Me, Myself & I

Me, Myself & I

When I sat down to write this post, I labored over how I could articulate my points. How could I communicate the need to take care of myself when society forces the ideals that if women spend one minute to themselves then they are doomed to be bad wives, mothers, and businesswomen? 

Growing in God

Usually I can just sit down and start writing. The words just seem to flow but this time was different. I was nervous and anxious but I wasn't sure why. Despite knowing what I wanted to write about, I kept delaying the inevitable. Why wasn't it flowing? Why was I being so hesitant about writing this time? Was it because it was too personal or hitting a little too close to home? Or maybe I wasn't making it a priority. I decided "enough was enough" and I needed to get this out. I believe that if God puts something on your heart, you better listen. No need to miss blessings because of laziness. Throughout my journey in growing in God, I have tried to be a better person, making adjustments here and there just like we all do. Most of those changes didn't cause much of a fuss in my life and seemed easy— but then God challenged me. Why was it okay for me to grow in God but not others?

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. - Romans 14:13 NIV

We are all guilty of judging others. No matter how many church services we attend or holy communions we take, at some point in our lives we have judged someone else. Whether it be how they dress, how they look, or even how they raise their children. We have all done it. Primarily we judge others based on how their behavior or actions measure up to our moral compass. This is a part of life but I realized that even if the person has changed, often we don't allow the perception of how we think of them to change. We create this barrier in our minds that blocks out their growth. We refuse to believe that our pettiness is no longer warranted or excusable. I was guilty of all of these things. Why was I still holding on to stuff people did in college or even last year? How could I grow in God but not give them the grace that God so eagerly gives to us?

After the nagging feeling just wouldn't go away, I started to evaluate myself. I realized that whatever I was holding on to was holding me back from being greater. So I made a decision that I would allow others to grow in God. Who was I to refuse that? If someone reached out or apologized for their wrongs, I wouldn't secretly wish they didn't so I could be the “better person.” Also, I decided to not let the opinions of others prevent me from developing my own opinion of someone. Just like I grew, others can too.

As women in this crazy NFL life it is easy to just judge others or refuse to associate with someone based on who they used to be. As women we should challenge one another to grow in God not through criticism or judgment but through love. Growing in God is a blessing that is not limited to the few that qualify; it is open to everyone.

Jonesing for the NFL Life

We have all heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses,” but for the NFL Family this can be very dangerous. One of the first things I tell my clients is “contrary to popular belief everyone in the NFL is not a millionaire.” Matter of fact, most players are not millionaires and most won’t ever be in that tax bracket solely based on their NFL contracts. From private flights to the infamous red bottom shoe wall, the stereotypical NFL life can be every family’s dream. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to fly private? No pesky security lines or stress of fitting your entire life into 50 pounds or less. But the reality is sometimes flying commercial now prevents you from being broke later. The Athlete

Immediately after players declare for the draft, they are propelled into a life of temptation. From expensive watches or loan advancements for new cars, the stereotypical NFL life seems to be a dream come true. Most players are instantly persuaded by agents, homeboys, family members and even some NFL teammates that they should live like a baller. The irony in this is that most of those influencers who push for the elaborate lifestyle would not be able to live the lifestyle without the generosity of the player.

For the athlete, the pressure to live a lavish lifestyle is very real. They must have the latest Jordan’s and designer brands including the famous Louis belt. Yes clothes, cars and bags are important but the true burden comes from nightlife spending. During the lockout, several players flocked to Miami to train but to also party. We have all heard of “Liv on Sunday,” and Liv was definitely aware of all of the NFL money that was in town. Players spending between $7,000 and $10,000 on a table every weekend was the norm, and complaining about it was simply unacceptable. No one cares about “how their accounts are set up.” If they are in the club, then they are buying tables because once they become a NFL player the expectation of high end living is the new standard.

The Family

The athlete isn’t the only one facing the pressures of living high. NFL wives are judged by their bags, shoes, cars and even eyelashes. Yes even eyelashes! From elaborate weddings and discussions about who has the biggest ring, the standards are high even if your accounts are low. Eyes are watching and unfortunately this is the downfall of a lot of NFL families. Wives aren’t the only ones who fall victim to the extravagant life, family members and homeboys who all of a sudden can no longer take care of themselves and assume the player is now responsible for their existence are some of the biggest culprits in perpetuating the bravado.

The Reality

The truth is some players don’t learn that they can’t keep up with the Joneses until they are already knee deep in debt. Car payments, multiple mortgages, high credit card limits, and countless depreciating assets create unnecessary stress on both the athlete and the family. Someone who is making $500,000 a year can’t live the same lifestyle that someone who is making $10,000,000 a year without some pretty crafty investing. Unfortunately, I have witnessed it all from selling all they had to sending out mass texts to people they barely know asking for $20,000 loans.

The reality: Don’t let the time in the NFL be a waste. Become the Jones don’t try to keep up with them.

For more information on how to start a business or a nonprofit, email me at tpatterson@definitivesportsrepresentation.com.

Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.

Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless

NFL Player Engagement Programs Focus on Life Beyond the NFL

Playing in the NFL is a dream for many but only attained by few. It is a small fraternity of men and their families that are connected forever. The NFL launched the NFL Families initiative that not only focused on active players but former players as well, and how they defined FAMILY. It’s more than adorable Dad-Do commercials and invigorating ads, the NFL Family initiative is bridging that gap between the images of fantasy players to seeing players as real people too! Part of this initiative includes the NFL Player Engagement (NFLPE) which focuses on three themes: Prep, Life, and Next. NFLplayer_engagement


NFL Prep is for high school and college student-athletes of all sports, and provides them with tools to help them succeed in life, focused on awareness, prevention, and education. NFL Life provides active NFL players with professional and personal development resources, “while supporting and educating players’ families to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by their NFL experience.” NFL Next Legends “serve, equip, and empower former players and their families during the transition from their NFL experience and throughout their lives.” See www.nflplayerengagement.com for more information.

Many players have taken advantage of the various resources available through the NFL Player Engagement. However, there are some players who are completely unaware of the benefits of these resources during their career and in planning for their post-NFL career. From coaching boot camps to personal finance workshops, the Player Engagement programs prove to be worth it. Some programs are even open to spouses. See below for some of the programs scheduled for this year:


personal-financeNFL BOOT CAMP PERSONAL FINANCE: April 4th-April 7th, 2016

This program will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida offering a relaxed learning environment for current and former players and their significant others. This year’s program will provide participants the opportunity to acquire knowledge that directly relates to their finances and lifestyles. Education will be provided by TD Ameritrade and the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration.



Sports Journalism and Radio Boot Camp will take place at Bowling Green State University. This boot camp provides the opportunity for current and former players to enhance their writing skills, build journalism and radio portfolios, and receive on-site feedback and mentoring from ESPN Radio, Westwood One, and Bowling Green faculty. Following the completion of this boot camp, qualified candidates may have the opportunity to participate on ESPN Radio.

advanced-broadcastingNFL BOOT CAMP ADVANCED BROADCASTING: May 16th - 19th, 2016

The NFL Advanced Broadcast Boot Camp takes place in Mt. Laurel, NJ at NFL Films and is open to those who have completed Broadcasting Boot Camp. This provides the opportunity to build on the foundation from previous training and strengthen broadcasting skills. This program provides increased knowledge and follow through with more possible job opportunities and internships.

broadcastingNFL BOOT CAMP BROADCASTING: May 16th-19th, 2016

This year Player Engagement celebrates the 10th annual Broadcasting Boot Camp. Broadcasting Boot Camp provides players on-set training in broadcasting to build experience and determine interests. Players can explore multiple on-air job functions in television/media. Key learnings include: Tape study, show preparation, field reporting, and production meetings.

bill_walsh_minority_coaching620_330Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship

Providing talented minority coaches an opportunity to observe and participate during NFL OTA’s, mini and training camp and assist them in gaining experience to pursue a full-time NFL coaching position.




In this site, you will find information about your benefits as an NFL player. These benefits protect you while you play, help ease the transition to life and work after football, and provide a base upon which to build for your retirement. We believe that, overall, these benefits are the best available in professional sports. https://www.mygoalline.com/

All Pro Dads

Our message will inspire you to embrace who you are, give you tenderness of heart, and boldness of character as a dad and husband. We are consistently here for you to provide guidance and practical tips in raising your kids in a life giving way.  http://www.allprodad.com/

NFL Foundation

The NFL Foundation is the league’s nonprofit organization representing the 32 NFL clubs. Its mission is to support the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football and the communities which support our game. http://www.nflfoundation.org/

Professional Football Wives Association

The Professional Football Wives Association (PFWA) was founded on a mission comprised of three basic tenets: Faith, Family and Football. PFWA's mission is to be a faith based organization that promotes unity and friendship among football wives, fiancées, and girlfriends, that positively redefines the stereotypes of NFL families, and that serves as a support system for women of the NFL. http://www.profootballwives.org

Don’t see a program you like? Contact the NFL Player Engagement office at www.nflplayerengagement.com for more information.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin

For more information email me at: tpatterson@definitivesportsrepresentation.com!

Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.

Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless

Facebook: Tenisha Patterson Brown

Instagram: @TPattBrown

Twitter: @TPatt12

SnapChat: TPattBrown

Infertility: Fighting the Stigma

InfertilityMost women, especially women who wait until later in life to have children, know about the infamous age-35 rule. Once you turn 35, there is a higher risk of babies born with birth defects but, more importantly, a higher risk of never getting pregnant at all. As a barely-30-year-old woman, I never imagined that I would have difficulty getting pregnant. I also never imagined that I would have so many friends and associates that were battling with the same issue, but who were too afraid or embarrassed to share their stories.

What is Infertility?

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, "infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive. If you are over the age of 35, the time frame is shortened to 6 months." There are a variety of issues that cause infertility, most of which won't be discovered until a couple fails to get pregnant.

The Stigma

As I walked into the fertility facility for the first time, there was a dry erase board conveniently placed right next to the elevator. On the board was a list of the top 10 strategies on "how to deal with infertility." Some of the strategies included avoiding baby showers and deflecting the conversations about conception, primarily because people can be insensitive about the issue.

My husband and I thought some of the strategies seemed a bit extreme, but there had to be a reason they needed this board. We entered the lobby and it was filled with women who looked like me. They were my age; some dressed professionally, stopping in before work and others were with their husbands.

The one commonality was that no one dared to make eye contact. Everyone was anxious or seemingly on the verge of tears. No one said a word, and as my husband and I conversed about what to expect we received side glances by those who assumed that we didn't know the proper decorum. It was admittedly unsettling. Why did these women feel this way?

Fighting the Stigma

Regardless of how much you accomplish in life, there is still an expectation of becoming a mother. If that doesn't happen quickly, then you must be doing something wrong or there is something wrong with you.

Once my husband and I were married, I was immediately bombarded with questions concerning the creation of miniature versions of ourselves. After a year of no baby, I was then bombarded with questions about why I didn't want to have children - a grossly misguided assumption. Despite the inappropriate comments by those who weren't privileged to know the complete rundown of my medical history, I wasn't prepared for the reactions I would receive once I started sharing my story.

Despite initial reluctance from loved ones, I decided to be completely open about my journey to motherhood. Initially, I started to blog about my journey as an alternative to stressing over pills and shots, but it quickly turned into so much more. I wrote candidly about my struggles and the path that I was taking to become a mother.

As I began to share my story, I immediately received emails from women who thanked me for being so open about my journey. They expressed how they had been struggling for years and felt alone, but were too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. I realized that my candidness was not for me but for those women who couldn't speak for themselves. There is no shame in your struggle and there is no shame in fighting to become a mother.

For more information about My Journey to Motherhood visit my blog www.fiercefabulousflawless.com.

Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.

Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless!

Q&A with NFL Wife Geeta Bishop: "The Better Half"

  This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is with Geeta Bishop, the amazingly talented and intelligent wife of NFL Super Bowl XLV Champ, Desmond Bishop. Geeta and I connected because of our similar entrepreneurial mission (which we discuss in the interview). She is the creator of The Better Half, a Wisconsin-based talkshow featuring the better halves of the Green Bay Packers. She also wrote and self-published a book with her husband called Life Actually. The two recently had a son and we have plenty of adorable photos to share! Look out for Geeta and all her big plans for the WAGS community. Read the interview below...


Name: Geeta Bishop

Husband: Desmond Bishop

Husband is Active or Retired: Active

Tenure in the NFL and Teams: This will be our 9th year. Drafted to the Packers (6 years), Vikings, Cardinals, 49ers

Children: Son, Desmond II (15 months)

Favorite Food: A really good salad!

Music on your playlist right now: I’m really into Priyanka Chopra who is the star of Quantico. She was Miss World 10 years ago and is a huge Bollywood star.

Hobbies: I don’t really have time for hobbies at the moment.

Interesting Facts: I’m the first in my family to marry outside of my race.


"I’ll do whatever it takes to allow him to live his dream because he’ll do whatever it takes to allow me to live my dream." - Geeta Bishop, NFL wife


LM: I started reading your book Life Actuallyso I'm learning of your upbringing. Tell the readers where you’re from and a little about your childhood.

GB: I’m from California. I was raised in a super strict and sheltered household where you had to get straight As or you would be in trouble. My parents were immigrants from India so their life goal was to make sure their children went to great schools and were successful. My siblings and I all went to UC Berkeley. I was President of my high school class and so were my brothers. My siblings and I were all Rally Commissioners. I didn’t even date anyone until I met Desmond. I liked other guys before him but I was scared to date.

For several years, I was super secretive about who I was dating. For one, it wasn't ideal that he played football. There's such a stigma that athletes are bad. What you see in the media is that these athletes are not good guys. It took a long long time for my family to see where I was coming from and who Desmond was. They wanted me to marry a nice Indian guy who understood the culture. It took them a long time but eventually they came around and now they love Desmond! You can’t meet Desmond and not love him. He’s seriously one of the greatest human beings alive. He’s the best dad!

LM: Give us the details on how you and Desmond met.

GB: We attended the same high school in California and met the last day of our senior  year. He had seen me at the Senior Award banquet the night before and saw that I had received numerous awards and scholarships. He approached me and said, “Can I shake your hand because you had a lot of awards last night?” I responded, "Do you play basketball or something?" because he was so tall. He told me he played football. After we exchanged a few words, I told my friend, "I think that guy likes me" and she responded, "There’s no way he likes you. He's a big time football player. He's like famous.” I dropped it and didn't think about it any further.

At graduation, we ended up sitting next to each other because of our last names. After graduation, I went to grad night and he went too. Every time I turned around he was right there! He kept trying to talk to me so I finally said, “I’m sorry but I’m going to Berkely. I’m not interested.”He even had his friend try on his behalf: "Give my guy a chance. He really likes you." The funny part about this was that the friend who approached me used to bully me in junior high. I thought, "Desmond hangs out with this guy? There's no way I'm talking to him." I told his friend, “Tell him to come talk to me himself.”

When Desmond approached me, I repeated the same story: “I’m just not interested in dating guys.” I was really focused on my future at Berkeley.

He went on a search to find my phone number. I found out that my best friend gave given him my number. She was in our wedding. I was so mad at her at the time for giving him my number and she said, “Why? He has a girlfriend!” I called him and said I would tell his girlfriend. He pleaded with me and said they were no longer dating. After I heard that I never wanted to speak to him or have anything to do with him again.

Fast forward to the summer. I was taking summer classes to prepare for Berkeley and he was in the same class to make up credits. I would see him everyday but not talk to him. Then he started handing me poems everyday. One day, he handed me a CD and told me to listen to it. It was a song he made called "Someone To Love" and it ended up being our first dance song at our wedding. After that, we started talking and eventually dating.

To this day, we have a running joke about how we met. He claims I was into him first but everyone knows it was the other way around!

Read Geeta's interview with Pro Players Insider here

LM: You're a new mom! How has motherhood changed you?

GB: Man. I can’t even look at the world the same anymore. I worry, love and care so much about this little human that has barely said words. It’s difficult to explain in words how we feel about this little boy. We had a tough time gtting pregnant and I had a miscarriage previously so we consider him our angel! There’s nothing better than being a parent.

LM: Talk about your mission as an entrepreneur?

GB: My mission as an entrepreneur has always been to do right by others. Why not feel good about what you’re doing and empower each other to be better! Imagine if all the women in the world supported one another rather than acting as competition. Instead of adopting the attitude "I'm better than you" or "I created this therefore I know more than you," how about supporting each other? Indian women have reached out to me because I married an African American man. It’s a tough road in our culture to date outside of our race. They'll message me about that and ask for advice. The clothing line I’m in the process of creating, Mini Me, will donate 50% of the profits to charity. It’s not about the money. Everything I do is based on empowering others.

LM: What is the most satisfying thing you have accomplished to date?

GB: My son! He's everything! He's my husband and I combined.

LM: What has been the most challenging part of being an NFL wife?

GB: I think the most challenging aspect is moving so much and not having stability in where we go, the unknown. That doesn't outweigh the greatness you feel when your husband is living his dream! Desmond is living his dream. I’ll do whatever it takes to allow him to live his dream, because he’ll do whatever it takes to allow me to live my dream.

LM: What about being an NFL wife gives you a life perspective unique to other women?

GB: My answer is two-fold. It’s different because we do have to allow our guys to put something before us in a lot of ways. I remember to this day that Desmond had a game when I miscarried. He didn’t have to but I wanted him to go to the game! There was nothing for him to do at home; I could handle it. Women are strong enough to handle any challenges God puts in our path.

At the same time we’re normal, we’re frugal, and we want to do what’s best for our kids. We’re different but we’re the same. You have to be selfless in many ways. That’s why you have to rely on the women. You have to rely on the other NFL women to be there.

LM: What do you hope will come out of your experience as an NFL wife?

GB: There’s nothing I hope will come out of my experience. I just really try to support my husband. That in itself is huge. Most people don’t even get to the professional level. My husband has been playing almost a decade.

LM: Tell us about any upcoming projects you have.

GB: I’m working on taking my show The Better Half national. I’m in the process of developing my clothing line Mini Me. We also have a burger spot we’re trying to open in San Francisco. My husband grew up in Bayview Hunters Point, a lower income area that is becoming gentrified. We’re taking it upon ourselves to give something great back to the area.

I’m also really into making my own products. I'm Indian so I have many home remedies. For example, my son had an ear infection one time and I didn’t want to give him the ear infection medicine because I have read bad things about it. My mother told me to fry garlic with mustard oil, let it cool, and put it in my son’s ear. I followed her instructions and when we returned to the doctor a couple days later, the ear infection was gone. This inspired me so much! I want to create products like organic diapers and shampoos (similar to The Honest Company). These are just things I enjoy doing.

LM: Where can the people find out more about you/follow you

GB: You can follow me on Instagram @geetacb or Twitter @geeta_c


Q&A with NFL Girlfriend Adrianne Holt: "I'm Opening A Learning Academy"

This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of Ms. Adrianne Holt. Adrianne has the kind of genuine and gentle spirit that is rare to find these days. She is a mother of one, businesswoman, and the significant other of Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle, Pat Sims. Adrianne and I first connected a few months ago through the Praying Women NFL chat group after I mentioned my website. She was the first one to reach out in support of my mission (thank you!). I was so excited to interview Adrianne and learn more about her learning center Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy and personal experiences in the NFL.



