June 5th, 2009

A Starters Guide To American WAGs


Ever wondered if there’s a US version of Alex Gerrard or Coleen Rooney? Considering football’s lower profile in the States, the short answer is: there isn’t one. However, open it up to other sports and there’s a whole new world of skanks, skeeves and half-classy ladies to discover. Please welcome the inimitable Matt from With Leather and his excellent, extensive guide to the girls.

WAGs in American sports leagues are a completely different animal than in European football.

The prototypical Euro WAG is a no-name skank who hooks a baller and rides his AmEx and paparazzi photos to fame. Here in the U.S., the news making WAGs tend to have a greater claim to fame before they achieve WAG status – consistent with the American ideal of power couples, but lacking the Cinderella charm of Nereida Gallardo or the young-love aspect of Coleen Rooney.


imageGisele Bündchen

The richest model in the world; perhaps you’ve heard of her? Gisele began dating New England Patriots quarterback and three-time Super bowl-winner Tom Brady immediately after he split from American C-list actress Bridget Moynahan; not long after, Moynahan announced that she was pregnant with Brady’s child, conceived shortly before they broke up. In February, (after months of rumors), Brady and Bündchen were married in a small ceremony in California (her three dogs wore lace Dolce & Gabbana collars that matched her dress).

Currently rumored to be pregnant, G is often accused by the notoriously loutish New England fans for distracting Brady from his work; she’s been blamed for both the Super Bowl loss that marred the Patriots’ undefeated regular season and Brady’s slow recovery from a season-ending knee injury last fall.

Footy equivalent: We’re (at Kickette) going with Ilary Blasi or Helen Svedin.

imageVanessa Bryant

Perhaps the best example of an American WAG performing like a British one. When Kobe Bryant was 21, he met 17-year-old Vanessa Laine, a high school senior who was working as a background dancer for a music video. The two began dating, and were eventually married without a prenuptial agreement, which may have been part of the reason for the gigantic diamond that appeared on her finger while she stayed by his side after the infamous rape charge (eventually dropped) that Kobe weathered in 2004.

Like a good WAG, she has also made her mark with terrible fashion decisions, most notably her All-Star Game outfit and the inexplicable purple tutu with tights. She really deserves more press than she gets. Can we trade you her for Abbey Clancy?

Footy equivalent: Victoria Beckham. She’s not going anywhere, no matter what her man does, and she’s the head WAG in town.

imageEva Longoria Parker

Moderately famous TV actress who married San Antonio Spurs point guard (and NBA Finals MVP) Tony Parker, seven years her junior. I am 99% certain she married him for the extra camera time that comes from sitting courtside, and I’m even more certain than that that they’ll be divorced before his NBA career is over.

Footy equivalent: Cheryl Cole. Remember how often we’d see her in the stands during her early WAG years?


imageJessica Simpson

Teenage pop star turned reality show newlywed turned divorcee turned horrible actress turned country singer turned chubby. She’s dating Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who turns in solid regular seasons but has yet to win a playoff game.

Basically, they’re a lesser version of Bundchen-Brady in every way possible.

Footy equivalent: Abbey Clancy? Claudine Keane? Bah. If only we had a “country singer turned chubby” too.

imageAdriana Lima

How and why in God’s name a Brazilian supermodel (and probably the best-looking woman on the planet) got married to a rat-faced scrub from a crappy NBA team is anyone’s guess.

It’s not even fair to call her a WAG; she’s richer and more famous than Marko Jaric will ever be. Thinking about this makes me suicidal. Next WAG, please.

Footy equivalent: Noemie Lenoir

imageBrooklyn Decker

The 21-year-old Sports Illustrated swimsuit model recently got married to handsome-but-otherwise-unremarkable tennis player Andy Roddick. Roddick was briefly the world’s top-ranked tennis player, and he won his only Grand Slam title, the U.S. Open, back in 2003.

Meanwhile, I dreamt about Brooklyn Decker last night. Like Adriana Lima, she’s the more culturally relevant half of the couple.

Footy equivalent: Tricky one. We’ll go with Olalla Dominguez. She’s there for her man, but you rarely see her out on the circuit.


imageChristy Cooley

Christy was a Redskins cheerleader who got kicked off the squad after she violated team policy by dating tight end Chris Cooley. But she got the last laugh: Cooley married her, and half his paycheck is considerably more than the zero dollars a week most NFL cheerleaders get paid.

She also takes erotic photos with her husband that are displayed prominently in their house, and they’re shopping a reality TV series. I admire that.

Footy equivalent: Nicole Tappenden. The house she shared with Bobby Zamora had a six foot wide canvas of her breasts above the bed.

imageKim Kardashian

The girlfriend of New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush, the much-hyped college star from Southern Cal who has been, at best, a role player in the NFL (you may remember him from a futbol-footbal ad campaign with Becks). Kardashian first started making the tabloids by hanging out with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Then she made a sex tape with singer Brandy Norwood’s brother Ray J. Then she got naked for Playboy.

