It is not every day a second year starter tops a legendary quarterback like Peyton Manning. Russell Wilson is the exception. Sunday night Wilson led the Seahawks to their first win ever in franchise history in a landslide victory, 48-3. This win is significant in more ways than one.
Wilson’s win marks the second time a Black quarterback has led his team to a Super Bowl win. The first is of course Grambling’s own Doug Williams, who led the Redskins in 1988 (Super Bowl XXII). Ironically, Williams defeated the Broncos for his ring by a score of 42-10.
The match up was predicted to be one of the greatest in Super Bowl history. It featured a high powered offense (Denver) and the number one defense in the league (Seattle). The match up also featured football legend Peyton Manning and the up and coming Wilson. The Broncos were favored to win by a variety of analysts, fans and polls.
“Wilson could’ve easily gotten the MVP,” Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII MVP in a radio interview with Roland Martin said. “It’s truly amazing for a young guy like that to come in and lead his team to a victory.”
Williams also spoke about the state of historically black colleges and universities and the once-proud tradition of athletes coming from them.
“It’s unfortunate today you don’t have a lot of guys playing for the HBCUs like a few years ago,” said Williams. “You kind of wonder where they would’ve went to school in today’s time.”
It is difficult to believe that as many talented African-American quarterbacks that have played in the NFL over the years, only two have won a Super Bowl. In fact, over the past 10 years, only three African-American quarterbacks have made Super Bowl appearances. This includes Donovan McNabb (2005), Colin Kaeppernick (2013) and Wilson (2014).
At one time, African Americans were considered to be unequipped to play the quarterback position.
They were thought to have the athleticism, but not the football intelligence to effectively play the position. Claims such as this would seem downright foolish in today’s society considering the large number of African Americans playing the quarterback position. African- American quarterbacks such as Michael Vick have played a vital role in changing the way the game is played.
The quarterback position has transformed from a stagnant pocket passer position to a mobilized double-threat player. Offenses are created to tailor to a quarterback’s speed as well as his arm while still giving receiver options to flex his intelligence.
Wilson’s win over a legend like Manning should not only solidify the option-offense’s success in the NFL but also a great moment in history for the African American quarterback.