All Articles Tagged "football"

Ciara And Russell Wilson, How About A Little Discretion?

July 8th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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 Credit: FayesVision/

Credit: FayesVision/

We are bombarded with pop-culture gossip 24/7.  From Tyga allegedly getting caught red-handed sending out nude pics and being accused of cheating on his under-aged girlfriend, to the ubiquitous Draya Michele and Orlando Scandrick drama, so little is left to the imagination. But somehow, for me, out of all the stories, the Ciara and Russell Wilson celibacy headlines felt like an embarrassing intrusion.

The public can be hard on Ciara and I never really understood why. She is undeniably an amazing dancer, she’s beautiful, and she seems genuinely sweet, if not a tad bit shy as far as pop stars go. She dated Bow Wow and 50 Cent and went through a very rocky relationship with Future, which left many calling her a big dummy for choosing him. Echoes of her intimate missteps can be heard from many gossip blogs and Twitter timelines: “He got 5 baby mamas. Why would she think she was gon’ change him?” “Why did she name her child after him?” “Bow Wow, for real? lol”

What did Ciara ever do to deserve such vitriol from the public?

She fell in love. Few among us can say that we haven’t fallen for a person who was 100% unequivocally the worst for us at a given time. Chances are you may have even fallen in love with a couple of bad seeds. So why is Ciara always being dragged within an inch of her life for it? Sure, she should’ve known better given the track records of her exes, but “should’ve known betters” usually occur with the gift of hindsight. We can’t choose who we love or don’t love.

But we can choose what information we share with the public. Would people be nicer to Ciara if she had tried to keep her relationship with Future on the low? Does an attempt at privacy garner our respect nowadays? For me it does. That is why I felt some type of way when I came across the headline, “Ciara and Russell Wilson Aren’t Having Sex.”

The story contained a viral clip of Wilson talking with Pastor Miles McPherson about his faith and his lady.

“I met this girl named Ciara, who is the most beautiful woman in the world…She’s the most kind person, the most engaging person…I knew that God brought me into her life to bless her.”

He seems to adore her, but it is strangely arrogant to me that Wilson believes he’s a gift from God sent to save Ciara. This entire situation reads like the makings of a terrible sketch on Saturday Night Live. After checking out the clip, I was overcome with gloom. As he continued to talk, I wondered to myself:

Did she know he was going to put their private sexual decision on blast? Did she feel pressured into this? What happens if this doesn’t work out? I think I’d feel differently if she were next to him and they divulged this information together…

Seriously though, why did this information need to be shared? It was none of our business until they made it our business.

Being celibate in this day and age is deemed equal parts noble and naïve. I’ve always felt that it is supposed to be an intimate commitment between two people who made such a vow together. But over the years, it’s been used as a means to get attention. I thought it was an unbecoming publicity stunt when the Jonas Brothers showed off their promise rings years ago, but that was only the tip of the exploitation-for-public-image iceberg. Publicity-wise, abstinence and celibacy are having a terrible month. Bristol Palin, the literal poster child for abstinence a few years ago, and a woman who said she was going to be celibate after having her son, has done her damnedest to make a joke of the entire thing. She’s not the first, nor the last to do so.

Look, I can understand why two Christian adults with a few troubled relationships in their rear views might try to be celibate, but the public proclamation before the relationship has really collected steam just doesn’t sit right with me.

We live in a transparent time. The Internet allows us to peer in and out of situations that we wouldn’t be privy to a decade ago. We want to know now, and we want to know everything. Some people have dodged many public bullets. With the exception of hackers making celeb nudes public and the occasional video vixen tell-all book, some celebs are able to keep their bedroom secrets to themselves.

There is beauty in a celebrity’s ability to control their public narrative. I love that we only knew what Beyoncé’s wedding dress looked like when she and Jay wanted us to know. I love when celebrities can get married or have a baby without a headline popping up about it until much later. Heck, Janet Jackson is easily one of the biggest stars in the world, and she had an almost decade-long marriage and we didn’t know much about it until it was over. I love Rihanna. As outgoing and active on social media as she is, I don’t know what’s happening in her bedroom. There’s wild speculation, of course, but she isn’t saying a damn thing about any of her purported conquests. She seems as open and carefree as possible in her unique positions (it’s definitely a part of her narrative), but she does manage to keep some things to herself. I applaud that. These people prove that discretion is possible.

