These "rules" have been passed down from former football families who have already been through it all. And they're there for good reason. They're there because they're all accurate.
So, let me start off by saying I’m new to this world. Before I started dating my boyfriend, the world of WAGS and football seemed deeply mysterious and cloak-and-dagger. My perception was based off of what I read and saw, although I took this with a grain of salt, because making TV for a living let me know that situations are often glamorized and edited for drama. Yet and still, the stereotype is/was that WAGs are catty beauty queens who couldn’t care about anything beyond themselves, and needless to say, I didn’t want any parts of it. Long story short, after a beautiful friendship, then courtship, my boyfriend won me over with his intelligence, kind heart, and love of fishing, hiking, and hunting, oh, and did I mention he’s fine? But I digress, lol. The closer it drew to the season, the more activities I participated in with the team. I met some wonderfully talented, kind-hearted women at galas and dinners who welcomed me with open arms and vowed to show me the WAGS ropes. They fit no preconceived notion that I had. Their openness immediately shocked and warmed this cynical journalist's heart so I let my guard down. One particular woman was quick to show me the ropes, even though she’d just become a WAG herself. She picked me up from the airport when I flew in while B was practicing, I rode with her to camp, talked to her about the season, even let her in about my family- the way I was raised and how I felt about losing my mother a year ago. I trusted her. Stood up for her, and shared one of the most intimate parts of my life with her — my man. Slowly but surely she started talking to me and telling me the "business" of other WAG women that I barely knew. And then, through a series of unfortunate events, I found out that she’d been gossiping and talking about me. I should have known, my mama always said "if a dog will bring a bone, he’ll (or she’ll) carry it." She took my candidness for weakness, spread lies about me, including me being a gold digger (although I came to my relationship with money, a flourishing career, and everything in my name.) She even talked about my curves, my upbringing (my parents had been married 43 years before my mama died so somehow this made me “spoiled”), called me “Insta Thotty” because of the amount of followers I have-even with a feed that's devoid of risqué photos. She basically turned everything I told her into a falsehood or a reason she thought, that I thought I was better. Yes, I could have brushed it off of my shoulders as jealousy — let it go. I didn’t let on that I knew at first. I just sat back and waited for her to do it again. Screenshots from conversations she’d had about me confirmed my suspicions. Mind you - six months ago, I didn’t know this woman. I still don’t really know her but, through her lies and cattiness, her character was unfortunately revealed to me.
There are three things that don’t fly with me. Don’t talk about my God, my family (which includes my close friends) or my man. When lies got back to him from her mouth, I knew her drama had gone too far. How dare she? This isn’t Love & Hip Hop, this is real life. Drama during the season is a "no no" and during that period in time, we hadn’t even had our first home game. I let her know to keep our names out of her mouth and keep her drama and pathology to herself. I can bare the brunt of gossip — but to bring it to my doorstep? No. Why am I writing this proverbial dear John letter you ask? It’s because I thought of this: The world of professional sports goes beyond the field and the court. The support, love, and care we give our men — how happy and comfortable we make them is intrinsically tied to their success. But in that same vein, the support we give each other-woman to woman is so important as well. We share the same worries, the same fears, the same highs and the same excitement. As WAGS we understand the extra responsibilities that come along with dating our men, the stewardship, the service. We understand each other when it comes to this NFL world — best. We should be there for each other and we should be above the cattiness. We should seek to edify and uplift each other, support each other in person and in Christ. The world is judgmental enough towards women without adding the white noise of gossip to each other’s lives. I pulled this young lady up and I’ve forgiven her in my heart already because that’s what a Christian does. No need for negativity. If anything, I feel bad for her because whatever or whoever you believe in whether it be reciprocity or karma — they’re both real. When you aren’t supportive of one woman simply because you have unfounded hatred and immaturity in your heart, who will want to be around you and in turn support you? No one wants that negativity and hatred in their wheelhouse.
