The woman behind the man that all Seahawks fans now hold dear says while they’re seeing many new and remarkable opportunities come along with his NFL career, one of their main goals is keeping things between them the way they always were.
“Honestly, we just try to keep our home life as normal as possible,” Ashton Wilson, wife of Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson, tells KIRO Radio’s Tom and Curley Show. “We just try and keep it real, realize what my husband does is a job, it can change at any minute, and what really matters is we don’t change no matter what changes around our environment.”
The world around them has changed quite a bit. The pair met in high school and while football has been a part of their lives for many years, she says the spotlight of the NFL is new for them both.
“We’ve experienced the sport, but not at this level,” says Ashton. “It’s hard to remember that we just got here a year and a half ago.”
Russell’s tenure as starting quarterback began at the start of the 2012 season. As his new role brings more attention, Ashton says they’re a bit in awe of some of the experiences that have come their way, like their first trip to the ESPY Awards last July.
“It happens after, where I’ll look back and think ‘wait did we just go there and do that in front of those people?'”
While Ashton is her husband’s number one fan, she says she tries to keep her relationship with the game on an even keel.
“I learned long ago if I get really high or really low when the game is really great, or the game is really bad, […] then all that does is that hurts me, it doesn’t help the situation,” she says. “I have to stay calm, and cool, and collected because I can’t control what is going on on the field, no matter how much I would ever want to.”
KIRO host Tom Tangney wanted to know what it’s like watching her husband take a hit out on the field.
“Do you flinch – I suppose being so close to Russell, when he gets hit and hit hard, do you feel a physical sensation when your husband goes down?” asks Tom.
“Yeah, of course I naturally flinch because my body wants to fly out on the field and handle that situation. But I can’t,” she says. “I would be out there on the field blocking for my husband, but I’m not quite big enough.”
“I leave it all to hoping and praying that my husband is going to make smart decisions, that the people around him are going to make smart decisions and play a fair game, and not make it too ugly,” she says.
“Occasionally I’ll take down a number of an opposing team member in my head and I’ll write down his last name and think I’m going to remember that guy. I’m going to say a little prayer for him tonight.”
For now, Ashton and Russell are trying to absorb all the new experiences the NFL is affording them. But she says they’re also trying to be smart about the future, and what happens down the line when Russell’s NFL career comes to an end.
“I think it’s something that we’re figuring out now. It really helps to have family and friends around and good mentors and people to talk to, to figure out other interests so that whenever that chapter closes we already know what other chapter we’re going to try and start writing together.”
Most Seahawks fans are probably hoping and praying with the Wilsons that next chapter is a long, long way out.