I do not think that because of their fame, we the people deserve complete and total access. But when they make the access possible, it gives us the validation to pass harsh judgment loudly with little moral consequence.

While discretion may breed speculation, exposing everything about yourself offers the public an invitation. For some, this may be a good thing as many deem any publicity to be good publicity, but for others it damages your public perception. I root for Ciara. I want her to be happy and if being celibate with Russell Wilson is it, then good for her. I genuinely wish her well. But in the meantime, I will continue to yearn for the time when stars were a little more cautious about what they shared with the world.


Is Brigham Young Exploiting Motekiai Langi?

February 6th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Is Brigham Young Exploiting Motekiai Langi

Source: BYU Twitter

There are sports. And there is the sports industrial complex.

And it is latter of those two concepts of which I am the least fond.

More specifically, I really can’t stand how young men, who have barely graduated into manhood, let alone from high school, are being sold off to the highest bidders. And yes, I’m talking about the spectacle, which is called #SigningDay.

As Deadspin reports:

The most intriguing news out of signing day—at least for those who find tracking every tiny movement a bit weird—was that a 6’7″, 410 pound manchild signed a letter of intent to play football at Bringham Young University (BYU). The problem was, nobody knew jack shit about Motekiai Langi. No grainy highlight reel, no photos of him in a football uniform, no profile on a recruiting website. Nothing.

But there was a good reason for that: apparently his own future head coach has only spent 15 minutes with him, and he was recruited because a BYU assistant coach thought he was light on his feet during a game of pickup basketball two years ago.



The Deadspin piece has a picture of Langi; and as the article accurately notes, he is a very big kid. Also you can watch BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall’s  full comments about why they chose him for the squad, here. Please pay attention to how Medenhall damn near objectifies the kid as he gushes over his size. And although he is not sure what position Langi will play on the football team, Mendenhall is sure, “he can play something.”

A couple of things irk me here: firstly, a college team recruiting in this manner just seems a bit unethical – or at the least, contrary to what higher education is supposed to be about. As opposed to demonstrating skill and actual knowledge of the game, they’re picking the kid who looks the part and hoping to mold him into what they need.

I feel like if I was a skilled player who had been training and studying to keep my grades up all my life just for the chance to play college football at BYU (look, it happens), I would definitely feel slighted. And even as a student with non-football aspirations, I would feel some kind of way about a learning institution randomly admitting a person not only into their football program, but by default, into college as well. Meanwhile, my non-athlete behind had to jump through hoops and dash through 50 yard lines, for admittance.

Seriously, if we are recruiting based off of his size alone, surely no one is even concerned about whether or not he is even academically ready for such an intensive, and independent, learning environment. Not to mention, what if this kid actually sucks?

I remember reading the story of former University of California, Berkeley football player James Grisom, who found out the hard way that football scholarships are not always permanent. And after his was rescinded, it not only forced him out of school but pushed him into a world of unnecessary debt. Now, Grisom’s situation might seem extraordinary; however when we recruit kids based on arbitrary reasons like size as opposed to skill, the abuse of the one-year scholarship, particularly to weed out undesirable players, is a valid concern.

Honestly, everything would be much more fair here if these institutions would just drop the charade and just start paying these kids for their services. I mean, if we were going to have unqualified players “sign” onto college programs like they are contracted NFL players – all because they serve an institution’s immediate needs – then they should be compensated like them too. Granted, they get a free, or low-cost education (at least for a year), but even that is contingent upon your academic commitment. Not to mention that there are other living expenditures too. If you are in practice, on the game field and on the road, most of the time you’re not in the classroom. Where is the time to hold down a part-time gig to otherwise feed and clothe yourself?

These are the questions I have about this whole #SigningDay business. I’m certain folks feel differently, so feel free to enlightenment me in the comment section below.