The season is officially here ladies! Let’s make an extra effort to support each other, to add happiness and positivity to one another's lives. Let’s all be the antithesis of the woman in this post. We all fall short but let’s stand up for camaraderie instead of cattiness.
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.
Luke 14: 28, “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” 2 Chronicles 15:7,” But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Known for many things, women are definitely supporters, nurturers and builders. On a daily basis, you are building relationships, family, businesses, yourselves, community, and most importantly the men God entrusted you with to support. Training camp can be a very stressful time for any NFL family and it seems to come around extremely fast year after year.
As your men are out on the gridiron laying foundations that bring safety nets for your family that will ultimately build an incredible legacy, build alongside him and help him in every area that he may be lacking. God has graced you and gifted you with incredible insight, strategies, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, which are assets and keys to building solid foundations. Many of you are mothers or preparing to become mothers and are trying to ensure that your children are well cared for and safe. Ask God to give you all strength and power to run your household, take care of your children, maintain all of your business affairs and support your husbands, boyfriends and fiancés through the toughest time of the season.
For every builder must count the cost of building a great future and I know each of you counted the cost and examined all of the sacrifices that would come along with being a part of the NFL. You are helping to build something that will benefit generations to come. Every day that you feel tired, frustrated, lonely and ready to give up, know that God is your ultimate contractor and He has all of the plans, details, materials, resources and support workers (called angels) to ensure that your building is completed.No one knows the strength that each of you hold, the grace and the stability that you exercise daily to keep everything together. God has given you a team of co-laborers (other WAGS) that are working alongside of you to encourage you, push you, and give you some extra support to help you and your mate complete your “tower”. Remain committed to the cause and watch God’s commitment to you bring joy, peace, patience and rest.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God is committed to you in every way. He is there for whatever you need when you need it. Call on Him day or night!
Father, I thank you for the women who are committed to the cause. Give them everything that is necessary to build alongside the men you have given them to help. As they are building, allow them not to become weary in their well doing. Strengthen for the cause, grant unto them peace, understanding, long-suffering, joy and sustainability. Surround them with support, encouragement and arm-lifters when they are tired. Provide them with resources, knowledge and materials that are necessary to complete every task.
Allow them to feel loved and allow them to give love. While in the building process, allow them to remain patient and have great expectation for their desired outcome. Hold their men accountable to your word and instruction and let these women follow their men as they follow Christ. Release peace in their homes and allow them to remain blessed in their coming and in their going. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Game Changers 180 offers prayer and counseling services to NFL families, for more information please email email@example.com
“Often times once a woman is married, society treats us as though you are merely a sum of your husband’s actions and successes. I’ve worked so hard on my own for so long (that) I don’t want my life and career to just get pushed up under his umbrella of professional football. There is plenty of room for both of us to follow our passions and shine brightly!” Devi Brown
Power Player. Wife. Radio personality. Media maven. Centered. Passionate. Ambitious. Gorgeous. Heart of gold. All of these and more describe Devi Brown, wife of Houston Texans, Duane Brown. Devi has built her entire career perfecting her brand; a brand that she's worked relentlessly to create and craft and with great success- be it behind the mic, in front of the camera or beside her man.
Name: Devi Brown (and in the radio world “Devi Dev”)
Husband/Team(s): Duane Brown #76, Left Tackle for the Houston Texans
What #hashtag describes you best?
#Adventure #Seeker #Resilient I know you asked for one haha but those three really sum me up as a woman. I look at life as an adventure and try to make every moment feel like one whether I am home in Houston or traveling abroad. I’m also someone who is constantly seeking to learn, grow and evolve. And like many women reading this, I pride myself in being a resilient woman. Someone who will rise no matter what life throws at her.
Where are you originally from and how did you get to where are now?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. That’s also where I started my career while in college (go CSUN!) at radio station 93.5 KDAY. I grew to where I am today by never taking no for an answer and always looking to evolve in my career. I started like a lot of people in radio by landing a couple internships and just grinding it out until it turned into real money and always seizing opportunities. That internship at 18 eventually led me to being an on-air personality, music director and TV host with a couple cross -country moves to work in New York City and now Houston.
