What Does Russell Wilson's Divorce Mean for the Seahawks in 2014 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

What Does Russell Wilson's Divorce Mean for the Seahawks in 2014

Russel and Ashton Wilson once looked like a happy young couple, now they are headed towards a split. (Photo: Seahawks.com) Russel and Ashton Wilson once looked like a happy young couple, now they are headed towards a split. (Photo: Seahawks.com)
After the Seattle Seahawks announced a statement for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson that he was filing for divorce from his wife, only one question came to mind. What is going to happen to Danger-Russ on the field?

First of all, here is Wilson's statement: 

"I have made the difficult decision to file for divorce," Wilson said. "Clearly, decisions like these don't come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding and privacy during this difficult time. Moving forward, I will have no further comment on this matter."

In reality, Wilson divorcing his wife, Ashton, is only a matter of statistics. A 2009 New York Times article by Greg Bishop states that polls and studies show that between 60-80 percent of the players in the NFL get divorced. According to the American Psychological Association 40-50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. So while the divorce is only slightly more prevalent in the NFL, when compared to the rest of the world, few fans thought it would strike home with one of the most positive faces in the NFL, Wilson.

Some will call it a genius move by the Wisconsin grad before he enters into the year that will determine just how big his contract will be when the Seahawks can finally tie him down to a longer deal after the third year of his rookie contract in 2015. Half of just over $660,000 is way less than the 20-30 times a year more than that Wilson will undoubtedly make. Some may call it uncouth but that's just facing the facts. If there are problems, end it now, before more money and, god forbid, children get involved. The couple does share three dogs, though.

With his personal life hitting the fan, so to speak, how will Wilson perform on the field in 2014 as Seattle attempts to defend its Super Bowl XLVIII crown? Below is a look at a few other high-profile athletes who faced divorce while they were still playing and how they performed after their respective splits.

Alex Rodriguez (Divorce in 2008 from Cynthia Scurtis)- After only six years of marriage Rodriguez and Scurtis split with the latter mentioning “emotional abandonment” as one of the reasons. Rodriguez continued to be one of the best hitters in baseball in ‘08 and finished 8th in the AL MVP voting that season, only one season removed from winning his third AL MVP award in 2007. 2008 was also the last season Rodriguez batted above the .300 mark, but he did manage to hit 30 home runs in ‘09 & ‘10. 

While Rodriguez had the comfort of Madonna to get him through this difficult time in his life, there is still something to be said about his plate performance not slipping. His downfall really started after the 2010 season and injuries and the admittance of juicing didn’t help his image or playing time. The only sign of weakness Rodriguez showed in the year of his divorce was in games played. In the 2008 season Rodriguez played in 138 games, the fewest since his rookie season with the Seattle Mariners at that point. He's played in fewer games every year ever since. 

Martin Brodeur (Divorce in 2003 from Melanie Brodeur)- The lifetime New Jersey Devils goalie has been one of--if not the--greatest net minders of all time. His save consistent save percentages and low goals against average (GAA) will land him the Hall of Fame one day, and he's still playing. Right in the middle of Brodeur's greatness in 2003 his life was turned upside down when he divorced his wife, Melanie, whom he has four children with. Albeit, it was his own fault. Brodeur cheated on Melanie with her sister-in-law, Genevieve, who is now Brodeur's current wife. Martin and Genevieve Brodeur also have a child.

Not saying Wilson cheated or even has any fault in his divorce, but if he can manage his professional career like Brodeur did throughout the above debacle... Seahawks fans will be very happy. Brodeur's numbers didn't even stray from the line they've been on for what seems like forever. Here are the goalies stats beginning two years before his divorce and for several years after. 

2001-02 .906 save percentage (SV%), 2.15 GAA. 2002-03 .914 SV%, 2.02 GAA. 2003-04 .917 SV%. 2005-06 .911 SV%, 2.57 GAA. 2006-07 .922 SV%, 2.18 GAA, career-highs in wins (48) wins and saves (2,011). 

Clearly, Brodeur didn't skip a beat and had one of the best seasons in his career before he married Genevieve in 2008.

Tiger Woods (Divorce in 2010 from Elin Nordegren)- We all know the story of Tiger Woods and his affair(s) while he was married to Elin Nordegren from 2004-10. The fact that he handled such a double life while having some of the best years of golf he's ever played is nothing short of impressive. Almost as impressive as the complete 180-degree turn Woods' career has taken. It seems like no athlete has taking as big of a downfall after divorcing.

Woods looked to be on pace to be the greatest golfer of all time, at least in the terms of winning majors, but now some question that he will reach that claim. It’s hard to argue. Woods had 164 top-10 finishes from 1996-2009 and has only 21 over the past four-plus years. All-in-all, Woods has 79 PGA Tour wins--71 of which happened before 2010--but that number has tapered off significantly since his infidelity. In 2010 and ‘11, Woods failed to earn a Tour win and only had four top-10 finishes, granted while battling injuries. 2012 and '13 were more kind to Woods, he returned to the No. 1 ranking, grabbed 8 PGA Tour wins and looked to be back on track. Yet, 2014 has been a horrible year for Woods so far and he's only competed in three events, finishing in the top-25 only once.

While Woods could theoretically play for a long time to come; the shelf life of an NFL QB isn't nearly as long, so hopefully for Wilson and Seattle fans around the world next season goes smoothly for all parties involved. 

Being the consummate professional like he is, most likely Wilson and the Seahawks will be just fine. 

From reports so far it doesn't seem like Wilson cheated or anything like that happened, as is the case for the above highlighted athletes. Maybe with an amicable split Wilson will be fine on the field. Maybe he still will even with a less-than-amicable one. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, the Seahawks QB will have some new-found distractions in 2014, either with an on-going divorce or with finding out what it's like to be single for the first time since high school.

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