Russell Wilson appears on one of three covers for Rolling Stone‘s first-ever NFL issue (the other two cover men are Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck), and inside, the 26-year-old Seahawks quarterback talks God, Ciara and more.
Stephen Rodrick penned the lengthy cover story, but we’ve only provided you with the excerpts you really care about below (the Ciara portion, duh).
Wilson asks for only one favor all day: a break around 5:00 so he can watch his girlfriend sing the national anthem at the baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Just as the players are being announced, Wilson jogs through the catacombs of the pavilion to a room with a television. He whips out his phone and starts filming his girlfriend. She sounds beautiful, but Wilson notices a microdetail: “She’s pulling at her earpiece. She can’t hear herself.”
It turns out to be true. Wilson Facetimes Ciara a few minutes later. “Baby, you did great, but I could tell you couldn’t hear yourself.”
Ciara’s smile and voice crackle back. “I know, it went dead right before we went on. Did it sound OK?”
“You were great. Love you. See you tomorrow. Can’t wait.”
The fact that Wilson’s theological rationalization for the most infamous play in Super Bowl history got lost in the wash only speaks to the jaw-dropper he launched earlier in the conversation. Wilson met Ciara through a mutual friend in L.A. about six months earlier — and even that was preordained. Wilson had already told his friends before they met that he was going to end up with her. At the church, Wilson told the congregation and minister Miles McPherson, a former NFL defensive back, that he and Ciara were not doing the deed. God had speed-dialed Wilson again, this time backstage at his girlfriend’s show.
“She was on tour,” Wilson said, “and I was looking at her in the mirror 15 minutes before she went onstage. God said, ‘I need you to lead her.’?” Wilson smiled. “I was like, ‘Really? Right now?’?” Right away, Wilson asked her if she would be OK with taking all “that extra stuff off the table.” She agreed.
“I knew God had brought me into her life to bless her and for her to bless me and to bless so many people with the impact that she has and I have,” said Wilson. “He has anointed both of us — he’s calling for us to do something miraculous and special.” Wilson then quoted the book of Romans: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
The announcement came as a surprise to Ciara, who was in London for a concert and had to parse out what had happened from the mentions on her Twitter feed. Soon after, she talked with Wilson and they got on the same page.
“The thing about Russell is he’s real,” Ciara tells me. “And that was a moment that got real real.” She tells me he had no problem with her saucy video for “Dance Like We’re Making Love,” where she writhes in a see-through outfit. “We share similar views on pretty much everything. It’s just superorganic.”
Russell and Ciara sound like the real deal.
For more on Ciara and to read the complete cover story, head over to Rolling Stone.