A Football Husband Blogs Back: Ryan Neufeld On Football Wives



Throughout the first season of Football Wives, we’ve been hearing Dawn Neufeld‘s take on the series via her Dawn Neufeld’s Playbook blog for us. For an all together new perspective, Dawn’s husband, Ryan has written up a post regarding his take on the show, where he is with his career and how he feels about sharing such sensitive information about his family’s financial situation. It’s a nice look back and primer for the season finale, which will air Sunday at 9:30/8:30. (Watch the drama-heavy finale preview at the Football Wives video page.)

(And speaking of husbands, were you aware that Erin‘s man, Matt McBriar is leading the NFL in punting? The more you know!)

Ryan’s thoughts are below…

I’ve been keeping up with Dawn’s blog and have really enjoyed how well she’s been explaining the way certain situations took place on Football Wives. I can’t help but notice some of the negative feedback she’s been getting from the blog. In particular, there have been several comments that Dawn embarrassed me by being so open about our financial situation. I can tell everyone that my wife did nothing to embarrass me on the show. I appreciate her being so real. People have talked about her on the stripper pole on the boat. I was there and didn’t have a problem with it. I enjoyed watching the ladies relax and have a good time. They deserved it after all the stress and work in shooting the show.

Before Dawn agreed to take part in the show, we had a discussion about our “reality.” We agreed that we were going to make sure that this reality show would actually live up to its name and that we would be open and honest. I certainly don’t have any problem with what has been aired on the program. Having financial difficulties is the reality of millions of Americans around the country right now. We are by no means immune to the struggling economy because I played football. My last year in the NFL was in 2007 and for 3 years we have been living off of what I made. I left the NFL when the economy started to decline so even though I looked for a job, it was difficult for me to find employment that allowed flexibility for me to continue playing football if the opportunity arose.

I was 12 when I started playing football. I fell in love with the sport immediately and knew I wanted to play at the highest level. I excelled in the sport pretty quickly. All through little league and high school I was praised by friends, teachers, faculty, adults in the community, local news paper, etc. Every day I would do whatever was necessary for me to get better and continue to the next level. It took a lot of hard work to get me from little league, to Junior Varsity, to making Varsity as a Sophomore, to getting a full scholarship to UCLA, to finally making it in the NFL and playing 7 years (four more than the average career). I was never a superstar player but I did my job and did it well. I can leave the sport knowing that I truly accomplished something, even without a lot of fame and fortune.

The 20 years I played football, every single minute of every day was planned out for me and my life revolved around the game. Obviously during the season a lot of time is required. During the offseason, I would have surgery and/or rehab the injuries I sustained during the season, then I’d start training to get ready for the upcoming season. In the NFL there are coaching sessions, mini-camps, organized team activities (which are more practices), then I’d get a few weeks off before going to training camp. Being a pro-football player is a full-time, year-round profession. As players, we get so used to people telling us what to do, where to be, how high to jump, how many yards to run. When that stops, it is hard to establish a life and routine after football.

Most of my life, I chased a dream, and that was to be a pro ball player. Now, at 35, I have to start from scratch to find a career. Dawn and I recently had a conversation and I made a comment that I wish I hadn’t played in the NFL and gone right into a career after college like many of my old college teammates who have good, steady careers now. That way we might not be in situation we’re in. Dawn said something to me that was on point: “Then you are questioning God’s plan.” She is exactly right. I don’t regret playing. It was a great experience and I am proud to have played in the NFL. I know many people dream to be able to say that and can’t. I don’t take for granted how lucky I was. Hindsight is 20-20 and looking back, there are things I’d change, maybe manage our money a little better. But I have no regrets.

Our situation now “is what it is,” and I am in no way embarrassed by it and I’m glad we’ve been able to show people what a majority of professional football players experience in real life. It is a trial in our lives that we are going through and I am 100% confident that God will bring us out of it. Why would I be embarrassed of that? If anything, we have more people praying for us now. I am sure He has something to teach us during this time, and when we persevere, Dawn and I will be stronger as husband and wife, and as individuals. Until then we are going to hold our heads up high and keep moving forward.


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  1. GeRod says:

    Excellent Blog!! Ryan, you should do this more often. You have NOTHING to ever hang your head down for! Peace and Blessings!

  2. Bee says:

    Ryan, Im so glad you and Dawn decided to keep a real perspective, and show that its not all glitz and glam ~~ especially after you leave the field.

    Continue to share your story, especially with other NFL players, because many of athletes don’t understand that the will eventually money end, and sometimes that trophy wife leaves too. I had no idea that the divorce rate for athletes was so high!!!

    Side note:
    Although players don’t want to admit it out loud, but if they didn’t have the money, they wouldn’t/couldn’t have that FINE woman on their side. I suppose its what you call a “business deal”…. Looks for Money! For example, although he’s not an athlete ~~ Flavor Flav.

