Brian Wilson “There’s not a lot of thought process, but if I want to do something I’m going to do it.”April 14, 2011 – 7:30 am by Steven Cuce
There really hasn’t been a true character in baseball since Manny Ramirez, excluding the positive steroid tests from the argument, looking solely at personality. Manny being Manny seemed at times to be a cancer to his locker-room, but Brian Wilson has been the exact opposite. Wilson’s energy has ignited his San Francisco Giants teammates and engulfed the Bay Area with it. Wilson racked up 48 saves last season for the World Series Champions along with developing a legendary beard that caught everyone’s attention.
Wilson truly enjoys being a professional athlete while balancing the routine of being somewhat of a sideshow. He claims he has been thinking since he was the age of zero and when he commits to something he dives into it one hundred percent. His trademark beard has ascended him into becoming a legend on the West Coast professional sporting summit as many throughout baseball just get a kick out of him. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what sports fans think of him because that’s who he is regardless of outside opinion. Wilson takes pride in that sentiment saying “That’s just how I roll.”
Brian Wilson joined ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo to discuss if this character is something he’s always been or if he just adopted since the growth of his beard, the press enjoying that he’s had fun being a professional athlete, is there a point where his beard becomes unruly, how does he like being compared to Dr. Richard Kimble of The Fugitive and do the cameras of the new Showtime documentary “The Franchise,” ever become too intrusive.
Is this character that you are something you have always been? Or is this something you’ve been playing up since last year when you grew the beard?
“Well I think a lot of people are adapting to the beard. I’m not the first person with facial hair, but you know if the fans like it the fans like it. I’m all for it. I can say I’ve been wearing the same types of clothing you know happy socks since I was seven, wearing shorts all the time, sweatpants, whatever. That’s just what I do. You know if I’m going to be that guy on the baseball field that’s who I am off the field whether you like or not, buy into it or not. Honestly, it is what it is. That’s just how I roll.”
We’ve enjoyed that you’ve had fun with being a professional athlete along the way by dressing up and acting as a character?
“Yeah you nailed it right there. I’m in my twenties. I’m playing one of the greatest sports ever, not that I’m just playing it a on such a bigger pedestal, but I’ve been playing since I was seven. The game hasn’t changed. It’s exciting every time I take the field no matter what situation is going on. I want to live my life too. I’ve been playing baseball organized since I was five. I’ve been thinking since I was zero. I like to continue to come up with new things on the spot. I’m pretty much impulse. My inning dictates that. There’s not a lot of thought process, but if I want to do something I’m going to do it and I’m going to dive into it one hundred percent.”
Is there a point where your beard becomes unruly and it affects your delivery in some way?
“I don’t know. I guess we’re just going to have to test the waters. For me I don’t even notice, obviously that’s difficult to hear for people because it’s just the monstrosity on my face. That’s fine. I don’t feel it. I don’t really notice it. When I’m out on the mound the only thing I’m concerned with is throwing the ball as humanly hard as I can with one hundred percent conviction behind it and than have the Giants win. I’m sure at one point when it reaches my feet and I’m stepping on it we’ll probably have to call Gillette and see what can happen.”
Do you approve of my comparison of you being Dr. Richard Kimble from The Fugitive being you?
“Harrison Ford does great movies. Dr. Richard Kimble. Boom! Approved.”
Showtime has the new documentary “The Franchise,” premiering this week following the San Francisco Giants. Did the cameras ever get intrusive following you guys every day?
“There’s certain times a day where they know where to be and where not to be. It’s basically the MLB crew. They know how to handle things. We had cameras around all year last year and it didn’t phase anybody in October or November, so they know when to come to the field. They know the right spots to get you and basically they’ll ask you ‘Would you like to do this? No. Okay. Would you like to do this? Yes. Here’s what it’ll be. You come find us. Just pretend we’re not even here.’ Easier said than done, but on a daily basis we’re around a bunch of cameras. The focus is still winning the game and playing as a team. That’s never going to change. Once you adapt to the cameras being around you don’t even realize they are there.”