Dawn Neufeld’s Playbook – Football Wives Episode 2

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Dawn Neufeld of Football Wives has agreed to blog for us, giving us weekly behind-the-scenes insight and dishing on each of her show’s episodes. Her take on Episode 2 is below…

To Each Her Own…

Where do I start? The second episode of Football Wives was jam-packed with all sorts of tidbits and goodies. Unfortunately, I think some folks watching may have missed out on some of the amazing moments in the episode because they were so focused on Chanita’s “bad hair” and appearance. So in case you were captivated by Chanita’s wig, let me recap some of the highlights of the episode for you.

The conversation between Pilar and Deion highlights a very serious issue that all NFL couples have to deal with: injuries and the long-term physical disabilities attributed to the game. No doubt Deion’s body took a serious beating during his career and unfortunately, it’s a sacrifice players make to play the game. From concussions to blown ACLs to broken bones, no one is immune. Erin’s husband, Matt, even suffered a broken foot that ended his season last year, and he plays a position that isn’t typically injury-prone. This is one of those areas that viewers may find hard to appreciate – they don’t want to hear that the players suffer as a result of the game. It’s not fun. It’s not glamorous. But it is our reality.


You will rarely hear a player complain or worry about potential injuries and long-term health issues but I can promise you, they are thinking about it. The wives are the ones who typically spend more time focusing on the “what-ifs” though – Chanita clearly had one of those moments at the beginning of this episode. A lot of my football wife friends texted and messaged me that they actually starting crying during this scene because they can relate – we’ve all been there. As Football Wives progresses this season, you’ll hear a lot more about the toll injuries take on the guys, their bodies, and their families.

Enough of the serious stuff – let’s talk about golf and the introduction of our “kicked off” cast member Mercedes Nelson. I was actually a little surprised that viewers didn’t get more of a Mercedes introduction. Many people have even wondered why she was even part of the initial cast. I know I wondered the same thing before I got to know her – girlfriends are questionably relevant to a show with “Wives” in the title. How in the heck does an “ex-girlfriend” fit in? The fact is that she claims she left her ex who is a superstar NFL running back. Many people think dating a football player is like hitting the lottery, so why would anyone give up the opportunity to be a football player’s wife? Think I’m joking? Read some of the messages floating around in cyberspace and on Twitter – the aura of being a superstar’s wife is why groupies even exist! I thought telling the story of why someone would walk away from all the glitz and glamour would be an interesting piece to the football puzzle – not all women involved with pro-athletes are about the money. Hopefully we’ll hear a little more about Mercedes as the season continues.

Now to our golf outing! There is so much you missed on the golf course that day! Let’s start with the fact that it was about 100 degrees at 9 o’clock in the morning – it was hot! You bet I was going to have a margarita, but who doesn’t have a cocktail or two when out on a golf course? We were breaking all sorts of golf course etiquette rules – from Mercedes’ daisy duke shorts to my shouting match with Chanita, it’s amazing they didn’t escort us out! Here’s a fun tidbit though: Chanita golfed with her pitching wedge and that was it! She had a full set of clubs and literally ran all over Melani and me with a pitching wedge. She drove the ball, putted the ball, etc. with a freaking pitching wedge! I should’ve known not to make any bets after she took her first swing.

I think viewers finally got a little taste of Melani and her amazing personality too – she’s so funny. She seems quiet and reserved, but when LaQuefah Shenaynay (a.k.a. that girl from Ladera) comes out, anything is bound to happen. You missed Melani pranking folks on the golf course – at one point she loosened Chanita’s golf bag so the second the ladies took off in the golf cart, the clubs fell off the back. I knew I had no chance of winning that golf game and I was going to end up getting made over the second I realized Melani was a jokester.

I’m not sure when the parameters of the makeover challenge changed. Our initial bet was an ‘80s makeover complete with Cross Colours, so I don’t know when that turned into call-girl couture! I still have that gold outfit. Maybe I should auction it off on eBay and donate the proceeds to charity. You think Chanita’s charity will accept the proceeds? Just kidding.

That leads me to my big fight with Chanita. Let me give you a behind-the-scenes look at what happened that led to the confrontation: Chanita and I were shooting a scene at her home – the one where we were sitting on her couch. Chanita was still getting ready back in her room when the sound guys were putting my microphone on. Two of her youngest girls woke up from their naps and were standing at the top of the staircase in full princess gear – and they started dancing! I joked and said that I’d have to give them dance lessons since Chanita said at our golf lunch that they couldn’t take dance lessons so that she could send the money to the kids in Swaziland. Both kids looked at me with blank stares on their faces – they had no clue what I was talking about and I knew that they wouldn’t – they are too young. The cameras weren’t rolling, so none of this was captured.