    On another Note:
    I’ve always believed that NFL players received a severance/retirement packages (like CEO’s).
    Am I mistaken?

    Remember ~ Philippians 4:13

  3. Bee says:

    Ryan, Im so glad you and Dawn decided to keep a real perspective, and show that its not all glitz and glam ~~ especially after you leave the field.

    Continue to share your story, especially with other NFL players, because many of athletes don’t understand that the money will eventually end, and sometimes that trophy wife leaves too. I had no idea that the divorce rate for athletes was so high!!!

    Side note:
    Although players don’t want to admit it out loud, but if they didn’t have the money, they wouldn’t/couldn’t have that FINE woman on their side. I suppose its what you call a “business deal”…. Looks for Money! For example, although he’s not an athlete ~~ Flavor Flav.

    On another Note:
    I’ve always believed that NFL players received a severance/retirement packages (like CEO’s).
    Am I mistaken?

    Remember ~ Philippians 4:13

  4. jay says:

    i dont like dawn neufield or chanita u guys always had something to say about pilar she does nt have to b your friend, i wld never want to b your friend u r so negative, u sound like a hater

  5. Mel says:

    Dawn aka big forehead is so jealous and envious until is sickening!!

  6. BlitzAndGlam says:

    Great post, Ryan. Thanks for sharing your reality with us.

  7. G. Biggers-Holland says:

    Appreciate your comments but what I do not understand is why these women claim to be friends and talk about each other like dogs! Pilar Biggers Sanders is my 1st cousin and frankly, I would not socialize with these women either. It must be a family trait because I do not kick it with a bunch of women either. They are too caddy and from this first season they “appear” to be envious of who she is and how successful her husband was in his athletic career. I pray that your life after football is successful and fruitful and may God bless. Hopefully there will not be a 2nd season of this nonsense or they find other FB wives to show that will provide a positive portrayal of female friendships.

  8. 4Real says:

    Today, I was dismayed at how poorly Dawn & Chanita make women look. How ignorant to think someone “has” to be your friend. They looked like bullies and Pilar did the right thing by leaving. It’s like Dawn wanted a fight. It was like watching a gang attack. Full of hate and bitterness. I feel bad for Dawn & Chanita because it seems they are not happy in their lives. Chanita gets a tatoo about being saved but her behavior was way off course. I’m going to pray for these women b/c bitterness is inside for whatever reason. Ironically,the more they talked bad about Pilar, the more beautiful she seemed. Jealousy is a terrible thing. I hope when they review this, they will go to God and ask Him to be the judge. The same measure they use to judge Pilar, they too will be judged. I empathize with these two because deep inside they feel bad about their situations. Both are beautiful women and I’m sure they can be on the inside too if they release the hate. Adult bullying is disgraceful. Keeping it real is not being mean and disrespectful. Being a Christian is not putting someone else down even if you feel they wronged you. It’s easy to love ppl that do what you want them to do or treat you they way you think you deserve to be treated. To pick fights, constantly put someone down yet want them to friend you, is sad. To care if someone goes out to a night club with you while you grind and dance yet tattoo your neck for Christ, is even more disturbing.

  9. afiya says:

    Dawn and chanita are always hating on pilar. I’m not sure if it’s jealousy or what but they both talk about pilar all the time but expect her to want to be around them. And how does chanita get a tattoo that says saved acting ridiculous. There is no forgiveness or love coming from chanita. She and dawn are hypocrites!

  10. Carmen Aviles says:

    Well said Ryan! It is wonderful to see a “Reality” show that is actually “REAL”. Good for you in addressing the critics and keeping it real with everyone. I wish and your family much success as you will come out of your situation just fine. God Bless you and your family.

  11. Cjacks9 says:

    It may take a while for you to get where you want to be, but I see no reason why you should have to give up the game of football. You live in the football state of Texas, it should be easy for you to start 1 on 1 training with aspiring professional football players.

  12. Tee Mature says:

    WOW!!!! are you serious…. Why is it that the two that are claming to be adults and saved are keeping up so much drama. What happen to respect the other person for who they are and not who you want them to be or act. I feel very sad for Chanita and Dawn because they don’t have a clue. God created everyone in his own image not in the image of what the next person think. Pilar have her own faults, however she is a very classy lady inspite of the childish attacks. I hope for all the ladies to sit back and review this season, so they can work on themselves. If there’s a season 2, please represent all women a lot better than this season.

  13. Erica says:

    I’m not being funny but as a friend, why haven’t you told Tina Foster about her hair? You express so much resentment toward Pilar, which I don’t understand because the truth is the truth…she has it going on!!! Why not take a few pointers from her especially Foster with the hair…

  14. Melissa says:

    If there isn’t a Season 2 for this show, Ryan needs a show of his own. He is TOO HOT not to be on tv. I would watch another season of Football Wives just to catch a glimpse of Ryan each week!

  15. stacy says:

    Putting a family photo up doesnt excuse your wife from being a deranged jealous manic. She clearly needs medication.

