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07/03/2006: "The Grass Isn't Always Greener: My Life With A Professional Athlete"

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The Grass Isn't Always Greener
Written by Sidney Gracen

Have you ever wondered what it must be like to be a involved with a professional athlete? Sidney Gracen has and she would like to share her story with you.

Click Here or Link Below to Continue Names have been changed for privacy.

I met Ramone back in Mississippi we were college students at separate schools about 40 miles apart from one another. We met at an annual picnic my college hosted. There was just something about him that I almost instantly fell in love with. We talked for hours that day about everything and exchanged phone numbers. As the semester went by, we talked and saw each other every chance we had. We had so much in common. After about a year of getting to know one another, he forfeited his last year of college to enter the NFL draft. Surprising to me, he was a better athlete than I thought because he ended up going 5th overall.

Our first year together was absolutely perfect. With him being a year older than I, he left for Dallas before I did. I was pre-law and did not plan on relocating until after I graduated. Upon graduating, I began looking for law schools in Dallas. My looking went from a daily chore to once a month, to non-existent. I became so consumed with being there for him, I lost myself. I cooked. I cleaned. I attended organizational functions. I gave him sports massages, iced his knees, shoulders, and ankles and on occasion went off on the unsympathetic irate fan at games. After about a year and a half, things began to sour. He began to change.

The first incident happened one morning while we were out to dinner at ESPN Zone. A female walked up to our table, completely ignoring me and told him that he should think of her while he practices and then gave him her number on a piece of paper. I jumped from the table and lunged at her head and Ramone jumped up grabbed my arm and began yelling at me for overreacting. I snatched my arm back from him and stormed out of the restaurant. In the car all hell broke loose. He told me that if I was going to be with him, I had to understand that things like this were going to happen and I had to deal with it or give him time to do so. But I had given him time and he blamed the incident on me, instead of putting this woman in check.

Things went down hill from there. The next incident occurred when I came back from visiting my family in Mississippi. The phone rang around 3am and I answered to hear a woman’s voice bold as ever demanding to speak to Ramone. I asked her what she wanted and she went off on me and I hung up on her. All the while Ramone is passed out in a drunken stupor next to me from a night out with his boys. The next morning, right when I was about to ask Ramone about the phone call, one of his friends called (Ramone's cell phone was always SOOOO loud; I could always hear his conversations). His friend started talking about how they had so much fun the night before. He then asked Ramone if he, "hit ole girl". Ramone started coughing out loud trying to drown out his friend’s voice so I couldn’t hear. It was too late. A huge fight broke out and I brought up everything and he started yelling at me for answering HIS phone and turned everything around on me. At this point I was planning on leaving him.

There we were 2 and half years into our relationship and I was miserable. I had my bags packed at the door when he came home that evening and he begged me not to leave him. He cried. He apologized, he even promised to start going to church again. I believed him. I believed in him. I believed in us, so I stayed. The next thing I knew, five years had come and gone.

The last and final straw started on a Sunday at my church. I arrived late, as usual, and had to sit in another section away from the wives and other girlfriends. After church, I noticed a female following me to my car. She called my name and began to tell me how much she loved Ramone and even went as far as describing, to a T, the inside of our home, my closet and its contents, and even Ramone's anatomy. All of this in the parking lot of a church!! Ramone was out of town suiting up for a game so I couldn't call him. I called one of the wives, a good friend of mine, and headed to her house. She called a babysitter and went over to our house with me to help me pack my things, this time; he could and would not stop me. I finally got out.

Ramone called a lot. He couldn't travel because the season was in. He began to slack on the field and drank a lot. But I couldn’t allow myself to care. I had to take care of myself for once. After a while, he began to respect my request for no contact with him and stopped calling and just relied on our mutual friends to fill him in on what was going on with me.

He was my first love. I have never loved anyone the way I loved and still love him. I just love myself more. It has been 8 months since we broke up and I am back in Mississippi now. I just passed the LSAT and I will be starting law school in the fall. I still think about him every single day. In the last couple of weeks we have started to talk again and all types of emotions are coming back. But I now know what I have to focus on. We are trying to be friends, but it is difficult when a few of the girls he is messing around with go through his things and call my phone or email me. I have grown so much in so little time, that now I can laugh at some of the things that happened between us. Will I ever take him back? I don't know. I am not God, nor can I predict the future. I will say that it wasn’t all bad. In fact the majority of our relationship was wonderful. But sometimes the bad can start to overshadow the good, which in this case it did. I will leave this earth one day still loving that man. It is possible that I will marry someone else, and I will love just as hard, but no one will take Ramone's place in my very soul. There are some good guys in the league that don’t cheat on their significant others. I know several. My guy did not fit into that category. I, personally, have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt and I’m pretty much done with dating professional athletes. Yes, the trips were outstanding. The food, the clothes, the jewelry…everything was phenomenal. The cheating, lies, etc….not so much fun. I now know, from personal experience, that the grass is not always greener on the other side. No regrets though, I am a much stronger person now