It still feels weird seeing Russell Wilson in Denver Broncos colors. If it feels that way for me, I can only imagine what it’s like for Seattle’s 12th Man fan base. But Wilson is already embracing his new surroundings with the Broncos franchise and within the Denver community.
Wilson and his popstar wife Ciara have already been referred to as Denver’s “first family,” and the guy hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass yet in orange and blue. Thus far, it sounds like one big love fest between Wilson and the Mile High City. Russ was heavily involved in working in the community around Seattle, so I expected much of the same in Denver. The two have a new puppy named Bronco. And it was just announced Wilson and the Broncos will play the defending Super Bowl champion Rams on Christmas Day.
Russ is bringing his Russell Wilson Passing Academy to Denver for the first time on June 17. This year will be the first time the event has been held on the field in person in two years due to COVID. Russell and Ciara also showed the Denver Nuggets some love by attending Game 4 of their first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. Mr. Wilson is going the extra mile to ingratiate himself with the people of Colorado.
Just hearing Wilson talk about being a Bronco and being part of a winning culture, it sounds like he’s found renewed energy. When Wilson was traded to Denver in March, the first week of his new journey was documented. During his first trip to the Broncos facility, they show Russell as he’s greeted by different players, staffers, and executives, including the franchise’s greatest player and team president John Elway. Russell and Ciara also visited the Children’s Hospital of Colorado on their first day in Denver to read their children’s book to the kids.
It’s clear through Wilson’s reaction how special all these moments are to him. Wilson had a big smile on his face and a hug for everyone he crossed paths with during the episode. He was even presented with a Colorado Rockies No. 3 Wilson jersey. In 2010, Wilson was actually drafted with the 140th overall pick in the MLB draft by, yep, the Rockies. Life has come around full circle for Wilson, as he’s now playing in the city where his professional sports career initially began.
Most NFL teams would be thrilled to have one HOF QB lead 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 multiple times, “it starts with winning.” The success of this, like any other relationship in professional sports, all comes down to winning. And that’s what it will come down to in Denver.
DangeRuss was brought in by the Broncos to win. All the extras that come along with Russ are great, but he’ll be measured by how much he wins in Denver. And just making it to AFC Championship Games won’t be enough. Wilson appeared in back-to-back Super Bowls with the Seahawks, winning one… against the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in New York.
If Russ can bring Denver its fourth Lombardi Trophy, it’ll all be worth it. Whether it happens in Year 1 or Year 5 doesn’t matter. That’s what’s expected by this Broncos franchise and fanbase. Seattle had never won before Wilson, so expectations were different. Elway and Manning have set a high bar for Wilson to surpass. Although it won’t be easy in the AFC West, I feel Wilson has a great shot at achieving those heights. But right now, having not played any games yet, I think Wilson is off to a great start in his new city. Hopefully, the season goes well, and he’s still happy this time next year.