When getting naked for Playboy is a step up in your life, well… you’ve failed as a human being.

Footy equivalent: every D list WAG on the planet, though Nives Celzijus fits nicely here too.

imageCarmella DeCesare

Former Playboy Playmate of the Year awesomely married to heinously unattractive journeyman quarterback Jeff Garcia. While subtle allegations of homosexuality from Garcia’s former teammate Terrell Owens have never quite escaped Garcia, at the very least he has a beard with a bangin’ body. Carmella has since moved on to semi-clothed modeling, appearing in the 2008 SI Swimuit Issue, but my favorite aspect of her will always be her 2004 assault charge for attacking a woman who supposedly had an affair with Garcia.

Dude, it’s Jeff Garcia. That’s like fighting over a mediocre Carlos Tevez.

Footy equivalent: Nicola McLean

Matt Ufford is, hands down, our biggest Stateside crush. The former main man at boys behaving badly sports site, With Leather, he now heads up Warming Glow, a telly blog well worth checking out. Do pay him a visit/booty call and tell him we said hello.

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16 Responses to “A Starters Guide To American WAGs”

  1. AnnaBlume says:

    I have to agree with Vlada. I mean, Posh was quite a bit more famous than Becks when they started dating. The Spice Girls were at the height of their fame back then and Becks was really only beginning to become a household name. FootballerChick43, you might be happy to hear that the WAGs really aren't that big of a deal in Germany either. I mean, Simone Ballack is one of the few I know by name and you hardly ever see her in the tabloids either.

  2. izzy says:

    Ha, I'm a Redskins fan I didn't even know the Cooley story. Truth is American "WAGS" are just a lot less exciting. And I take issue with Adriana Lima being on the B-List, unless you were doing it by their husbands. And also Vannessa Bryant is not nearly as famous as Posh and is not even close to her equivalent. To be honest I wouldn't even have been able to tell you here name if you had asked.

  3. striker says:


  4. aristeia says:

    This list is pretty dead on… but for crying out loud, Marko has to be bringing something else to the table besides what we can see. B/c… yeesh.

  5. Boston Red says:

    I think this is the first thing I've enjoyed reading all week. Well done, Matt. I am acquainted with a local NFL wife here and she has no clue what a WAG is… bless her.

  6. Krissy says:

    You just can’t compare many to Posh & Becks, but I would put Gisele and Tom Brady closest to them, just because they seem like the most of a power couple in this list. Gisele is more high profile than Tom, and Posh was more famous than Becks at the time. Tom and Becks are stars of their teams.

    How does a guy like Marko Jaric even stand in the same room as Adriana beats me. She is definitely my visual girl crush.

    More and more American celebs are dating athletes. Carrie Underwood and Hilary Duff date hockey players. Minor league player ___ dated LC and someone else and now dates Paris Hilton.

  7. Sara says:

    Reggie Bush is one of the stars of the New Orleans Saints not a simple role player. He definitely hasn’t met the expectations that arose due to his illustrious college career but he deserves more credit.

    I’m a massive basketball fan and I had never even heard of Marko Jaric. I can’t believe she’s having his kid. If Lima had to settle for that guy, what hope do we regular girls have?

  8. naty says:

    footballerChick43 is right, here in America we don’t focus that much on the WAG culture, or on the personal life of professional athletes. In Eva Longoria’s case she was more famous than her husband, so that Jessica Simpson.  Some of the WAGS you mention I don’t even know who they are.

  9. Krissy says:

    Great concept, but every person I think is a bit off. Kim Kardashian I might be able to agree with.

  10. Genevieve Gourcuff says:

    Call me racist but I'm totally not interested in any of these randoms.

  11. FootballerChick43 - says:

    @AnnaBlume – Really?<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> I<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> didn't<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> know<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> that…<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> I'm<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> one<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> of<SPAN class="wbr"></SPAN> t

  12. FootballerChick43 - says:

    I enjoyed reading the comparisons. Good points, though. We just don't fixate on WAGs here in America. Honestly, if you can find one that knows what a WAG is, you're lucky. Maybe a good reason, as I despise half the people on that list.

  13. BarcaGirl says:

    Have to disagree with Bridget Moynahan being a ‘C-list actress’. And Eva Longoria as well being ‘moderately famous’. These girls are no Angelina Jolie, for sure –but they definitely deserve more cred. They’re without a doubt higher up there in the hollywood hierarchy.

  14. Rossi´s girl says:

    the american wags are prettier and classier than european wags or is just my imagination?

  15. Holyoke says:

    The 21-year-old Sports Illustrated swimsuit model recently got married to handsome-but-otherwise-unremarkable tennis player Andy Roddick. STFU Andy’s awesome. The only other player who’s been in the top ten longer is Roger Federer.

  16. Vlada says:

    I disagree with Vanessa Bryant being the equivalent of Posh. She’s a totally clueless housewife. Eva and Cheryl are a good comparison though.