By Brady Henderson
Every NFL team’s worst nightmare is an injury to its starting quarterback, so you could imagine why general manager John Schneider might have been uneasy about Russell Wilson taking part in infield drills with the Texas Rangers last month, as harmless as it was.
But what about Wilson participating in a slam-dunk contest? That’s a whole different ballgame, one that Schneider or anyone in his position would never want Wilson to try his hand at.
He won’t. It was part of an April Fools’ Day prank that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pulled off Tuesday with the help of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and 710 ESPN Seattle.
Carroll planted the seed Tuesday morning with a tweet noting that Bo Ryan, the head coach of Final Four-bound Wisconsin, had invited Wilson to practice with his alma mater’s basketball team.
Schneider was an in-studio guest on “Brock and Danny” along with his wife to discuss their efforts to help families with autistic children. Alvarez called in and thanked Schneider for allowing Wilson to not only practice with Wisconsin but compete in a dunk contest. Schneider, perhaps wary given the date, figured it was an imposter who was in on a ruse until he realized it was, in fact, Alvarez.
“That was really Barry Alvarez you guys had on right there,” Schneider said. “I thought you guys were completely playing a joke on me right there.”
“So wait, you did not know that he was going to do the slam-dunk contest?” co-host Danny O’Neil asked.
“No – well, they want him to, but that’s not happening,” Schneider replied.
Carroll called in a few minutes later, and if the jig wasn’t already up when he began talking about Wilson and the dunk contest, it was when he delivered the punch line: “You just got punked, man. Happy April Fools.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.