Name: Adrianne Holt

Boyfriend: Pat Sims

Significant other is Active or Retired: Active

Years Played in the NFL: 2008 -2012 Cincinnati Bengals, 2013-2014 Oakland Raiders, 2015 - Present Cincinnati Bengals

Children: Son

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: Cincinnati, Oakland

Home: Atlanta

Favorite Food: Chicken, Salmon and Steak! I just love to eat and trying new things

Music Playlist: I listen to all types of music! Rap, R&B, Pop, Gospel

Hobbies: I love dancing (meaning I love to engage in the act of dancing and watch others dance lyrical, jazz, ballet, and hip hop). I enjoy cooking! Pat and I take pride in cooking and trying new recipes, especially when we view a new dish on The Food Network. I enjoy hosting family events and throwing themed parties. I also enjoy taking photos and scrapbooking in my spare time because I cherish life's priceless moments and memories. 

Interesting Facts: I'm a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. I danced and cheered during my primary, secondary, and college years. I was always selected as a captain at each level, which constitutes leadership amongst my peers. My tenure as a cheerleader and dancer enabled me to work well with others, which is a strong skill I possess. 

I have had the honor of teaching Martin Luther King Jr.'s granddaughter and Allen Iverson’s daughter. - Adrianne Holt


LM: The Bengals are undefeated thus far in the season. Congrats! What's it like to attend a game these days. How are the Bengals fans?

AH: I absolutely love it. We were with the Bengals from 2008 to 2012, went to Oakland Raiders for two seasons and now we're back in Cinci. I was very excited about coming back. The fans in Cincinnati are amazing and so supportive.

LM: Nice! Who Dey! Lets talk about you now. Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

AH: I was born in Decatur, Georgia and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I went to elementary, middle, and high school there. I attended South Carolina State University for college and studied Early Childhood Education. Once I graduated from SCSU, I returned to Atlanta. My first job after college was working at The Suzuki School, a private preschool. It’s very well-known in Atlanta because many celebrities take their children there. I have had the honor of teaching Martin Luther King Jr.'s granddaughter and Allen Iverson’s daughter. Sandra Bullock's stepdaughter also attended the school.

Once I was pregnant with my son, I decided to go into business for myself and focus on raising him. I moved to Ohio with Pat so we could raise our son together. I started brainstorming ideas for opening up my own learning center. I finally received the guidance I was seeking with a business coach.

LM: How did you find your business coach? 

AH: I was introduced to Ms. Roxanne Hammond via Pat's mother. His parents knew of my dream and thought she would be the perfect person to connect with. One of her services involves assisting professional athletes and their significant others with a gameplan for life after professional sports. I connected with her and I absolutely love her! She also has another division that serves youth and young adults by helping them develop a game plan to accomplish their personal educational and career goals.

Visit Game Plan Scholars here.

LM: How did you and Pat meet?

AH: We actually met in Miami in 2011. He’s from Ft. Lauderdale and I was in Miami with friends. A mutual friend introduced us and the rest is history. Interestingly enough, we both have the same vision. I desired to open a school and he wanted to invest in schools. I am very adamant about doing it on my own. I had an NFL fundraiser last month where he donated 25 Bengals game tickets and autographed footballs. Pat is also donating game tickets for various games. Pat supports my dreams and we're working together on the school but at the end of the day, this is my vision.


LM: You recently started a new business. Tell us about Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy and how it came about?

AH: It’s always been a dream of mine to open up a learning center. I’ve always been very passionate about children. Having the opportunity to turn my lifelong dream into a reality is just amazing. Our vision at Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy is to provide a premiere education for young children.

Most preschools learn through play and don’t allow children to explore beyond conventional ways. Through years of training and schooling, I've learned that young children can learn anything at any age. It’s never too early to introduce anything to them! Children understand way more than what adults realize. Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy will focus on an enrichment program (culinary arts, sports, foreign language, performing arts) along with education.

We want to incorporate a special program for families in which a parent is a professional athlete. I have struggled with having a young child and living in this lifestyle. Since I studied Early Childhood Education, I know the importance of it. I have had problems with traveling back and forth to different cities. Some pro athlete careers are stable where a player may be with a team for a long time or move for six months out of the year and return home for six months. For the players in between teams and constantly moving with different contracts, those with children face additional problems with schools.  Most schools don't accommodate travel schedules. We have to pay for childcare and tuition whether we’re here or not. I want to solve this problem by working out a deal to accodomate the travel schedule of professional athlete families.

Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy will provide high-quality childcare for an affordable price. We want to cater the curriculum to the unique learning style of each child. There will be low child to teacher ratios. We will also have a strong partnership with parents (parent partnership program) so the adults are on the same page. What we do at school should also be done at home in order to foster a great learning relationship.

Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy is scheduled to open its first location in Smyrna, Georgia in the summer of 2016.

The website is currently under construction but you can follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/borntobeleaders and social media accounts for updates.

Instagram: @born_to_be_leaders

Twitter: @borntobeleaders


Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy is hosting a family game-day fundraiser on November 14, 2015 at Tolleson Park in Smyrna, Georgia. Geared for all ages, this fun-filled day will include: food, drinks, arts & crafts, video game trucks and inflatables! There will be something for everyone! Winners of the video game tournament and sports challenges will have the opportunity to step into the Born To Be Leaders Learning Academy cash cube for a chance to win professional sports tickets, gas and grocery cards, free daycare coupons and/or holiday cash! Contact Adrianne for more details.

LM: What is your ultimate goal for Born To Be Leaders?

AH: Our mission statement embodies my goals:

To empower young children to become natural-born leaders at an early age by providing all students with skills, knowledge and values to succeed throughout their educational career.

We are starting off small but eventually want to start a chain of Born To Be Leaders Learning Academies.

LM: What do you believe are the pros and cons of being in a relationship with a NFL player?

AH: Pros – I absolutely love the opportunity to attend the games and watch my significant other do something he loves. For those who have children, it's nice to see your child cheering and excited to see their dad perform to the best of his ability every Sunday. I'm proud to watch him because I think playing in the NFL is very courageous! Traveling, meeting other families and developing new relationships is another positive.

Cons – It’s sad when you get used to a city and your friends and family are in a city and then you have to move and start all over. At the end of the day, you get to meet new people so it’s a pro and a con. Living in two cities simultaneously can be quite “stressful” with moving back and forth (especially with children). The holidays can be interesting. Our home is in Atlanta but the majority of the time we spend Christmas wherever Pat is playing and ship the Christmas gifts back home. Your significant other is also gone a lot so it can feel like you are a single mother at times! You have to explain to your child that daddy is at work, traveling or going off to camp. That’s not for everyone! The last con I'll mention is the risk of injury. As a wife or girlfriend, you're excited to see your man out there but you’re nervous at the same time because you don’t want them to get hurt. Anything can happen within a second! It's a bundle of emotions. You’re excited, you’re cheering, and you’re nervous!

LM: What is your love advice to NFL WAGS?

AH: Love advice? Keep God first in your relationship. Communication is key. Try to understand one another and be supportive. Make your significant other feel like they don’t have to look for anything else outside of your relationship. Keep it close knit. Overall, just have fun!

Pat is actually very funny! He’s a defensive tackle, but once you get to know him you can’t help but love him. He’s very generous and he’ll tell it like it is. I can’t help but laugh some times. We have our serious moments and we have our playful moments. We love to have fun by watching movies and TV shows, cooking, traveling, and enjoying each other's company.

What would you like people to know about you

AH: Overall, I’m just a very sweet and genuine person. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I’m probably one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. I always try to make sure others are okay. Sometimes when others meet me they might say, “Are you being real? Because most people aren’t this nice.” It’s just who I am! I love to have fun and I’m all for supporting and empowering others. At the end of the day, education is key. When you have a strong background in education, the sky is the limit! I just feel it's very important in life for your future endeavors!

LM: Anything else you would like to add? 

AH: I honestly would like to team up with the NFL and other professional sports organizations. I'm all about independence and women establishing their own. Use this opportunity with the NFL as a stepping stone. Don’t fall behind the shadows and lose your identity. I have noticed that some women in this lifestyle fall behind. I would really like to start a committee or foundation one day for women of professional athletes. We all understand the lifestyle and what comes with it. We have to be a strong support system for everyone. You have to know who you are in order to be in this lifestyle and handle what comes with it. As women, we have to be there for each other and uplift one another. Don’t forget your goals and dreams as well.

I love, love, love what you’re doing. It’s sickening to see what reality TV portrays us to be. We're not about the arguing and fighting. I support you 100% in your mission.

Follow Adrianne on Instagram at: @classy_a92


Q&A with NFL Coach's Wife Lori Warhop: "I Know How to Move!"

George Warhop, Lori Warhop, son Jacob and daughter Olivia (Photo: Dustin Franz |  SI )

George Warhop, Lori Warhop, son Jacob and daughter Olivia (Photo: Dustin Franz | SI)

This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the super sweet supermom Lori Warhop. Lori and I connected after she heard of WAGS Redefined from another coach's wife. She is the wife of an NFL coach and has been for the past 20 years. I was very interested in learning more about Lori's story, her business Living Pro Sports, and the advice she had to offer NFL families. We had the most enjoyable (and lengthy) conversation over the phone last week. Lori shared so much valuable and intriguing information in this interview that you'll want to read to the end... NFL WAG Stats

Name: Lori Warhop

Husband: George Warhop

Anniversary: March 10, 1990 (25 years)

Husband’s Coaching Tenure and Teams: University of Kansas (1 season), Vanderbilt University (2 seasons), New Mexico (1 season), World League in London (2 seasons), SMU (1 season), Boston College (2 seasons), St. Louis Rams (2 seasons), Arizona Cardinals (5 seasons), Dallas Cowboys (2 seasons), San Francisco 49ers (4 seasons), Cleveland Browns (5 seasons), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2 seasons -Present)

Children: Daughter Olivia (freshman in college)  & son Jacob (senior in high school)

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: We've moved 11 times due to college and NFL coaching changes (See Husband's Coaching Tenure)

Describe “Home”: It’s so interesting when you move frequently because when you start out in a new city, all you have is each other (since you don’t know anyone yet). It gives you an opportunity to really get to know each other. It’s great when you have teenagers and they invite their friends over because they like hanging out with us. It might have to do with George's cooking but I don't want to believe they just want good food. Home for us? I think we’ll end up as close as our kids will let us be to their own lives and families.

Favorite Food: Pumpkin pie

Music on your playlist: A little bit of everything. The one my kids made for me. 

That was my first indication that my life was not going to be normal.
— - Lori Warhop, NFL Coach's Wife


Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

I was born in Wyoming and spent most of my adolescent life in Kansas. I attended the University of Kansas.

How did you and your husband meet?

We met after college when he was coaching at the University of Kansas. My best friend introduced us. He left Kansas and took a job at Vanderbilt in Nashville. We married in 1990. The funny thing about our wedding was that we were both living in Nashville, but after football season he took a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico so we moved there. We had made all our wedding preparations in Nashville so we flew back for the weekend to get married in Nashville. That was my first indication that my life was not going to be normal but I didn’t pay attention to the red flag!

That is too funny! What’s life like as an NFL coach’s wife?

That’s a loaded question. It’s independent. If you’re not independent in the beginning, you will be in the end. You’re by yourself a lot because your husband is always working. I think a misconception is that when the season is over, he has all this time off. That’s just not true. Coaches are getting ready for the draft. My husband works out the players before the draft. He’s on the road a bit too.

Anyone who can play in the NFL is exceptional so you’re working with exceptional athletes every day.

What are some of the challenges of being married to an NFL coach and what do you like about it?

The challenge for me is the frequent moving. I think what I like about it is that he loves it. He grinds out 18 hour days without complaint. He loves what he does. He loves the relationship he has with his players. He’s a really great talent evaluator from what I’m told. He’ll see a player and say, “He could really be amazing if I could just get him to do [this, this and this].” He loves the teaching, developmental, and team-building part of it. He enjoys creating something great, the challenges, and the competition. Anyone who can play in the NFL is exceptional so you’re working with exceptional athletes every day. I didn’t really understand that until I went to training camp one year with the (Cleveland) Browns. I happened to get a good spot and saw Shaun Rogers (defensive tackle). He’s this 300-plus pound big, enormous guy who moved like a gazelle. He was so powerful, graceful and quick. It was amazing to see up close. Their physical ability is almost immortal in a way. My husband loves developing that player and competing at the highest level. That’s what I love about it for George. It’s about making his players and team the best 100% of the time.

What are your hobbies?

I study Italian. When we moved from Dallas to California, it was tough to meet people because the city is so big. San Francisco was the hardest place to feel like you belong in a community because people are moving 100 miles per hour. I thought to myself, “What is it you would really like to do that you’ve never had a chance to do?” So I started taking a beginning Italian class. Another positive aspect about this life is that it forces you into trying things you would never consider otherwise. It’s made me very uncomfortable but in a good way. It's forced me to grow.

Most of my personal experience has been in starting over and moving. I thought, how can I share my experience to help someone else?

What is your occupation?

When you’re moving an average of every two years, my first obligation is always to make sure my kids feel safe and connected in our new community. I’ve become really really good at getting my kids plugged in fast with activities (art, sports, camps, etcetera). I think it’s difficult to have a career as a wife married to someone in this profession. I always wanted to have a business for myself. My kids are now going off to college (one is a freshman in college and the other a senior in high school) so I have the opportunity to focus on this now.

You recently started a business, Living Pro Sports. Tell us about it and what inspired you?

When I started thinking about creating a business, I asked myself “What do I know how to do well?” I know how to move! Many people move, maybe not as often as us, but people are moving. Between 2012 and 2013, 35.9 million people moved to a different residence (US Census Report).

Experts say the top most stressful things that can happen to a person include: moving, getting fired from a job and starting a new job. Most of my personal experience has been in starting over and moving. I thought, how can I share my experience to help someone else? The frequent relocation was the inspiration behind my business. I’m really resourceful. I’ve kind of learned through experience the little tricks about finding good information. For example, if you want to look for great camps for your kids, most schools offer those.

My goal is to give everyone a virtual rolodex of information so you can move into your new home, get plugged in and catch your breath.

Many of the NFL teams don’t really provide you with this information. I’m speaking to the nuts and bolts of what you need (i.e. school systems, handyman, etc.). If a coach is going to be fired, it’s normally at the end of football season. When my husband takes a new job, he’s off. I’m left to manage the emotional and logistical transition. I have to help my kids and manage, “Yes, we’re moving,” and make it sound like a fun and exciting adventure.

If you move after the school year is over, they haven’t had a chance to meet any kids before school starts. If you think you’re going to get to the new place in June and plug them into a camp, it’s not going to happen. Camp sign-ups are in April or May so now you’re spending all your time trying to sort things out. My goal is to give everyone a virtual rolodex of information so you can move into your new home, get plugged in and catch your breath. All of the resources I’m curating are from families in coaching or in sports. They’re the people that, if I were moving into a new town, I would ask for information. They’ve lived there, so they can make honest recommendations. I trust that resource and recommendation.

What was one of the toughest experiences you’ve had moving?

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer six years ago during a transitional period. We were preparing to move from San Francisco to Cleveland.

Read the full story on Sports Illustrated here.

Wow! That is the first story I have heard of it’s kind. Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad she’s healthy now. Do you have any advice to current NFL families?

Don’t take job changes personally. I think that’s important but it's hard to do. There are a lot of different reasons why decisions are made and most of them are not personal. There's a funny saying I always think about: "When one door closes, another one opens but it is hell in the hallway!" Fortunately, we’ve always been retained with the next head coach coming in and George has always been lucky where he’s had a couple of choices.

You will meet amazing people [in sports]. Some leave you in awe of their physical or artistic gifts.


Being a part of sports is wonderful. It’s a place where people come together from different walks of life and work together to try and achieve something great. You will meet amazing people. Some leave you in awe of their physical or artistic gifts (Vernon Davis). Some will inspire you to push yourselves because their story is one of overcoming great hardship. On game day, the environment couldn't be better. No one cares about the guy in the seat next to them. Not their race, religion, political position or what they do for a living. They just want to root for their team and have fun! Sports neutralizes all the nonsense in the world. Even if it's just for a few hours. Enjoy the ride.

LM: What is your love advice to women? You’ve been married 25 years so I know you have some good pointers!

LW: There’s never just one thing that makes it work. If I were to choose one thing, it would be to recognize and respect the differences in the way your spouse handles things. Because he is gone so much, it puts me in a position to be both mother and father at times. I know I'm a good mother but I'm a terrible father. My spiral is awful (he agrees).

A sense of humor helps too. He recognizes that a lot of "dad things" are not my strength and just goes with it (then calls the neighbor). The way George is impacted by a job change and the way I am is very different.

I know I’m a good mother but I’m a terrible father.

When he takes a new job, he has either worked with a coach or player before that he gets to work with again, or he’s getting to work with someone he’s met previously. When we move, he’s got a built-in network. He may not know every coach but he’s met them or knows of them, so he can have dinner with that coach when he arrives in the new city. For me, I wouldn’t know that coach’s wife and she wouldn’t know me. I’m moving to a new town, I don’t know my neighbor and most of the time I don’t know the women. I’ve built some great relationships over the years with other coach’s wives and player's wives but most of the time I don’t know the other women. If we can just keep that in mind and be respectful of that difference and be patient, then it kind of works.

What would you like people to know about you?

My website was mentioned on Sports Illustrated about a month ago.

How has the NFL life affected your children?

I think moving a lot is tough. As a child, you don’t have the life experience to put it into the proper context. Routine and familiarity is really important to kids when they grow up and when you have uncertainty and no routine it can be challenging. It’s not detrimental, but it puts you in unfamiliar situations. My daughter went off to college and called one night to say, “I’m sorry that I haven’t cried about leaving.” Many of her friends were homesick and missing their families. She said, “I recognize that I’m not responding the same way a lot of my friends are.” I said, “Because you’ve already done it! You’ve been the new kid a few times and they’re just now experiencing that for the first time.” What was tough as a child has now become a benefit for them. It's given them a broader perspective. It hasn’t always been easy (starting over never is) but you learn a lot about yourself and how to depend on yourself. You also learn how to stick together and depend on each other, and there’s nothing bad about that.

Living Pro Sports is currently available to the significant others of professional athletes, pro athletes, scouts, front office officials, and anyone involved in sports. If you would like to sign up to be notified when Living Pro Sports goes live, click here.


If you are the spouse, fiancee, or girlfriend of an athlete (Professional or Collegiate) and would like to be featured on WAGSREDEFINED.COM, please contact LeShonda Martin.

Q&A with NFL Fiancee LaKisha Gunn: "I Want to Open My Own Home Care Agency"

This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the beautiful, intelligent, and ambitious LaKisha Gunn. LaKisha and I were introduced by our significant others, who played together while on the Panthers and remain good friends today. I'll never forget when I was dating my husband, LaKisha's fiancé Captain told me, "Just make sure I'm invited to the wedding." A short time after that day, these two attended our wedding in Atlanta. I enjoyed catching up with LaKisha on her way to her nursing gig in Minnesota. Read more on career, weddings, and a fab proposal with this busy bride-to-be!


ame: LaKisha Gunn

Fiancé:  Captain Munnerlyn

Fiance is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. 7th season (Carolina Panthers for 5 years, 2 years with Vikings) 

NFLWAG: 1.5 years

Cities You've Lived in with NFL:  Charlotte and Minneapolis 

Off Season Home: Charlotte

Favorite Food: I love seafood although I have a slight allergy to it. Crab legs are my favorite! 

