SEATTLE - What was Russell Wilson thinking about as he took the final snap of the game, went down to his knee, and realized that he was Super Bowl-bound?
It wasn't football.
"Man, I could have been playing baseball right now," he said of his first thoughts at that moment.
Wilson ultimately chose football, but he played second base for two seasons in the Colorado Rockies' farm system before he was taken by the Texas Rangers last month in the Rule 5 draft.
He said he also thought about the doubters who had tried to block his path to this point.
"All the people that told me I couldn't do it and told me I couldn't get there," he said. "It's one of those things that you just have to believe in yourself, you believe in what God has given you."
Wilson then delivered a message.
"I encourage all the kids out there, if you have a talent, you have to make sure you have it, but if you have it, go for it," he said. "I've gone for it my whole life. You'll trip up a couple of times here and there, but at the end of the day, I've always believed in myself, and that's never going to waver. That's never going to change."
In only his second year, Wilson will take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium.
"It's a tremendous honor," he said of the matchup. "I have so much respect for Peyton and what he's done his whole entire career. I want to be like him one day in terms of all the things he's done and how he's gone about his business . . . To go against a guy that is definitely going to be a Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game is a tremendous honor."