On NFL Life:
How did you meet your Husband?
Well, if you let Duane tell it, he was listening to me on the radio and really liked my voice which led him to look me up online and try to meet me. He popped up at a birthday party I was having and introduced himself. A few weeks later he asked me out to A Tribe Called Quest documentary that was in theaters and we were kind of inseparable after that. We ended up getting engaged within three months and married a few months after that. Life moves fast! Haha.
Tell us about some of your fondest NFL/WAGS moments?
I’ve really enjoyed the atmosphere that our owners create for us in Houston. The McNair’s and the Texans staff are really phenomenal people with huge hearts. We have a lot of fun together and they promote and create an atmosphere of major community involvement. Recently, we had some bad flooding in the city and they stepped up by making huge donations to the victims and gave us a really beautiful opportunity to get out and serve the people of Houston at one of the shelters in an area where people were hit the hardest. That moment meant a lot to me. Another not-so-happy but really meaningful moment was this past season when my husband got injured. I was hysterical in the training room after they carted him off the field with a torn quad and I'll never forget seeing Hannah McNair, one of our owners, literally run to me with tears in her eyes and wrap me in a tight hug. Everyone there rallied around us and for weeks, sent food to the house and lifted our spirits with visits and messages. We felt really blessed!
Behind the Brand:
Who is Devi Dev and is she the same or different from Devi Brown?
Devi Dev and Devi Brown are one in same, Devi Brown is just the 2.0 version that has been able to branch out into different areas of media and philanthropy. I’m ready to merge my personal and professional passions. Some of my friends and long times listeners were like “Oh No! What is happening to Devi Dev?!” after I changed my social handles and website but, I’ve been explaining to people that even though I understand the brand equity I’ve built up in that name- I’m also ready to broaden my horizons outside of the hip hop radio world and using my real name is a long term investment. Plus… the core of each is still DEVI and as far as I know I’m the only one that goes by that, haha! I think slowly it will all fall into place.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I think this moment in time is what I’m most proud of. I’m taking the time to really evolve my brand, drop the things that I’ve outgrown and celebrate and push forward the things I’m really passionate about. These include: impactful conversations with artists and entertainers, spiritual journeys and women’s empowerment. In this last week, I launched my new self-discovery platform "Karma Bliss" which I am really excited about! We are a lifestyle and retail brand centered around connecting people with the tools needed to grow and stretch their inner selves. Over this last year I became certified by Deepak Chopra's Chopra Center to teach primordial sound meditation. I knew last summer after having spent a few years going to retreats and seminars that I deeply wanted to connect young professionals and busy women with an outlet to help them start some internal dialogue and become centered. We all spend so much time investing in our careers, families, and spouses that sometimes we are not making those same deposits into our spirits. I'm so thrilled KarmaBliss.com is now officially live and I hope you check it out!
How do you balance your own identity/brand/fans with your husband’s equally successful career?
Thankfully, it’s actually pretty easy. What we do is so different that it allows us to really be fans of each other and to stay in our own lanes. He’ll listen to me on the radio as he goes through his day and of course, I’m at all the games cheering my heart out. It works out pretty good fan wise too because he has fans that may not have been familiar with my show but now because they love him they have become loyal listeners of mine. The reverse of that is that I have a reach outside of Houston, where people who may not have been fans of the Texans or familiar with Duane are checking for him and supporting what he does. We do a lot of events together but I also try to keep a healthy distance between my brand and his. I want people to still be able to relate and identify with me for the work that I do and who I am individually. Often times once a woman is married, society treats us as though you are merely a sum of your husband’s actions and successes. I’ve worked so hard on my own for so long I don’t want my life and career to just get pushed up under his umbrella of professional football. There is plenty of room for both of us to follow our passions and shine brightly!
