on what was an incredible day for the rookie.

293 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks. Against the Patriots, and without much help from running back Marshawn Lynch. What more do you need?

Wilson has been knocked and passed up on because he was seen as too short to play the professional game. Now, maybe over time he won’t pan out. Maybe he won’t turn into a Pro Bowler or a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, but the shame will be that any mistakes he makes or faults he has will be blamed on his height, not his ability, intelligence, or leadership.

If Wilson doesn’t win, it’s not because he’s too short. But, convention and talking heads will sell that to us. They did it with Doug Flutie. They can easily do it with a Seattle pivot.

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“Doug Flutie still flustered by discrimination against short QBs” — NFL.com (July 6, 2012)

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Sports folks do this when they don’t understand things. Certain aspects of the game they love and know – and love to remind the rest of us that they love and know – are beyond their very average intellect, and so they blame it on conventions and history of which they have no proof.

They do it with the Athletics. They do it with white point guards. And, they’re doing it with Russ Wilson.

But, as Mike Revell of the Mirror said – and, yes, it took an English daily paper to sum up America’s game for them – “Maybe it’s time the NFL takes a look at its conventions.”

“After Sunday’s showdown with New England, there can be no denying Wilson can play at the highest level,” wrote Revell. “Brady became the latest high-profile name to be added to the list of quarterbacks Wilson has outgunned through the early part of this season.

“Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, and Cam Newton are also on it.”

Added Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who had the biggest defensive play of the day with an endzone interception of Brady, “If guys didn’t believe in him, I guarantee they believe in him now.”

Finally.