Meet Meg Haney, high school sweetheart and current fiancee to recent NFL draft pick and The University of Oklahoma's All-time leading running back, Samaje Perine. I first found out about Meg and Samaje through a fellow NFL WAG who tagged me in this super cute Instagram post of a college football player proposing to his girlfriend...
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.
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.
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:
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.
NFL BOOT CAMP SPORTS JOURNALISM & RADIO: April 14th-17th, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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/
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: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless
Facebook: Tenisha Patterson Brown
Most 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.
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!
As budding entrepreneurs or established businesswomen, we often push ourselves to the limit for the sake of the “grind.” We feel like there’s simply not enough time in the day although we know if we were given just another hour, we would fill it up with another task. By nature we are multitaskers and especially when we become mothers, but sometimes we spend so much time worrying about others and our respective businesses that we forget about ourselves. Yes I’m all about the grind but I have to constantly remind myself of the old age idiom “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
According to numerous research studies on occupational health overwork and the resulting stress, results in health problems include but are not limited to: impaired sleep, heavy drinking, depression and heart disease.
Several studies have been performed about the dangers of overworking but the one that stood out the most was conducted by the Harvard Business Review entitled The Research is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and Their Companies. This concept can be applied to business and to home life. Overworking is a common theme for our generation whether driven by personal success or the fear of being outdone.
We believe that by working longer or spending more time harping over a particular issue, that somehow it will result in a better outcome. However the opposite is true. According to numerous research studies on occupational health overwork and the resulting stress, results in health problems include but are not limited to: impaired sleep, heavy drinking, depression and heart disease.
Honestly, as I read through the article I was shocked. How is it possible that extending your hours into the late night results in such dramatic health issues? I quickly recalled that overworking is in fact the opposite of the doctor’s orders. Everything we have been told in the past to live a healthy life is the complete opposite of the constant grind mode. Our grind mode fails to account for necessities such as proper sleep and nutrition. If you are unbothered by the potential health risks, the fact that longer hours doesn’t always equate to better results should concern you. The purpose of working longer is to accomplish more. However, this is not always the case. Apparently, working too hard leads to diminishing returns simply because as you become more tired, you start making more mistakes (the kind of mistakes you don't make when your mind is fresh).
As an attorney and entrepreneur, I had to learn this lesson the hard way. My drive to have successful businesses was actually harming them. I was a one-woman show and when I was not at my best, neither were my companies. After months of late nights and neglecting my personal life, I realized that working well into the night every night was neither beneficial for my businesses or for my marriage. I was forced to develop boundaries because my passion was becoming my burden. When creating your own business, it's difficult to take a step back because it is your baby. You want to see it grow! However, it's crucial to learn when it’s quitting time.
I have heard several of my colleagues and friends say that they can enjoy life once they have achieved their goals. The problem with this mentality is that it lives for the future which is uncertain, not guaranteed. The here and now should take priority. After speaking with several successful people that are at or close to retirement age, the most common regret they had was not enjoying life when they were younger. So I challenge all “grinders” to continue your grind but take some time to enjoy it!
For more information on business devleopment or for business advice, contact me at email@example.com.
Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless
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...
NFL WAG Stats
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
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.
NFL WAG Stats
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
Cities You've Lived in with NFL: Cincinnati, Oakland
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.
BORN TO BE LEADERS LEARNING ACADEMY FUNDRAISER IN GEORGIA!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week I'm writing about myself. Upon request, I have dedicated this post to giving you an inside glimpse at my own life. I am answering those questions I have been asked quite often this year in a special edition Q&A with...myself. I promise to return to guest feature's next week, but if you have any interest at all in the founder of this site, read on... :)
NFL WAG Stats
Name: LeShonda Martin
Husband: Sherrod Martin
Husband is Rookie or Veteran: Vet! Sixth year (Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears)
Children: None yet
NFLWAG: 2 years (and counting)
Cities You've Lived in with NFL: Jacksonville
Off Season Home: Atlanta (Duluth)
Favorite Food: Oreo blizzard, Reese's, any dessert
Hobbies: Reading, listening to podcasts, writing, fitness, entertaining my dogs, basketball (watching, playing, coaching)
Interesting Facts: I was recruited to play Division I basketball; I played PG (point guard) in college; I lived in Bulgaria for three months
More than that though, I caught my first glimpse of what it means to work for someone else and be at the mercy of someone else's thoughts, feelings, and opinions of you. It was at 17 years of age that I discovered my first reason for wanting to be an entrepreneur. - LeShonda Martin
Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?
I'm originally from Bloomington, Indiana (the Hoosier state and the basketball state). Quite naturally, I played basketball. I was blessed enough to receive a scholarship to play at the point guard position so I found myself traveling to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia at 17 years old. I transferred to Emory University (Atlanta) the next year and graduated with a degree in Psychology and minor in Sociology. Like the young, lost student-athlete I was, I had no idea what I wanted to do after school. I enrolled in grad school. It was right after I graduated from grad school in Atlanta that I met my husband.
