the overwhelming availability of sports information, fueled by the
public's growing quest for knowledge, very seldom do we learn about the
women most closely associated with the NFL - the players' and coaches'
significant others. Rare are the reports, comments, or interviews with
the actual wives/girlfriends/partners of NFL players. Their views and
opinions are among the most neglected in professional football.
The women in Wedded to the Game: The Real Lives of NFL Women
represent a wide range of tenures in the league, and these ranged from
two years--as the girlfriend of a rookie free agent--to 26 years--as
the wife of a veteran defensive coordinator.
league's widely differing salaries, each player's or coach's level of
fame (or anonymity), and the number of years in the NFL all greatly
influence how people live, how they experience the NFL, and what issues
they face. For instance, Jackie Rice and Kim Singletary are married to
highly visible Hall-of-Fame or future Hall-of-Fame players. Their
experiences with, for example, star-struck female groupies are
different than for women married to less recognizable second-string
players. Likewise, head coaches' wives, such as Kathy Nolan of the San
Francisco 49ers, do not have the same financial concerns as the fiancÚ
of a low-level assistant quality control coach who earns $25,000 per
Regardless of these differences, all of the
women profiled in this book have one common characteristic: strength.
They may not have started out tough and resilient, but the NFL has made
them that way. Some of these women don't even know, or recognize, their
own strength, but it's there, overshadowed by the name of her husband
or boyfriend in the sports pages