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.
THE A LIST
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.
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.
Eva 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?
THE B LIST
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.
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
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.
THE C-LIST AND BEYOND
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.
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.
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.