PHOENIX (AP) — Tom Brady began winning Super Bowls when Russell Wilson was still a teenager, tuning in to see the big game on TV.
“Of course I remember watching Brady,” Wilson said Tuesday. “He won some incredible games. Incredible comebacks. Incredible throws. Incredible plays. Hopefully he doesn’t make too many incredible ones this year.”
When Wilson leads the Seattle Seahawks into the Super Bowl against Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday, both quarterbacks know the outcome will affect the way each is viewed for quite a while.
Wilson can become the eighth starting QB to win consecutive Super Bowl championships, and the first since Brady did it 10 years ago.
According to STATS, Wilson also would be the first to claim two in his first three years in the league (as it is, he’s the first starting quarterback to make it to two Super Bowls that quickly).
Brady, meanwhile, won titles in 2002, 2004, and 2005. But since then, he is 0-2 in Super Bowls, with a pair of losses to the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012.
“Look, any time you lose the last game of the year, it’s tough,” said Brady, who sounded stuffed up and coughed a couple of times. “The last two times we’ve been in this game, we haven’t been able to close it out. We’re hoping this is our day.”
A victory over the Seahawks would allow the 37-year-old Brady to match his idol as a kid, Joe Montana, and Terry Bradshaw with four rings.
But a defeat would drop Brady’s career mark on Super Sunday to .500 at 3-3.
“You never get over any of those,” Brady said about the defeats. “As time goes on, you gain perspective and you still had some great years. ... It would be great for this team to try to leave a great legacy.”
When he won his first NFL championship in 2002, with a 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams, Brady was in his first year as a starter and second year in the league.
Initially a backup after being drafted in the sixth round, he took over from injured quarterback Drew Bledsoe — and the rest is history.
“Tom Brady’s done a lot of great things over the last 15 years,” Patriots tight end Tim Wright said.
Who would argue?
After the usual Media Day fare concerning his favorite music (Jay-Z got a shout-out) and his hair (but no marriage proposals, as happened in the past), Brady got around to taking questions Tuesday about his place in the game.
He knows full well that Super Bowl success is a major part of how quarterbacks’ careers are defined. And Brady said he recalls the feeling of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy three times in a four-year span a decade ago.
“Those things happened so fast back then. I didn’t even understand what was happening,” Brady said. “It’s not like I didn’t appreciate those experiences. I certainly did. But ... we’ve had two tough ones.”
Wilson, 26, has yet to play an NFL season that didn’t include at least one playoff victory for his team.
He goes about things a different way than Brady on the field, far more skilled as a ball carrier and on-the-move improviser. Wilson can sling the football, too, though, and put it right where he wants it, as evidenced by his 35-yard touchdown throw in overtime to win the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers.
Before a late comeback, Seattle trailed by 16 points. Wilson had a passer rating of zero at halftime and he finished the game with four interceptions.
But that did not concern him Tuesday. The only thing that did was the final score.
“I want to be considered a winner,” said Wilson, sporting a thick beard. “That’s ultimately the goal in terms of playing quarterback: Win, win, win.”
Asked which quarterbacks were his favorites while growing up, Wilson mentioned Brady and Peyton Manning, calling them “two guys that I’ve looked up to since I was a little kid.”
In last year’s Super Bowl, Seattle overwhelmed Manning’s Denver Broncos 43-8, part of Wilson’s 10-0 record in games against quarterbacks who have won a title.
That could become 11-0 on Sunday.
“To get back to the Super Bowl is a huge thing,” Wilson said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind thing.”
Not for this game’s two QBs.