Bengals Keep Player On Squad To Help Pay For Daughter’s Chemo

September 7th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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I may not be a huge football fan but the Cincinnati Bengals are my new favorite team. The NFL team made the executive decision to keep defensive tackle Devon Still on their practice squad, after cutting him, to help him pay for his 4-year-old daughter’s cancer treatment. Leah, Devon’s four-year daughter has a potentially fatal, rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

By keeping Still on the practice squad, he will be able to benefit from medical insurance and maintain a salary of $6,300. He will also be required to travel less and can spend more time with Leah.

The 25-year-old football player has expressed nothing but gratitude towards the team and his followers. In an interview with ABC he stated,

 I completely understand where the Bengals were coming from when they cut me because I couldn’t give football 100 percent right now,

Our thoughts and prayers are with Devon and Leah.

NYC High School Football Player Collapsed And Died During Practice

September 3rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From The Grio 

A high school football practice took a tragic turn Monday.

Curtis High School junior defensive tackle Miles Kirkland-Thomas collapsed and died following a series of wind sprints, his father told the New York Daily News. 


Kirkland-Thomas, 16, showed up late for practice and was asked by coaches to complete some sprints to make up for his tardiness. The Daily News reports he stopped after completing two sprints.


He then collapsed while talking to one of his coaches. He went into cardiac arrest and later died at a Staten Island hospital.

Read more about this tragedy at 


Evening Eye Candy: MN’s Super Bowl Fantasy Football Team

January 31st, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Fantasy Football
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us and while we haven’t quite decided whether we’re rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks, we have come up with a team of our own that we can get behind. Most — not all — but most women watch football for the eye candy and that’s why we’ve come up with our own fantasy football team of NFLers who we would watch on the field any given Sunday. Enjoy!

A Few Things That Suck About Being A Woman Who Likes Sports

August 23rd, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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With football season on the brink and the baseball season being nearly over, it’s no surprise to see and hear women talking about and watching sports. Surely we all have our favorite teams that we like to root for each year and we proudly rock our jerseys and other fan gear. However, sometimes women aren’t taken seriously when it comes to enjoying sports. Here are 14 reasons it sucks to be a woman who likes sports, but who really cares what men think, right?

Slow Down, Son, You Killin ‘Em! Justin Combs Shows What Football Training Has Done For Him

August 10th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Justin’s Instagram

Okay, age is really starting to show when I see pictures of Justin Combs as a young man.

Now, we always knew Diddy’s son would be a handsome guy…and if we didn’t know, many of you would shout him out from time to time. But as Justin has been preparing for his sophomore year at UCLA, he’s been having a little fun on his Instagram page.

But not too long ago, Justin showed off the work he and his teammates have been putting in to make them competitive on the football field (he’s a cornerback). We have to say that Justin has really packed on the muscle and is clearly adding to all the reasons why the young ladies love him. Handsome and a nice build? I’d say that’s a “yes, please” for them.

You’ll notice I’m keeping myself out of the equation because as a woman who remembers seeing Justin in music videos as a baby, I’m still in a bit of shock to see him so…grown.

For fans of the UCLA Bruins, hopefully this means he’ll be productive during games.

So what do we think: Is Justin, who is legal, “eye candy” worthy?

Love Is In The Air! Football Star Robert Griffin III Marries Becky Liddicoat!

July 7th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Dyrol Joyner’s Instagram

Well, isn’t this sweet!

After an almost two year engagement, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (aka RGIII) and Rebecca Liddicoat (aka Becky) have finally tied the knot!

According to The YBF, the two were married in Becky’s hometown of Denver, Colorado on Saturday. Based on the pictures, Becky wore a princess style gown and RGIII wore an all white suit (and no, he didn’t let go of plaits he wears in his head all the time).

They looked to have had five bridesmaids and five groomsmen in their wedding party. According to Rock Newman’s Facebook page, Griffin said in his vows, “I’ll love and cherish you forever. All I ask is you keep making my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” You have to love that!