How did you and your husband meet?
The infamous Atlanta nightlife brought us together. I had just graduated from Georgia State University with my Master's in Sports Administration. I was working an 8 to 5 type administrative job in the Athletic Director's office at GSU. I was nearing the age of "I'm so over this Atlanta club scene" but still desired to escape the realities of life from time to time. Little did I know, a gentleman by the name of Sherrod Martin was in the same club that night for a "low-key" good time. A friend of mine told me that he wanted to meet me. I had no idea who he was. She informed me that he played for the Panthers. DOUBLE NO! N-O! No athletes for me, please. She was persistent, and I eventually gave her permission to introduce us. We said hello and smiled at each other. Without hesitation we said, "YOU HAVE A NICE SMILE" at the exact same time! Fate. Well, kind of. We said five words to each other then went our separate ways. Truth be told, I was not exactly single and I consider myself a loyal person. We did not exchange numbers that night. Fast forward a year. I remembered Mr. Sherrod Martin. Social media brought us back together. Our first "date" was a meet up at La Fitness, the perfect date night for two athletes. We had so much fun at the gym that we went to dinner, dinner was so fun that we went for ice cream. We spent several hours with each other on our first date. The rest is history.
How did your husband propose?
So this is a short answer because I was featured on another website talking all things wedding and proposal. You can read more on that here. It was beautiful and perfect for us. He planned out the weekend but during the proposal there was no cameras and no show. Just the intimacy of the moment between he and I.
You are a newlywed! How is married life?
Married life is wonderful. Having a good man is so freeing. My marriage elevates me to new heights. We're best friends. We get on each others nerves but we bring out the best in each other as well. We have fun together and laugh a lot! I wouldn't want to be with anyone else. He is really quite special.
Being young, Christian and married, I recently answered questions for "Girls 4 Christ Rock" in an audio clip here (the clip is 30 minutes, not 2 hours as it shows).
Any advice for women who want to be entrepreneurs?
WAGS Redefined is technically my fourth business. I am not new to this risky entrepreneur life. A common mistake people make is not jumping out there and just doing it. I am a dreamer. I do not have the handicap of thinking too long or too hard about things. If anything, I have way too many random ideas floating around in my head that I want to pursue! To be successful with any business, you need a team. You need a great team of talented people who have strengths where you are weak. In order to go to the next level, you will need to outsource and delegate. Otherwise, your vision is too small. You must work on yourself and have confidence in yourself. Read books. Listen to podcasts. These days I don't really watch television. I don't listen to the radio. I read and listen to spiritual and business podcasts in my spare time. I've read that a common trait of successful entrepreneurs is that they love to learn. I have a thirst for more. Time is precious and we don't have enough of it. You have to be self-motivated. You have to renew your mind daily. There is so much to learn about being an entrepreneur and the best teacher is experience. Entrepreneurship is tough. It's a long, lonely road requiring patience and perseverance. If you want to go that route, good luck. Here is where I end by saying...it's totally worth it!
Want to know more about my husband and I? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week's WAG Feature Wednesday is of the beautiful, smart, and funny Amber Miller. Amber was a personal training client of mine last year but we have kept in contact since, sharing similar interests in staying fit and supporting our NFL-playing men. Amber and I used the interview as a chance to grab a bite to eat and chat in her new home! Read what this Southern bride-to-be and high school teacher had to say about career and football life below...
NFL WAG Stats
Name: Amber Miller
Fiancé: Kevin Cone
Fiance is Rookie or Veteran: Going into his 5th season [Falcons, Dolphins (pre season), Arizona (pre season), Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Dolphins (pre season), Currently in CFL (Winnipeg Blue Bombers)]
NFLWAG: Going on 5 years
Cities You've Lived in with NFL: I've never moved.
Off Season Home: Atlanta
Favorite Food: Macaroni and Cheese is my favorite dish and lemon peels.
Music on your iTunes: I don’t have iTunes. I don’t listen to music besides Sirius XM. Right now it's on The Heat (Hip Hop). It’s nice to listen to trap music on the way to your professional job.
Hobbies: I love to paint and read. Generally, I use acrylic paint on canvas. I’m reading Charlaine Harris currently.
Interesting Facts: I was the first person in my family to graduate from college (Georgia Southern) and get a Master’s (UGA). I have a MAT in Science Education. I currently teach Biology to Freshman and APES (AP Environmental Science) to Juniors and Seniors.
Oftentimes, people want to define you based on what your significant other does. You can’t define me by someone else’s merit. - Amber Miller, NFL Fiancee
LM: Where are you from originally and how did you get to where you are now?
