I went into work on Monday night, ready to get my first good look at Russell Wilson. Part of my pre-game research ritual is hopping on Twitter, scanning for tweets from players that could be a part of my highlight. Wilson, whose Twitter handle is both punny and amazing, didn’t post anything of note to put in my highlight, but he did post his new ad for Levi’s.
First of all, I just have to say, DAYYYYUM.
Second of all, I love the ad and the way Wilson – no, Russell – tells his story. It just FEELS like we’re on a first name basis, doesn’t it? It’s like we’re new friends who’ve met a few times, we’ve gotten past the small talk, and are getting into real, deep conversations about our lives. It’s not forced, it just sort of happens. I think that speaks to the type of person he is, and credit Levi’s for letting his character shine through.
Third of all, the three P’s he learned from his dad. All of us have those lessons we carry from our parents, always. They are iron-clad truths that we swear by, and I love that Wilson carries his dad’s legacy through them.
So how do those three P’s apply to the madness that was Monday night?
Persevere. The Packers persevered after allowing eight sacks in the 1st half (none allowed in the 2nd), holding a 12-7 lead before the final play. The Seahawks persevered after playing terrible in the 2nd half (the first 1st down happened in the 4th quarter, on a penalty, of course), and somehow won the game on Russell’s (remember, we’re on a first-name basis now) controversial touchdown pass to Golden Tate. Green Bay, understandably, was angry and whiny and generally insufferable about the whole thing.. Which leads me to…
Perspective. There is no better evidence of two perspectives of what happened, than listening to the local radio calls from both Green Bay and Seattle. Same play, same result, two completely different attitudes of what actually occurred. The Seahawks see it as a huge win for their franchise, the Packers see it as getting robbed of a tough, gritty win on the road.
Purpose. The purpose of referees, at their essence, is to call a fair and accurate game and enforce the rules. It is not to affect the outcome of a game. It appears as though the referees, both those on the field and in the replay booth, did not serve their purpose. It appears as though now the NFL and the NFL Referees Association has recognized the significance of fulfilling this purpose, and the regular referees will return to the field on Sunday, maybe even Thursday.
As far as cutting the highlight is concerned, it was a lot of fun. Initially, it was super exciting…a game-winning touchdown as time expired, but as soon as the replays started rolling, I personally had an “Oh sh*t, this highlight is really important” moment in my brain. My highlight producer and I, still in disbelief over the call, brainstormed how to attack the final play, while still telling the story of the rest of the game. Once we had a good idea of what to show/not to show, it was all hands on deck…one person is building graphics, another is clipping off sound to use in the highlight, another is communicating with our crew in Seattle. Meanwhile, I’m writing and describing what happened on the shot sheet, which is what the anchor reads off of as they watch the video and follow along. Our final version was 6 minutes, 24 seconds, the longest highlight I’ve ever cut (standard length for a Monday night game is about four minutes). The SportsCenter we cut it for ended up being the most-watched SportsCenter ever. It felt really cool to deliver the definitive version of what happened to our viewers.
All in all, it’s a night I won’t forget, and I’m sure Russell won’t forget it either. I hope he continues to succeed on and off the field.