Cold, Hard Football Facts for Jun 28, 2006
By Cold, Hard Football Facts senior writer John Dudley
"In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women."
These words of wisdom from the 1983 classic "Scarface" are delivered by Al Pacino's drug-lord character, Tony Montana. With a few minor changes, they could have been imparted by gridiron great Joe Montana.
Playing the position of quarterback certainly has its rewards. Touching the ball on every offensive down, you are most responsible for your team's success. When you have success, you achieve fame. Once you have fame, you score more babes.
In earlier days, the NFL was not a bastion for bachelors. With the notable exception of Jets legend Joe Namath, most of the game's best quarterbacks got married fairly young. Consider that Bart Starr, Len Dawson and Johnny Unitas – the three other winning QBs from the first five Super Bowls – all wed their high-school sweethearts while still in college.
More recently, elite quarterbacks are playing the field while they focus on football. In fact, bachelors have guided eight of the last 14 Super Bowl winners. Spotlighting six famously single signal callers, we find:
- They have combined for 15 Super Bowl appearances.
- 5 of the 6 have won Super Bowls.
- 4 of the 6 have been Super Bowl MVPs.
- The 4 retired players didn't get married until their careers were ending or over.
- All 4 retired players made the Hall of Fame.
- The 2 active players remain unmarried and have HOF potential written all over them.
Almost all of these swingin', slingin' bachelors have also dated celebrities. Is there a correlation between playing the field and succeeding on it? We break down the Cold, Hard Football (and female) Facts on a half-dozen quarterbacks who have chased chicks and championships.
Jets (1965-1976), Rams (1977)
Career highlight: won Super Bowl III
Romantically linked to: singer Janis Joplin, actress Randi Oakes, actress Mamie Van Doren
Married: Deborah Lynn Mays on Nov. 7, 1984
Namath was a trailblazer in more ways than one. Before Super Bowl III, he boldly guaranteed that his Jets from the upstart AFL would knock off the NFL's powerhouse Colts – then delivered a 16-7 victory and claimed MVP honors. Off the field, he enjoyed a playboy lifestyle, with a long list of girlfriends that included busty bombshell Mamie Van Doren (pictured here). He even opened a Manhattan hotspot, Bachelors III, that flaunted his single status. (The NFL forced him to get out of the business because the bar was frequented by heavy hitters in the gambling world.) Namath was in his 40s by the time he settled down, but the Broadway Joe persona was hard to tame. During a 2003 Sunday Night Football game, Namath drunkenly told ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber: "I wanna kiss you." Twice. A national audience painfully witnessed that his once-strong game was now "strugg-a-ling."
Buccaneers (1985-1986), 49ers (1987-1999)
Career highlight: won Super Bowl XXIX
Romantically linked to: no one particularly famous
Married: Barbara Graham on March 14, 2000
Thrice-married Joe Montana won four Super Bowls for San Francisco, the last of which came on Jan. 28, 1990. As a new decade dawned, so did the modern era of single quarterbacks. Young was a founding member of this fraternity that seemingly placed professional achievement ahead of marriage. Although he had garnered two rings as Montana's backup, Super Bowl XXIX would be his chance to earn both jewelry and hardware of his own. In a dominating 49-26 win, Young passed for 325 yards and six touchdowns and was named the game's MVP. A devout Mormon, he eventually found a bride (one bride) who shared his faith and then announced his retirement three months later.
Career highlights: played in Super Bowls XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XVIII
Romantically linked to: wrestler Missy Hyatt
Married: Jill Waggoner on May 18, 1996
Much like Namath had once been the bachelor prince of the city, Kelly was the toast of upstate New York. He led Buffalo to an unprecedented four straight AFC championships between 1990 and '93. Despite never emerging triumphant in a Super Bowl, Kelly remained popular, having earned a reputation for partying as hard as he played. Wrestling diva Missy Hyatt alleges that the two shared a sexual relationship, but her tell-all book, "First Lady of Wrestling," doesn't paint a very flattering picture of the quarterback's prowess. Suffice it to say, his quick release wasn't limited to the "K-Gun" offense.
Career highlights: won Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII and XXX
Romantically linked to: actress Sandra Bullock, country singer Lorrie Morgan, actress Janine Turner
Married: Rhonda Worthey on April 8, 2000
Kelly's Bills were twice denied that elusive Super Bowl victory by Aikman's Cowboys, who established a dynasty in the 90s by capturing three titles in four years. Aikman was awarded the MVP for the first one, Super Bowl XXVII, after throwing for 273 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-17 win. Single throughout the glory days, he was once named the most eligible bachelor in Dallas. Aikman's most-publicized celebrity relationship was with country singer Lorrie Morgan (shown here), who admitted that her desire to marry him was "probably more than I've ever wanted anything in my life."
Career highlights: won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX
Romantically linked to: TV personality Vanessa Minnillo, actress Bridget Moynahan, actress Tara Reid
Married: nobody yet
The dynasty mantle now belongs to the Patriots, as Brady has likewise led his team to three championships in four years. He claimed two MVP awards for his efforts, having twice engineered drives that resulted in game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goals. Shortly after achieving stardom with the 20-17 upset of the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, Brady was reportedly hounded by Tara Reid, who was only aspiring to be a well-known skanktress at that point. He eventually threw her a bone and dated her briefly. His more serious romance has been with starlet Bridget Moynahan (the happy couple is pictured here).
Career highlight: won Super Bowl XL
Romantically linked to: golfer Natalie Gulbis
Married: nobody yet
With Pittsburgh's 21-10 defeat of Seattle in last season's title game, Roethlisberger replaced Brady as the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl. His performance that day was subpar, but he had been stellar in the three preceding playoff victories, all of which were played away from home. Roethlisberger's biggest problems on the road have involved his motorcycle. Prior to his recent accident, which left him in need of facial surgery and new teeth, he had the looks to attract LPGA star Natalie Gulbis. This shot leaves no doubt about why she has been called the Anna Kournikova of golf.
In today's NFL, dating hotties is just one of the perks of being a famous, successful quarterback. The latest beneficiary is Arizona's Heisman-winning rookie Matt Leinart, who took some heat recently for being out with hotel heiress/actress/singer/opportunist Paris Hilton (right, with fellow party girl Reid). The Cardinals quickly stepped in and advised the QB to forget Paris.
The Cold, Hard Football Facts would suggest that such dalliances should not only be permitted...but encouraged.
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