Tell us about Power Play Women, your program that you started to serve as a mentor platform for young women entering the industry?
So as we speak I am launching a foundation called “The Devi Brown Project: Moving Women Forward” which is where I will be funneling my mentorship work in place of PPW. I’m really excited about this project. Mentoring ladies in media is something that's really important to me but my workload doesn't allow for me to do as much "one on one" stuff anymore. With this foundation, it gives me the chance to not only continue to share what I’ve learned but to also bring other successful women on board to do the same. Our Mission: The Devi Brown project propels women to fulfill their potential and empowers them to pursue their dreams. Our Vision: The Devi Brown project does this by providing women with capital and business resources, education and vocational training, and networking and mentorship opportunities.
On Devi 2.0:
What do you know now that you wish you knew “then?” This can pertain to NFL Life, career, personal etc.
I wish I knew to be gentler with myself and to trust the universe more. To be present. That you are the only one who can give yourself peace. When you’re dream chasing-you tend to put A LOT of pressure and inner criticism on yourself. When I was getting started, I did so much of that. Looking back now I realize how many beautiful moments I missed and how many opportunities I did not appreciate because I couldn't get out of my own mind. If I had the inner peace THEN that I have now….Man! But then again, everything unfolds in the time that it’s supposed to.
Have you arrived? If not; what’s next?
I don’t think I will ever think I’ve arrived because I want to do so much more and reach so many more people. I definitely work hard but I find myself always thinking of how much harder I should be working. I want to find ways to foster deep connections between media and its consumers. I definitely want to grow more in television. I previously hosted an ensemble talk show for MTV which was an incredible learning experience and recently I’ve been doing fun stuff with the morning news team at Houston’s CBS affiliate. After working primarily in music- driven Hip Hop radio the past 10 years, I’m working now to transition into more talk-based radio. I'm looking to do more writing and mindful work as well.
The Mistress The infamous mistress. She has been the star and co-star in countless movies, sitcoms, and novels including the beloved Olivia Pope from Scandal. She appears when the husband is at his highest point in his career but at the weakest point in his marriage. He is feeling himself and eagerly searches for something to occupy his time. They strategically plan meetings to avoid their relationship being discovered. The mistress knows her role and no matter how long the affair lasts she knows that the chances of him leaving his family is slim to none. She stays in her place because she wouldn’t dare compromise the arrangement by telling the wife. The mistress knows that her existence completely depends on the existence of the marriage despite the fact that he may genuinely love her, and therefore she is content. If the affair was ever discovered, the mistress never confronted the wife as if she was privileged to do so. She accepted her fate and if necessary moved on to the next one. Husbands initially deny the relationship but after stack piles of evidence they inevitably admit to some but not all indiscretions. Some wives forgive and move on while others cannot accept it and seek divorce.
The Side Chick
This is the storyline we have known for centuries but somewhere along the way the mistress became vintage and was readily replaced by the side chick. Unlike the mistress, the side chick is bold, aggressive, and careless. She has little notoriety and as a result boasts about the relationship to become relevant. Men don’t accidentally meet side chicks. These women develop strategies to meet athletes and celebrities so they can claim their stake. Whether they are sliding in DMs or popping up in VIP sections in the club, the new age side chick is calculated but far from loyal. She often has multiple “ballers” in her call log that have no idea that she’s sending the same message to his teammate. The end game is not to be with the man but to use the man to get ahead. She is often reckless seeking married men like it is a sport. She will readily confront a wife as if somehow the wife stole her man. She lives for the incriminating screenshots and anxiously waits to press send. With the rise of social media, wives are forced to keep their profiles private to prevent the side chicks and the side chick wannabes from creating havoc in their lives.