Music on your iTunes: The last thing I bought was Tyrese’s album but I have a wide variety of music from Lil Boosie, Adele, J Cole, Journey, Beyonce, Anthony Hamilton (my favorite), and of course Gospel music.

Hobbies: I enjoy reading but haven’t read anything recent due to working and planning the wedding. 

Interesting Facts: I have been an RN for over 10 years. I went to Danville Regional Medical Center School of Nursing and then Winston-Salem State University in Winston Salem, NC to get my Bachelors (BSN). I am a little shy at times but easy to get to know. 

Being that far away from family and friends is kinda hard." - LaKisha Gunn, NFL Fiancee 


M: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

LG: I’m originally from Danville, VA. When I was 24, I decided it was time for me to leave my small hometown and I moved to Charlotte. I had a friend who lived in Charlotte and felt it was an up and coming city so I said why not? I was offered a job and within about three months I made the move. I’ve been in Charlotte six and a half years now.

LM: What’s your schedule like as a nurse?

LG: I’ve worked with the same long term care/ rehabilitation facility for about five years in Charlotte. My schedule was pretty flexible but once Cap [Captain] was acquired by the Vikings, I had to quit my job. That was tough for me because I had been there five years and had gotten attached to the families, patients, and my coworkers. Now that we’re in Minnesota, I am currently the Director of Nursing for a home care agency and my schedule is very flexible. I am able to make my own schedule and work from home some days. I’ve been able to work with some great people and climb the ladder. I’ve heard those words, “Your resume is so awesome. Can you start tomorrow?” It’s been a blessing. God has been so good to me. Moving to Minnesota meant putting my career on hold and essentially starting over but I’m able to find work wherever I go.

LM: How did you and Captain meet? 

LG: We met three or four years ago at a night club in Charlotte. He tried to talk to me and I wasn’t having it. Unfortunately, due to the stereotypes, I was not trying to talk to a football player, plus I was in a relationship at the time. I told him, “I know how you guys are and what you say.” He was like, “Just give me a chance!” I was pretty firm and said, “Nope. Not doing it.” We didn’t exchange numbers or anything that night. Almost two years ago I ran into him again in a nightclub but this time I was single and my cousin was with me. Cap talked to my cousin and said, “I’m trying to talk to her and she won’t give me the time of day.” My cousin insisted that I should give him a chance and I finally gave in and exchanged numbers with him. The rest is history and it all kind of happened fast. Cap tells me he respected the fact that I didn’t care who he was. 

LM: When you know you know! What was the transition into the NFL lifestyle like for you?

LG: For me, coming to Minnesota has been totally different from Charlotte. Being that far away from family and friends is kinda hard. One of Cap’s old college teammates is on the Vikings and his girlfriend is here and she’s from VA as well. We became really really close friends. Having her here helped me out and vice versa. It’s just easier when you know someone going through the same thing you are.

LM: How did your fiancé propose? 

LG: Cap proposed on my birthday last year. I was working on my birthday and when I got off work, he had invited friends to a restaurant where we all met up.

Let me back up. Before we went to the restaurant, Cap was getting all cute and I was like, “Why are you looking so cute!" (lol) You know I had to change [clothes]. I felt like something was different because people were calling me all day who would usually text. I was thinking I’m turning 31 so it’s just another year. He had called my parents and asked for my hand in marriage so my dad was being all sentimental and I wondered why.

hen we arrived at the restaurant, a photographer snapped photos of us as we walked in. Cap’s response to the photographer was “Oh yeah, that’s what this restaurant does close to Christmas.” So the photographer is snapping photos the entire time and our friends are there. Captain has all the gifts by the table and he's giving our friends signals with hand gestures (which I didn't notice at the time). I’ m going through the gifts and the last one is a Chanel bag. I was so excited and thinking to myself he has made this such a special day for me.I’m such a simple person and Cap knows that. At this point, the whole restaurant was quiet. He said, “You have one more gift,” and bent down on one knee to propose.  After I said “Damn Right” LOL (the non-typical answer…I still can’t believe I said that), we danced in the middle of the restaurant. I was shocked and there was so much going on. It was a surreal moment! It was awesome. He did great.

LM: I love it! Great story. How’s wedding planning going? What’s been your wedding inspiration?   

LG: To be honest, I could have a small wedding. I could have a destination wedding or go to the courthouse. Captain is the one who really wants to have a big wedding!

LM: And you have to plan it!

LG: Yeah, and I have to plan it! I want it to be nice. I just want it to be beautiful for us and our family. There hasn’t been any weddings in a very long time on either side of the families. This is really huge for us both.

LM: Do you have your theme or colors?

LG: Yes, we’ve chosen our colors. We are going with my favorite color which is purple, his favorite color of blue, and a hint of silver. We set a date. Our wedding is June 25th, 2016.

LM: Nice! Our wedding was June 26, 2015. Seems like most football couples get married around that time.

LG: Yes, because of football season! That was the only date that really worked. Originally, I wanted to do something with a date of 10 because both of our birthdays are on the 10th but it didn’t work out that way.

LM: Oh, football! What’s a typical day look like for you?

LG: Typically, I wake up and head to the gym. After the gym, I go to work and get home around 5 or 6. Cap usually gets home right after me. I cook dinner. I check emails and straighten the house. Currently, I’m taking care of two houses since we still have one in Charlotte. We’re working on plans for building a house next year in Charlotte as well. It’s been pretty crazy and my days have been full! In the middle of all that, I’m taking care of Cap.  

LM: What are the pros and cons of being engaged to an NFL player? 

LG: The pros: It’s a blessing having financial stability. Cons: A con for Captain and I both is not being able to spend time with his two children: ages 4 ½ and 2. Football is a tough game and sometimes it comes with injuries...the name of the game is staying healthy. You have to be there as a support system for your guy and stay prayed up at all times. Also, going back and forth from Minnesota to Charlotte during season and offseason can be a lot; We close up one house to go to another house and then do the same routine all over a couple months later. Lastly, sometimes the fans and the women don't have any boundaries.

LM: What do you and your fiancé like to do for fun? What was the last movie you watched together?

LG: Captain and I like to watch movies. He loves the movie Friday so we watch that a lot and Bad Boys. When he has down time he likes to relax so we’ll watch Fresh Prince and Martin, classic shows that make us laugh. We have date nights too. We go out to dinner and movies. Straight Outta Compton was the last movie we saw in the theatres. We enjoy bowling even though I’m not that great at it. Cap is so competitive so it’s always, “I’m gonna beat you! Let’s see who can get a strike!”

LM: What are your long term goals? 

LG: My long term goals are to have a healthy relationship, a great marriage, and eventually more kids. He has two children but I want one more I think. I want to open up my own home care agency. One of my fears of post-football life is living paycheck to paycheck. We both make sure we have other stuff [outside of football] going on. Captain has a trucking company he’s working on. You have your financial advisors but you still have to prepare yourself. 

LM: What is your love advice to women (or women in the NFL)? 

LG: My love advice…hmm…Well, I make sure I tell Cap every morning before he leaves that I love him and give him a kiss. I always say, “Have a great day!” Keep God first in your relationship. Pray for him every night. Pray together every night before bed. Don’t go to bed mad at each other. Those are things we try to incorporate in our relationship.

LM: Great advice! Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.

LG: The NFL has provided us with a blessed life thus far. We are able to provide for ourselves, and ensure the children and family are taken care of. The NFL has afforded Captain the opportunity to live out his dream of playing pro football. I love watching him out there every Sunday becoming a beast on the field.

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

LG: I would like people to know I’m humble and down to earth. I’m true to myself. I don’t let my surroundings dictate what I do or make me become something that I’m not. You see different things in the NFL but I’m just always me.


Q&A with NFL Wife Quiana Fluellen: "I Call it D-Day, Doom's Day!"

This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the sweet and talented Quiana Fluellen. Quiana and I were connected through a fellow NFL wife who encouraged me to interview this amazing young mama. We discussed how her and her husband Andre met at FSU, her role as a "weekend wife", her career as a physical therapist and more below!



Name: Quiana Fluellen

Husband: Andre Fluellen

Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. Going into 8th season (Drafted to Detroit Lions in 2008, Dolphins, Bills) 

Children: Daughter Lyric Malia (Born May 29th)

NFLWAG: 8 years

Cities You've Lived in with NFL:  I’ve always been a working wife or a “weekend wife” which means I've always traveled back and forth to whatever city my husband is playing in. I love my career and patients so I’m always back and forth. 

Off Season Home: Atlanta (John’s Creek)

Favorite Food: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese 

Music on your iTunes: I LOVE 90's R&B music. I'm busy with the baby so I'm not up to date on many songs; I also LOVE Chris Brown

Hobbies: I like to do a lot of arts and crafts; my baby’s entire nursery is DIY and my wedding was DIY; I do acupuncture and practice on friends and my husband

Interesting Facts: I have a doctorate in Physical Therapy; I rehab my husband after games (in between games or off season)


 I have to hold my family together. My husband wants to hold his daughter." - Quiana Fluellen, NFL wife


LM:  Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

QF: I’m from Gainesville, Florida originally. I went to Florida State and ran track, and my husband played football there so that’s how we met. I was so anti-athlete because I was an athlete. I said I would never date an FSU football player because of their rep. It’s a long story but we ended up dating. Andre went off to Detroit when he was drafted and I went to Tampa for my doctoral program. We married in July of 2013. He’s from Cartersville, Georgia so we decided to buy a house in Atlanta as our home base. I moved up here [Atlanta] after school and I travel back and forth.

LM: Very cool that you ran track in college. What did you run?

QF: I ran the 400m hurdles. I still run recreationally but I don’t do it competitively. I’m still active. I worked out my whole pregnancy and I still work out my patients so I’m always in the gym.

LM: You recently had a baby! Congrats! How has motherhood changed you? In what ways has it had an impact on your relationship with your husband?

QF: Motherhood has given me so much patience with my husband and other people! I have a better perspective about life and I don’t sweat the small things. My husband and I are closer because of Lyric. He never left my side during my 30-hour labor! I had a doula and we did different stretching and coping exercises. Andre did more research than I did during that time so I really saw that he was interested in my well-being. It was sad when he had to go to Training Camp because she was only 9 or 10 weeks old. This is our first daughter so he’s missed some milestones. I have a job here in Atlanta so I travel back and forth so she can see daddy and vice versa. We make it work. One adjustment of motherhood is having to be at the airport two hours earlier than I used to because I have my daughter!

LM: What’s a typical day look like for you?

QF: On Tuesdays and Thursdays I wake up at 5:45 a.m. and take Lyric to school, go to work and see patients, pick her up, wait for my husband to get off work to Skype, squeeze in some dinner, pump [breastfeeding], and go to bed. If Andre has a home game, we shoot up to NY on a Friday to see him, and fly back before I am scheduled to see patients on Tuesday. Currently, my days are scheduled around my daughter and building our business with the physiatrist I work with. We are looking to start a Sports Performance business here in Atlanta. I was in a position to put my career on hold and be a stay at home mom, but we prayed on it and decided to take the opportunity. This is my dream, our dream, to have a gym and train athletes. I know I put a ton of pressure on myself but this is what will better our family’s future since the NFL is so uncertain. It’s tough and I’m sleep-deprived but it’s worth it.

LM: What advice would you give to an NFL wife who wants to be a doctor or any other profession with a demanding schedule?

QF: If you truly truly want to do it, go for it! The opportunity may never happen again. I know a lot of people who regret not going to school or whatever they wanted to do. First of all, pray before you do anything! Of course, you should talk to your spouse. If you really want to do it, God will direct you in the way you should go. My husband respects me because of my work. Every household and person is different. I don’t judge any stay at home mom, working mom, or people without kids. We all have struggles. It’s tough to date or be married to a pro athlete.

LM:  What are those advantages and disadvantages of being married to a pro athlete?

QF: As far as the pros, I’ve met so many awesome women in Detroit! Meeting the other NFL wives is my favorite. I’m still friends with some of the Lions ladies even though we’re on different teams now. We stay in contact. Last year, my job was more flexible so I was able to go to Detroit and do some of the charity events and Bible studies with Andre. People don’t see the behind-the-scenes. These guys [NFL players] do some amazing things. Having the opportunity to impact the community is very rewarding. The biggest con is the 53-man cut! Training camp…your husband stressed out…not knowing. I call it D-day, Doom’s day! Am I gonna get a phone call from my husband saying, “I’m coming home to get back to training and we’ll wait for somebody to give me a call”? That’s been my husband’s story the past few years. It can truly hurt a guy’s self-esteem. You get cut so many times and it can break you down. Thank God he’s a Christian man because that lifestyle tears some people apart.  

LM: Very true! What is your love advice to women? 

QF: I know social media can tear a lot of relationships apart. Don’t compare yourselves to other people and other wives. You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Try to let all of that external stuff go. That’s the main thing I’ve seen with wives. I try not to compare and that’s how my husband and I remain close to each other. LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your spouse? 

QF: We love the outdoors. We kayak. We fish. I’m a country girl. My husband likes that I’m not afraid to get sweaty or dirty. We love to travel. We did a babymoon in Hawaii. We’re going to Greece or Brazil for my 30th. I like to work out with him. He doesn’t like to run as much because he’s a big guy. We’ll also go to theme parks.

LM: What do you think are the common misconceptions about NFL WAGS?

QF: There are A LOT OF misconceptions. The biggest ones are: “Yall got it made. You have nothing to worry about. You don’t have to worry about bills. What are you doing working? You don’t need to work.” Sometimes I tell my patients my husband is an entrepreneur because there’s a lot of judgment if I say he plays football. Individuals assume you don’t have any issues because you have “money”. I have a life. I have a baby. I have a job. A lot of people judge because of where you live and what you drive. TV gives us a bad rep. I don’t have a nanny! I have a bonnet on my head right now [LOL]! We’re normal women. We’re blessed. I’m not going to let anyone make me feel bad about my husband, our careers, or my life. 

LM: I’m familiar. I understand what you’re saying completely.

QF:  Your everyday isn’t like my everyday. I am very blessed to be in my position, but I'm not with my husband everyday.  I have to hold my family together. My husband wants to hold his daughter.

LM: Amen! Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.

QF:  To me, the NFL is life. It’s pretty much what we’ve been going through since I’ve been with Andre. Every season and off season our life revolves around the NFL. On a positive note, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the NFL (from insurance to traveling). It’s still been a blessing regardless of the cuts and trades. We’ve been able to sustain our lifestyle. The NFL has a program called the NFL happy babies. They assign you to a nurse case manager who calls and follows your entire pregnancy. She checks on you with each milestone. First, you call the hotline (your husband should have number) and they set you up with a nurse and help you find a nutritionist. At 28 weeks they get you an electric breast pump. They give you $600 after the baby is born which pretty much helps with copays. You can call the hotline any time you have questions about your pregnancy. If you don’t have a healthy and smooth pregnancy they have other resources. I had a healthy pregnancy so I didn’t utilize those resources. I did appreciate that program. It made my pregnancy easier.

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

QF: I love my husband. I really look up to him. He brought me closer to Christ. We’ve grown completely from college to now. We joined a church here and had a family. We are trying as a family to put God first. Whatever we were doing before Christ wasn’t working so something had to change. Also, I want people to know that I make it work for my family!


Q&A with NFL Wife Sarah Losasso Brown: "I Was Angry Walking into the Super Bowl"

This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the sweet and beautiful Sarah Losasso Brown. Sarah and I connected through the NFL Praying Women Groupme chat. I saw Sarah's plea for help when she told the group her husband had been a victim of identity theft. I wanted to know more about how that experience was for their family and was able to connect with her a couple weeks later. We discussed life in the NFL, interracial relationships, and motherhood. Read our conversation below...


Name: Sarah Losasso Brown

Husband: Chykie Brown Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. This is his 5th year (Ravens, Giants)

Children: Jada (2) and Dakota (1 month)

NFLWAG: 5 years

Places You've Lived in with NFL: Baltimore and New Jersey

Off Season Home: Texas

Favorite Food: Chicken Fingers

Music on your iTunes: Kanye west “Only One”, James Bay, Ed Sheeran

Hobbies: Working out (I used to teach BARR)

Interesting Facts: Majored in Dance and Journalism; Taught dance at an elementary school (ballet and hip hop)

He came home one day and said, 'They released me. We’ll find out in 24 hours where we’ll be.'” - Sarah Losasso Brown


LM: You recently moved from Baltimore. How’s life treating you in NY?

SLB: We’re currently right outside the city and it’s been pretty good. It was a weird transition from Baltimore to New Jersey because last year was his contract year and six weeks out from the season they released him. He was picked up by the Giants within 24 hours. Oh, and I was pregnant! They put us in this two-bedroom apartment where all the players stayed. I didn’t go to any of the events or try to meet anyone. I was in my own bubble during this pregnancy. Looking back on last season, I wish I would’ve talked to the girls more. I’ve met a few of the ladies here though. Another Giants wife is my personal trainer.

LM:  Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

SLB: I’m from Boston and I attended Arizona State for college. My friend was dating one of Chykie’s teammates, Aaron Williams (Buffalo Bills); they played football at the time for the University of Texas. My friend said, “Oh, you have to meet Aaron’s friend [my husband],” and I was like, “No. I’m not dating an athlete. They have such a bad stigma.” Chykie continued to pursue me and I eventually started to hang out with him. I didn’t think it would go anywhere because he was on his way to the NFL Combine, but it ended up going somewhere! We just never left each other. It’s funny because Aaron and my friend broke up about a month after they introduced Chykie and I. She always says she was the match maker.

LM: How long have you and your husband been married?  

SLB: We are getting married in April but we are legally married in Texas (Common law).

LM: I’m excited for you two! Tell me about the wedding.

SLB: We’re having a decent sized wedding of 130 guests at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. I didn’t know anything about weddings until I started to plan. I love our venue because they take care of the food, cake, and set up. When I found that out I said “I’m in!” I went to Kleinfeld’s recently to look at dresses.

LM: How did you decide on the venue?

SLB: My husband is friends with Aaron Ross and attended his wedding. Aaron and his wife [Sanya Richards-Ross] were on the show Million Dollar Wedding. Chykie said it was the best wedding he’d been to and he loved the venue so he was set on having our wedding the same place. I agreed but I will say weddings are ridiculous! Since having my kids, I don’t even see the point of spending so much on a wedding.

LM: I hear ya. We spent a year planning our wedding and I’m happy it’s over! You recently reached out to the Praying Women NFL group about a fraudulent account of your husband. Tell me more about that.

SLB: That was really crazy! My husband is not a social media person at all and when he had a Facebook page, he never posted. We were headed to the Superbowl and I was pregnant with our first child. My brother was with me and all of a sudden he said, “It’s so weird that Chykie’s posting on Facebook right now. Shouldn’t he be in game mode?” I asked my brother what Chykie posted and he said, “He’s working on his victory dance in the locker room.” I thought that was strange because my husband wouldn’t even say anything like that or be on social media during the Super Bowl. My brother showed me the Facebook account which had hundreds of followers and multiple posts. I was angry walking into the Super Bowl!