AM: I was born in Decatur, Ga but was raised mainly in Stone Mountain, Ga. I got to where I am now through hard work and tears. I had to figure it all out by myself being a first generation college student. After I graduated from college, I moved back with my parents and worked at Home Depot in the electrical department. I would cut your wire and teach you how to install 3-way light fixtures. Then I realized that wasn't exactly what I wanted in life. I always felt most comfortable and safe at school. I attributed that to my teachers because they always made me feel special. Eventually, I arrived at the idea of teaching so I applied to UGA. I graduated from UGA in May 2011 and I've been teaching ever since.
LM: How did you and Kevin meet?
AM: [Laughs]. My sister and his sister are best friends. The first time we met, we went to the Stone Mountain laser show with our sisters. Ironically, our parents live in the same neighborhood but I didn’t meet him until my first year at UGA. Growing up, Kevin attended private school and I went to public school so I didn’t know he existed. My mom didn’t really let us leave the house so I wouldn’t have met neighborhood friends.
When we did finally meet, he had a girlfriend but I wasn't feeling him like that anyway. When he graduated from Georgia Tech, he invited me to his graduation party since we lived in the same neighborhood. We connected at his party and exchanged numbers afterward. I should mention here that things didn't work out with his girlfriend. I was still in school at that time and Kevin would be at home working out and training. He cooked lunch for me almost daily. I would walk to his house, eat, then go to school (UGA). That's how you get me! You get me with food. We really started off as friends because I like to eat. No romantic situation there. It progressed from there.
LM: How long have you and Kevin been together?
AM: Officially since August 9, 2011.
I read somewhere that the top occupation for NFL women is teachers.
LM: You are recently engaged! Congratulations! How did he propose?
AM: Well, the trip started off simple enough. We had planned to go to Niagara Falls, Canada for a long weekend before I had to start my summer Gifted Endorsement. I flew to Cleveland (where he was playing at the time) and we drove to Niagara Falls from there. SIDENOTE: Who knew it was so close! We got there and had a great first night sightseeing.
The second day we woke up early, drove across the border back to the states (New York) to do the Maid of the Mist boat tour. It was amazing, beautiful, wonderful, great...all those nice words. We drove back across the border to Canada afterward and I was ready for a nap. Turns out Kevin had made plans for lunch so instead of a nap I had to shower and change clothes (we were soaking wet from the Falls). We went to Skylon, a rotating tower similar to the Sun Dial here in Atlanta, and had a great lunch. Okay, so now I'm tired from the boat trip and from a huge lunch. I need a nap! As we're leaving, Kevin insists that we need to keep sightseeing instead of napping, as to not have a wasted trip. I reluctantly walked with him back to the Falls and I am semi-angry the entire way- full, hot, and miserable. We get to the sidewalk near the Falls and I proceed to get my tourist on, taking photos and enjoying the scenery- not paying Kevin any attention.
He calls my name and I respond without looking. He calls me again, so with my attitude (like we discussed earlier) I swivel around and say, "WHAT?!"...and there he is on his knee. Honestly, I thought he was tying his shoe so I turned back around. He gets me to look at him again and there he is with a little box. I didn't know what was going on for a second and then it hit me. Accompanied by some lovely words, he asks me to marry him. I'd completely blocked out all of the other tourists and people around; I swear the world was muffled for that moment. I could hear my heartbeating so rapidly.
Talk about speechless! All I could do was hug him and eventually got out the word, "YES!" The crowd went wild, and people were clapping and cheering.
I later found out he was walking around with the ring box in his sock (since lunch), and hired a photographer to follow us around and take pictures! Yes, the photog has pics of me being grumpy! We immediately took some professional engagement photos in a nice park across the street from the Falls. After the photos, we walked back to the hotel where I was finally able to take my nap! It was so unexpected as we said we would talk about marriage AFTER football. What I envisioned as just a nice weekend getaway turned out to be something super special that I'll never forget .
LM: Wow! What a great story! That attitude is too funny. I'm sure many women can relate. Sounds like a magical weekend. Let's get into what your days are like in Georgia. What is a typical day like for you?
AM: I wake up at about 6:30 a.m., play with my cat Sheldon for five minutes, get ready for work, and go to work. I have five classes (30-ish students in each class). From there it's Ms. Miller and serious face. School gets out at 3:30 p.m. and I’m not done yet. There’s always some sort of meeting after school related to my students or emails from parents and colleagues. There’s always something for me to do. I get to school early and I always stay late. I’m always there 2 to 2 1/2 hours more than I’m contracted to be. If I don’t work those extra hours, I’ll be behind and the kids won’t get what they need. That’s not fair. I’m there for the kids! Outside of school, I have meetings with students and parents, grade papers, make copies, and set up lab. I may spend 30 minutes to an hour daily grading papers. I get emails through the weekend. Parents will email me at 11:30 p.m. and all kinds of crazy hours. This semester I have 161 students. It’s stressful sometimes because you have to be cordial to everyone no matter what. I read somewhere that the top occupation for NFL women is teachers. I thought that was interesting because I don’t see teachers and football going together. They don’t match.
