NEW YORK - Russell Wilson's late father did not play quarterback in the NFL, as Peyton Manning's famously did.
Benjamin Wilson III, though, was no less influential in the career, and especially in the life, of the Seattle Seahawks quarterback.
He died of complications from diabetes in June 2010, just 12 months before Russell had to make the crucial decision of his life -- to throw either footballs or baseballs for a living.
The grounding his father provided helped Russell to make the right choice.
After winning more games in his first two NFL seasons than any quarterback in the history of the league (24), Wilson on Sunday leads the Seahawks against Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium (6:25 p.m. EST kickoff, CTV/FOX).
"The influence that my dad had on my life was tremendous. He helped to affect my life in drastic, positive ways," said Wilson, who spoke passionately at every interview opp this week about the man he misses so much.