This fraudulent Facebook account had photos of our family and all this activity. I said to Chykie after the game, “You have this Facebook account I didn’t know about?”and he responded: “What are you talking about? That is not me.” I kind of just blew it off and decided to enjoy Super Bowl weekend. The account was disturbing. There were photos of my entire family, his extended family, and people from our church. My husband swore up and down the account wasn’t his and I believed him. When Jada was born, the account had a photo of her with the caption “Welcome to the world, Jada Brown” and included her weight. The guy had stolen a photo from my profile immediately after I posted it.

He had every photo I had ever posted on social media. His captions didn’t even sound like anything my husband would say. He wrote: “Held my baby girl for the first time. Her eyes are so beautiful” . I messaged the fraud and said: “I know this isn’t Chykie. You’re stalking us. We would appreciate it if you didn’t post about our kids.” The guy responded, “I’m sorry Mrs. Brown. I’m your #1 fan. I’ve been following your husband since high school. I just love you guys so much. I didn’t mean any harm by it.” He blocked me after that so I thought he took the page down. Chykie’s not one to overreact about anything so we left it alone.

Well, two years later my brother wrote me during the whole Caitlyn Jenner media coverage. He said, “This stuff can’t be posted. It’ll be on ESPN and make Chykie look bad.” The fraud still had the Facebook account and had commented on Caitlyn Jenner saying, “I don’t believe in Bruce Jenner. God doesn’t make gays.” It was clearly a hate post. Chykie would never say anything like that. He was posting really ignorant stuff. I logged on this year and he had photos of me pregnant and Easter photos of our family. The guy had been messaging people asking for money for “charity”. He was interacting with others pretending to be Chykie. A security guard who worked at the football facility had been talking with this guy via Facebook to try to give him Jada’s sock that had fallen off at one of the games [thinking he was Chykie]. We told Chykie’s agent and he supposedly contacted Facebook but they didn’t respond. We reported it probably 60 times on Facebook between us and our family members but the page remained active. 

I was finally fed up when I learned the guy was writing things like, “Why is this b**** asking me for money in my inbox? Me and my wife think it’s ridiculous.” I wrote the Praying Women NFL chat group about the situation and the fake page was taken down the same day! Now I know the power of women coming together. The Giants had an open practice that day and one of the ladies who worked for the team came up to me and said, “Are you Sarah? A wife from a different team called me and we had that page taken down immediately.” I was so thankful for these ladies because I don’t know how else it would’ve been resolved. Facebook just didn’t care. I felt like all of our privacy was taken from us. I’m fine with sharing photos to the public but I want to do it myself. I didn’t like not knowing who was looking at my daughter. This is not the life she chose. She was put in a vulnerable state. When he put up a photo of my newborn I was livid. So glad that’s over!

LM: How scary! That sounds awful. Thank you for sharing  that experience because some people may be unaware of what can happen. I’m so happy that NFL women were such a powerful force. Don’t mess with us! 

I am the result of an interracial relationship. My parents had it tough 20 odd years ago but I’ve always wondered what it looks like these days and inside the NFL? What has been your experience being with someone of a different race? 

SLB: Umm…I think that being in the position that we’re in, it’s not as difficult as if he wasn’t a football player. My parents are extremely traditional and Italian. Growing up, there was one black person in my entire school and he was adopted. When I had a mixed [biracial] child my mom said, “Do you know how hard it’s going to be for you to raise these kids?” I was confused and didn’t understand. I’ve never received any hate or anything. My daughter Jada has a super light complexion so some people can’t tell that she’s mixed but they know she looks different and will ask, “Is that your daughter?”.

I remember a time we went to Dave n Busters as a family and an Asian man was staring at us. Finally, Chykie said “What’s your problem?” The guy responded, “Does this thing really happen in America?” We asked the man what he was referring to and he said, “You two together.” Crazy! I did have another experience within the NFL. One of the other girls on the team made a comment like, “Does Sarah think she’s black because she has black babies?” Unfortunately, she said it to a group of girls I was close with and it got back to me. Most of my friends on the team are black. They all laughed at the comment like “Sarah is the whitest person alive.” I’ve never tried to act like something I’m not. The funny part about that story is that she wasn’t even black herself. That situation caught me off guard. Some people ask me if I know how to do my daughter’s hair. When I bring my kids to my hometown they look different from everyone else (my town is like 100% white). When I bring Chykie to my hometown he feels uncomfortable. I took Jada to a daycare there once and they asked me, “How do you do her hair?” Thankfully, we want to settle down in the diverse city of Houston. My daughter’s daycare here in New Jersey is really diverse as well.

****UPDATE 9/16/15***

Ironically, the day before I was scheduled to post this feature, Sarah contacted me and said that her and Chykie's photo had just been posted on the popular gossip site BallerAlert. Unfortunately, one innocent photo of them turned into a rather nasty discussion in the comments involving race. Here, I have only included a select number of comments that I felt were appropriate for the mission of this site. The others were simply too nasty to post. I am choosing to report on this, with Sarah's permission, to display the fact that race is still relevant in 2015. Read more after the break

A simple photo and caption elicited unwanted responses on race:


Unfortunately, there were hundreds of comments and most were negative and revolved around race. After situations such as this, it's clear to me that there is so much hate in the world and much work to be done. The  judgment  of Sarah and Chykie yesterday was disheartening  Thankfully, the two are in good spirits. She just found it funny that we were just discussing her interracial relationship and she previously mentioned never really having a big issue with it. God is love, people! On another note, kudos to Sarah and Chykie for an awesome date night! Moving on...

LM: Let's talk about something positive like your beautiful daughters.

SLB: Well, Jada’s two and she’s in her terrible twos. She’s extremely active and loves her baby sister. We have no problems with jealousy or anything. She loves football. They’re very much daddy’s girls.

LM: How has motherhood changed you? Has it had an impact on your relationship with your husband?

SLB: Having two young children has been an adjustment. When I was 5 months pregnant, I worked as a boutique manager. I was tired often because I would close the store and get home late. Motherhood changed everything I thought I was going to be. I was so attached to Jada when I had her. I was terrified of leaving her. We just recently put her in daycare because I needed a break and really want to go back to work. As far as Chykie and I, it was tough at first because I had never even held a baby before. I didn’t know what to expect! Jada had really bad baby colic and was really fussy and challenging to take care of; she would projectile vomit on everything. It was difficult in the beginning because it had been just the two of us for so long. All of a sudden we couldn’t have alone time, watch a movie, or go to sleep together. By the time Jada was 9 months, we started to go out on date night. We told ourselves we would make it a point to put our relationship first. We made necessary changes and it’s been easier with Dakota. Now I know it’s okay to leave her with a sitter.

LM: What’s a typical day look like for you?

SLB: I usually wake up at all hours of the night. This morning I was up at 5:00 a.m. and got my daughter Jada ready. I drive her to school and stay with our newborn all day. In the evenings, I cook dinner and Chykie and I attempt to have some alone time. I usually go to bed at 8 o’clock. I’m trying to fit exercise into my schedule to get in shape for this wedding. Chykie’s hurt right now and he’s never been injured before so this is new to us. He slightly tore his LCL so he’s been at home rehabbing and helping me with the girls more.

 I sold our entire house on Craigslist in two days.

LM: In your opinion, what are the challenges of being married to an NFL player? 

SLB: I think moving is the biggest con for sure. And losing friends. I was so close to all the girls on the Ravens. I got here [with the Giants] and everyone has all their friends. Having children, it’s harder for me to meet people and tough to find sitters you can trust. We had a nanny in Baltimore we developed a great relationship with. She’s like part of our family and we had to leave her. I have to start that process over now and interview people here in New Jersey. When Chykie was released, it was seemingly out of nowhere. He was starting on the team and doing pretty well. He came home one day and said, “They released me. We’ll find out in 24 hours where we’ll be.” Sure enough, he got a call the same day and had to leave for the new team the same day. I was left at home being pregnant and had a toddler. Many of the Ravens ladies came over to help me pack. I sold our entire house on Craigslist in two days. My friends on the Ravens would come to our house and wait for the person to pick up whatever item they purchased off Craigslist. I’ll never forget one of the wives, Angie Forsett, prayed over me and we got a call from the Giants an hour after that prayer. 

LM: What is your love advice to all women and women inside the NFL? Is there a difference? 

SLB: Keep your relationship first and never compare your relationship to others. I had to learn never to compare my husband with the other players who are married. That was our biggest issue. If I knew that another wife’s husband came home earlier I might say “so and so’s guy came home at 8 and you came home at 9.” My husband would have to defend himself by explaining that he stayed to do hot tub/cold tub or a massage and that the other guy didn’t need to do those things. Also, don’t worry about a ring. Your relationship is yours and no one else’s.

LM: What do you think are the common misconceptions about NFL WAGS?

SLB: I think the show WAGS is pretty much exactly what most of the girls aren’t. We don’t just fly in private jets all day and have black cards. We manage our money just like everyone else if not more because of the nature of the NFL career. My dad is on us because he’s a doctor; he says he can practice until he’s 80 years old and make the same amount of money until retirement. In the NFL, you may get to play until your 32 or 35.

**UPDATE: Chykie is currently a free agent with the NFL. My prayers are with The Browns as they embark on the next chapter!**-LM

Q&A with NFL Wife Nicole Jennings: "Self-Care Should Be Top of Mind"

This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the beautiful and ambitious Nicole Jennings. Nicole and I connected through an NFL women's prayer group after she learned of my blog. Being two like-minded entrepreneurs, we decided to partner up by assisting each other in our businesses. Nicole is a mother of four, wife to a 10 year NFL veteran, co-founder and President of the Greg Jennings Foundation, and business owner. I was able to catch up with this busy lady to discuss how she manages to juggle it all! Read more below...


Name: Nicole Jennings

Husband: Greg Jennings

Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. 10th season (Drafted to Packers, Vikings, Dolphins)

Children: Amya (8), Alea (6), Ayva (4), and son Aice (2)

NFLWAG: 10 years

Places You've Lived in with NFL:  Green Bay and Minnesota

Off Season Home: Minnesota 

Favorite Food: Pizza (Supreme)

Music on your iTunes: I’ve got a worship mix (Christian), slow jams mix, old school Gerald Lavert mix, and Beyonce/Rihanna mix 

Hobbies: Working out (cardio, weightlifting, road bike, spin class) and working on my business. I love what I do so I don't consider it work. It's fun to me! 

Interesting Facts: I have a nursing degree and I started my Masters in Nonprofit Leadership; I'm now focusing on being a business owner. 

We are afforded an awesome platform to project the things that are important to us like our faith, women empowerment, and youth and education." - Nicole Jennings


LM:  Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

NJ: I’m originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan. I’m in Minnesota now solely because of my husband.

LM: How did you and your husband meet?

NJ: We met in 6th grade and went to 8th grade and senior prom together. We attended Western Michigan together and got married our junior year in college.

LM: You and your husband have been married 10 years! Congratulations! That is a feat for anyone but definitely in this NFL life. How have you two been able to make it work? What makes you different?

NJ: Soon to be 11 years! I don’t think that we’re any different than anyone. Everyone has their own struggles. We’re really rooted in our faith. That’s definitely what has kept us going in tough times. Once we made that decision to spend the rest of our lives together, that was it. We’re in this. We grew up together. I know him and his heart and he knows me and my heart.

LM: What is your advice to NFL women as we head into football season?

NJ: As we’re taking care of everybody else, make sure you take care of yourself. That’s the premise behind my business. Women are always doing things for their husbands and kids and putting everyone else’s needs before their own. Before you know it, you’re not okay and you’re not fine. Never overwhelm yourself to the point where you forget about yourself. When you feel good, that makes you a better wife and mother. Self-care should be top of mind.

LM: What is your love advice to women?

NJ: My love advice is simple…it’s Scriptural. First Corinthians 13:4: Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not jealous or rude…it’s gentle... keeps no record of wrongs…rejoices in the truth…If it’s honest and true, that’s how you know it’s love.

LM: Tell me more about your children. 

NJ: They are some energetic little people who keep us on our toes. My oldest is 8 and wears the same size as I do. She’s my mini me. My second is most like her father (she’s very kind and particular about things). My middle child is the baby girl and she acts like the baby girl. My son is two and he’s a mommy’s boy. He knows when he gets in trouble to come to mommy because she won’t do anything about it. He always compliments me: “Mommy, I like your nail polish,” “Mommy, you so beautiful.” He’s a mini Greg so I know I’m in trouble.


LM: How has motherhood changed you? Has it had an impact on your relationship with your husband? 

NJ: Motherhood has changed me because there’s more to care about than myself. It’s matured me and made me have to think outside the box, especially having four children. Traveling with four is no joke. It has made me extremely organized, and also helped me to realize I can’t do it all by myself. I needed help! We hired a nanny to assist me when my husband is gone. From a marriage standpoint, it’s made us more connected. If there was ever a reason not to throw in the towel, they [the kids] would be it.

LM: What’s a typical day look like for you?

NJ: There’s no such thing as a typical day! Every day is different. I wake up and get the kids up. I like to start my day with meditation or prayer time to get my mind right for the day. It doesn’t always happen, but I can tell a difference whenever I am unable to have that “me” time in the morning. I am an avid workout person. I try to exercise before I drop the kids off at school and before I head into work. After the work day, we pick up the kids and head to their extracurricular activities. Generally, we have to split up because of the kids’ age differences. After activities, we come home, do homework, dinner, bath, and they’re in the bed by 8:00 p.m. Saturday anything goes. Sunday is game day so we are either at the game or heading somewhere to watch the game. That’s a makeshift type of day. Sometimes I’m traveling.

LM: Tell me more about your online boutique, The Posh Mommy, and how it all started?

NJ: The Posh Mommy (TPM) started because of what I mentioned before about self care. It was our contract year in Green Bay and it was a fairly stressful time. I looked in the mirror and asked myself, “Are you only a wife? Are you only a mother? Who are you? What is your passion?” I felt like there were so many women out there across the various professional sport leagues who had to feel the same way. I reached out to some other football, baseball, and basketball wives and TPM was born! We consign designer wear and a portion of the proceeds go back to charity. Understanding where we come from, we’re blessed to be where we are and need to be a blessing to others. I wanted to be able to reach women who need a little bit of empowerment. A posh mommy comes from within, not the outside. If you look good, you feel good, if you feel good, you do good, and all is well.

The Posh Mommy is currently online but I have been busy preparing for the grand opening of our first storefront in Minnesota. We are offering different benefits like classes on styling for pregnant women. Being pregnant is a very awkward time for many. I know for me, I hated being pregnant. I loved having my children but disliked being big. Now, I have tips to share. We are looking into postpartum classes for moms and making sure there is balance there. The goal is to be a resource for women. The Posh Mommy is so important to me. I love it! I try to tell women: Follow your passions and don’t fall behind and get in a shadow. Follow your dreams as well as you help your husband and kids follow theirs.

**UPDATE: Look for The Posh Mommy storefront Grand Opening in Minnesota!**


LM: You are the President and Co Founder of the Greg Jennings Foundation. How have you been able to run the foundation and TPM at the same time?

NJ: Well, I handed over the daily operations stuff to my sister-in-law. I’m still the President and I make all the final decisions, but Greg’s sister now runs the day to day. That was challenging for me in the beginning because I’m a control freak, but she’s a lot like me so I know she can handle the role. I don’t think I could manage the Foundation and TPM without her. That’s been a blessing.

LM: What is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? 

NJ: I would say don’t go alone. Don’t dive into it alone. You definitely need a support group and a work life balance. For me, posh is my baby. I don’t want it to always be an investment and I want it to be profitable. However, because it’s my passion, I can get so enthralled with it that I feel overworked. Sometimes it’s like, “Oh, yeah the kids are home,” or “Maybe I should cook a meal.” It’s a blessing to have a husband who will remind you because mine definitely does. He called in a sitter the other day and we went to a hotel and hung out. He said, “You do NOT bring your phone,” to which I responded, “Well, what if I get an order?” He had to explain to me that potential customers would be fine for the next twelve hours or whatever. Definitely find that work life balance and get a support group.

LM: What is your advice for NFL families who want to start a business, or is it the same advice as above?

NJ: It wouldn’t differ. I try not to differentiate myself and NFL families from other families. It’s when people try to differentiate themselves that they think they’re better than others. That’s one thing that we definitely try not to do in our family. I don’t like to put a label on us. Football is what my husband does, not who he is. Our problems may be different because of what he does but issues are issues regardless of who you are.

LM: What are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player? 

NJ: Pros – We are afforded an awesome platform to project the things that are important to us like our faith, women empowerment, and youth and education. People listen and want to talk to us because of what my husband does. We’re trying to use that as much as we possibly can. Another perk is the fact that my husband is living out his dream. Being able to support him and having been there from 6th grade to see it all the way through…it’s like “Wow! Look at God!” To be as young as we are at 32 and have lived more than most people would in a lifetime is a definite blessing. We are able to support our family on different levels. We’re not in need of anything. We provide our children with the best we have to offer...life experiences...travel outside of the country...all of my children have passports. There are adults who have never left [the country]. That’s something that’s been huge for us to be able to pour into them.

Cons – Media perception in my eyes. The things that are portrayed to others. Stereotypes. I think that’s definitely not fair to put everyone into one basket. There were times in my life when I’m glad there was no cameras around. It’s not fair to exploit someone’s downfall and I think it happens to us [NFL families] on a regular basis. Another thing is boundaries. People are so enthralled with what the guys do on Sunday that they forget they are real people. They want time with their family. Women fans do some strange things occasionally. Boundaries can just become a little skewed and people forget these players are human.

LM: You and Greg are open about your faith and you even mention being a devoted Christian on The Posh Mommy website. What’s it like being a Christian in today’s world? 

NJ: For me, it’s evolved. At first, you want to blend in. You don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. Now with the age I am and the year we are in this league, it is what it is. There’s a heaven and hell. It’s white and black; there’s no grey area with God. We enjoy being a light in a dark place. Are we perfect? Not by any means. We have lived and learned and can provide a testimony. We are striving to be more Christ-like everyday. It’s not hard for us but quite enjoyable because we know we’re doing the will of our Father. Greg's dad was a pastor but it's been nice developing our own faith for our family. We don’t do denominations. We’re about the Kingdom. It’s about doing the will of God. It’s been good to foster that with our kids.

LM: How has your faith played a role in the raising of your children?

NJ: It’s something that we have poured into them from day one. We talk about God and do prayer every morning in the car. We each say a prayer and some of them are quite funny. They pray for some funny stuff sometimes but hey, it’s conversation with God. We pray every single day in our house. I’m the one praying for the kids before school with blessed oil for their foreheads.

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

NJ: That is deep. I think the biggest thing is that I’m about unity across all levels, whether it’s women, families, etcetera. I feel like God is peace. Wherever there’s peace, that’s where God is. I try to foster that and cultivate that in whatever I’m a part of. You can be seen as standoffish if you don’t try to get down with the crowd. I feel like I’m caviar. I’m not for everybody. Everybody doesn’t like caviar but the people who do eat it, love it. I try to unify women. We’re all women. We’re all on the same team. Let’s win games and let’s win life. Even across the leagues, it’s a job. When it comes to football, God puts the man as the head [of household] and you should let him lead. There’s no need for me to get into locker room rift raft. I’m unique. I’m about unity, exuding that, and making it a way of life.

