This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the super cool mother of five, Mrs. Sarina Murphy. Sarina was one of the first women to support the WAGS Redefined movement (thank you!). We connected through the @nflwags Instagram to set up an interview and made it happen. Sarina's husband Frank is a retired NFL, CFL, and UFL player (whoa!). I enjoyed listening to the perspective of this Jacksonville-bred beauty. Check out the interview below...
NFL WAG Stats
Name: Sarina Murphy
Husband: Frank D. Murphy
Husband is Active or Retired: Retired
Years Played in the NFL: 2000 to 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 (CFL 2007, 2009; UFL 2009)
Football Tenure Teams: Drafted to Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Bucs, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins; Canadian Football League; United Football League
Children: Five children (blended family) ages 14, 14, 11, 10, 7
Cities You've Lived in with NFL: I married my husband after he retired.
Favorite Food: Pasta (Shrimp Alfredo)
Playlist Music: NeoSoul (Jill Scott)
Hobbies: I love to skate, freelance paint, and dance
Interesting Facts: I am the middle child of seven; I am a retired hair model and modeled in the hair industry for six years; I appeared in the movie “Good Hair” with Chris Rock in 2009
This is why we are teaching our kids the family business: to leave a legacy of helping future athletes. - Sarina Murphy
LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?
SM: I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. During my modeling days in the hair industry, I was in and out of the city. I always wanted to move elsewhere ultimately. Before I met my husband, I was an event planner and planned to move to Atlanta or a different city. God told me it wasn’t time to move yet and three to four months later I met my husband. He wanted to move to Tampa and I was all for it.
LM: How did you and your husband meet? How long have you been married?
SM: I met my husband after he retired from football. We met at a Sharks game (Arena football) in Jacksonville. I was networking in the executive suite with the owners of the Sharks. My husband was marketing his book at the time. Since I was an event planner, I thought it would be a beneficial collaboration to set up a book signing for him. I wasn’t interested in him in that way. It was strictly business. After we exchanged cards, we were supposed to meet but it didn’t happen. A month or two later I was told he had tickets to a concert. We ended up going to the concert together. It wasn’t supposed to be a date but ended up being a date and the rest is history.
LM: Speaking of date night, what is your go-to date night?
SM: I’m the type to turn my living room or bedroom into this extravagant ambience of romance (rose petals, candles, etc). One time, I went and looked at a bridge in Jacksonville and thought, “This would be the perfect place for a date.” So I rented a table, linen, two chairs, and a centerpiece. I also ordered an exquisite lunch and hired a poet. The view was great, the spoken word was amazing and the people jogging by thought it was the most romantic thing ever! LOL!
LM: Let’s talk a little about your husband’s path because he played in the NFL and Canadian League. What were the major differences between the leagues?
SM: It was a big transition for him to go from playing in the games to attending the games as a spectator and sitting in the stands. Sometimes he talks about the CFL and says the rules are a little different than NFL. He never really talks much about the UFL because the league didn’t last long.
*The United Football League (UFL) was a professional American football league based in the United States that was active from October 2009 to October 2012. - Wikipedia
LM: How long has your husband been out of the league and what has that transition been like?
SM: Frank has been out of the league since 2010. He's been mentoring since before the NFL and in 2007 he registered his nonprofit. One thing about my husband, before he was even drafted, he always had the mindset to be something great. He's involved with so many wonderful things like our mentoring programs where we mentor middle school, high school, college, and professional athletes. With his mentoring experience and my event planning experience together, we coordinate and host sports camps, toy drives, and recently, a production about my husband’s life.
LM: I see you have a Theater Productions company with your husband. Talk a little about how that came about.
SM: One day we were in Jacksonville and my husband was sitting on the side of the bed and said, “We need to do something else with these kids.” I guess it came to him after praying to God and he was given the provision to turn his book into a theater production. The process took us two and a half years to get to where we are now. We had to have auditions, cast actors, find a venue, interview directors, write and edit the script with our director Wilhelmina Smith. It was a lot but it was worth it.
LM: Your recently had your first two-and-a-half-hour theater production! How did it go?
SM: In less than two weeks of going public in the Tampa area, we sold out! Atlanta is the next stop in 2016. We have had offers from different schools to come in and mentor the athletes and general student body. The production talks a lot about what students go through. It’s about never giving up, striving to be the best, and having a big vision. The message is also to keep the faith and not worry about the naysayers. We strive to create a new sports culture of role models to enter the sports arena as leaders and not followers.