RGIII and Becky have been together for at least six years – they were high school sweethearts!

Back in October 2011, Griffin proposed to his then girlfriend at midfield of their Baylor University football stadium.  The midfield was surrounded by battery operated candles and both families were there to witness the proposal.

The couple recently bought a home in Virginia, just outside of where RGII plays for the Washington Redskins.  He’s currently injured, having hurt himself during his very successful rookie season, but expects to be ready for the 2013-2014 season.

Congratulations to the happy couple! Check out The YBF for more pictures!

We’ve Got Our Eyes On You: Jay-Z & Roc Nation Agency Under Investigation For Signing NFL Rookie Geno Smith

May 26th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Agency is picking up clients every time you turn around. But he recently gained a client in the NFL and that is raising many eyebrows.

Geno Smith, a rookie quarterback picked up by the New York Jets during the NFL draft, recently signed to the Roc Nation Agency. The signing immediately raised eyebrows and there are reports suggesting that this was not on the “up and up.”

According to Yahoo! Sports, Smith almost immediately fired his former agents, Jeff Nalley and Erik Burkhardt of Select Sports Group, after he fell out of the first round of the draft and was selected 39th overall.  Players do sometimes part ways with agents when things like this happen, thinking that they aren’t doing their jobs. However, its what happened next that has Jay- at the center of yet another investigation.

Smith then signed with Kimberly Miale, a lawyer who only has two “B list” sports clients. This is a little odd because although Smith may have dropped out of the first round, he is still considered a major force to be reckoned with during the 2013-2014 NFL season; in fact, he’s fighting for the starting quarterback position against Mark Sanchez.  So one would think that he might want a stronger agent, right?


Representatives of the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) have decided to investigate to see if Jay-Z was directly involved in negotiations with Smith. In 2012, the NFLPA banned the use of “runners,” which are people without appropriate credentials used by agencies to recruit potential clients.  Jay-Z doesn’t have any of those credentials and many are wondering if Miale was basically used as a smokescreen while Jay is the real negotiator.

Adding fuel to the fire is John Thornton, an advisor to Smith. He said that he was in the meetings and “Jay-Z connected with him on so many levels.” Of course, he says was misquoted.

A rep for the Jigga man says he was not involved in negotiations and was in London while all the meetings were happening.

It’s obvious why many athletes, especially a young rooke like Geno Smith, would want to sign with Roc Nation Agency. Jay-Z has crossed over into so many facets of business and is able to gain marketing and sponsorship for athletes as soon as they want to diversify. He’s still totally connected to the music world and many find that life appealing. Plus, he’s still seemingly a really cool guy that people like to be around.

It’ll be interesting to see what the outcome will be of the investigation. There’s been no word on what the fine or punishment is if it is found that Jay-Z and Roc Nation agency broke the NFLPA rules.

Broke Phi Broke? Chad Johnson Pleads With Court To Lower Child Support Payments

May 19th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Chad Johnson pf"


It was all good a couple of years ago.

Former NFL star Chad Johnson is trying to keep his financial head above water and part of that includes wanting his child support payments for one of his children lowered.

Johnson recently filed court papers stating that he would like the court payments lowered because when he initially agreed to pay the $5,420 per month back in March 2012, he was doing very well for himself. But now, Johnson says he cannot afford the payments stating he”finds himself without a contract and without a team. Simply [I am] unemployed.”

The child involved in these particular documents is a son he has with Andrea Pearson. They were involved in a bit of a child support “battle” until they both agreed on that monthly $5,420 check.  The son is one of five children Johnson has fathered.

There was no word from TMZ how much child support, if any, he pays for all of his other children.

My, how the “mighty” have fallen.  Johnson was having a pretty good year in 2012 for quite some time: he became an even bigger star after he began dating and eventually being engaged to Basketball Wives cast member Evelyn Lozada. But that relationship ended in the summer of 2012 after he head butted her during an argument.

He was then released from the Miami Dolphins, he lost pretty  much all of his endorsement deal and he and Evelyn’s reality show was shut down.

No word yet on how the judge will rule.