Wilson’s Banner Year

Behind the Scenes, Chris Weaver, NFL Films Presents, Paul Camarata, Seattle Seahawks

We didn’t know it at the time, but on April 16, 2013, when he took the stage in Seattle and asked the audience to support Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson by chanting along to a Phish song, Trey Anastasio was launching the “Year of Wiiil-sooon.”  In the months that followed, the collision between man and tune prompted us on a coast-to-coast journey.  From Atlantic City to the Emerald City, we followed the story of this most unusual fan engagement phenomenon as it grew from the grassroots to the Guinness Book of World Records — along the way landing (above, in its entirety) on our flagship feature show, NFL Films Presents.

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For us at NFL Films, the story didn’t end when the piece aired, or when a Spokane, WA elementary school was heard singing “Wilson” for Wilson, or even when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl and Russell walked to the victory party podium to the sounds of “duhdunt…duhdunt.”  No, for us the story culminated just this week, when the Seahawks team colors were hoisted above our building, where the Super Bowl champs’ flag flies for the year after they’ve won the Lombardi Trophy. It’s a tradition that was launched by our late president Steve Sabol, and that our resident “12”, producer Neil Zender, carried on this year as Phish trumpeted during the ceremony.  We were thrilled to capture this story as it unfolded during the football season, and here now give you the most recent piece of it, as seen unfurling in the crisp February air above One Sabol Way.  Sing it one more time with us, friends: Duhdunt-duhdunt……Wiiil-sooon.

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