At some point, I actually joked with Chanita about what I’d told the girls. She laughed at first, but I think as she thought about it over the next couple of days it bothered her. I seriously hadn’t given it any thought.

Imagine my surprise when she went off on me in the restaurant – did she say she’d walk me like a dog? Who says that? I did think she was being extremely sensitive and overly aggressive in trying to make her point. Was I wrong for making the comment to her kids? In hindsight, probably so. And honestly, if someone made a comment to my kids I thought was inappropriate, I might certainly go off. So I can understand and appreciate where Chanita is coming from, but I may not have approached it the way she did. For what it’s worth, I never, ever said Chanita is a bad mom…

You’ll have to tune in next week to see if we’re able to resolve our issues. In the meantime, I want to go to Brittany’s house sometime this week for a little competitive beer pong and to play with my little buddy Spike…

  1. Alicia says:

    Several of you Football Wives have made a comment about your husbands sacraficing thier bodies; for a job they are paid millions of dollars for and a job that they love.

    You have no idea of the word sacrafice.
    When your husband goes into a War Zone; then you can talk about sacrafice.
    That comment made about “paying for groceries with a paycheck that my husband sacraficed his bady for.”
    Shame on you; shame, shame, shame, shame…
    My daughters husband is in Iraq on combat missions right now; wondering if the paycheck she has in her hand will be the last paycheck that she gets; because her husband could come home in a body bag.
    Ho dare you even say something like that; at least your husband gets to come home at the end of the day; at least your husband is not being shot at by snipers on a daily basis.
    To know that women like you = spoiled, unapreciative, drama causing idiots think that your husbands are in harms way. Yo have no clue nor a grip on reality.
    In less than a year my husband and sons will be deploying to Afghanstan in 2 years my son-in-law will face his 5th deployment.
    Sacrafice – you have no clue the meaning of this word.
    Grow up you ungratful primadonnas.
    When you become a military wife then you can talk about paychecks and sacrafices.
    Shame on you all!

  2. Erin says:

    Dear Alicia,
    The fact of the matter is that we all have our paths in life and we are trying to provide a glimpse into ours. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a military wife but I know what’s it’s like to be a military daughter. I know what it’s like to say good-bye to your dad and not know if it will be the last time. I was the oldest and I watched my mother try to explain where dad was when she wasn’t even sure herself. She did all this in a foreign country with no family around. Despite this I can’t begin to know what it’s like to sacrifice the way your family has because I’m not you.
    I also know what it’s like to see your husband have a potentially career ending injury. This also brings tears and emotions to the surface which is what I believe the show tried to capture, not take away from the severity and life and death nature of others.
    I’m fortunate to still have my father and a husband who can still play. I hope that you will also have the safe return of your men and I’m proud to have them representing our country.

  3. lonestarchild says:

    Sacrifices are made daily by each and everyone of us. Some DEFINITELY more than others. Maybe Primetime can use some of that money he has and become the BIONIC-MAN? No one wants to live in constant pain. Chanita’s hair is a MESS!!!! What is it doing? It makes her look like a BIG OL’ LION!!!!! MAKE-OVER FOR CHANITA!!!! PRONTO!!!! Dawn, some people are very sensitive about EVERYTHING and I think or hope you’ve learned your lesson. I really got a kick out of you and Melani’s make-overs. Don’t back down from HATERS!!!! Why is Mercedes ex a BIG MYSTERY? WHO THE HELL IS IT???? Does he play for DALLAS? Can we get that question answered?!!!!!

  4. Tugoa says:

    Where do I begin… Okay I guess I’ll start with the first poster Alicia. Alicia I think you have misplaced anger. Joining the military is a CHOICE just the same as playing football is. The only difference is, the first is not so glamorous and the pay SUCKS. It is very sad that the significant others and family of military personnel can loose someone they love in a heartbeat, but as I mentioned before, joining the military is their CHOICE. If I’m not mistaken, conscription has been dead for many years.
    Football players also make a choice. Their job may not “save the world”, but we cannot deny that they make serious sacrifices to play this game. You can’t shame football wives for discussing an issue that is important in their lives just because they make good money. I kind of see your point, but your comments lessen the value of your points because there inappropriate and they sound quite spiteful. The show in called Football Wives, so it makes NO SENSE for you to be upset because their discussing issues that affect them as wives/significant others.
    Moving on. That Chanita chick is pretty friggen special. I hate to say this, because I think it’s overrated, but she has NO CLASS! Ok I said it. In the first episode she’s going hard on Pilar about something that had nothing to do with her, then she’s at the semi-truck driving chicks house picking up CHANGE off the floor, and now she’s on the golf course swearing she’s Tiger Woods or something–Chanita, you may have the mane, but your no TIGER! Then to top it off she goes off on you for saying something to her kids.
    What’s wrong with this lady? Why is she so angry? I thought you guys were friends. Maybe she has extra testosterone, which would explain why she looks like that. I understand that folks can get super sensitive about their kids, but sheesh! If a friend said something like that to my children I wouldn’t think anything of it, but I guess. Anyway, I can’t wait til next weeks episode! *Check Please! :)

