Mr. Wilson goes to spring training

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will suit up for the Texas Rangers and be in the dugout for Monday’s Cactus League game against the Cleveland Indians in Surprise, Arizona.

A productive double-threat athlete at North Carolina State (football/baseball), Wilson was drafted by the Rangers in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 draft on December 12, 2013. This was a blow to the Seattle Mariners, who’d coveted Wilson for the AA phase. In 61 games for the Class A Rockies in 2011, Wilson had three homers, 15 RBIs, 40 runs scored, nine extra-base hits, batting for a .228 average.

There is a precedent for NFL guys pulling double duty in the Major Leagues – Bo Jackson, left-handed-bat Deion Sanders, and others. This would only fly with great athletes, though, as it would cut off the first half of their NFL regular season. Further aggravation to their football coaches was the risk of injury in the infinite diamond. Pete Carroll won’t need to worry about this, as Russell Wilson’s role with the Rangers is not likely to go beyond motivational speaker. Wilson is far too obsessively fixated to divide his attention between two occupations and thus diminish one of them.

This is happening in the midst of the uproarious chaos of the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl (it’s real, people!). Late-night talk show appearances, multi-million-dollar endorsement deals, celebrity skank – all coming in hard from every direction while coach Carroll struggles to keep his team focused on the upcoming season. Speaking of which: The upcoming season will be a bastard.

Since 1998 only the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots have won two Super Bowls in a row. The Lombardy-trophy winner will be selecting last in the draft, will have teams cherry-picking their best free agents, will have a tough schedule, will be a “prestige win” for every team they play. They also will have a compressed offseason, have played more games the previous season than the rest of the league and feel wear and tear. (Marshawn Lynch’s runs and catches combined last season were more than any other player).

This is the price of Dynasty.

When it comes to dynasties, the best way to describe them is Tom Hanks’ line from A League of Their Own: if it was easy, everyone would do it. Becoming a dynasty is supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great.

In the 2014 season the whole world’s media spotlight will be shining on the Seahawks, just itching for them to stumble. Everything that made the ‘Hawks the precocious upstart last season – the brutal tactics of the Legion of Boom, Richard Sherman’s attitude, the whole team’s brutal tactics and swagger will make them the Goliath everyone will be eager to chop down.

Pete Carroll’s answer to this is to reference his USC Trojans team, which dominated year after year. But in college there is a reverse parity, with the kick-ass, media-spotlight programs getting all the recruits. If the Seahawks want to be a dynasty it will be a bloodbath.

Play ball!

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