The National Football League is a great league, full of competitiveness and toughness. It all starts at the top of the organization from the owners all the way down to the players. Of course the best teams that do their job and work together win championships. But it's not just what the player does on the field it what he does off the field too.
Balancing work and family is tough depending on your occupation. In sports though, it's especially hard because you're on the road a lot and away from family when you practice so it can get difficult. Especially in the NFL, as you start the season pretty much in July for training camp, and it goes all the way though January and sometimes February if you make the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.
Football players have from March until almost the end of July to spend with their families. So there's plenty of chances to set a good example. Unfortunately, many NFL players have proven they can't stay out of trouble in the offseason, and thus end up setting a terrible example for their kids. In this article I'm going to list the top NFL players that are terrible fathers, and the top 7 players that are amazing.
15 Terrible: ANTONIO CROMARTIE
Antonio Cromartie is a great player on the field but off the field he's anything but a fine example. Cromartie has 13 kids, yes 13 kids, with eight different women across the country. The amount of child support he pays is $3,500 a month per child, and an estimated $336,000 in child support a year. Cromartie's is still able to provide for his kids, but how often can he really see each one?
Cromartie is going to be a father to his 14th child soon with his current wife, Terricka Cason. Cromartie has made his rounds across the country with women from a high school sweetheart in Florida, to a corporate lawyer. Cromartie is not father of the year by any means, but he is a four time Pro Bowler and his currently a free agent. He needs to find a team because with all that money he owes on child support, he's going to be broke fast.
14 Terrific: TOM BRADY
Tom Brady is number one on this list for many reasons. One being he's 40 years old in his 18th season in the NFL. He is the father to three children and when he's not working on the football field he's working at home making sure the kids are all set. His two sons John and Benjamin, and his Daughter Vivian all look up to their amazing dad to hopes that one day they'll be as successful as him.
Tom Brady's family is so important to him know matter what he's doing to prepare for games I'm sure when he gets home after a long day when he sees his kids faces it brings a smile to his face. His kids have to be dreaming big, yes they are young now but look at what their father as accomplished in these 18 years. I'm sure he's a role model for his wife Gisele Bundchen, and she appreciates all that he's done on and off the field. But his family are his number one fans and at the end of the day nobody can take that away.
13 Terrible: AARON HERNANDEZ
Aaron Hernandez could've been the most dominant tight ends in the NFL. He was the best team, he had the greatest coach, and the greatest quarterback on the team with him so everything is good right? Wrong Aaron Hernandez had a problem in college with gangs and drugs. Urban Meyer the head coach for Florida convinced head coach Bill Belichick that Aaron Hernandez would come around and be a good fit for the Patriots. Belichick has had questionable players before that have had troubled pasts so why would this be any different? There's a huge difference know other players Belichick has singed have killed someone. Aaron got a $40 million contract extension in 2012, and then in June of 2013 he was arrested in connection with the shooting death of Odin Lloyd.
Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of that murder but not guilty of the 2012 double murder in Boston. After Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison a judge threw out the murder conviction making him not a murderer in the eyes of the state. Aaron Hernandez has a daughter named Avielle Hernandez is going to grow up without a father which is a rotten shame. She has to wonder why her dad had to take his own life she could still see him probably even though he would be in prison for the rest of his life. Now she can't see him at all he was a bad guy yes but Aaron Hernandez shouldn't have taken his own life so he could at least see his daughter whenever she went to visit him.
12 Terrific: JOSH SCOBEE
Josh Scobee is a former kicker for the Jacksonville Jaguars from (2004-2014), and the Pittsburgh Steelers in (2015). Josh has two sons; Jacob who is five and David who is two years old. Jacob's wife Melissa calls her husband the best NFL dad ever. She says "He loves these boys so much, and includes them in everything he does."
When Josh isn't on the football field he's home doing regular parental duties. He will cook breakfast and takes them to school sometimes. Josh is a role model for his sons and that's great. Someday they are going to want to be just like their dad and be successful at whatever they chose to do. Melissa says also that "He's a dream come true to our family. Most importantly he leads with a Godly heart and he instills this in our boys."