Married women obviously have no interest in dealing with the mistress or the side chick. However, wives are genuinely puzzled as to why being a side chick is a #goal. From posting comments on social media about sleeping with somebody else’s man, sliding in his DMs when he is in your city, or showing up to his game with tickets received from a homeboy who is trying to “put you on.” What is the point? Is it winning when someone can say that they have had some type of relationship with a successful man that just so happens to be married? There are situations in which women are unaware that they are in fact the “side chick” but those situations are rare. Some of these women who have made a career out of being the side chick even lie about relationships with the goal of ending marriages.
In a time where women use the allegations of being a side chick to catapult their career, what does that mean for the wives? Wives are on guard, ignoring the white noise, and most importantly staying prayed up. The men involved are just as guilty primarily because they are the ones who made the covenant of marriage, but I’m hard pressed to say that men couldn’t cheat if they didn’t have anyone to cheat with. If the goal is to be the side chick with hopes of inevitably becoming the wife, just remember the old saying “how you get them is how you’ll lose them.”
For information on how to start a business or non-profit, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless
OK, OK. So, I know technically it's not exactly the “off season” but most of our guys do have a few weeks where they don’t have to report to the facilities. I remember the first year I realized that the guys had some time off in the summer and I was so excited for beach trips and fun in the sun with my man! Little did I know I was going to be disappointed.
Summer around the NFL can mean football camps, weddings, agent extravaganzas and babies (if you were lucky enough to time it just right.) The adorable child-fans are finally out of school and can't wait to see their favorite players, whether it’s signing autographs, attending their camps or seeing them train outside in the hot sun of their local neighborhoods. Engaged NFL couples that weren’t married in the spring are probably getting married in the summer. After spending the whole day in the sun working our honey's camps -coordinating kids and volunteers, directing people on where to go AND reminding everyone about the importance of hydration (other people worry about that right? or is that just me?), you are probably still not heading home for a nap. You’re most likely running errands, picking out a baby gift, washing clothes and packing for your next trip or entertaining your own child for the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I know my honey does too. So much that he started a foundation to make sure that I never have free time—I mean, to give back to the community.
Looking at our calendar we are busy ALL SUMMER SIXTEEN *insert Drake voice here*. We have one weekend that we don’t have anything planned but we also need to pack up our entire house, so my guess is THAT will be that weekend. Trust me, I’m not complaining. What I’m trying to say is: SUMMER IS EXHAUSTING!
So here are a few things to do to relax and get in your slice of personal time with little to no planning.
1. Backyard Dinners
I haven’t tried this one quite yet but I’ve been waiting to. Something about the summer night sky that is just as beautiful as it was when I was a kid gets me every time. Send the kids to bed, grandma’s or even a friend’s house. Order something good from one of those amazing new delivery services (postmates, favor, foodie call, eat in out etc.) that don’t just deliver fast food. Open a bottle of wine and just have dinner. If you want something with a little more "pizazz", you can hire a chef, a two or three person wait staff or a personal bartender for the night. If you have a hot tub or pool then a late night dip after dinner may not be a bad option either.
2. Have him try your workout (and vice versa)!
Even in the off-season our guys are making sure they are staying in shape and ready for camp. Oftentimes, I run off to one work out and my honey runs off to another. So, a few years ago I introduced him to a Barre work out that I had been doing and HE LOVED IT. So much that he got his friends together and they do Barre without me! Sometimes I tag along to his gym workouts and do what I can and he encourages me when I get embarrassed (nothing like tripping over agility ropes around professional athletes.) I love these days because I get to see how hard he’s working and it just feels good to hear his encouragement and excitement. This also leads to impromptu lunch dates and great laughs for the rest of the day because I’m not the most athletic.
3. Go see a movie
No, not “date night." Go in the middle of the day. Actually, go right after a football camp. Go when you’re hot, sweaty and just plain tired. It’s a great way to simply relax. It's cold and the theater is likely empty and guess what? You don’t even have to talk. You’ve probably been on your feet, talking, entertaining and directing everyone else all day long. A midday movie is a great way to escape away from phones and e-mails and reset for the rest of the day.
