Ralphie Report: Russell Wilson a class act at the BBMAs for inadvertently stealing hearts of fans
I am fortunate in that I have the opportunity to witness and/or experience a lot of cool moments due to my line of work. However, one moment sticks out from the rest, and it took place a few weeks ago at the Billboard Music Awards.
A quick preface: red carpets are not all that they are cracked up to be. Chances are you’ve watched an awards show special on a network like E! and you’re used to a well-orchestrated production where all of the big stars stop to talk to the media and everyone looks flawless.
In reality, the carpets are usually high on humidity, low on space and short with A-list celebrities actually talking to reporters.
It made a moment I witnessed at the Billboard Music Awards red carpet that much more poignant.
Ludacris and Ciara co-hosted this year’s BBMAs. I thought they did a spectacular job but full disclosure; I’m biased because I like them and really enjoy covering the show. Anyways Ciara had her fiancé, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, in tow throughout most of the evening and of course on the carpet, where the two posed for photos together.
From the jump, you know Wilson as a class act: plays the game in an admirable manner, always says the right thing and has an image so squeaky clean Nickelodeon asked him to host the Kids Choice Sports Awards for a second consecutive year.
And even on the carpet, he turned down an interview request from me (Keep in mind I was covering the show for the Cumulus Media owned Westwood One, the official radio network of the NFL) because he wanted to simply support his fiancé, not bask in the spotlight.
Ironically I asked him for a few words while Ciara was on the E! platform speaking with Jason Kennedy. The network’s location was right next to a fan zone which also happened to be the area where I was stationed.
Now the fans were busting my stones a bit because I didn’t know the name of every single person walking the carpet. But when I shot back, “Wait, didn’t you guys see Russell Wilson with Ciara?” they immediately ceased the stone-busting. A Super Bowl winning quarterback had walked right by and they missed him.
Matter of fact, he was still within earshot and getting a good laugh over this exchange.
That’s when a father emerged from the crowd with his son who might have been 12 or 13. The kid played little league football, a quarterback to be exact.
The dad politely introduced Wilson to his son, and then the two started talking shop. I didn’t want to ease drop too much but the chat lasted a few minutes.
When it ended, Wilson told the kid, “Hey man, good luck. See you in the NFL one day.”
Could you imagine hearing those words of encouragement from a Super Bowl winning quarterback? That one statement could be life altering; the type of thing they talk about incessantly on FOX when that kid does make the NFL.
I’ll tell you one thing: I can’t imagine a moment like that happening without prompting on a red carpet. It’s a story I wouldn’t believe had I not been fortunate enough to witness it myself.
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