LM: Anything else you would like to add?

NJ: If there’s any other women interested in that unifying concept, The Posh Mommy is interested in having them as a contributor on our website. Or, if there’s anything you’d like to sell, we’ll get it sold and give a portion of the proceeds to charity.



Q&A with NFL Wife Alexis Hill: "Being A Support System to Fellow WAGS is Important"

This week's WAG FEATURE WEDNESDAY is of the funny, beautiful and incredibly sweet Alexis Hill. I met Alexis about five months ago through real estate. She was a realtor at a company in Atlanta I was interviewing with. The broker introduced Alexis to me as a "fellow NFL wife" being that her husband Tye had played in the league five years prior. I signed on with the same broker and connected with her right away. Alexis and I recently met up at a local Starbucks to discuss parenting, post NFL life and how she's adjusting. Read the interview below...



Name: Alexis Hill

Husband: Tye Hill

Husband Active or Retired? Retired.

Husband played from 2006-2010 (Drafted to Saint Louis in the first round; Atlanta; Detroit) 

Children: Daughter Ariah (3) and son Tristen (7)

NFLWAG: Four years

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: St. Louis and Atlanta

Current Home: Atlanta

Favorite Food:  Macaroni and cheese 

Hobbies:  I like traveling abroad; I'm a foodie (fine dining); reading; shopping (doesn’t matter what it is); love watching movies. Call me if you have movie trivia because I am on it!

Music on your Playlist: Currently Big Sean, Lil Wayne's "Nothing but Trouble", Chris Brown, Beyoncé, and Canon in D (I’m all over the place)

Interesting Facts: I speak Spanish fluently; I was in an emersion program in college with five teachers from different countries; I'm a Realtor; I have a degree in Communications (concentration in Cultural Relational Studies) from Clemson; I minored in Spanish; I'm a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (I've held positions as VP and President); I served as a mentor on an Educational Support Team; I was a member of Tiger Paws (assisted with recruiting)

Year five is when I’ve really started to feel the difference. It’s like, 'Oh wow! No more NFL.'"- Alexis, Former NFL wife


LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

AH:  I’m originally from Springfield, Massachusetts. When I was 10 years old, we moved to Charleston, SC because my parents were both teachers and were recruited within the school system. Living in Charleston was quite a culture shock. I went to school with more people who looked like me. When I lived in Springfield, I went to a Catholic school and there were fewer minorities. My parents worked in rural areas with kids who didn’t have running water at home. My childhood days in Charleston helped mold and shape me. I am still close with my middle school friends to this day. I attended Clemson for college and that’s where I met my husband. We always knew of each other but didn’t start dating until our last semester there. His cousin dated my best friend. He claims he tried to come up to me one day at a step show and talk to me. He caught me in the wrong head space and I brushed him off [laughs]. I didn’t know who he was.

LM: When did things turn around for him?

AH: I had a talk with the Lord one day and said, “If you’re going to send me someone, please send me…” and I gave him a list. I also asked him to make it obvious to me who I was supposed to be with. I had this talk with God in October and in November, I had another run in with Tye (my husband). One night my best friend and I were out and we saw Tye’s cousin (the one she used to date). His cousin introduced us again and ever since that night the rest is history. I call him my pleasant surprise: serendipity! My line sister always says, “I never would’ve put you two together but it makes sense! You guys are good together.”

LM: How long have you and your husband been married? 

AH: We’ve been married six years this year. Our wedding anniversary is June 27th. We usually try to go on vacation for just us two for anniversaries, whether its traveling somewhere abroad or stateside. We’ll at least do a date night. We always celebrate together apart from the kiddos.

LM: How long has your husband been out of the league and what has that transition been like?

AH: He’s been out of the NFL for five years now. With all the ups and downs of football that have occurred, under normal circumstances it could’ve been difficult. However, the transition wasn’t as tough as I expected because of our relationship. We dated and got to know each other first. I wasn’t even into football when I met my husband. The football players had a bad rep (unfortunately) but I was interested more in how he treated me. That’s what attracted me to him. I feel like because we became such good friends first, we learned how to communicate with each other and spent a lot of time together. He’s always done a great job of separating football from home. If he had a bad day with his job, I would always have to bring it out of him. Tye was always happy when he came home to see me and our son. Since we knew how to work together, we were able to get through the transition. It was a little difficult because I knew he missed it. I could sense it more than what he was telling me. Answering the question of what’s next after you’ve spent your life in football is inevitably challenging.

LM: What has life post-NFL been like?

AH: Compared to the NFL, life is pretty normal. We are both entrepreneurs. My husband and a former teammate of his bought into the Golden Coral franchise. At first, he was more of the investor, but then he became a certified manager and is now more hands on dealing with operations. During his playing days, it was tough for my husband to juggle football and the business. The Golden Coral concept was brought to him his rookie year and he invested then. My husband always knew football was not going to last forever. He’s still figuring out what else he wants to dibble and dabble in but wants to perfect the current business before moving on to another option.

LM: Has he found other passions? 

AH: His passion is still football. I think it always will be. He flirts with the idea of coaching. It would be another adjustment for him because he likes being his own boss and having his own schedule. Coaching sports is similar to playing when it comes down to moving from city to city. He doesn’t necessarily want to uproot us and deal with the unpredictability of coaching. He doesn’t really want to get into that whole world again.

LM: What’s your career path been?

AH: I’m a real estate professional now. I was working hands on with the HR side of the Golden Coral business before. I spent some time as a stay at home mom when my kids were born. Getting back to work was a learning curve and somewhat of a culture shock. When you’re a stay at home mom, you can easily get trapped into your own little bubble. It’s interesting, you know, getting back out into the professional world. I’m trying now to do both real estate and HR for our business.

LM: Financial advice to current NFL families? 

AH: I say have your own hands on your own money! Be vigilant of what’s happening with your money and try to plan ahead as much as you can. The transition between being out of the league one year and out of the league five years is completely different. Year five is when I’ve really started to feel the difference. It’s like, “Oh wow! No more NFL.” Plan to set yourself up for something after the NFL days. Obviously, the first step is finding out what interests you outside of football while you’re in the league. Prepare yourself for the inevitable. I don’t care if you’ve played in the league for three years or 20 years, I feel like it’s still the same. It hits you like, “Whoa! What happened?” Network and talk to business people! Transitioning from the NFL and going to work a 9-5 could be hard for some, so I say if you want to make your own rules, money, and way, go network with business professionals in industries you may want to join. I believe smart investments help as well to stream some kind of revenue down the road. Whether you like stocks or investing in businesses, look into some type of investment. Just be mindful of your money. Know your limits and boundaries of what you can and can’t do.

LM: What do you believe are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player? 

AH: Pros – The whole thing is kind of a dream! It passed by quickly! You’re put in a position where you can help others, whether that be financially or investing your time. Your significant other is looked up to so you can use that for good. If you have a cause you’re passionate about, it’s easy to reach people and get involved with the community. It’s also fun! It has its fun times. You get to see different places. I always like to see different places and meet new people. I met a few young ladies that I still keep in touch with and could call up to go out to eat. Most of them have moved on from football as well. Overall, it’s a good life experience. Regardless of what your situation is, there’s something to be learned and something you can impart on another because of it.

Cons – It is an unpredictable business. The whole perception that your life is perfect and that you have no worries is frustrating. As the wife or girlfriend, you’re often seen as a gold digger who’s with that man because he plays football. Another con is that with the click of a mouse, everything is on front street. I’ve adopted his private way of life. It’s difficult to be in the limelight with all your business out there. Lastly, the injuries: the injuries and the effect on your man’s health. Spectators see football as a form of entertainment but when it’s your livelihood, you cringe viewing games. My husband’s career was shorter than expected due to injuries.

LM: What were some of the injuries he endured?

AH: He tore his meniscus, broke a couple bones in his lower vertebrae, broke his wrist, and had several concussions. The injuries is probably the biggest con because you want them to play as long as they want to play, but you want them to have a nice quality of life coming out.

When you stop playing and stop training that’s when your body shows you what’s really wrong with it. That’s been the story with us anyway. His neck bothers him on one side because he used to tackle with that shoulder. He gets headaches every now and then. The result of his knee injury caused him to have an injury when he was running. Stuff just starts breaking down. It could just be because he’s not training the same way. Generally, he’s fine but does have some mechanical issues. We thank God it hasn’t been anything major but he has had some aggravations.

LM: What is your love advice to NFL WAGS? 

AH: Make sure you know each other. As a woman, get to know the man, not the football player. If you do that and communicate, you’ll be fine. Keep a date night! If you have children, have family time with them too. Keep open lines of communication…that’s for all relationships. It may not be for everybody but keep God in your relationship. A family that prays together stays together. We used to have a devotional night where I’d read from my devotional book and we’d answer the questions at the end. We’ve also read from the Bible and discussed what it means. We were both raised in the church and we want to impart that on our children too and set a good example for them. Lord knows we need prayer with these children and the way society is today. We need to pray for guidance because we as parents don’t always know what to do.

LM: How are you navigating parenting with the NFL lifestyle?

AH: The lifestyle allows you to give certain luxuries to your kids. I don’t want my children to be too spoiled. It’s hard teaching them at such a young age. You have to kind of show them. We will donate a meal for Christmas and get involved with Habitat for Humanity; we talk about feeding the homeless and homeless shelters with our son. We try to preach the importance of giving back and helping others in need. You definitely have to lead by example so I’m working on doing a better job of incorporating those things.

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

AH: I’ve always been the type of person to try to see the good in others because I believe there’s good out there. I do have a big heart. I am generous. I like to have fun. I do like to meet new people. I’m a pretty laid back person.

LM: What is your advice as a former NFL wife to current NFL wives?

AH: Wives or girlfriends? The two are separated depending on what team you’re on. Be open and welcoming, especially if you’ve been on the team for awhile. Even if you haven’t, be open to not just wives but girlfriends also! You just never know what they might need. I found a good support group in Saint Louis. We had Bible study and girls night where we would get together during away games. Being a support system to fellow WAGS is important because a woman could be coming to the city and not know anyone or be by themselves and it’s just nice to know someone who is in a similar situation. Leave the cattiness aside. We all have different stories of how we got into this life, but that doesn’t make your story any better than the next.

LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your spouse/kids? 

AH: We go to the movies. We go on family vacations, usually to Myrtle Beach or Disney World. My son plays soccer so we go to his practice and games. He’s not in football yet.

LM: You’re okay with your son playing football?

AH: I am. I at least want him to be open and introduced to it. I’m all about my kids experiencing different activities to see what they want to do. I always say you can’t say you don’t like something until you try it. I certainly don’t want to pressure him into football though. LM: What would you like people to know about NFL families or the NFL lifestyle?

AH: I feel like we’re the same as any other normal family it’s just that we have a lifestyle that’s on front street. It’s public or can be public. Personally, I don’t think I ever felt celebrity status so from my experience we’re the same as any other family. We just had a different schedule.

LM: Why’d you agree to do this interview?

AH: I appreciate what your beliefs are and what your motives are for even starting something like this. It’s positive and inspiring. We do get a bad rep as women who love and support athletes.

Well said, Alexis! Thank you for the perspective of a retired NFL family.  


Q&A with NFL Wife Jessica McClendon: "It's Not What You See on TV"


This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the sweet, beautiful Southern belle Jessica McClendon. Jessica and I recently connected through an NFL wives prayer group. Although our husbands played together on the Jaguars last year, we never actually met. Our paths crossed this year and we have mutual WAG friends. I was so excited to get to know Jessica, and learn more about her and her beautiful family. This NFL wife and mother is as kind-hearted and selfless as she can be. Read more from the interview below...


Name: Jessica McClendon

Husband: Jacques McClendon

Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Vet. Going into 6th season (Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins)

Children: Daughter Madison

NFLWAG: 6 years

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: I personally have lived in Detroit, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Miami

Off Season Home: Tennessee

Favorite Food: I love frozen grapes & Italian food

Hobbies: Running, kayaking, fishing, camping (anything outside)

Music on your Playlist: Mix[ture] of everything. I have some Lauren Diagle (Christian artist), Drake, Florence & The Machine

Interesting Facts: My absolute favorite time of the year is FALL and I watch Hocus Pocus three to four times by the end of July. I'm a kid at heart! Typically, I like to try to go to Disney one time during the Fall because they have it decorated. Disney is like my favorite thing ever!

I choose to focus more on the positive and the blessings." - Jessica, NFL wife


LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

JM: I’m from East Tennessee. Jacques and I grew up in the same town and attended the same middle school. In college, he went to play football at UT and I ran cross country at a private Christian school in Tennessee. We had the same close friends and became best friends before we started dating. We were engaged right before training camp started in 2011 and married in 2012.

LM: How has the transition from Jacksonville to Miami been?

JM: The transition to Miami has been new. I fell in love with Jacksonville and the people I met. I have never met such an amazing group of women. Some were football wives and others were from Bible study or girl’s nights. I’m taking life friends from Jacksonville. It was a sad departure. We haven’t gotten a chance to meet anyone in Miami yet. Things are different now that I’m traveling with a baby.

LM: People may see Miami as a city you wouldn’t want your husband to play in just because of the nightlife and what Miami is known for. How has your experience been?

JM: I mean I’m sure Miami is cool when you’re going for vacation. It’s a gorgeous place and it’s fast. I’m from a small town so life in Miami is fast to me. We don’t stay near South Beach though. Jacques and I have awesome date nights. We’ll do dinner and go see the best the city has to offer but we don’t live the fast life. The driving...the people…it stresses me out. In your welcome book [from the team] they tell you you need to be very defensive when you drive here.

LM: Have you ventured out much in Miami or met any of the other wives of the Dolphins?

JM: I was welcomed to the city. Lauren Tannehill (QB Ryan Tannehill’s wife) reached out to me and was awesome. She took time out of her day to share valuable information. Lauren is from Texas but has been in Miami for awhile so she’s more established and has some great friends. Even though her and Ryan don’t have kids, she found out about her friend’s pediatrician. She suggested great areas to live in and even printed out recommended churches. She was very inviting and I appreciated that. Especially going from team to team to team. We are modern day nomads.

LM: How long have you and your husband been married? How many years have you been an NFL WAG?

JM: We married in March 2012 and recently celebrated our three year anniversary. I have been an NFL WAG for six years.

LM: Congratulations on another anniversary!

JM: Thank you! People will tell us, “I look at your relationship and it gives me hope.” I want to be different with everything I do. I don’t like where the norm is going.

LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your spouse?

JM: As far as date nights? Anything spontaneous! We do whatever we feel like doing. We’re super close with my family so my mom can watch our daughter. There is a jump park in Tennessee next to a brewery with a bowling alley. We go to that area often.

LM: What are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player?

JM: It’s like a shooting star! It is a blessing. The places we are able to go and the people we are able to network with is a benefit. However, it can be extremely stressful. I carry the stress of health. I think about my husband’s health, my closest [NFL] friends and their husband’s health. It’s a tough job doing what they do everyday. As a wife looking ahead 50 years from now I worry about my husband’s wellbeing. The decisions you have to make and the frequent travel is different. The amount of people who live this lifestyle is very limited so that part is difficult (not having many people to relate to what we go through). I choose to focus more on the positive and the blessings.

LM: You recently had a baby girl named Madison. Tell me about her.

JM: Oh Madison! She’ll be one year in September. Docile is never a term I would use to describe this child. She’s crazy, curious, happy, always waving at people. She’s everything I imagined a mix of my husband and I would be. She’s expressive. She’s fun. She’s awesome! She’s the biggest blessing we’ve ever received.

LM: How has motherhood changed your life?

JM: Motherhood has been a huge adjustment to say the least. I’m used to traveling, packing a bag and flying on a whim. If we were headed to London next week I’d say okay! Now, going to new areas has been a big deal. You have to find a trusted sitter just so you can have date night. I have to think about late night emergency care, pediatricians, and all these elements I never thought of before. It’s also changed the way I look at Jacques. The way he is with his daughter, how he looks at her and how he expresses providing for us makes me fall in love with him all over again.

LM: That’s so sweet! Let’s talk about your daily schedule since motherhood. What does your day look like?

JM: I usually wake up at 6:30 a.m. and get Madison changed. My husband goes to workout. Madison and I go run before it gets too warm. I come home and feed her, get our laundry done, go to the grocery (healthy foods), check any emails from the pediatrician, and pick up any suits from the dry cleaners. If Jacques has anywhere to go then I make sure he is packed and ready. At night, we have dinner and get our family time in, give Madison a bath, bedtime story, and put her to bed. After our daughter is asleep, we take some time to talk to each other about the day. He studies film and goes to bed early and we do it all over again the next day. Its chaotic but it’s fun. I love it.

LM: What is your love advice to all women and women inside the NFL? Is there a difference?

JM: Love your man. Support your man. Be there for him. Tell him the things he needs to hear. Be his #1. I think that’s why he married me. Jacques tells me I went above and beyond 24/7 and do the things that make him want to be better.

LM: Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.

JM: It’s afforded my husband many opportunities. The NFLPA has given him the opportunity to do internships. It’s given him the chance to network and connect with important people so when he’s done with NFL, he’ll have something to fall back on. His post-football career is extremely important to him. We’ve been able to travel to new places and meet incredible individuals who have taught us things. He’s made great relationships with some of the guys he played with. The level he’s getting to play at is a cool experience. The average career for players in the NFL is 3 years. It’s been a huge blessing and I love to see him succeed.

LM: You mentioned that your husband was able to do some internships while active in the league. What were those?

JM: He interned with an Athletic Director at a university and also with the NCAA headquarters. When he was in school he received his Master’s in Sports Administration. He wants to help athletes.

LM: What are your hobbies?

JM: I like to be on the river a lot. I grew up in mountain area. I also like being fit, running and biking.

LM: You seem like an avid runner. Does your husband run with you?

JM: That’s NOT happening at all. He’ll ride the bike but tell me, “I am NOT joining you on that long run.” I try as much as I possibly can to run. I’m not running on the treadmill; I’m a point A to point B kinda person. I’m setting goals and looking into my cadence and heart rate. I want to do 5k, 10k, and half marathons. I hope to do them with my little girl and save the t-shirts to make a blanket out of them. Plus, in the future when she’s a big teenager and mom isn’t cool then maybe she will have some fun memories to look back on and she’ll think of all the things we actually did together. I want her to grow up having a fit and active lifestyle.

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

JM: Umm…I don’t know. I think it would be obvious that my heart’s in the right place and I absolutely adore my family. I try to show those things anyway so I hope that it would be obvious.

LM: What would you like people to know about NFL families or the NFL lifestyle?

JM: That it is NOT what people think. It’s not what you see on TV. There’s a small percentage that is like that but that’s for all realms: basketball, Hollywood, etc. The cattiness that you see on television is not real life. We want each other to do well. We’re watching out for each other. It’s not the dramatic stuff that you see. It’s not as glamourous as they make it out to be. It’s not what it seems.

LM: Being a football WAG who has experienced different teams, what has been your experience with other NFL WAGS?

