Russell Wilson is a Super Bowl winning quarterback known for his athleticism, arm talent and posie under pressure. Despite his excellent on-field attributes, however, some of the most recent headlines regarding Wilson have dealt with his life off the field:
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is filing for divorce from his wife Ashton … after 2 years of marriage — and less than 3 months after earning his first Super Bowl victory.
Wilson just made the announcement, saying … “I have made the difficult decision to file for divorce. Clearly, decisions like these don’t come easy.”
Russell and Ashton have known each other since high school in Virginia — and they started dating during their college years.
They got married in January, 2012 … just a few months before Russell was drafted by the Seahawks.
The timing really is perfect.
Wilson was only a 3rd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and his rookie contract pays him around $662,000 annually. Quarterbacks with his kind of resume (2 Pro Bowls, Pepsi Rookie of the Year, Super Bowl winner, etc, etc) are usually making at least 15 to 20 times that amount of money. Russell Wilson’s backup quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson, will be making $1.2 million this year, twice what Wilson is getting.
Rookies cannot renegotiate their contracts until after the end of their 3rd year, which is why Wilson is stuck for now. After the end of this upcoming season, he is going to get a massive raise. His soon-to-be ex-wife will be able to have some claim to the relatively small amount of money he’s already earned (probably just a few million if we combine his first and second year salaries with endorsements he’s gotten), but she will now be unable to touch the bulk of his career earnings, which are going to come in this next contract.
Wilson’s San Francisco counterpart Colin Kaepernick just signed an unusual deal potentially worth $126 Million. It is possibly the lowest guarantee a starting quarterback has ever seen, though there are ample performance bonuses. But Russell Wilson already has a Super Bowl ring, and the reputation that makes him a perfect candidate for product endorsements (via Seattle Pi):
“So if Kaepernick – a quarterback who’s helped his team to two-straight NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance in just a year and a half as a starter – is worth $21 million per year, what kind of cash could a quarterback with a 4-1 playoff record over his first two seasons – including a Super Bowl win – command?
“According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, up to $25 million per season…
“That would make Wilson the highest paid quarterback in NFL history today.”
And, again, Ashton Meem (formerly Ashton Wilson) won’t be able to touch any of that.
The move is perfect for a man in Wilson’s postion. He’s only 25 years old, right in his athletic prime. He is young enough to have a very realistic chance of spending another decade in the NFL. As a young affluent man with a lot of status, he’s going to have tremendous opportunity on the dating market.
Ashton Meem was a pretty young lady, but the females that are soon to be (and likely already are) chasing Russell Wilson down are going to be on another level.
This is a big reason why I often suggest that pro-athletes never settle down until they come to the end of their careers. Even the last man on an NFL roster has a legion of female admirers, and the physical quality of these women is quite high.
It is one thing to be a young man looking at physically elite women on television or in magazines (most young men are used to pining for such women from a distance), but few ever get to the stage where such women are abundantly accessible to them. For most men, their contact with these women is limited to thirsty pleadings on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The world of the pro athlete is a very different one. Most of us are aware of the fact that pro athletes are very attractive to women, but I think few truly understand the deeper implications of that lifestyle and the deep impact it can have on the men themselves and their relationships. Once you reach the level Wilson has reached, physically elite women become abundant. You don’t chase them, they chase you. They start tweeting you, sending friend requests on your Facebook, following all of your social media accounts and delivering private messages aimed at getting closer to you.
@KyrieIrving Ha! That’s a good song
— Hannah Stocking (@HannahStocking) February 15, 2014
— Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) February 15, 2014
(Note: Irving proceeded to fly this girl and her friends out to Cleveland to “hang out” with him not long after this; she’s one of many)
Men at a certain level can do more than merely ogle these women on Vine, Facebook and Instagram. They have an honest chance to meet these females in person. When I say “meet”, I’m not talking about being invited to some silly autograph session they are holding or passing them by at an airport. I’m talking about direct invitations initiated by the women themselves.
Beautiful women who would not give most men the time of day (and turn down dozens of approaches from typical men on a daily basis) will actively pursue you, planting themselves at your hotel or apartment building in the hopes of running into you. The mere hint of your appearance at a given club could be enough to singlehandedly draw dozens, perhaps even hundreds of these women to the venue, all dressed to the nines and anxious to speak to you.
It goes further still. Before you know it, she begins to follow you on Twitter. She starts sending random tweets in your direction, then direct messages after you follow her back. She starts angling for a meeting – maybe drinks, dinner, lunch, whatever. She gives you her number. She talks about how she can’t wait to meet you. If she is particularly bold, you might just start finding risqué photos in your inbox before long. And it isn’t just her – there are several other women, all just as beautiful, approaching you with precisely the same enthusiasm. Some will be unknown hometown and campus co-ed smokeshows with thousands of beta orbiters but no social media or internet fame. Many will be like the girl in the Twitter exchange above (Hannah Stocking): beautiful women with hundreds of thousands of online followers and at least that many male orbiters who would kill to meet her. They’ll all be totally focused on you.
What would you do if you were essentially being hunted (perhaps borderline stalked) by not one, but several gorgeous women (each pined for by many thousands, if not millions, of men who are almost totally invisible to them), all going out of their way to get your attention?
Most men don’t know, since most men will never be in this position. But I can tell you this: if you were in a committed relationship before and you suddenly find yourself in this position, you’re going to have a very hard time remaining loyal no matter how much you think you “love” your pretty girlfriend. Most normal men, when put in that position and faced with that test of loyalty, fail miserably.
Most men will never know this kind of abundance, and most athletes are entirely unprepared for the experience. Many get locked down with their high-school or college sweethearts only to get swept away by the avalanche of model-quality ass that is thrown at them upon the signing of their rookie contract. It is something that only the most experienced, mature players (the Derek Jeters of the world) are really equipped to handle well, and even they took time to get there.
Many men are quick to judge other males who find themselves in this position, but this is unwise. As Bill Burr once said (credit to commenter Zelcorpion for noting it):
“I’m gonna judge Tiger Woods? I golf, I don’t walk off the 18th hole and there is no busload of Scandinavian women waiting to fuck my brains out. Sorry ladies, gotta go home to the wife.”…
“There is nothing out there (for famous men) to prepare you for the platoon of whores waiting on the horizon. Braveheart – faces painted, skirts on, running down the hill to jump on your dick in front of your wife, they don’t give a shit.”
Until you know what it feels like to reject a busload of Serbian hotties and NBA-sluts, then no man should judge this guy.
Russell Wilson is a very good guy. He grew up in a great household with the guidance of two great parents who set an excellent example for him. He is a genuinely high-character man…
…and even he can’t escape the realities associated with being a man at his level of professional accomplishment. As a young, extremely athletic Super Bowl winning quarterback with 2 Pro Bowls to his name and a whole lot of money, Wilson is on track to experience a level of abundance that perhaps only one in every 100,000 men ever gets close to. By leaving this marriage now, he gives himself the best possible chance to take advantage of that state of affairs and also minimizes the almost certain financial hit a future divorce would have cost him (athlete divorce rates are north of 80%—if he didn’t divorce now, it likely would have happened later at much greater expense).
Many athletes fall victim to the pitfalls associated with romantic life at their level, particularly the expensive divorce (or the threat of it). Russell Wilson has deftly sidestepped this obstacle, and for that he should be commended. If more athletes could follow his example, fewer stories like the one below would need to be told:
Well played, Russell. Well played.