Our very own Russell Wilson has been nominated for an ESPY award for "Best Breakthrough Athlete" for 2012.
Voting ends at 9 p.m. EST tonight, July 17. Get to it, 12th Man.
As an added bit of motivation, let me add that Colin Kaepernick is also up for the award in the same category.
The winners of each category will be announced tonight on ESPN. Get over there and vote for DangeRuss!
More than likely — and as much as it pains me to admit this — the popular vote will go to Kaepernick because he took his team farther into the playoffs, making an appearance at the Super Bowl. Despite the fact that they lost to the Ravens, Kaepernick became the 49ers starter midway through the season and took their offense to new heights. In the eyes of the national fanbase, that might be all it takes to get Kaepernick this award.
But obviously, nobody should write off Wilson's regular-season performance, in addition to the playoff run he led the Seahawks through. Wilson is a born leader, and in many respects, he had the best rookie season out of his fellow 2012 first-year bretheren – Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Ryan Tannehill. (People seem to forget Kaepernick was not a rookie during the 2012 season.)
Wilson came into the season as the classic underdog – he was drafted in the third round, everyone said he was too short to be a legitimate starter….you've all heard the knocks by now. But Wilson ending up becoming the surprise starter to kick off the 2012 season, and led the Seahawks to their first road playoff victory in almost 20 years, defeating the Redskins in the Wild Card round at the embarrassingly-unkempt FedEx Field. (You can bet Chris Clemons won't be sending the groundskeepers any Christmas cards.)
The Seahawks came within 32 seconds of a rematch with the 49ers for the NFC Championship. That game would've been played at San Francisco, and would've probably been one for the ages.
But it didn't happen. Not yet, anyway. It's entirely possible, though, that the NFC will be decided by these two teams in the 2013 season. Make no mistake – whichever QB will take home the ESPY tonight, it will not be from a lack of giving credit where it's due. And when I look into the future, I see it being bright for both Kaepernick and Wilson. I think there's a good rivalry between the two teams brewing here, and it'll be that way for years to come.
All eyes will be on these quarterbacks this season – even more so than they were before. The Super Bowl odds for both teams are looking more favorable than ever.
And speaking of Super Bowl – wondering what the odds are for the Hawks to make the big dance in 2013? Want to bet on the game, but not sure where to start? The Sports Geek might have just the answers you're looking for.