JM: Jacques was first drafted to the (Indianapolis) Colts. There was an age gap between us and the other families and we weren’t engaged yet. I was the girlfriend. A lot of the guys had been there for a long time and they had wives and kids. They were very inviting but I didn’t meet girls my age or in my situation (Jacques and I were long distance). In Detroit Jacques and I had just gotten married and I met Robs wife Natalie and she was awesome. She reached out to me and gave advice. She explained things to me like, “This is your responsibility now. You’re a wife now. This is what he needs from you.” That advice has never left me. Her dad was in the NFL also so she had lived that life. Her counsel left a lasting impact. Then we moved to Atlanta and I didn’t meet anyone for almost an entire season. I was back and forth in and out of Atlanta so I may have separated myself more. Once I became a part of the NFL wives prayer group, I connected with some women in Atlanta the night before my husband was released. Then we got a deal with the Jaguars and made the move to Florida! Jacksonville embraced me more than any other place, but overall I have not had any negative experience. I do know there is cattiness. One of best friends in Jacksonville had to move to another team. She told me It was a lot harder for her to get involved. All of my experiences have been positive though. I’m such an include-r. I want everyone to be a part. Honestly, the women I have had the opportunity to be around really have been incredible. They are intelligent, driven leaders. They are engineers, nurses, they work for PR firms. They are hard-working moms with Master's degrees. Some of them are life long forever friends and we are all WAGS out here supporting our better half.

Great attitude and insight, Mrs. McClendon! Thanks for being a noble example of an NFL WAG. Good luck in Miami this season!


Q&A with NFL Wife Tenisha Patterson Brown: "Nobody Understands How NFL Contracts Work"

My next WAG feature Wednesday is of the "fierce, fabulous and flawless" Mrs. Tenisha Patterson Brown. Tenisha and I were introduced through our husbands, who were drafted together in 2009 to the Carolina Panthers. As a woman of God, football wife, entrepreneur, and attorney, Tenisha is truly a well-rounded woman! I had to get a Q&A with this lady and pick her brain on life as a newlywed, business owner, and NFL WAG. She also shed some light on NFL contracts and football "sororities." Read the interview below.


Name: Tenisha Patterson Brown

Husband: Everette Brown

Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. Going into his 7th season (Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins)

NFLWAG: Going on 7 years

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: Charlotte (I never moved)

Off Season Home: Charlotte

Favorite Food: Pineapples

Favorite Music: Ratchet Florida music 

Hobbies: Traveling; I love writing cards (Hallmark is my favorite store); Blogging (www.fiercefabulousflawless.com)

Interesting Facts:I am a Sports Attorney and Business Manager for Professional Athletes. I created my own job title when I was in college because I didn’t want to be a sports agent but I wanted to help athletes. I created the position of Business Manager because I help athletes on the field as well as off the field. 

It's not fun thinking that my husband may not live to the age of 60 because of the physicality of the game." - Tenisha Patterson Brown


LM: Why did you agree to do this interview? 

TPB: I think there is a negative image or perception of NFL wives and professional athlete’s wives in general. A lot of people don’t see players as real people...just fixtures in their fantasy football league. The media is so judgmental and I think there needs to be something positive said about athletes and their families.

LM:  Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

TPB: I am from Tampa, Florida and I moved to Charlotte when I enrolled at Charlotte School of Law.

LM: How did you and your husband meet?

TPB: We met the day before his 19th birthday which was also the day before they started training camp [at FSU]. We both attended Florida State during our undergraduate years. His teammate, who was also a friend of mine, came over to my house because we were cooking but didn’t tell me Everette was coming. Everette had been trying to holla at me via Facebook for about six months but I wasn’t giving him any play because he was a baby. I later found out they had previously discussed and plotted how Everette would meet me. After that night at my house, we started dating.

LM: You and your husband are a part of the Seminole family. Talk about what it’s like to be a part of the FSU community.

TPB: Being part of the FSU community is nothing short of a blessing. I used to tell Everette all the time that if you take care of home, home will take care of you. FSU blessed Everette with an athletic scholarship and a chance to live out his dream playing football. Florida State blessed me with degrees and friendships and my line sisters. The university has continued to support us and our foundation. They constantly ask Everette to come out and do events. We are boosters and will continue to be boosters. We’re a part of the Alumni Association. We love Florida State. We really do. We love what it stands for. Once a Seminole always a Seminole. When we go back to FSU, we know there’s going to be someone looking out for us because we’re a part of that Seminole family.

LM: How long have you and your husband been married? How long have you been an NFL WAG ? 

TPB: We’ve been married a year and a month! I have been with Everette since he’s been in the league so I’ve been an NFL WAG going on 7 years now.

LM: What are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player? 

TPB: That’s a loaded question. I’ll do the cons first to end on a positive note. One of the cons is the lack of job security. When you’re married to someone who is a lawyer or doctor they can work anywhere. NFL players have no control over their career – when it begins, when they have to move, when they’re traded, and when it ends. You have players like Tom Brady and Ray Lewis in the league but most players don’t have that opportunity. Another con is the injuries and the toll the sport takes on the guys. The average lifespan in the NFL is shorter. It’s not fun thinking that my husband may not live to the age of 60 because of the physicality of the game. Many people say, “Oh, they’re athletes and they don’t need to be paid that much!” If you risk your life everyday for someone else’s entertainment, you should be paid well too! One positive or pro for the lifestyle is that you get to experience a lot of things that you wouldn’t experience in a normal career. I see a lot of places and meet a lot of people. You get to interact with fans and have the opportunity to touch lives in ways that you wouldn’t if you weren’t in that position. Another pro is seeing your husband live out his dream.

LM: What is your love advice to all women and women inside the NFL? Is there a difference? 

TPB: To all women – Love yourself first. Always. It’s God, you, then everybody else. If you don’t love you first and invest in yourself first, then you can’t fully love someone else. There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who truly loves herself. I find that with many NFL wives they live for their husband as an NFL player so when their husband isn’t an NFL player anymore, they don’t know what to do. When the lifestyle stops, they don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of wives leave their husbands after the NFL. You have to have your own happiness in order for you to be able to love the person that you’re with. You gotta love yourself and be happy with who you are.

LM: You brought up the point about divorces in the NFL. I know that’s something we discuss in our household. What is the NFL divorce rate now? I know it’s high.

TPB: The statistic right now is that 70% of NFL players get divorced within 3 years of retirement or leaving the league. I do a lot of educating college football players on life after the league. Part of my program called College to NFL Transition Program instructs them on the transition from college to professional athletics and what comes with it. You see guys who marry women when they just get to the league and they’re on their high. Then when the NFL is over and the lifestyle is no longer there, she can’t handle it. You can’t handle it. You’re depressed because you’re not playing football anymore and she’s depressed because she doesn’t have the lifestyle anymore. I try to enlighten guys on the reality of what can happen if you don’t make wise decisions concerning your future.

LM: What are your hobbies? What are your passions?

TPB: I love to travel, see the world and experience new things. I love to help people grow. My passion is helping individuals to be better versions of themselves. I like when someone tells me their idea and seeing the idea come into fruition. I love seeing people do something they never thought they could do. I enjoy making people happy, giving gifts, and just doing nice things for others. It’s kind of ironic because I’m an only child and don’t like to share [Laughs]. However, I love making people happy.

LM: What do you think about all the coverage lately surrounding NFL players and domestic violence? 

TPB: I think when it comes to domestic violence, the problem is the perception we as a society have on domestic violence and the perception there is on athletes. There’s a lack of care for the victim. In the Ray and Janay Rice incident, the video kept getting played over and over again. She could not go on about her life without someone making her relive what happened. Lord knows I don’t condone domestic violence and any man who does that deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest. I didn’t like all the questions like, “Why is she with him?” There is such a thing called Battered Woman Syndrome. It’s a real legal defense. Do I agree with his career ending? No I don’t. When you take away his career, then you have two negatives: he loses his job and a means to support his family. He didn’t deserve his career to be taken away. I think of it like this: if someone who’s a doctor hits his wife are you going to say now you can’t be a doctor anymore? You get your punishment and get your help. I believe everyone needs to follow the same rules. When you’re an athlete, you are held to a higher standard and sometimes it's unfair. The positive note in all the coverage is that the NFL started paying attention and so did other leagues. Husbands have abused their wives inside and outside the league but now there is some awareness. You have more organizations and people trying to mitigate the problem.

LM: Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.

TPB: The NFL is definitely a blessing. We have been able to accomplish a lot of our business goals and dreams in a shorter period of time because of the financial aspect of it. One of the things we’ve had to do in our relationship is prioritize what the NFL means to us. My husband and I decided that it’s faith, family, then football. When football is taken away and he doesn’t play anymore, our family will be strong, our faith will still be strong, and we will just replace football with another occupation.

LM: Talk about some of those business goals that you and Everette have been able to accomplish. 

TPB: One of the things my husband really wanted to do was become a franchisee. We opened a Tropical Smoothie almost 2 years ago in Charlotte, NC. We also had the opportunity to start Charlotte Luxury Rentals. With the rental car company, it started from nothing. There wasn’t an existing business plan. We had to create everything. We were able to do that because of opportunities he’s had in the NFL.

LM: What has being an entrepreneur taught you? 

TPB: One of the biggest lessons I learned with entrepreneurship is that you have to do everything, know everything, and be willing to do everything. You have to deal with employees, vendors and clients. You have to manage accounting, taxes, government regulations, and do it well enough to be successful. That is a huge challenge. You have to grind it out. It’s not like okay we opened our doors so now people will automatically start coming. I have a greater respect for our businesses because we’re building it ourselves.

LM: What’s the hardest thing about being a restaurant owner? 

TPB: Dealing with employees.

LM: Which business do you like better?

TPB: I love being a lawyer. I love creating my own hours. I love drafting. I love helping people create business plans and seeing them open [for business]…seeing everything come into fruition. I enjoy my company better. It’s my favorite.

Check out Tenisha’s company Definitive Sports Representation here

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

TPB: That I’m human and I go through the same struggles and challenges, and have the same desires and needs that everyone else does. I feel like it’s crazy that I have to actually explain that.

LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your spouse? 

TPB:  We travel a lot. The last destination was the Cayman Islands for our one-year anniversary. We went to four weddings this year, three of which were all in a month’s time! We hang out with our dogs because we love our dogs. They are our babies for right now. We have two pit bulls – Coup is the boy, Carolina is the girl, and we have a Yorkie (Pebbles).

LM: How is that having a pitbull? They also get a bad rep.

TPB: We can’t go to the dog park because people start grabbing their dogs and being dramatic. We get upset about how people talk to us when we have them. They’re called a vicious breed which is sad because they’re not.

LM: What would you like people to know about NFL families or the NFL lifestyle?

TPB: Everybody doesn’t blow money fast. Nobody is making it rain in the club everyday. A lot of times people think because your husband is in NFL that they can ask you for money all the time. They don’t think you have bills to pay. We get asked for money all the time especially because we own businesses. Everyone always contacts us when they need something. Just because you have money doesn’t mean you have to live a certain lifestyle, and every NFL player isn’t a millionaire. The way taxes are set up, even if you make league minimums, the combination of federal and state taxes adds up to almost 50%. Nobody understands how NFL contracts work and how they're really broken down. It’s only guaranteed [money] if you’re on the team. If you’re not on active roster then that affects your life.

LM: You guys have been with several teams over the years so you may have a different perspective than I do concerning NFL women. Talk about what you’ve seen with NFL wives. 

TPB: It’s different depending on where you go. Unfortunately, some women portray a certain image and it’s almost as if they push and feed into what’s seen on the reality shows like Basketball Wives and Football Wives [Vh1]. NFL wives are different depending on the team. Dallas has nice wives. There’s a hierarchy in Dallas though [amongst wives]. The Redskins wives are really nice and close. They do community service together every week.

LM: Is the difference in treatment a result of being a veteran versus a rookie? 

TPB: If you’re a rookie, you’re a rookie. That’s going to be everywhere. It’s more the money distinction. When big money’s in the room, you know it. There are some who have big money [contracts] who don’t act like that but there are others who don’t associate with you unless you have big money too. That attitude also filters into the wives. If your husband is acting like that most likely you will too. Again, that’s not everywhere though. Julius (Peppers) was the big money guy here in Carolina and Jon Beason but they were so nice to us and great guys. But then you have players who are jerks because they have money and it’s stupid but it happens. It’s kind of sad because its’ like money shouldn’t make you but that’s what some people live for because its all they have.

LM: How do you go about changing some of those unwelcoming attitudes among the NFL women?

TPB: I don’t know. I think you have to create a more unified forefront that every wife wants to be a part of. I correlate the NFL wives society to a sorority. It’s a group of women with a commonality, all working towards the same goal. Then you have the cattiness that goes along with a sorority too. For me, I was discouraged in joining the wives’ groups in the NFL because I’m in a sorority. I remember what it was like to be a Neo versus a Prophyte in college. I obviously know what it feels like when you have to earn your way into a group out of respect. In college it’s different than when you are grown. When you’re grown, you don’t have time for the pettiness and girl fights. I’m really trying to live and be productive (not talk about Pinterest).

You can’t get mad at me because I can’t go to away games. I’ve had a wife look down on me because of that. We have businesses to run. It’s those instances that pushed me away from wanting to be a part of a wife group. Your blog is such a great idea because every wife is not the same. Every wife is not at home waiting for their husband to get home. Not every wife wants to stay home and have seven kids. Everyone thinks we workout, shop and take care of the kids…or really that a nanny takes care of kids. That’s not my life.

The only way it would change is if people stopped thinking they were better than others. That’s tough to change because so many individuals in society think that way. I’d like to compare NFL wives to army wives, only not on the same scale because being an Army wife is really hard. However, I think NFL wives should take time to help other wives in need like Army wives by meeting, having Bible study, and talking to one another. We need to have each other’s backs and have those conversations. When your husband is away and you have a newborn, how do you deal with that? It’s hard. Building a better support system for each other would be nice.

LM: Anything else you would like to add?

TPB:  Athletes are real people.

Spoken like a true attorney...Well done Mrs. Patterson Brown. 


Featured WAG Marissa Allen: "I Like to Feed People"

My fourth NFL WAG feature is of the sweet and bubbly, Mrs. Marissa Allen. Marissa and I found each other via social media. After receiving her immediate support of the blog, I asked for an interview. We had the most natural phone conversation earlier this week discussing her life and experiences as an NFL wife. She's such a wonderful, well-rounded woman! Read the Q&A below...



Name: Marissa Allen

Husband: Jeff Allen 

Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. Headed into 4th season (drafted to KC Chiefs in 2012)

Children:  Daughter  named Joy Elise

NFLWAG: 4 years 

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: Kansas City

Favorite Food: All Mexican food (enchiladas, tacos, fajitas) 

Hobbies: Cooking; working out; staying active; blogging at thenewmrsallen.com; photography (taking classes and eventually want to open a business)

Interesting Facts: I'm an only child; I'm left-handed; I have a degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois; I was a Division I athlete (soccer); I'm certified to substitute teach


LM:  Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

MA: I’m from Dallas, Texas. I received a scholarship to play soccer at the University of Illinois and that’s where I met my husband. We got engaged on Christmas Eve, semester before I graduated. I was interviewing for jobs at the time, but made the decision to move to Kansas City to be with my husband and that’s where we are now.

LM: How long have you been married? How many years have you been an NFLWAG? 

MA: We’ve been married for just over a year. Our wedding was last year on June 14th. I have been with him since he was drafted so four years now as an NFLWAG.

LM: What are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player? 

MA: The pros would be getting to travel to amazing places and doing some really impactful charity work. One of the reasons I love my husband is that he has a huge heart. He loves to use his current position to help others. We [WAGs] can take them for granted but NFL games are special and attending them is a plus about this lifestyle. The fact that my husband has the opportunity to provide for our family is also an  obvious positive. Some of the cons would be the public opinion of our husbands’ performance. Sometimes the comments and media coverage is hard to hear and read. Another con would be the uncertainty surrounding where we’re going to live the next year. The long days and nights coupled with the travel can be hard but I know some other sports have it worse than we do. The injuries! The injuries and not knowing what state my husband is going to be in as our daughter gets older is tough. Will he need a knee replacement, have memory loss, head trauma from concussions? That sort of thing is a negative as well.

LM: I know your husband had a recent injury? How did he get injured?

MA:  My husband tore his bicep in the first game of the season last year. It was a season-ending injury but he has since made a full recovery.

LM: I am so happy to hear that! How did he tear his bicep? 

MA: The injury occurred on a field goal protection play. I actually didn’t realize he was badly injured till the end of the game. He went back in for a few plays after tearing it. It was nice having him around during the pregnancy though! [Laughs]

LM: What is your love advice to all women? Advice for women inside the NFL? 

MA: For all women, communication is my love advice. Don’t let issues build up. You can’t fix a problem if your spouse doesn't know it exists! My husband and I are still working on that. We always put things to the side because of the (football) season and say we’ll deal with it later. If you can deal with issues when they occur, things will be a lot better. To the NFL wives, my advice would be not to worry about what is not in our control. We can’t worry about if we’re going to be on the team next year or about playing time, all we can do is be supportive and be there for them.

LM: You recently had a baby girl! Miss Joy Elise. Describe what that experience was like? How was your pregnancy and delivery? 

MA: We found out about the pregnancy the day we figured out my husband needed surgery on his bicep so we had a lot going on. Pregnancy was good! I had a very by-the-book pregnancy. No cravings! I gained a decent amount of weight but didn’t get sick. Delivery was better than I could have hoped for; I only pushed for about 35 minutes. We’re so thankful she’s here! We just sit around and stare at her all day still. She’ll be three months on Monday [today!]. She’s my little twin.

LM: Tell me more about your little princess. What does she like to do?

MA: Joy likes attention. She doesn’t care if you’re watching TV or not, she wants you to talk to her. She likes to roll and struggles with it sometimes but she tries. She loves all music including rap! When my husband plays it I'm like, "Good thing she doesn’t know what they’re saying." She doesn’t like wearing bows but she has to because she gets called a boy often!

LM: Really? She doesn’t look like a boy to me!

MA: It’ s mostly older people who call her a boy and I don’t want to sound rude or anything so I go with it.

LM: What are your hobbies? 

MA: I do a lot of cooking. I like to feed people. That’s my love language. If I feed you that means I like you! I’m also really into natural hair care because I have to do something to tame this wild and curly hair. I love fitness. I’m into hot yoga, orange theory, and fusion fitness (plyometrics workout). I like the workout DVD’s as well. I have PiYo [Chalene Johnson] right now and I’m saving it for while my husband is at training camp.

Check out Marissa’s blog for awesome recipes here

LM: I’ve heard a lot about this Orange Theory fitness lately. What is it?

MA: I think you’d like it because you were an athlete. It’s a mixture of strength, endurance and power days. The workout incorporates treadmills, water rowers and a weight floor. In a workout, you run on the treadmill for about 20 minutes and then do a mixture of water rowing and weights. It’s really competitive and changes everyday. It’s all heart-rate based. My coach back in college was really into that. Each person wears a heart monitor in class and it’s designed so you get the most out of each session. The goal is to get in the orange zone which is like the sweet spot. There’s a huge screen in the facility so you can glance up during the workout and see if you’re in the orange range. If not, you know to push a little harder. It’s a great way to maximize your workouts.