11 Terrible: TRAVIS HENRY
Some athletes in general have a tough personal life, and background. For Travis Henry however he seemed to have a problem with staying with one woman. Travis Henry has nine children, each by different mother, some born as closely as a few months apart. Travis Henry is a retired running back played for three teams from 2001-2007. He played for the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and Denver Broncos.
But his decisions off the field cost him a really good chance to be one of the top running backs in the game. He was always in court for child support and would leave one woman he had a kid with for another. His production on the field suffered. Travis Henry said that he was broke from all the child support he had to pay, so it's no wonder why was on three teams. Coaches were probably sick of his off field behavior and it was affecting the locker room so they cut him. In 2009 he was on house arrest for drugs, then Henry was jailed for failing to pay $16,600 in child support. He was paying $170.000 a year for child support, clearly not the father of the year.
10 Terrific: Archie Manning
Some people may not be able to stand the Manning family, as many feel they are simply media darlings, but it can't be argued that Archie Manning did a fine job raising his three boys, with two of them becoming star quarterbacks in the NFL. Archie played most of his career with the New Orleans Saints and his kids grew up wanting to become football players like their dad.
An example of Archie caring deeply for his sons was when he stepped in to ensure Eli wouldn't have to play for the San Diego Chargers, an organization Archie felt wasn't right for his son. While some will argue it was meddling, you can't argue that Archie looked out for the best interests of his son.
9 Terrible: WILLIS MCGAHEE
Willis McGahee was a pretty good running back in the NFL. But like Travis Henry his problems were off the field mostly; he had nine children with eight different women. So here was another athlete not thinking of the consequences of his actions. He played mine seasons in the NFL as a running back from 2004-2013 and had nine children - imagine that.
By those careless actions off the field again, it affected the teams he was on as it was probably a distraction for the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, and Cleveland Browns. He owed thousands of dollars in child support and probably still does. The two time Pro Bowler rushed for 8,474 yards and 65 touchdowns. I'm sure his family wished he did better off the field and took care of his kids instead of just going from one woman to another.
8 Terrific: Devon Still
Devon Still had quite a lot of responsibility to deal with for such a young man starting his NFL career. Not only did he have to worry about becoming a professional, but he's had to take care of his young daughter Leah, who was battling cancer for over a year. Still immediately took a leave of absence from the Bengals and stayed with his daughter in the hospital while she was getting her tumors removed, even though he was battling an injury of his own. Still also shaved his head in solidarity with his daughter, saying he'd only grow his hair back when she did.
She was diagnosed as cancer free in 2015 and both accepted the Jimmy V perseverance award at the ESPYs. She's been in remission the past two years, with Still posting a message on Instagram earlier this year saying ""No matter how hard it got we never gave up. So today, we celebrate your strength and perseverance Leah! I love you more than you could ever possibly know."
7 Terrible: MARK CHMURA
Mark Chmura is a former tight end for the Green Bay Packers and a Super Bowl champion. He may be a champion on the field but off the field he was far from it. Mark Chmura was accused of sexually assaulting a former baby-sitter at a post prom party. It sounds like an athlete who thinks he can do whatever he wants because he makes good money.
He was acquitted on third -degree sexual assault, in February of 2002. The charges he was facing carried an maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. His reputation would take a hit for this though even though he was acquitted of the charges held against him. Not a good role model for his kids that's for sure.
6 Terrific: COLIN COLE
Colin Cole is another example of a great dad and role model. He is a former defensive lineman and he played for the Minnesota Vikings (2003), Detroit Lions (2003), the Green Bay Packers from (2004-2008), the Seattle Seahawks from (2009-2010), and the Carolina Panthers from (2013-2015). Colin's wife Kaye is his number one fan, according to his wife "he's a jack-of -all-trades. He's a builder of hopes and dreams; a developer of character; and good citizenship; a designer of self -esteem and confidence; and an engineer of creative thinking and compassionate hearts." By the way she described him he should be in the running for father of the year award.
