Justin Myers compares Russell Wilson’s commencement address to ‘Rudy’
710 ESPN Seattle’s Gee Scott expected to come into the office Monday and laugh at whatever Seahawks QB Russell Wilson said during a commencement address at the University of Wisconsin over the weekend. That is, until Scott actually heard what Wilson had to say.
“I thought his commencement address was absolutely fantastic and I was so surprised at how good it was,” Scott said Monday.
It was so good that Scott even altered his own commencement address that he will be giving next weekend in Chicago.
“It made me go back to my speech and add a little more sauce on the rice, if you will, and enhance my speech a little more,” he said.
And it’s that “enhancement” that’s the problem, according to Scott’s co-host, Justin Myers. Because while Wilson’s speech at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday was inspiring, critics are also claiming it’s not entirely true.
“Of course his speech was good, because he made up half of it,” Myers said. “He told the ultimate fishing story.”
Wilson, who played one season for the Badgers after transferring from NC State, has been criticized by Wolfpack fans and North Carolina media – such as NC State’s SB Nation site – for pouring salt in old wounds from his time with his first school and also embellishing some aspects of his collegiate baseball career.
Wilson has also been questioned about his recollection of a conversation he says he had with NC State football coach Tim O’Brien.
“The summer before my senior year of college, I’m playing minor-league baseball,” Wilson said in his address. “I called my football coach at NC State and said, ‘Hey coach, I’d like to come back for my senior year.’ He told me I wasn’t coming back. He said, ‘Listen son, you’re never going to play in the National Football League. You’re too small. There’s no chance. You’ve got no shot. Give it up.’ Of course, I’m on this side of the phone saying, ‘So you’re telling me I’m not coming back to NC State? I won’t see the field?’ He said, ‘No son, you won’t see the field.’ Now this was everything I had worked for. And now it was completely gone. If I wanted to follow my dream I had to leave NC State.”
Myers compared Wilson’s speech to the movie “Rudy.”
“Does it bother you that the movie ‘Rudy’ isn’t really true, that it didn’t really happen that way?” Myers asked. “That the players never came in and put their jerseys on (Notre Dame) coach Dan Devine’s desk?”
Scott said he enjoys the way “Rudy” was portrayed on screen, just as the UW graduating class of 2016 enjoyed Wilson’s speech.
“When I was watching the movie Rudy, I was not sitting there thinking, ‘oh that didn’t happen,'” Scott said. “No, I enjoyed the movie, just like the graduates of Wisconsin enjoyed the speech, and then after you might find some facts. It does not sour the experience of watching the movie ‘Rudy,’ just like it should not sour the commencement address that Russell did for those graduates.”
Besides explaining some of the inspiration tips for overcoming obstacles and providing advice on life, Wilson added a few gems about his own personal experiences that are harder to debate. Including a few self-deprecating remarks about his time in the Super Bowl.
“Of course, I’m also here to share some things I’ve learned,” Wilson said. “Things like, if you’re dating a woman that’s way out of your league, ask her to marry you. If you can throw a football 80 yards, for some reason, people think that’s pretty cool. And if you’re playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, and you’ve got 26 seconds left and you’re down by four, and it’s second and goal on their 1-yard line, try not to throw an interception! That’s purely, purely hypothetical though, of course.”