LM: I saw a post about your natural hair journey. How has that been going? What are some of your favorite products?

MA: I’m not anti-makeup or anti-hair straightening, I just don’t have as much time as I used to. I just found going natural to be easier for me. My favorite style is a roller set. I like big curls and big hair. Get you some flexi rods, ladies! My favorite products are: unrefined coconut oil from Trader Joes and Aunt Jackie’s Coils and Curls (you can buy them at the Dollar Store and beauty supply). Mixed Chics is a good line too and so is Miss Jessie’s.

LM: I’ve been wanting to try some organic hair remedies. Do you do those?

MA: Some of those organic hair remedies were an epic fail for me. Like anything with an egg was a no! So be careful.

LM: I love that you are a fellow former student-athlete. What position did you play in soccer?

MA: I played Forward.

LM: Do you follow the U.S. Women's soccer team? What did you think about their World Cup Victory last month?

MA: I watched a little. It's incredible for the sport! I hope more girls are interested in giving soccer a try now. A lot of my college teammates still play in the WPSL (Women's Premier Soccer League) and they will appreciate all the new women's soccer fans.

LM: Do you play in any soccer leagues or are you finished playing?

MA: I don't play anymore. I don't think my ankles or knees would appreciate it. I had surgery concluding my senior season. I'm just looking forward to coaching my daughter's team one day!

LM: What do you think about all the coverage lately surrounding NFL players and domestic violence? 

MA: The news is trying to sell something so they obviously focus on the negative. The problem does need to be remedied. There are NFL guys who treat their significant others like queens, but a guy treating his wife nicely isn’t going to sell. I do wish the coverage was a little more even. That’s all they want to talk about right now.

LM: What has the NFL meant for your family?

MA: The NFL has meant a lot in that it is a job for my husband. He is able to support our family and it’s also provided me with opportunities to do different things. I personally have done a lot of community service with my husband and it’s allowed me to see what causes I’m passionate about. We’ve also met some other really incredible people. I’ve met NFL wives who are lawyers, real estate agents, and culinary artists.  Many of us continue to work, or make a sacrifice and put it on hold for the sake of family. Some of the football guys have really impactful stories too. It’s cool to be around such driven and accomplished people. Makes you want to be a better person.

LM: You mentioned doing a lot of charity work. What are some of the causes and organizations dear to your heart?

MA: My husband is really interested in going back and helping out where he grew up in Chicago. We are associated with a foundation called HEROH. My husband is proud to sit on their board as a Director. It was started by one of his former college teammates, Chris James. They provide academic services like SAT classes, ACT prep, and tutoring. They also have sport-specific training  and assist with recruiting exposure. It’s an accountability thing. HEROH provides a framework. They’ve taken some of the kids to tour colleges which is huge. We weren’t as involved this year because of my pregnancy but they are doing big things. I mentioned before that one of my passions is food. I cry every time I see one of those “a kid goes hungry” commercials. Since I love to cook I’m like I am there for you. I’ll feed you for days to come. We also did some work with the Kansas City Chiefs at a local women’s shelter. It’s been a really good experience and heart breaking to see what some of these women need. They need hair care products, especially black hair care products, feminine products, and items for their babies. I couldn’t image not having access to some of those things.

Click here for more information on HEROH!

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

MA: I’m a separate person from my husband. I made the conscious decision to support him in his passion. I have dreams too, it’s just not the time for me to pursue them…and I’m okay with that! That’s part of the reason I started the blog. Most NFL wives are nothing like we see on television; I don’t have any friends that want to go to lunch with me THAT often or want to fight with me. We don’t have time to be in each others business like that.

LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your spouse? 

MA: We just recently bought a Wii so date nights look a little different now. We put our daughter to bed and play the video game (golf, Mario Kart, etc). We do Top Golf too. My husband’s favorite date is a movie and dinner. Oh, we bought a dart board too! We just turned our basement into a one stop date night. We also go to the Farmer’s Market together a lot. Well, I think he does it to please me but I like to go!

LM: What would you like people to know about NFL families or the NFL lifestyle?

MA: The players out on the field are somebody’s son, husband, and father. Keep that in mind when you’re hurling insults. I just had a bad experience with that. We went to a playoff game two seasons ago but it wasn't in Kansas City. I was sitting next to another player’s wife where her husband went down with an injury. Fans were yelling, “Good! Good! Get him out of there.” You should never cheer for someone’s injury or misfortune!

LM: Do you have any favorite recipes?

MA: One of my family favorites is coconut granola. My husband loves it and my mother in law requests jars of it at a time. It’s not necessarily my favorite but it’s the most practical, not loaded with sugar, and a no fail recipe! It’s easy and has a long shelf life.

Find Marissa’s coconut granola (pictured) recipe here.

LM: Anything else you would like to add?

MA: I just really appreciate you doing this. I am not sure how I found out about it. I think it was on my (Instagram) Popular page. I saw your site and was like oh wow! This is awesome. There aren’t as many sources talking about the positive aspects of professional athlete’s significant others. I’ve also seen the articles that rate NFL wives by looks and that is just absolutely ridiculous. We have way more to offer. People are going to make judgments but at least you’re giving people something to base them off of.


NFL KIDS EDITION: Q&A with Morgan Jackson, Daughter of Bo Jackson

This week's WAG feature is a special edition, featuring the daughter of a high profile NFL and MLB player. I was introduced to the sweet, funny, and charismatic Morgan Jackson through a Facebook friend (look at social media)! Since Morgan lives in Chicago, I was able to interview her while visiting my husband for a week. She also accompanied me to a Bears game! We discussed growing up in the NFL, family, and her future plans. Read more on Morgan below! 


Name: Morgan Jackson

Father: Bo Jackson

Years father played in NFL: 6 

Cities You've Lived in with NFL/MLB: Kansas City, Los Angeles, Chicago

Off Season Home: Back and forth from Kansas City to LA until dad went to Chicago  

Favorite Food: French fries (Portillos has great cheese fries) 

Music on iTunes Playlist: Kanye West, Drake, Rihanna, Beyonce, Nikki Minaj, Chris Brown, Biggie  

Hobbies: Fitness and working out; shopping; writing (my favorite would have to be short stories); movie freak (favorite movies are scary)

Interesting Facts: Graduated from Auburn with degree in English/Professional and Public Writing and Minor in Communications; I like writing and being creative

My dad’s story is pretty awesome, but I have a story too." - Morgan Jackson, NFL Daughter


LM: Do people often introduce you as Bo Jackson’s daughter? How does that make you feel?

MJ: Yes, and that is SO ANNOYING! If you look at my birth certificate I promise you it does not say Bo Jackson’s daughter. It says Morgan. I have a name!

LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

MJ: I was born in Kansas City. My dad was playing with the Royals at that time. We moved to Chicago when I was one. When my dad was finished with the Sox, my parents stayed in Chicago. My parents and I are all still here [in Chicago].

LM: Tell me about your mom and dad. 

MJ: They met in college at Auburn. It’s funny because at first my mom didn’t want to date him. She’s a doctor so she probably thought she was going to marry another doctor or a lawyer. My dad ended up chasing her for months. He would just see her around campus and go up and speak to her and probably annoy her and eventually she gave in. It’s been love ever since. They’ve been married almost 30 years.

LM: What is your family dynamic like? Has the dynamic changed from the years when your dad played until now? 

MJ: Well, when my dad was playing, my mom did a lot of the raising. I have an older brother named Garrett and another brother named Nicholas. My mom stopped working while my dad was playing and focused on raising the three of us. When my dad retired, it was both of them hands on 24-7 and I loved that. It was sad when he stopped playing but I loved having him around. My mom went right back to work when my dad stopped playing. She works at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

LM: Are you close with your siblings?

MJ: They are my heart and soul. Garrett lives in Chicago and does PR and Marketing. Nicholas is an engineer in Alabama. My family is really close. There has never been a holiday where we’ve been apart. We always spend holidays at my parents' house.

LM: Who is your role model?

MJ: When it comes to schoolwork, my mom. She never had a "B", went to college when she was 16, and made straight A’s all the way through school. We wanted to be like her in school because she was super smart. When it comes to sports and motivational stuff, my dad is the role model. He was raised in poverty and he made it out of that. When he was a kid, he was really bad. People expected him to go to jail. He was a bully. He got into fights. Kids used to tease him because he had a stuttering problem. His grades weren’t that great either. My grandma told him to raise his grades and behave. He didn’t start playing sports until high school. When he started playing, he realized how good he was and became really passionate about it, and that carried him through college and onto professional sports.

LM: Many people all around the world refer to your dad as the greatest athlete ever. What do you think of him?

MJ: I think he’s the greatest dad ever.

LM: How sweet! What makes him the greatest dad ever?

MJ: He’s really funny! People always say he’s like Bernie Mac. If you've seen that show, you’ve seen my dad.

LM: Are you a mommy’s girl or daddy’s girl?

MJ: I’m both but slightly more a daddy’s girl.

LM: Let’s talk more about what you’re doing these days. Tell me about your position now.

MJ: I work at Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports Complex. I’m the Communications Director and a Camp Counselor in the summer when we have youth sports camps. I conduct interviews, post on our blog, operate the website and manage videos. Those are my main responsibilities. I do anything that has to do with writing also.

LM: How did professional athletics play a role in your childhood?

MJ: Well, I was an athlete myself. I did gymnastics, track and cheerleading. When it came to track, there was actually a lot of pressure because people expected me to be like my dad. That extra pressure did help me to become better though. I would think, “Well, I can’t lose and let these people down.” Losing is like the worst thing to me.

LM: I can relate. How long did you play each sport?

MJ: I did gymnastics for eight or nine years, cheerleading all four years of high school, and ran track for nine years as a sprinter (100, 200, 4x1, and long jump). I decided not to run track past high school because I actually got sick of the comparisons to my dad.

LM: What were the pros and cons of being the daughter of such a legendary athlete?

MJ: Pros – My dad’s awesome so I’ll always have tapes and videos to watch of him. I can show my kids and say, “This is your grandpa! He was pretty awesome.”  We have the opportunity to meet celebrities and other professional athletes. It’s funny because when we meet celebrities, they go crazy over my dad. One of my dad’s biggest fans was Will Smith! I just think that’s funny because my siblings and I look at him like, “Oh my gosh that’s Will Smith!” But Will Smith felt that way about meeting my dad. When people find out who we are, we usually get free stuff so that’s nice. My dad is still sponsored by Nike and that’s a plus. The life that we live is a blessing. When my brothers and I were younger we had the chance to go to Europe for an entire summer.

Cons – The judgment. When people find out who I am they automatically assume I’m spoiled and a brat. That’s understandable and I get it. Another frustrating thing is the assumption that I don’t have problems. I’d be so stressed with school and work in college and I’d hear, “You’re Bo Jackson’s daughter. Your life is great. You need to stop complaining.” Oh, and relationships! Whether it’s boys or girls, I generally don’t know if they’re truly there for me or they just want to get close to my dad. I’ve had a few boys in my life who were gold diggers and only wanted to meet my dad. Another con is the rumors. People try to start rumors about me because they’re jealous of me or petty things like that. The most important and last con is that I have to be very careful of what I do or say at all times because I’m under a microscope. I’m so blessed to have the life I do, but I really have to be cautious. In college, I could not go out and be wasted at the bar because then everyone would be say, “Bo Jackson’s daughter is at the bar and she’s wasted!” I always had to think twice, and that isn’t bad but sometimes I wanted to be a normal kid.

LM: You went to Auburn. That’s where your dad went so…

MJ: So all eyes were on me no matter what I did. One time I was shopping and my friend texted me and asked if I was at Target. I told her that I was. She said, “Some guy took a picture of you and posted it on the Internet and said how he just saw Bo Jackson’s daughter at Target.”

LM: Why’d you go to Auburn?

MJ: I applied to many schools but Auburn is like our second home. We go there for all the football games. Both my parents are from Alabama. All of my family is there. My God family was up the street from me at Auburn. All of that was very comforting and influenced my decision.

LM: What is your favorite memory with your dad or family?

MJ: My favorite memory is still when we went to Europe for the whole summer when I was 11 or 12 years old. That was awesome! We were able to experience a lot of places like London, Paris, Germany and Spain. That was a very fun vacation that I will never forget!

LM: What is your advice to women or families in the NFL? 

MJ: Don’t let what other individuals say get to you, especially the outsiders. People are always gonna talk, trash talk, and start rumors. You don’t need to listen to them. I remember when my mom told me a story about my dad. Out of college, my dad chose to play baseball. After baseball season, he decided that he was going to play football too. My mom tells me people were like, “Who does he think he is? He’s not all that! He’s trying to be a show off.” Many people would talk trash about him because he wanted to play two sports. When he actually did it, then it was like the entire nation was a Bo Jackson fan.

LM: Did you notice a difference between families in the MLB and NFL?

MJ: To be honest, I feel like baseball families are closer than football families. I just see a little more togetherness in baseball.

LM: What sport would you want your kids to play?

MJ: I want kids. I want two boys. They’re both going to be baseball players. [Laughs]

LM: What are your hobbies? 

MJ: I like going to sporting events. I love going to Bulls games and White Sox games here in Chicago. I go to the Blackhawks (hockey) games as well. I like sports in general and love the environment. I enjoy working out too. I’m more of a cardio girl. Oh, and shopping!

LM: What is your ultimate career goal?

MJ: I want to have my own talk show. I would love to have a show like Ellen. She brings celebrities on her show but also normal, local people who are doing great things. I want to give away prizes like Oprah does. I want to give back, interview the stars, interview local people, and just allow them to tell their stories.

LM: Have you made any progress towards accomplishing that goal?

MJ: I’m trying right now. My dad knows the President of NBC. I emailed him today. I would love to work for a talk show. I would want to work for the Steve Harvey Show here in Chicago. If I could get an internship there or even hired there, I would be so grateful! I have to see the behind-the-scenes of a talk show and take notes on what to do and what not to do. My favorite talk show ever was Tyra’s! I’m so mad it’s no longer on air. I used to rush home from school to watch her talk show.

LM: What made Tyra’s show so great in your eyes?

MJ: First of all, it’s Tyra. She’s so cute and energetic. When you think of supermodels, many of them don’t have the best attitudes but Tyra was so outgoing and always trying to help the community. I loved how she always had young topics because growing up, I couldn’t watch everything Oprah talked about. Oprah talked about some adult things. Anyone could watch Tyra and you'd always learn a lesson. I think Tyra is the reason why I wanted to have my own talk show. She will be my first guest when that time comes.

LM: What’s the most important advice your mom or dad has given you?

MJ: Since I am my dad’s baby girl it’s always been: “Don’t ever let anybody, especially a man, disrespect you or bring you down.” He literally tells me that everyday. My mom has given me so much advice. I guess it would just be to follow your dreams! When I first went to college, I wanted to be a speech therapist and get into the medical field but I wasn’t happy in it. My mom said, “Do what you love. You’re not doing this for us. Do what YOU want to do. If it’s not making you happy, you’re going to have a miserable life.”

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

MJ: That’s a good one. I’ve never been asked that. I guess that I’m more than Bo Jackson’s daughter. I have a story too. Literally today at work I heard that: “You’re Bo Jackson’s daughter!” <span "font-size:11.0pt;="" font-family:helvetica;mso-bidi-font-family:helvetica"="">My dad’s story is pretty awesome, but I have a story too.

LM: How many times would you say you’ve heard that (Bo Jackson’s daughter)?

MJ: I’ve heard it at least a million times.

LM: What would you like people to know about NFL families or the NFL lifestyle?

MJ: It’s not as glamorous as people think it is. When I was in high school and college, other students would say, “I bet y’all got Bentleys and do all these lavish things,” and I’m thinking to myself NO! More money more problems. I promise you. I know so many people who have made it big who say that. I’m blessed. I’ve never had to struggle, but with that money comes a lot of problems and responsibilities. There were plenty of times in my life when I looked at my dad and thought, "Why couldn’t you have been a teacher? Why couldn’t you have been normal?"

LM: Anything else you would like to add?

MJ: My brothers and I work! I worked at Footlocker in the mall and with the Auburn Athletic Department during college. People would always come in to the Athletic Office and look at me and say, “Aren’t you Bo’s daughter? Why do you have a job? You’re rich.” I would always think, “I’m not anything because none of that money is mine! I don’t know what bank account you're talking about because mine has zero dollars in it.” I think it’s funny because if I didn’t have a job, they’d be like Morgan is a spoiled brat who lives off daddy! When I have a job, I receive push back for it.  I attended college to get a degree and to work. Both my parents work. When I get married, my husband and I will both work.

LM: Speaking of husband, what do you like to see in a man?

MJ: Loyalty is a must! Ambition is a must. He has to have ambition. If he doesn’t have a dream that he is actively pursuing, I can’t see myself being with him.

LM: Okay, so who’s your celebrity crush?

MJ: I have plenty of them [Laughs]. I have a huge crush on Jimmy Butler. He plays for the Bulls. If I saw him in person I’d probably pass out. I also think one of the Bears players is cute. I have a small crush on Kyle Fuller.

LM: Last question. Which do you like better, baseball or football? 

MJ: That’s hard. Football.

Good choice, Ms. Jackson! See you around Chi-town.


Q&A with NFL Wife Shevelle Hayes: "Home is Where We Park It"

The third NFL WAG feature is of the lovely, talented Mrs. Shevelle Hayes. I met Shevelle ("Shevy" to me) last year in Jacksonville while our husbands played for the Jaguars. Shevelle has such a beautiful spirit and fun presence. She is super family-oriented. I knew I had to feature Mrs. Hayes on the blog and was so happy she agreed to sit down with me to chat. Read more on Shevelle and the Hayes family after the break.


Name: Shevelle Hayes

Husband: Geno Hayes

Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. Going into 8th season (Buccaneers, Bears, Jaguars)

Children: Son and daughter

NFLWAG: 7 years (and counting)

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: Tampa, Chicago, Jacksonville

Off Season Home: Home is where we park it

Hobbies: Rv'ing, camping, kickboxing, softball, archery, gardening, reading, singing, barbering (precision cutting) traveling and any outdoor adventures. Always staying active. Being a wife and a mommy isn't really a hobby yet I enjoy creating new adventures and hobbies with my family. I don't have any limits, I will try any and everything. I'm a free spirit without fear.

Interesting Facts:  All of my hobbies can be considered interesting facts about me however I'm a inquisitive individual. Very humble, down to earth, and open minded. I attended school for Fine Arts and Fashion Merchandising/Marketing (Famu/The Art Institute). I love Beauty,Fashion and Male Grooming. I have also been into image consulting for some years now. I've owned my own jewelry boutique and after recently completing cosmetology school I am now working more on another business project.

We’re not going to teach our kids anything that wouldn’t help them in life. We don’t want them to be livin' on a high horse. -Shevelle Hayes


LM: What are your fears, if any, about appearing on a public blog?

SH: Considering the evolution of the Internet, social media, and GPS systems, I fear my family's safety. The lifestyle we live (NFL) is a public yet private lifestyle and you have to always pay attention to your surroundings and looking to protect yourself and your family.

LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

SH: I am originally from Tallahassee and I moved to Jacksonville when my husband signed with the Jaguars.

