First off, I apologize for the length of my first post, so I'll put a TL;DR at the bottom. But hopefully you guys will find this stuff interesting because it's all about Russell Wilson.
He is the classiest guy you will ever meet. I have had the pleasure of meeting him once, we shared an elevator together at NC State, sometime during his sophomore campaign (I was also a sophomore). I raved about how great it was to finally have a savior for our football program, which had suffered through many inept quarterbacks between Philip Rivers and our man Wilson. He thanked me for my support, but deflected all the credit I was giving him to the rest of the team (which frankly, sucked). There were no cameras around, he didn't have to be PC here, I was just a fan talking to him on campus, but he was still very humble and friendly. This is probably not news to you guys by now, because he has always acted this way. In every interview ever, he has been nothing but classy and humble.
But now I'd like to mention the latest classy thing thing that Wilson did, and the reason for me joining this forum. It was during your thrashing of the 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
For those of you who don't know the backstory (though I'm sure many of you do), Russell Wilson spent 3 years as the QB at NC State, but he graduated and used the grad student transfer rule to go to Wisconsin and play immediately without sitting out a year. The reason he did this was because our coach, Tom O'Brien (who was fired after greatly underachieving this year), pushed Wilson out of the program, which was probably a colossal mistake. Basically, we had this ridiculously highly touted high school QB, Mike Glennon, who had sat patiently and waited his turn for 3 years (1 redshirt), while Russell Wilson tore things up. Russell was not highly touted and not recruited by O'Brien. He was one of those "diamonds in the rough". Wilson also played baseball while at NC State, which he was pretty decent at (drafted in the 4th Rd by the Colorado Rockies). Wilson was torn for a long time about which sport he would pursue professionally, but it was widely believed he was leaning towards baseball, because everyone knew that "he is just too short to be an NFL QB". During his time at State, he made a habit out of missing football spring practice to participate in baseball. Our coach did not like this, but tolerated it. The problem was that when Wilson got drafted by the Rockies, he joined a single A minor league affiliate of theirs for a summer season. He did not inform the coach on whether he intended to return for his senior season or not until well into the summer, probably because he himself did not yet know. When he finally decided to come back to the football team, O'Brien had already named Glennon the starter, so he told Russell he could come back, but he'd have to be a backup.
As you can imagine, many State fans took issue with this decision, because it ultimately caused Wilson to transfer to Wisconsin, where he won the Rose Bowl. It has been a sore spot for many Pack fans since it happened 2 and a half years ago. I personally felt it was a tough spot for everyone involved, because Glennon would've undoubtedly transferred if Wilson were named the starter, leaving us with a crappy freshman as our backup and the future of our program. Ultimately Glennon was a great QB too, and you'll probably see him drafted relatively highly in April, but he couldn't carry a team like Russell could. Glennon needs a solid O-Line and good receivers to be successful. Russell can keep plays alive and keep defenses honest with his feet and be a leader in the locker room and on the field.
Anyways, I digress. The point of this post is what Russell did on Sunday Night Football. Many Pack fans were wondering which college he would name during the player intros, because many of us feel disrespected that Wilson is always associated with Wisconsin by sports writers and the like. Most players, given Russell's situation, would definitely hold a grudge against the NC State program because of the way our idiot coach pushed him out, but not Russell. The way he gave a shout out to both programs by saying "A whole pack o' badgers" was very classy, considering he could've easily just said "Wisconsin", which is the school that put him in the spotlight.
When he did that, I decided that it was time for me to become a real Seahawks fan. I live in North Carolina, and I've been a Panthers fan my whole life, but I have ties to the Seattle area, so the Seahawks have always been my second favorite team. But I think it's time to up the ante a bit and really follow the Seahawks. I'm still gonna be a Panthers fan, but I'll be pulling for Seattle hard in every other game and learning more about your team, which actually has several N.C. State players (J.R. Sweezy, Hauschka).
Anways, sorry for being so long-winded, I just wanted to make sure Russell Wilson's story gets heard by his new nation of die-hard fans. Btw, your stadium is kick-ass. I've been to 1 game at CenturyLink and it was last year against the Bucs when you guys were pretty bad, and that place was still more rowdy than I think I've ever seen Bank of America Stadium, so props to the 12th man.
TL;DR - I'm an NC State graduate. Russell Wilson gave a shoutout to NC State on Sunday Night Football, when he could very easily have held a grudge against our program. He is a super classy guy and because of him, I'm gonna be a Seahawks fan. Also the Panthers suck.