The Story of Russell Wilson’s Viral NFL Draft Day Call in 2012

It’s been a full decade since Russell Wilson was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks as a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Though the moment is notable for marking the beginning of a top quarterback’s career, Wilson’s celebration has become a 10-year-long viral sensation in football fandom. Ahead of the 2022 Draft, the moment has yet again gone viral for its longevity.

The origin story goes like this: During Wilson’s 2012 phone call confirming his status as a Seahawk, Wilson’s now ex-wife Ashton Meem and his family exuberantly celebrated — an understandable reaction to Wilson’s draft news. He wore an orange Nike top with dark trousers.

Even a full decade later, the career highlight and viral moment is still remembered.

Wilson and Meem, who met as teenagers, married just months before the 2012 draft. The couple, however, filed for divorce in 2104. Wilson has since been in a high-profile relationship with singer Ciara since early 2015, with the couple marrying in 2016.

Speaking to Fox 13 Seattle, Wilson recalled his NFL Draft alongside the intimate group as “an amazing experience.”

“I was at my uncle’s house in DC. I will never forget sitting at the couch, it was 2012. I was at my uncle’s house in DC. He had this white phone on an old school landline, nobody uses them anymore. And the phone kept ringing, he’s a lawyer, clients were calling. I was like, ‘get off the phone, hopefully I’ve got teams calling for me.’ Sure enough the Seattle Seahawks buzzed my phone. I’ll never forget that day when I saw the 206 area code. It was something I was hoping for, praying for, and sure enough it happened. I’ll never forget that.”

Ciara and her husband, Russell Wilson at the 2022 NFL Honors in Los Angeles, CA on February 10, 2022.
Ciara and her husband Russell Wilson at the 2022 NFL Honors in Los Angeles, CA on February 10, 2022.
CREDIT: Karl Walter for Variety

Since joining Seahawks, Wilson has built quite the financial empire for himself, having endorsements with Levi’s, Nike, Bose, Pepsi, Microsoft, and more. Wilson also started the fashion house The House of LR&C with Ciara in 2016. That’s not even the start of Wilson’s lucrative investments in sports, retail companies, tech startups and more.

After 10 seasons with the Seahawks, Wilson was recently traded to the Denver Broncos for the 2022 season. His 2022 contract with the Broncos is estimated to be worth $24 million alone.

More iconic NFL Draft Day moments are currently in the making after the first round of 2022 announcements kicked off yesterday in Las Vegas and continue throughout the weekend. Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who joined the Atlanta Falcons, was among the athletes who made it to the pros. Wilson wore a striking suit with pearls and Prada combat boots.

See rising football stars on the red carpet at the 2022 NFL Draft.

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