LM: Since your husband went to FSU that makes you an honorary Seminole, right? What’s it like being a part of the FSU community?

SH: I've always been a Seminole Fan. Growing up before meeting my husband I attended alot of FSU sporting, arts and music events. I Love FSU and look forward to becoming apart of the booster club family one day soon.

LM: How long have you and your husband been married? How many years have you been an NFL WAG? 

SH: My husband and I have been together for 10 years and married for two of those. I have been an NFLWAG since he’s been in the league (going on 8 years).

LM: What are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player? 

SH: Pros are networking, the opportunity to travel and diversify ourselves and our children. Also being able to inspire, uplift and encourage the youth  and families in society by being involved in community projects whenever/wherever. Cons: always being misrepresented by things of zero substance or truth. Being scrutinized for being true to yourself and protecting your peace, and always having to subconsciously accept negative criticism about your spouse and/or loved ones all because people feel entitled to voice their critiques and opinions publicly.

LM: You guys seem to have such a fun relationship. What have been some of your best dates?

SH: We date all the time!

LM: I see (through your posts)! What are some ideas for the newlyweds like me?

SH: Anything that comes to mind that you want to do, try it out! Why not? We recently went to St. Thomas for our anniversary in March and that was special.

LM: What do you think about all the coverage lately surrounding NFL players and domestic violence? 

SH:: It’s definitely something that is out there and needs to be put out there in terms of nobody should hit anybody! Bringing awareness to it is good and helps to build up resources for those in need.

LM: Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.

SH: As I said before, to be able to start a foundation within ourselves and start a foundation with our kids has meant a lot. We don’t live an everyday life. Every child is not able to have these moments and see these places…create these memories…the NFL has helped us to provide that for our kids.

LM: You and Geno are a young couple. How are you navigating parenting with the NFL lifestyle?

SH: When we were talking earlier you mentioned being an old soul. Like that. Being classic. Old school. Understanding where we come from. This helps to build values and morals in us. Our lifestyle allows us to see other cultures and how they raise their kids. Watching our kids interact with others and seeing how they react around people allows us to always find out about our kids and see who they are. It helps us get closer to them. The kids are our future; that’s who we are. NFL is on the field only. That’s how I see it. When we’re at home we’re at home and it’s reality. We’re not going to teach our kids anything that wouldn’t help them in life. We don’t want them to be livin on a high horse.

LM: Specifically, what type of activities do you do with your children? 

SH: One of the main hobbies we have is RV’ing. We camp a lot. We watch movies. Anything that excites the kids while keeping them busy and educating. Our son is involved in sports and we’re always recycling within the seasons with different sports. He plays soccer and does Karate; he’s transitioning into basketball right now but soccer is where his love and passion lies. Our daughter loves to dance. We’re waiting on her to get to the proper age where she can be into something, but she starts gymnastics soon. We’re always in some type of water. We travel a lot. We used to travel abroad often but recently Geno and I decided to focus on traveling to new cities within the States. When it’s with the people you love, anything you do is the best. It’s simple. Traveling teaches you a lot about being self-sufficient and you get to teach your kids in the process.

LM: You share the passion for barbering with my husband. Do you have a barber you look up to or who inspires you?

SH: Umm…I have a few local barbers who inspire me…a lot of female barbers. For one, I love the craft. I’m an artist as well so barbering is an expression of that. Two women, Clipper Queen (Dallas) and Barber Doll (Atlanta), inspire me. I’m all about female empowerment.

LM: I know you have plans for your barbering career. Do you want to own a shop one day?

SH: I have a salon homecoming soon. I plan on opening a full day spa. I’ve been working on it for almost 8 years now. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial mindset.

LM: I’ve noticed you post a lot of spiritual stuff on social media. How does faith play a role in your life?

SH: Faith is everything for me and for our family. Faith is always spiritual. That’s all I have in order to live the next day. I’m very God-fearing; I’ve always been around religion but I’m a very spiritual person. It’s all about energy.

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

SH: That I’m me. It’s a privilege to get to know me. Not to sound arrogant but that’s how I feel. Whenever you talk to me or see me, just be you. Just be real and let your energy flow. I’m humble. I know it doesn’t sound like it saying, “It’s a privilege to get to know me” (chuckles) but I am. I’m God-fearing. I’m family-oriented to the core. My family comes first. I’m a very humble, down to earth person that loves to have fun.

LM: What would you like people to know about NFL families or the NFL lifestyle?

SH: I want people to know that there are NFL families just like them. We are normal families just trying to create better lives for ours. There’s a lot of NFL families who are humble and raising the families of other people…raising villages themselves. There’s families out there cultivating truth no matter what society is saying or displaying. This isn’t even just in the NFL but in the sport industry period. Just know that we’re people as well as you. It’s all about cultivating that love.

LM: Anything else you would like to add?

SH: I love that this (blog) is something that you’re doing and I support your movement. I’m opening up to you more because I support it. I wish you well.

Thank you for the support, Mrs. Hayes. Do what Shevelle would do and go cultivate love, people! 


Q&A with NFL Wife Tonya Bush: "We Choose to Live Simple Not Flashy"

My second NFL WAG feature is of  the beautiful and humble Mrs. Tonya Bush. Tonya and I met in Denver while her husband played for the Broncos. We've kept in touch for about three years now even though we live in different states. She is such a sweetheart and I am thrilled to have her support with the site. Read more on Tonya after the break.


Name: Tonya Bush

Husband: Rafael Bush

Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Veteran. Entering sixth year (Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints)

Children: Daughter named Makayla

NFLWAG: Five years (and counting)

Cities You've Lived in with NFL: New Orleans

Off Season Home: South Carolina

Hobbies: DIY projects like making tutus for kids and making organic hair products; Pinterest

Interesting Facts: I played softball (2nd base and outfield) at South Carolina State and made 2nd Team All MEAC my Junior Year

If I could do anything like you’re doing now with this blog, I would try to help stay at home moms who are going through post partum depression and being away from friends and family." - Tonya Bush


LM: What are your fears, if any, about appearing on a public blog?

TB: My fear would be somebody talking negative in the comments; I can’t picture having to go through that.

LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?

TB: I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia. My husband (Rafael) and I met in college while attending South Carolina State University. We clicked my Freshman year (2008) and it took off from there. We were friends first. He played football and I played softball. Athletes kind of run across the same people. Rafael was friends with my cousin who was also on the football team. I think I initially met him through my cousin. I didn’t look at him in that type of way at first but like I said, we were friends first and the relationship grew from there.

LM: Nice! Two student-athletes. How did you find the time to hang out with the hectic schedules?

TB: I was always busy! I was busy running to practice, 5:00 a.m. workouts, and running around campus to class. I used to tell my husband, “I don’t know what you saw in me but I’m glad you saw something.”

LM: That’s too sweet. I like how you mentioned you were friends first. I think that’s the best way! What do you think changed to cause the relationship to progress from friendship to more? 

TB: I prayed to God one night after a previous heartbreak. I just asked God to send me somebody I could be with and be loved by. After that prayer, something changed in how I saw Rafael. It was all God. I would say I prayed for him and God answered.

LM: What are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player? 

TB: The pros are the benefits we get from it. My husband is sponsored by Under Armour so we get free stuff (from them). The financial stability is a benefit as well. Rafael’s number one goal of being in the NFL was to secure a future for our family. The cons are definitely the sacrifice of being away from my family and always being by myself. I’m really close to my family. I’m a triplet and I also have two older brothers.

LM: Wow! You’re a triplet? You must have a really close bond with them. What are their names?

TB: Oh yeah, the closest! My triplet set consists of a brother and sister. So it's me (Tonya), Sonya, and Edward. I’m close with my brother too. My sister went to South Carolina State with me. I bond with Sonya and Edward in different ways. My brother and I talk about sports, movies, and anime cartoons. My sister and I discuss girl stuff like makeup. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about them. When I call them, they’re always together. I miss being there too! They live three to four hours away from our house here but that can be a good little drive with a 2 year-old. That’s probably the worst thing about being in the NFL…the relationships you have take a hit.

LM: Have you made friends with other women through the Saints (team)?

TB: I’ve made friends with some of the wives on the team in the past, but their significant others were either released or traded. In those instances, you lose that friendship and have to start all over. I recently lost 2 friends. It makes me think, “What’s the point?” This business is cut throat. One minute you’re there and one minute you’re not.

*Funny you should say that, Tonya. I talk about exactly that in my last blog post: "Making Friends as a Football Wife"

LM: Did you expect to be a mother at this age? Talk about motherhood. 

TB: Yes, I did expect to be a mother at this age. I turn 26 on August 28th. Makayla is a planned baby. We got what we asked for. She’s perfect in every sense. You know how they say babies say the darndest things? She’s at that age. What I most enjoy is seeing her grow, listening to her little jokes, and just listening to her talk in her baby voice. I love that I can experience all her firsts: seeing her dance for the first time and watching her taste different foods for the first time. It’s so precious to me. Sometimes I’ll have the camera or video rolling at random moments just to catch things.

LM: Do you guys plan to have anymore children?

TB: Yes, we do plan to have more. I want another one I just don’t know when. I joke with my husband about it and I’ll say, “Babe, I think we should have another baby.” From his perspective, he would like to see where we’re at after this season since this is the last year under his contract with the Saints. I can’t deal with raising a newborn without the support of family around. Plus, I lost some weight in the gym and started thinking, “Do I really want to have another one?” When the time is right it’ll be right.

LM: You and your husband just celebrated your two year anniversary. Congratulations! Tell me more. 

TB: Thank you! Yes, we celebrated our second anniversary on July 12th!

LM: I saw on Instagram where he got you a nice little gift (Rolex). Were you surprised?

TB: I was very surprised! I am very easy to please and a simple girl. We planned a trip to New York to celebrate and I thought that was gift enough! He surprised me with this anniversary dinner and gave me the Rolex at the restaurant. I was very happy! It was the best weekend ever! Rafael went above and beyond. He did tell me not to expect a Rolex every year though.

LM: [Laughing] Understandable! Seems like you have a great relationship.What’s your love advice to the people? 

TB: It’s all about compromise. It’s all about give and take, communication and being there for one another. When your husband is in the NFL, support is the one thing they’re looking for when they come home and they’ve had a long day. I don’t think it gets any better than having that love and support and that goes both ways.

LM: Speaking of relationships, what do you think about all the coverage lately surrounding NFL players and domestic violence? 

TB: Domestic violence is an everyday thing in our world. It happens to certain people in life no matter who you are. Let me say, I am a firm believer that a man should not hit a woman no matter what and vice versa. This issue is highlighted because men in the NFL are on a pedestal. Players can’t drop a pen without someone saying something. It’s sad but it’s the reality of playing in the NFL.

LM: What would you like people to know about you?

TB: I am a God-fearing woman who at the end of the day wants to have something for herself outside the NFL life. Right now, I'm willing to be there for my husband wherever this life leads us until it's time to hang up the cleats. I am an educated woman who is not depending on him to take care of me for life. I’m in grad school for Rehabilitation Counseling – Case Management. I would love to work with high school students to help them make the right choices. I’m also interested in Guidance Counseling so I can mentor.

LM: That’s great, Tonya! Mentoring and educating the youth is a great way to give back.You recently started your own business Angelic Tots. How did you get started with that?

TB: I had the idea for Angelic Tots while we were in New Orleans but it kept going away and coming back to me. I was using wholesalers and making tutus and birthday outfits for kids because I enjoyed doing it (I like DIY projects). The business slowed down after Rafael broke his leg. I had to put it on the backburner because my husband needed me; him and Makayla. I was taking care of two babies in a sense. When he recovered, I picked back up with it so business spiked at first then slowed down again. It’s very much like a rollercoaster.

LM: What has being an entrepreneur taught you?

TB: Being an entrepreneur has opened my eyes to the fact that I have to be prepared! I need to have a plan A through Z. It’s really cut throat depending on what your business is. You have to know what your competition is up to. Most importantly, you have to be passionate about your business. I’ve learned to stick to what I’m passionate about.

LM: What would you like people to know about NFL families and the NFL lifestyle?

TB: I can’t speak for all NFL families and everyone lives differently. It’s all about how you choose to live. As for our family, we choose to live simple and not flashy. Our life isn’t at all what you see on TV. Especially when you see the image that reality TV has given NFL wives…that’s not who we are. Television and the Internet give us a bad rep. I just want people to get that [stuff] out their head. For example, some people think when a player signs a contract he gets all that money right then and there. That’s not how it works.

LM: What does being an NFL WAG mean to you? 

TB: It’s just a title to me. Doesn’t really mean anything. The wife aspect of “NFL wife” is more important than the NFL part.

LM: Anything else you would like to add?

TB: I just really want people to know that being an NFL wife is far more than what the name entitles. We are wives more than we are linked to the NFL. We just want to be the wife, not what many people expect us to be as far as living lavish and wearing expensive clothes and all that. I can shop at Target and Walmart. I just feel like money is better spent on other things than trying to keep up with a certain lifestyle. I can’t speak for anyone else but that’s how I am. I’ve had people tell me how humble I am and that they wouldn’t have guessed I was an NFL wife. We just try to live the simple life.

If I could do anything like you’re doing now with this blog, I would try to help stay at home moms who are going through post partum depression and being away from friends and family. I want to figure something out and build awareness and a platform. It’s not about NFL wives. It’s about mothers…someway somehow I’m’ going to figure it out.

LM: That sounds like a special community to reach out to. Can you relate to stay at home moms struggling with post partum depression?

TB: It’s a serious thing. I don’t know anybody in new cities or have family in new cities when we move. I remember sometimes I just found myself being sad for no reason and that’s when I kind of knew something was wrong with me. My relationship was good and my baby was good and I had everything, but I just found myself sad. My husband suggested I go to the doctor. I was experiencing shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and stressing about the smallest things. The doctor performed tests and listened to me explain my day to day routine and symptoms; she diagnosed me with anxiety. She told me it would be good to have some type of outlet to get my mind off things when I’m stressed. I enjoy going to the gym; it’s relaxing to me and a nice stress reliever. I know someone will read this and think "What do you have to stress about?"

LM: If people think that, then they most likely are the ones who feel that money is everything, right?

TB: Life is about more than just money. It’s about establishing yourself and being on your own two feet. At the end of the day my husband can’t play football for the rest of his life. For a wife, being in one place long enough to establish yourself [career] is challenging. Nothing like starting a job somewhere and having to give your two week notice right after you start. Like I said earlier, in this business nothing is for certain. I don’t like to come to him for money. I know he’ll be supportive when the time comes for me to finish up my graduate degree and work.

LM: Last question. I know you were quite the athlete in college.Do you still play softball from time to time or catch any games on TV?

TB: I’m currently looking for a slow pitch team to play with but have yet to find one in New Orleans.

Hey, if you live in New Orleans and know of a slow pitch league, hit Mrs. Bush up. 


Making Friends as an NFL Wife

FRIENDS! How many of us have them? FRIENDS! Ones we can depend on (cue the hip hop song by Whodini)...

On a serious note, as football season approaches I can't help but think of the friendships I made last season when my husband played for the Jags. Oh, how we will miss our Jacksonville family this year! As the wife of a professional athlete, one sacrifice you often make is the comfort of being around friends and family. If you watch reality TV and tune into shows like VH1's Basketball Wives or Football Wives, you may think wives don't get along and are more concerned with gossiping and fighting than bonding. For the women who live this life behind the cameras, developing friendships with like-minded ladies on the team is one of the most important things you'll do.

During season, our boyfriends, fiancees, and husbands spend hours upon hours working. Either they're training on the field, lifting weights, in team meetings, in position meetings, getting treatment (injuries or injury prevention), and the list goes on. Oh, and during training camp? Most teams have the guys busy from 6:45 a.m. to 8:00 or 9:00 at night. When your man does get home or have free time, he is exhausted from having a two a day (two practices in one day), and will want to watch additional film from practice on his team-supplied iPad. Furthermore, the guys get slapped with a curfew (usually 11:00 p.m.) to be back at the hotel with lights out. Speaking of hotel, during the season (even with home games) football players are required to stay at a hotel the night before (I guess to focus and prepare for the challenge ahead). No wives are allowed. Wives stay home and talk to their husbands on the phone that night...maybe giving them a quick pep talk and encouragement for the next day. I am simply setting the stage for why friendships with other football WAGS are so important!

As much as befriending other women on the team is ideal, sometimes football makes it difficult. For example, I met another football WAG last year and really clicked with her. We went out to lunch, shopped for beauty supplies and talked on the phone for a couple weeks. Just when I thought our friendship would blossom, her man was released by the Jaguars. Fortunately, he was picked up by another team but that meant they had to move across the country. Within a week, they were gone. This was in the middle of the season. We had all just gone to London and had a blast. Yeah....the business side of football. It doesn't matter. Our men can be traded or released in an instant, even with a multiyear contract. It doesn't matter. The girl I referenced earlier? Her man was on his first (year) of a three year deal. It doesn't matter!

What happens when a guy is traded or released? The family has to sell their house (unless they rented), find the kids a new school; they have to pick up and move everything. This can come expected or unexpected...most often unexpectedly. Of course this makes for a unique situation among the football wives, fiancees, and girlfriends. You think, "Should I even waste the time to get to know the other ladies? How much do I divulge about myself or our family? They could be gone tomorrow. We could be gone tomorrow." You never know. If you're blessed enough to be on the same team for a year, you could all be in different places the following year. Because of this, I am thankful for social media and the technological age we live in. I still keep in touch with my friends from Jacksonville through Instagram, Facebook and phone calls. It's not the same as face to face interaction but that's our life. We no longer cheer for the same team but hope to cross paths when our teams play each other. For the friends I made last year in Jacksonville, the relationships have surpassed my expectations. Distance aside, we've remained in contact. They flew out to my bachelorette party in Vegas and came to my wedding. We have plans to make more trips together in the future.

Enjoying life! We really had way too much fun at this game

When your "football friends" meet your college friends in Vegas

Taking random trips together (Ripley's Believe it Or Not! Museum in Orlando)

Taking trips abroad together (Bahamas)

Trying out new adventures together!

Celebrating wives' birthdays together

Celebrating husbands' birthdays together with friends & family! House parties!

Acting like Charlie's Angels together (LOL)

Yacht parties together (Team owner event)

Ladies nights out!

Celebrating Holidays together

Working out together

And the dreaded Goodbye dinners (saying goodbye to my Jax family after the season)

When distance doesn't matter & your friends travel for your wedding


We shop, attend church, concerts and children's birthday parties, host dinners, watch away games on TV, and much more together! I value the friendships I've made through football. Unfortunately, football controls how much we see each other. Football shouldn't control the extent of our friendship, but let's be real, distance changes things. I won't be able to meet up with my Jacksonville girls throughout the day anymore. My husband and I will be in Chicago this year. Florida and Illinois are kinda far apart and our schedules won't permit spontaneous trips. Naturally, the friendship takes on a different role when it goes from local to long distance. I am thankful to have met some wonderful wives who value me regardless of location, but not all football WAGS can say that. I have spoken with others who have made friends on a team, only to have that person move shortly after (due to a player being released or traded). The friendship comes to a halt at that point and they start over again. That may sound superficial to some but it's tough to explain unless you live it. Each time we move, we can only hope that the new city will have another great group of women to connect with.