For me, sometimes shopping is a chore. I’m lugging around a baby or chasing around a toddler most of the time. I can’t zip myself, I tend to get annoyed by the large heaps of unorganized clothes and I don’t like crowds. What I do enjoy is when we use a weekday and we ditch the kid (usually he’s at daycare but if you’re a SAHM try swapping play dates with a friend to get away—"it takes a village.") These shopping dates double as fun and functional. We go off in search of an outfit for an event or wedding and it's fun because we get to laugh when things look horrible, he’s there to hold my things and even catch a glimpse of my nakie *insert winking face here*. Then, I get to help him pick out a coordinating outfit and if you’re particularly stylish (unlike myself) you get to dress him up. When you give yourself time to do this kind of shopping its actually pretty fun and light.
5. Test Drive Cars
This may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I find something particularly fun about test driving dream cars. My husband doesn’t have a multimillion dollar contract and that’s totally okay with me but, that’s not going to stop me from at least test driving the car of my dreams! Call me simple, basic or whatever but some luxury cars have features that are very cool to test out (I drive a 2016 Ford Edge so I may be easily impressed.) Keep in mind that these test drives don’t have to be at the dealerships. Many rental car companies keep dream cars in stock and you can use a quick Google search for exotic car rentals and rent one there. So why not rent one of those for the next time y’all will be out running errands? Take the long way home or head to a drive in movie together!
I may never own my dream car, we may not visit every place on my bucket list and there have been years where a trip wasn’t in the plans. In fact, we still haven’t gone on our “honeymoon." We spent a few days fishing at someone else’s lake house, eating horrible Mexican food and takeout for the days immediately following our April wedding. I laugh when I remember walking out of a dressing room to find my husband leaned against a wall asleep. My heart is full when I think about how hard he tried to make the perfect proposal only to have us sleep in a literal "roach motel" that night because he forgot to book a room in San Antonio (full disclaimer, we had to buy our own sheets and Lysol because it was so dirty).
Trust me, I understand the urge to want to escape to a beach far away, especially when so many of our friends are posting about their extravaganzas. But I’ve learned through the years that the time I spend with my husband isn’t any more special, domestic or abroad. We will continue to make sure we cater to our relationship as we strive to impact others and be supportive of our friends.
What are some things you are doing to make sure you get a little alone time with your guy? Drop us a comment and give your fellow WAGS some suggestions!
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 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 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 email@example.com.
Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless
We all remember the crazy year our NFL lives began. Whether your man went drafted or undrafted, things happen rather quickly. Our innocent, bright-eyed dreams could never conjure up the things to come. My journey began in Dallas while my now-husband teetered from practice squad to the 53-man roster. Coming from small-town Midwest, it was definitely a culture shock when I showed up to my first game in jeans and a tee. I stood among lavishly-dressed women with their beautiful selves and perfect hair. I obviously didn't fit in. I stuck out so badly that when I waited for Andre after games, security would ask me if I needed help! I must have looked like some jersey-chasing weirdo waiting an hour after each game to catch a glimpse of a player, haha. That's how cool I am, guys. But not only did I stick out, I did not meet one wife in the entire two years with the Cowboys. How sad to think of all the women falling through the cracks on every team?
We all come from different backgrounds and see the world in our own way. We have different morals and don't always agree on things; but we all have one, big interest in common! The best way I've heard it described was at our annual Raiders Women's Association Luncheon. The speaker said something along these lines: "No one knows the struggles you encounter like the person sitting next to you; not your mother, sister, or best friend but definitely the woman in the seat next to you." Nothing could be more true! We can describe our struggles and victories until we're blue in the face to our family or friends but not one of them can fully understand like another WAG.
Our community just welcomed roughly 200+ women, following the draft this past weekend. I want to reach out to every woman associated with a player and remind you what it feels like to step into new territory. Remember all the different emotions that emerged after being uprooted from your comfort zone. Remember the frenzy of moving and not knowing what pediatrician or dentist to use. But smile when you think of that first connection you made with a fellow WAG; the first time you were invited out to eat or the mom group that began your great friendships.