LM: You two recently moved into your new home. Congratulations! What were some of the factors you both weighed when deciding where to live?
AM: We want to have kids within the next two years so we looked into good school systems, enough bedrooms, and an area with low crime. I was living downtown in Vine City and that's one of Atlanta's high crime areas. I recently got a new teaching job so our new house is close to my job and in a good area.
LM: What are the pros and cons of being engaged to an NFL player?
AM: Cons right now would be the distance. I live here in Georgia and he’s in Winnipeg, Canada right now but he could be anywhere. The pros would be…I think it’s just his personality. He’s understanding of the demands on me. I understand that his work is demanding and he understands I have stuff to do and we’re both okay with that. I don’t work a 9-5. It’s whenever parents and students need me.
LM: What is your love advice to women?
AM: Always be kind even when you don’t want to be. I have a temper and can be moody sometimes but I have to step back a lot and think about if I would want someone to say that to me. Be mindful of what you say. If he asks you to send him banana bread 1000 miles away, just go ahead and do it. He texted me the other day and said, "Babe, I think that banana bread really made me do good in practice. You gotta send me some more.”
LM: Oh, that's funny! Nice of you to do that though. What do you think are the common misconceptions about NFL WAGS?
AM: Overall, most people on the outside looking in think we’re spoiled and kept women who can’t or won’t do for themselves. That’s a big misconception! Even my students will say, “If he’s in the NFL, why are you here?” and I’m like, "What do you mean, 'Why am I here?' This is my job!" Oftentimes, people want to define you based on what your significant other does. You can’t define me by someone else’s merit.
LM: Talk about what the NFL has meant for your family.
AM: For me, a lot of what it's meant has been financial. We were able to purchase this new home. Other than that, it’s meant traveling and getting to hang out in new cities for the Summer and Spring Break. Kevin is really big into charities, especially the team community outreach. He is the first one to sign up for those events and if he can bring me, he will. That’s always nice. We enjoy the events with kids (reading books to elementary school kids, etc). It’s nice to see the business side of it (banquets, donations, etc).It’s also been a lot of headache to coordinate my work schedule with Kevin’s. I know it's selfish to think this way but sometimes I wish he had an easier schedule.
LM: What would you like people to know about you?
AM: I am strange at times but it’s okay to be strange. You don’t have to try to fit into somebody’s box. That’s what I try to teach my students. Don't go out and do crazy stuff but if you’re within the law, it’s okay for you to be yourself and relax; don't be so uptight.
LM: What type of activities, specifically, do you do with your fiancé?
AM: We like to travel. We travel stateside mainly but if I have some time off , we’ll go anywhere. We like to go to vineyards. We’re part of wine clubs. We love to go out to restaurants. I’m not a big cooker but Kevin is. Kevin loves lists. His phone has a lot of lists. We use this app called Couple where you and your partner can create lists to view. Kevin makes lists about everything. He has lists titled, “Things I love about you” and “Dates we need to go on” for example.
LM: What are some of those date ideas he has?
AM: Apple picking, fishing, hot air balloon ride, Star Wars movie marathon, and making our own bread
LM: Has he mentioned what he would like to do in the future?
AM: I could see him being a PE teacher with little kids or working at a vet’s office. He’s a dog whisperer. It’s crazy! He wants to do some internships with the NFL. He wants to start up a nonprofit working with kids and sports. Right now he’s getting his Master’s at Georgia State (MBA) during the off season. He took 2 or 3 classes during the season when he was with the Falcons so that was hard. He always takes classes in the off season though. He’ll drag me to some of his group meetings when they do projects and it’s cool to see him in that element. Whatever he does, it’ll probably involve owning his own business dealing with kids, sports, or both. He did work for Westinghouse. He worked as an engineering intern with nuclear power plants. His possibilities are endless.
LM: What is Kevin’s degree in?
KC: His degree is in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He’s super into Math and all that.
LM: Impressive! What about you? What are your long term goals?
AM: Ideally, as far as work goals I want to work for the County as some sort of professional development coach or educational coach for teachers. I want to help teachers teach students. I don't want to be in the classroom forever. I want to be a classroom teacher for at least ten years though. I’ve been teaching for five years already so I'm halfway there. I also want to learn how to do nails even if I don’t apply it as a career because I love nails. I want to be a mom and raise decent people.
LM: Anything else you would like to add?
AM: I LOVE my cat Sheldon. He’s my first child.
Hilarious! What a fun interview! I'm excited to catch up with Amber later in the season to see what the Canadian Football League experience is like.