  16. toogie says:

    much respect for your honesty; hopefully when 1 door closes another opens, your kids are beautiful

  17. realness says:

    Dawn is soooooo Jealous of Pilar and so is Chanita aka (Ghetto)
    Ryan is so gourgeous and is too good for her. If Dawn really had Ryan’s back she would go back to her so called law practice full time (who practices law part time?) and step up to help her family and her husband. Ryan did his part now its her turn ungrateful “B”.

    Dawn really showed the world just how crazeee and jealous she is she should be so ashamed. Pilar has done nothing to anyone you just hate her cuz you aint her.

    and Chanita OMG she is just Ghetto wanna be trash. she need to sit her ugly, man voice ,ghetto ,nappy-ass wig wearing self down and shut the “F” up cuz nobody cares about her or what she has to say.

  18. JoAnne Garcia says:

    And also you guys claim all this jealousy and saying Pilar was classy. Were any of you guys actually watching the show. Or should I say was anyone watching Football Wives or your little made up show in your head because Pilar started the show snobby and rude and ended the show the same way

  19. joy says:

    I am not sure what some of the ppl were watching but Pilar was the problem. She either initiated or continued the drama on the show. You only picked out Dawn and Chanita because your attitude towards them is the same attitude that Pilar exhibits. She treats them differently because she feels that status wise both Dawn and Chanita are soul food and she is lobster and steak. Also, her last name is Sanders. She has made it a point to not even develop a friendship at all because she is better. Every time they called her out rightfully about something she did, she would always run away when she could not support her actions and lose the argument. Who invites someone to their home and makes them use the restroom in the guest house? Or, I will let you see one room at a time. Pilar is stuffy, plastic and arrogant. They made attempts to be civil and friendly. She would not even accept an invitation to their homes because she doesn’t believe they are on her level. LOL!!! We all know ppl like Pilar. She wants everyone to come to her events and always finds an excuse not to support the other wives. They even did things Pilar wanted to do eventhough they had no interest at all but they tried it anyway. During the fashion show, no one had heard from Pilar all day after numerous text msgs and phone calls. She then arrives at the last moment with a grand entrance as if it was about Pilar. When Chanita had to be rushed to the ER, she could have at least called to find out if she was ok. She played as if she did not know what happen after the other girlfriend filled her in on what happen. I could go on about her. She is very self-centered and arrogant. The thing I hate the most is that she treats Dawn that way because Dawn is an attorney I believe. Which means she has done something on her own and does not need a last name, second, I don’t think she respects Dawn’s husband because he is not a superstar player, but we all know that if you make it in the NFL, you have accomplished something that only a few do whether u r a superstar or not, and thirdly, I think Dawn’s son with problems he has is a reason also. You add all of those together and she feels that she doesn’t want to be bothered with them as a family. So I say to Pilar’s cousin she may be the things you say but we don’t see it on this show. I think Pilar is jealous of Dawn because she has actually achieved something. I am not sure what Pilar does other that being married to Deon. To sum up all of this I just said. She feels she has nothing in common with Dawn and Chanita so therefore, she does not have any dialogue with them. When she does have anything to say, she is CURT with them or stand offish. The boat trip was a perfect example. She does things with no regard of others. She never explains anything and it is just rude. If you have things to do or a schedule, the courteous thing to to do is explain that to the person’s house you have visited or just don’t go. She did that with Leonard Davis’ wife. She dragged Melani into that mess. I believe she is playing Melani against Dawn and Chanita. She doesn’t do it with Leonard Davis’s wife because she see’s right through Pilar was well. I feel sorry for Melani because she really tries to bring the peace but Pilar likes to continue the drama. If she doesn’t want to socialize and at least be civil, maybe they need to find a new football wife because you can’t be standoffish every episode. It is not a fashion show for Pilar. In order to have a show Pilar needs to participate with the other wives.

  20. Miss Me says:

    I agree with GeRod,but after watching this show I do feel that pilar was being picked on a lot it’s like every time pilar came around Dawn or Chanita need to confront her or put her on blast about something. Why would Pilar want to be around these ladies when every time she around them all they do is argue with here I would get up and walk away from them too why sit in public place and make a fool out myself like Dawn and Chanita did. those two chicks are a hot mess lol SMH

  21. to blessed to be stressed says:

    Mr. Neufeld..Congrads on being real with your situation and sharing it with the show. I happened to come across this show today and watched (back to back) the full episodes. Family finances are the number one reasons that people get into a divorce. Instead you decided to renew your vows. Super great! wonderful demonstration of love and standard to your kids.

    I would forget that Pillar is even there. There is truly unnecessary friction between her and your wife. Does she really matter if she attended your wedding? No. Does she help your financial situation. NO.

    I wish you all the best of luck with your lovely family. Perhaps you can start a men’s group for retired football players.

  22. 3946480 says:

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  24. 3355919 says:

    What a lovely day for a 3355919! SCK was here