Photo Credits: @kellypray, @asia1012, @butseriously21
John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” Proverbs 18:24, “A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.”
Relationship building is a key element to happiness in life, but very few will master. True friendships are built through selflessness, consideration, compromise and loyalty. Sometimes the hardest friendships to develop are the ones you have for a long time. It can be easy to take them for granted because it seems like those people will simply be there forever.
There are a few things that we all must do to maintain and develop lasting friends.
1. Be the kind of friend you want
Start treating your friends the way you want them to treat you, and you will begin to see them treat you the same way in return.
2. Ask questions
Find out how your friends are doing. Ask them about the things that they are involved in. Focus on the things you know they talk about, and be prepared to listen or help.
3. Offer your help when needed
A strong relationship means being ready to lend a hand to the projects and needs of others without making them beg or feel like they owe you a huge debt.
4. Be an encouragement
Try to be supportive as possible of your friend’s ideas and ambitions. You don’t have to support dangerous or immoral ideas, but when it’s within reason, offer your support. Try to be your friend’s biggest cheerleader.
True friendships are hard to come by and friendships that last are tested by time. Life’s greatest accomplishments are made solid through the support, laughter, tears and love of true friends. Don’t take them for granted!
Let’s Pray …
Father, we thank You that You have called us friend just like you did Abraham. Thank You for the friendships You have given us. Help us to treat others as we would want them to treat us. Reveal to us the things that are not pleasing in Your sight towards our relationships. Allow us to be kind, encouragers and uplifters of our friends and those you have placed in our lives. Grant us the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that it takes to handle each relationship with care and concern. Let us not take those for granted that are meant to be in our lives through the test of time, and in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tenisha Patterson Brown, Esq.
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless
I have lost count of the times I stood next to Dre waiting for acknowledgement from a fan while they completely ignore my existence and talk shop with him. Perhaps it's in our culture's DNA to assume the woman beside the professional athlete is the flavor of the day but it annoys me.
I guess it's a pride issue within me. I compare it to the feeling I experience when I hold the door open for someone and they just briskly walk past without a 'thank you.' Something in me just wants to yell, 'I'm standing here, too!' Every wife/girlfriend of an athlete has unwantedly been hired as a photographer. It happened to my friend this past weekend. The man asked, "Now which one is your wife?" As her husband pointed her out, I don't know why I expected the fan to reach out his hand in introduction. Instead he pushed a phone in her hand and asked for a picture without any further communication. Instances like this are exactly how I ended up feeling lost in the shadow of my husband's success.
The week after I graduated college I moved to Texas to be with Andre while he played for the Cowboys. It took me awhile to find a job, and I settled with working as an Olive Garden waitress. A few months later, I finally landed a full-time job that paid well. That spring, Andre decided not to re-sign with Dallas so off to New England we went. I dropped everything again and surprisingly found a job as a high school swim coach within a week. The Patriots released him about a month later, and we were off to Oakland. My résumé--and hope of ever holding a career--was massacred. Every decision, every cross-country move, every single thing revolves around Andre's career. It makes it hard not to get swept away by the tornado that is the NFL.
Since age 22, I unknowingly appointed my distinguishing characteristic as being the significant other of someone successful. Not because I feel like I'm special, but I do experience pride when I tell people what my husband does for a living. It has been a struggle to know he does not find that same pride when he speaks to others about me. And I blame myself for dropping everything and never really establishing my own identity. I strive to emulate the amazing women who have found their identity in a career, cooking, motherhood, or a business. I chastise myself for never finding my niche--which is the reason I started blogging because I needed something to call my own.
I am grateful for the life I was thrown into. I have learned: strength in weakness, encouragement during defeat, and how to find happiness in solitude. I cannot wait to explore finding identity in the shadows.
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 email@example.com.