When Athletes Let Girlfriends Interfere With Their Game

When Athletes Let Girlfriends Interfere With Their Game


Going Bust: Tony Romo can blame Jessica Simpson's twos for his poor performances.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has reportedly broken up with his girlfriend, Jessica Simpson. His fans have reason to be excited—not because Romo will have more free time to flirt with heavily perspiring male groupies, but because she distracted him from his pursuit of a Super Bowl ring.

Since bagging Simpson in 2007, the once promising #9 has crapped the bed when she was in attendance, caused controversy by taking a vacation with her before a playoff game that he lost, and missed the playoffs entirely, putting up three turnovers and zero touchdowns in a 44-6 blowout loss in the final, must-win game of the 2008 regular season. Not that we blame dude; if we were Romo, the only route we'd have on our mind is the one leading directly to her milk duds.

Now that Romo's a free man, we expect he'll have a career resurgence. