Living with an NFL football player can have its upsides, but it can be no surprise that a lot of the time these relationships end in tears. With all the millions of dollars and fame that comes with partnering up with a footballer, the win-at-all-costs mentality has knock-on effects that impact on their private lives. It’s easy to flick on the competitive switch come game time, it’s switching it off again that’s the problem.
NFL players have a history of attitude and perspective problems. Pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio or watch the 6 o’clock news and you will see what we mean. Whether it’s cheating on their spouse, talking trash or getting in hot water with law enforcement – it quickly dawns on a lot of these women that they were in over their heads opting into a relationship with these people. The majority of them are good family men, yet every group has their bad apples.
With marriage breakdowns becoming all the more common in society, the couples that make it last under the spotlight deserve the credit. In the NFL arena the likes of Russell Wilson and Ciara, Tony Romo and Candice Crawford, and of course, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, all thrive as a pairing in their private lives. When it works, it can be incredibly lucrative because the paparazzi and sponsors end up eating out of their hands.
In most cases footballers don’t marry or hook up with megastar celebrities. Sometimes they will be childhood sweethearts or just women who catch the attention. Outside of the initial attraction there can be little rhyme or reason why some of them hook up, so it’s any wonder why people are shocked when the break up is announced to the world. Most of them move on quite quickly and it all becomes yesterdays news.
But lets take this time to look back at the 15 breakups involving NFL footballers that we did notice.
15 Aaron Murray and Kacie McDonnell
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray was doing very well for himself off the field. Even playing second fiddle to Alex Smith, who had a standout season in 2015, the Georgia product was very much first pick in Kacie McDonnell’s world for a spell. The gorgeous brunette reporter for 41 Action News and MLS franchise Sporting Kansas City made the Murray-McDonnell item a popular one until their separation after a couple of years together. McDonnell brushed it off quick to move onto Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Clearly she has a thing for Kansas athletes!
14 Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian
Before Kanye West came into her life, it was really difficult keeping tabs on exactly who and why Kim Kardashian was dating certain celebrities. The 49ers running back met Kim at the 2007 ESPYS when he was with the New Orleans Saints and spent 2 years with the media personality. After a brief 8 week separation they reportedly got back together again for 6 months, then it was over. Again. A lot of the tabloids reflect back on their relationship when anything negative on Kimye comes up.
13 Miles Austin and Kim Kardashian
What can we say – Kim loves her athletes and particularly NFL football players. Miles Austin, the free agent wide receiver who played for the Cowboys, Browns and Eagles, hooked up with Kim during his time in Dallas with an alleged affair around the time she was supposed to be seeing Reggie Bush. The International Business Times labeled the rendezvous “long distance” which didn’t end up having any type of sustaining power. Without an NFL paycheck at the moment, Austin probably could do with hanging around the Kardashian household.
12 Andre Rison and Lisa Lopes
While most breakups verge on the amusing or interesting, the end to this relationship is tinged with utter sadness and despair. Andre Risdon was a solid professional wide receiver, going on to be something of a journeyman throughout his 16 years in the NFL from the Colts, Falcons, Browns, Jags, Packers, Chiefs and Oakland Raiders. But his time spent with TLC star Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was combustible, threatening violence that involved shooting guns in supermarkets and having his house burned down. Lopes’ sudden death in 2002 from a car accident in Honduras put an end to the tumultuous relationship, something that appeared to have come to an end prior to the tragedy.
11 Tiki Barber and Ginny Barber
They say that life is all about timing. Well, for former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, he couldn’t afford the time to wait for his divorce from wife Ginny Barber to marry 23-year old mistress Traci Lynn Johnson. The couples break from 11 years of marriage was obviously at a crossroads as Tiki’s affair on the side broke apart what they had. To make matters worse for Tiki, he left Ginny while she was pregnant with twins in 2010. Tiki’s boasting posts on social media did nothing to alleviate his public image as a want-away husband who went after a younger partner.
10 Kordell Stewart and Porsha Williams
Kordell Stewart had a respectable career in the NFL with 7 seasons at the Pittsburgh Steelers before spells at the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens came prior to his 2005 retirement. A few years after he put away the helmet, he met The Real Housewives of Atlanta reality star Porsha Williams and the couple married in 2011. But only 2 years later it all fell apart as news leaked that Stewart started changing the locks while intimating on Twitter of all places that their time together was coming to an end. The ugly nature of the divorce settlement only added to the bad blood felt between the pair.