  5. Melani says:

    Alicia,
    Normally I don’t respond to blogs but I felt it necessary to address your comment. I am one of the football wives.
    First off, let me preface this response with the fact that I have several immediate family members in the active military who have all done tours. (Brother (active), Cousins (all 3 active), (1 God brother (active) my Grandfather (WW2), 3 Uncles (1 active) (2 Vietnam) and my father (Navy) (deceased). And, that’s just my immediate family. So believe me when I tell you I do get what you are saying.
    Alicia people can only speak from their reality. The reality is that there is no amount of money that would be sufficient to pay someone for their life. Whether its in the military, the coal mines, or dare I say on a football field. Any person who has a loved one in a situation where their occupation can cause injury or death to their body, mind or spirit regardless of how much the paycheck is should be commended and respected.
    My last point: Last year during Christmas my husband was asked to go over to Iraq to play in the Salute the Troops Bowl, a Bowl game of sorts with some retired players and coaches. He was asked to play with the military team that had advanced to the finals. (I didn’t even know the military had football teams on the base) We were told initially that he would be going to Kuwait and would be playing in a safe zone. Once we got the classified information we realized that he was actually going into Iraq. It was then that the dynamic certainly changed for me. We have four children, and my husband is a football player. He has never been trained for military anything! But we agreed as a family to do it because my husband had already said yes and felt at peace about his decision. I was not happy about it, although I agreed. To make a long story short, he left for Kuwait and I got a call from him almost two days later. That, in and of itself was hard! He had maybe a minute or two to talk and told me he would call back when he could. I heard from him almost another day later. He called me en route to Iraq and told me he would call me again later after a few minutes of talking. The day of the game I got a call from family members in the military that they would be given time off to watch the game on television. I heard tidbits about the game and spoke to my husband once more for a few minutes. Needless to say a week seemed like a lifetime. For the first time I got a very small glimpse of what so many families feel everyday. What so many children go through everyday. It was life changing. So when I say that I understand what you’re saying and I’m not offended, I mean it. That is why I took the time to write this. I am thankful for the sacrifices made everyday for our freedom. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend (or a country.) In summary, when my husband returned home it took several weeks for his legs and back to stop hurting because he had to play on a gravel field filled with rocks and debris. I also finally found out why he couldn’t call me more while he was there. They were bombed 3 times at close range! The last one landed less than 100 feet away. I know this was a small glimpse but enough for me to care more. Alicia, please you tell your family and friends in the military…Thank you. I pray that is enough. God bless our troops and their families.
    To see the game check out this youtube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqNpIOGTKsg

  6. Tracey says:

    Did ya’ll hear about the other football wives being jealous of Pilar and Mercedes during taping of the show? Because Mercedes is getting her own spin-off show? I saw it on bossip look >>> http://bossip.com/303047/bossip-exclusive-vh1-football-wives-mercedes-nelson-and-pilar-sanders-got-sht-on-30346/

  7. Mo says:

    Shame on Alicia for thinking it is her place to determine what is a sacrifice within someone else’s life and to determine it’s value based on her own personal values. This show is not about “military wives” it’s called “Football Wives”. Chanita spoke of shortened lifespans, damage to the body and so on. One wrong hit and a player could end up dead on that field. So because they play football, their life is less important than your son in law’s because he “chose” to join the military? How insensitive of you to devalue the concerns of a woman who recognizes the sacrifice her husband makes to provide for his family. If you’re angry about the pay, take it up with the military. Shame on you for devaluing those who don’t happen to serve. Much respect and my prayers to your son-in-law for his sacrifice to his country and my hats off to these women who love and support their men and show that there are actually wives who care about something more than their appearance, how much money they can play with and how big of a diva she can be. I’ll leave you with two quotes to ponder “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness” and “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”

  8. Jaye says:

    Thank you Melani for taking the time to respond to Alicia’s post. I am the spouse of a currently deployed soldier and I to found the complaints of a football players salary for there sacrafice disheartening. My friend and her 3 kids got $400K for her husbands life. But other are right this is a football show now a military show. Thank you for recognizing during your difficult time the sacrafices that others make as well. I never respond to these post but I felt the need to thank you for taking the time to reply it was very reasurring.

  9. Sportscar says:

    Hello, I just wanted to take some time today to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for all your work!

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