*Next stops on The Man Behind the Helmet Productions tour: Atlanta, Houston, Miami, and Jacksonville. For more information, visit MBHstageplay.com!
LM: You and your husband like to give back through Frank D. Murphy Charity. Talk more about your mission.
SM: We mentor athletes from middle school to the professional level. Our mission is to help athletes become leaders and not followers. The media paints this picture of how all athletes have problems. We strive to create a new sports culture. We tell our guys not to follow what you see on TV or in the lockeroom. We also want the students to understand their purpose in life. Without you’re purpose, you’re lost! We want them to lead others in the right direction.
“Frank D. Murphy Charity focuses on assisting youth (young men) and young athletes who have lost their fathers to death, drugs or incarceration as well as for those with fathers who are unable to provide adequately for their sons.” -Frank D. Murphy website
LM: What’s your career path been like?
SM: My career path has been fun. I enjoy what I do. Event planning is my passion and every event I do with my husband I end up in awe of the results. I strive for excellence in everything I do. I even expanded my creativity by building and decorating our sets for our theater production (go me!). Everything is a family business now. I took my event planning experience and he took what he was doing and we merged the two. We are teaching our kids that there are people who need help and the Murphy's (and our organization) will be the ones helping our youth. This is why we are teaching our kids the family business: to leave a legacy of helping future athletes. We bring our kids to our meetings in the summer. I taught our oldest daughter how to do spreadsheets and emails this summer. Our youngest daughter recently created a job for herself by making jewelry out of rubber bands. In her first day of selling her jewelry, she made almost $200 in four hours with vendors. We quickly signed her up for a bank account. We believe having a strong work ethic will prepare them for the future.
LM: Do you have any financial advice to current NFL families?
SM: Spend wisely. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Just be true to who you are. If you like expensive stuff that’s cool, but do it in moderation and wisely. Your backup plan should be your savings and investments. My husband has always been good with money. I think it came from his dad because his dad showed him about investments and the importance of money management at an early age.
LM: When should you start teaching your kids about money?
SM: As early as five or six years old. That’s what I did with mine. My kids know they have to earn. If you don’t make good grades and do your chores, you’re not getting anything.
LM: What do you believe are the pros and cons of being married to an NFL player?
SM: Some positives are that you get a lot of perks almost everywhere you go. The negative is that most people look at what the media portrays athletes to be and believe all athletes are the same. They don’t know how to decipher good character from bad character. They look at me as a wife of a former athlete and think “Oh, it’s one of those people.” What they are really saying is, "There goes a loud mouth, reckless, pro athlete's wife who is ready to throw a drink on me if I so much as look at her the wrong way. You know how those girls get down on reality television." That's so not reality though, but we'll save that topic for another interview.
LM: Do you feel there are misconceptions about NFL WAGS? If so, what are they?
SM: Yes! One of the biggest misconceptions is that we all just stay home and don’t do anything and let our husbands take care of us. I’ve never been that type of woman. Even at church, I have people say to me, “So all you do is just stay at home all day?” No ma’am! I work! I work because I want to, not because I have to.
LM: What is your love advice to NFL WAGS?
Be true to who you are when you’re meeting someone. If they don’t like you for who you are, they have to kick rocks. Sometimes when you get in a relationship and you’re with them for six months or so and they want to change you, you actually try to change because you like them so much! You’re going to end up unhappy. Be real with yourself in the first place. As far as love, if a person really loves you and you’re in a relationship with them, it’s okay to be abstinent. We were! That's how I knew he was the one for me. My husband sought to give the advantage and not take the advantage. I guess God gave Frank the same memo he gave Russell Wilson (LOL)! Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to wait until marriage to have sex. If they love you, they’ll wait.
LM: What would you like people to know about you?
SM: For one, I’m more than just Frank Murphy’s wife. I’m ambitious. I have goals. I’m a go-getter and very professional. I’m a visionary. If I see it, I will make it happen. For example, right now we’re going on a 5-city production tour. I loooveee to have fun, laugh and enjoy life! I'm not stuck up. I'm free-spirited and one of the biggest goofballs you'll ever meet! Lastly, I love to cook when we are not insanely busy.
LM: Any upcoming projects you would like to share?
SM: Just our five city production tour in Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Jacksonville (FL). The production is based on my husband's book The Man Behind the Helmet (foreword by Tony Dungy). The book details his life and how he overcame adversity. He never gave up on his dreams even when he was incarcerated. At the time, the NFL didn’t draft anyone who had a record. He overcame a big obstacle when he was drafted.
Get your copy of The Man Behind the Helmet on Amazon here.