Some football players are deadbeat dads and terrible fathers like I've shown you on this list. But this guy is complete opposite; he loves his three children and it shows off the football field. When he's at home he is a "bad dream monster catcher," according to his wife Kaye. She also says that "We couldn't have asked for a more perfectly, imperfect man to love guide and protect our family."
5 Terrible: MARV MARINOVICH
Marv Marionvich was an offensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders from 1962-1965. At the time he was drafted he worked and trained himself so hard that he actually overworked himself to the point he left football to focus more on training and conditioning. He had a son Todd who he trained to be tough since Todd was an infant. He wanted his son to make into the NFL and be a star because he couldn't.
Todd Marinovich did make it into the NFL however it was cut short. Marv trained his son Todd to become a quarterback. He played for USC and drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders at the time. Todd's NFL career would come to an end though because of drug abuse, because his father trained him so hard and so much that the kid turned to drugs. There's a right way and wrong way of training someone Marv definitely did it the wrong way.
4 Terrific: KEVIN BOOTHE
Kevin Boothe was an offensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders in (2006 and 2014), and the New York Giants (2007-2013). The two time Super Bowl champion has two sons Dante who is six, and Marco who is two, and one daughter Bria who is five years old. He always loves spending time with his children his wife Rosalie Booth says. According Rosalie Kevin will help around the house with laundry or whatever without even asking, anything to help the family out which is great.
Rosalie Boothe says "When our little ones were newborns, he shared in every aspect of taking care of them, even changing their diapers like a pro. He knew feeding schedules and was comfortable being alone if I had to step out, without me having to write out a schedule to follow or anything." Kevin sounds like a great dad and once again his kids will all look up to him has being that great role model for them. Rosalie says of her husband "We're very thankful to be blessed with such an amazing Dad!"
3 Terrible: RAE CARRUTH
Rae Carruth is a former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and is a convicted murder. On November 16, 1999 Cherica Adams was shot four times by a friend of Carruth, Van Brett Watkins. Cherica Adams was eight months pregnant with Carruth's child. Doctors got the baby to survive but Cherica Adams passed away. The baby's name is Chancellor Adams and because he was without oxygen for so long before he was born, he suffered brain damage and cerebral Palsy. It was found in trial that Carruth hired Watkins to murder Cherica Adams because she wouldn't abort the baby. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison.
Rae Carruth played three seasons with the Carolina Panthers before he was released by the team. He had 804 yards and 62 receptions. Rae Carruth's potential release date is set for October 18, 2018. His son who he didn't want will be waiting at the gates when he gets released next October. Carruth's selfish actions cost a life and he's spent the last 17 years of his life in a prison cell instead of enjoying it with his son, and with his girlfriend, if he didn't hire someone to kill her.
2 Terrific: KARL KLUG
The more positive side of this list takes a look at the fathers who do an amazing job off the field. Let's finish it off with defensive end of the Tennessee Titans Karl Krug. Football is a long season and for all it means being away from their families but when it's time to go home Karl Krug makes up for his time away. Karl Klug has two daughters and a son. His wife Stacy appreciates his hands-on approach to fatherhood.
All three of Klug's daughter's have a favorite thing to do with their dad. Rylan, who's four loves playing sports and digging for different things she can find with her dad, Cora who's loves reading with her dad, and an infant son loves taking naps with him. This is seventh season in the NFL with the Titans. Klug is just one example of many that are great dads.
1 O.J. SIMPSON
We all know the story of O.J. Simpson from Hall Of Fame running back, to being acquitted of murder. To then facing jail time for an armed robbery and kidnapping, for which he will be released from soon. O.J. Simpson had five kids who probably hate their last name; Sydney Simpson, Justin Simpson, Aaren Simpson, Arnelle Simpson, and Jason Simpson.
For O.J. Simpson's kids it has to be tough on them seeing their dad in prison and the media and fans bashing their name. For O.J. he had everything going for him. He changed the position at running back in the NFL. Some people won't remember his playing days as much as they'll remember the off field things he did or was involved in. All in all O.J. Simpson has burned a lot of bridges and he should start by making amends to his kids when he gets released.