9 Russell Wilson and Ashton Meem
He’s doing very well for himself now with Ciara, but at one point in time Russell Wilson had a good thing going with high school sweetheart Ashton Meem. The couple tied the knot in 2012 and they seemed destined to be together. Then Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate came into the mix in 2014 amid allegations that he and Meem were secretly seeing each other on the side. A messy divorce and a move from Tate to the Detroit Lions soon followed.
8 Tim Tebow and Olivia Culpo
There is sticking true to your values, then there is pure insanity. Tim Tebow’s strict Christianity vows means that he is determined to stay a virgin until he gets married, meaning that his short relationship with former Miss Universe came to an end over a complete lack of sex. Tim Tebow has done a great job of dividing opinion when it comes to his beliefs but missing out on an NFL roster at the moment seems to be the least of his worries.
7 Deion Sanders and Pilar Biggers
Deion Sanders was an incredibly gifted athlete, but it seems his attention span is as low as a 6 year old with ADHD. The gifted NFL footballer and Major League Baseball player, who managed both roles quite well given the circumstances and ferocity of the switches, ended his marriage with Carolyn Chambers before moving onto Pilar Biggers. The pair were spotted around red carpets frequently and even showed up on Celebrity Family Feud. Yet they couldn’t sustain the love in 2011 as Sanders filed for divorce. Whether its football teams, baseball teams or partners, Sanders is always on the go!
6 JJ Watt and Caroline Wozniacki
Unlike these other couples that tied the knot or went to hundreds of events together, Houston Texans star JJ Watt and top female tennis player Caroline Wozniacki were only pictured together courtside of the Duke versus Wisconsin National Championship game. Had the pair stayed together they would have been truly one of the big celebrity couples going around the circuit, but with JJ based purely in Texas and Wozniacki playing the global tennis scene, the logistics made it seem too good to be true. Hence the split.
5 Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson
Romo’s 2 year dalliance with then-pop sensation Jessica Simpson had Cowboys Nation in a frenzy from 2007 to 2009. She was the golden girl with the stellar singing career and Romo was the golden boy quarterback with the gun arm who was going to take Dallas to glory. Fast forward to now and Simpson has been succeeded by younger, more talented artists and as for Tony Romo …. well kind of exactly the same really. He still might be the best QB the organization has at 35 but with that injury record that might not be the case for much longer.
4 Tony Romo and Carrie Underwood
That man again! Prior to Jessica Simpson coming onto the scene, Sunday Night Football and country music singer Carrie Underwood drew the attention of Romo back in early 2007. Their relationship didn’t last too long, with Underwood going public about the fact the quarterback is more concerned about his perception from his fans and players rather than his commitment to his partner. Rarely will one party come out and speak so candidly about a breakup like Underwood, particularly given her current visibility in the sport. Like we said though, living with footballers can be a volatile business.
3 Tom Brady and Bridget Moynahan
The New England Patriot’s star coupling with Gisele Bundchen seems a match made in heaven with both of them living happy ever after. But when news broke that his ex Bridget Moynahan had fallen pregnant not long after they had started dating, it threw the situation into chaos. Speaking with Charlie Rose on CBS in 2007, Bundchen explained that, “I felt like I didn’t know what to do. It was kind of one of those moments of like, ‘Do I just run away?’ “ Fortunately for the quarterback she’s hung around and they married in 2009 before having children of their own.
2 John Elway and Janet Buchan
Regardless of Peyton Manning’s heroics during Super Bowl 50, only one name has enough currency in Denver – John Elway. The champion quarterback and head of operations at the Broncos managed to sustain a lot of class and composure on the field, but couldn’t last the distance with long time wife Janet Buchan. The pair married way back in 1984 after they met at Stanford University until they filed for divorce some 19 years later in 2003.
1 OJ Simpson and Marguerite Whitley
With the OJ Simpson story being revived and retold on HBO’s upcoming American Crime Story, those new to the story will get an insight into what happened during the most infamous trial in US history. Those who already know may pick up some new details, but the death of his second wife Nicole Brown came years after the pair initially started an affair while he was still with his wife Marguerite Whitley. The legendary Bills running back’s life spiraled out of control thereafter and it all started when his relationship with Whitley broke apart. Given what transpired it has to be considered the biggest separation by an NFL player.