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Champ Bailey's wife Jessica Herrera Bailey just married the Pro-Bowling guy a few days ago. The wedding was reported on by TMZ and featured cool little Patron lemonade drink thingys. The ceremony looked pretty classy. There was a beach and some kind of domed structure with the customary miles of garish white cloth strung up all over it. In America, wedding day aesthetics vaguely resemble ancient Greek aesthetics.
The thing that amazes me most about Champ Bailey are insane pre-draft measurables. Pre-draft measurables are the athletic tests they give athletes upon entering the NFL draft process. It's like the SAT's for athletic ability. They measure a variety of running speeds and jumping ability. Champ Bailey ran 40 meters in 4.28 seconds, and his vertical leap was measured at 45 inches. That's almost four feet, people. He's like an Olympic caliber athlete. There's only been seven people in the history of measuring the 40m that have run it faster, and there's only been one guy to jump higher than Champ (some dude who only lasted a season named Gerald Sensabaugh). So basically what I'm telling you is that Champ Bailey is one of the top 5 most gifted athletes the NFL has ever seen. All things being equal, I think if Jim Brown and Bo Jackson had come up in the same time and context as Champ, they'd probably beat him in overall athletic godliness, but upon entering the NFL draft, scouts were freaking out about his potential.
And match their expectations he did. Champ was was 12-time Pro Bowler. I think his most impressive year was the 2005-2006 season when he grabbed 10 interceptions, didn't give up one touchdown all year, and had 73 tackles. He was a unanimous choice for the Pro-Bowl that year along with two other players. The year before that, Champ had 8 interceptions and 59 tackles, and the year after only 3 but with 71 tackles. I've always wondered if having a lot of tackles was a good thing because it meant someone had received the ball, but no- it's a good thing. Why did the Redskins trade the guy back in 2003?
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Demaryius Thomas has quietly ascended himself into the discussion for one of the best players in the NFL. With the quiet ascension comes a limited glimpse into the history of the man. During Super Bowl media day, many more were brought into the amazing story of where he came from and what he's overcome to take the league by storm.
The Super Bowl should be the greatest moment in a young players life with the families reveling in the celebration to the final whistle. While most Broncos families will gather in New Jersey to take in the game, Demaryius Thomas' family will be watching from a cinder blood room on a tiny group television. Demaryius Thomas' mother Katina Smith and grandmother Minnie Thomas will be forced to watch their favorite wide receiver from the Federal Correctional Instituation in Tallahassee, Florida. Smith and Thomas were arrested in 1999 on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, while Demaryius was only 11. Demaryius was raised by his aunt and uncle from that point forward, only visiting his mother for the first time in 2003, before going again in 2006.
Katina Smith was charged with lesser offenses, and sentenced to 20 years, though is scheduled to be released on Christmas Day 2016, Demaryius' 29th birthday. Minnie Thomas has been sentenced 40 years to life. At first Demaryius and his siblings didn't know why their mother was arrested. They knew their grandmother sold drugs, to the point that 11 year old Demaryius begged his grandmother to stop selling shortly before their arrest. It took his mother more than a decade to finally come clean about why she was arrested, and to finally apologize to him.
In an interview with the New York Post, Smith recalled that conversation:
I felt like it was time, and that it was something that he needed to know. And it was heavy on my heart. I could talk to him over the phone, and it was like he respected me and he loved me, I knew that, but at the same time, it was something missing. Like the conversations might of been short, or the visits, he was kind of isolated. So I was like, maybe I need to go ahead and tell him and his sisters what really happened so they can make their own decision how they want to deal with it.
Smith relates that Demaryius was brave enough to utter the phrase "I forgive you," following that conversation, and their relationship has continued to grow since.
A mother's work is never done, whether the son is an NFL star, or she happens to be serving 20 on federal drug charges. Demaryius Thomas' mother Katina Smith will talk to him Sunday morning before the big game. The mother and son will pray together, and allow Katina the opportunity to give some advice she's so missed out on the last 14 years. In that same New York Post interview, Smith continues:
We pray over the telephone together and I ask him if he’s nervous, and I tell him if you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up, he’s bad about that. … Make sure you keep your team encouraged, pray for them and play your best.
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Pat Bowlen's wife Annabel Bowlen is a marvel.
After being shown sitting alongside the Broncos owner in recent months, the internet has been abuzz with the,... um,... youthfulness of Mrs. Bowlen's facial features. Some have even gone so far as to speculate that the 20-something appearance of Annabel Bowlen may not be entirely natural (to be clear, WE at PlayerWives.com are not suggesting that... never). While the rest of the internet makes jokes and writes their funny little meme's about Annabel Bowlen, we decided it was time to find out more about her.
Pat and Annabel Bowlen met in Edmonton, Canada. Pat was working as a successful attorney, while Annabel was teaching grade school students. The couple later married moving back to the United States where Pat Bowlen assumed the duties as majority owner and Chief Executive Officer. The couple has five children together, John, Patrick, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.
Annabel Bowlen's career has run the gamut from Canadian figure skating trainer and teacher to the founder of Cherish the Children Guild. Cherish the Children worked to help raise funds for the Beacon Youth & Family Center, providing mental health services for families. The center was founded in 1969, but closed in 2011.
Pat and Annabel Bowlen will undoubtedly be seen on the Super Bowl broadcast Sunday night. We'll see if Annabel Bowlen's access to the fountain of youth remains active