Still feels weird seeing Russell Wilson in Denver Broncos colors. If that’s how it feels to me, I can only imagine what it’s like for Seattle’s 12th Man fandom. But Wilson is already embracing his new surroundings with the Broncos franchise and within the Denver community.
Wilson and his pop star wife Ciara have already been dubbed Denver’s “first family,” and the guy has yet to throw a significant pass in the orange and blue. So far it sounds like one big love fest between Wilson and the Mile High City. Russ was heavily involved in the ministry in the Seattle church, so I expected the same in Denver. The two have a new puppy named Bronco. And it was just announced that Wilson and the Broncos will take on defending Super Bowl champion Rams on Christmas Day.
Russ is bringing his Russell Wilson Passing Academy to Denver for the first time on June 17th. This year, due to COVID, the event will be held in-person on the pitch for the first time in two years. Russell and Ciara also showed some love for the Denver Nuggets by participating in Game 4 of their first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. Mr. Wilson goes a step further to ingratiate himself with the people of Colorado.
Just hearing Wilson talk about being a bronco and being part of a winning culture sounds like he’s found new energy. When Wilson was traded to Denver in March, the first week of his new trip was documented. During his first visit to the Broncos facility, they show Russell being greeted by various players, staff and executives, including the franchise’s greatest player and team president, John Elway. Russell and Ciara also visited Children’s Hospital of Colorado on their first day in Denver to read their children’s book to the children.
Wilson’s reaction makes it clear how special all of these moments are for him. Wilson had a big smile on his face and a hug for everyone he passed during the episode. He was even presented with a Colorado Rockies #3 Wilson jersey. In fact, in 2010, Wilson was drafted with the 140th overall pick in the MLB draft by, yes, the Rockies. Life has come around full circle for Wilson as he now plays in the city where his professional sports career originally began.
Most NFL teams would be thrilled to have a HOF QB run their franchise. The Broncos now have a third in Wilson (Elway and Peyton Manning the other two), the future (no pun intended) HOFer. As Wilson has said numerous times, “It starts with winning.” The success of this relationship, like any other relationship in professional sports, depends on winning. And that’s what it’s going to be like in Denver.
DaneRuss was brought in to be won by the Broncos. All the perks Russ brings are great, but he’ll be judged by how much he wins in Denver. And just making it to the AFC Championship Games isn’t enough. Wilson appeared with the Seahawks in back-to-back Super Bowls, winning one… against the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in New York.
If Russ can bring Denver his fourth Lombardi Trophy, it will all be worth it. Whether it happens in year 1 or year 5 doesn’t matter. That’s expected of this Broncos franchise and its fanbase. Seattle had never won before Wilson, so expectations were different. Elway and Manning set a high bar for Wilson to surpass. Although it won’t be easy in the AFC West, I believe Wilson has a good chance of reaching those heights. But for now, since I haven’t played any games, I think Wilson has gotten off to a great start in his new city. Hopefully the season goes well and he’s still happy this time next year.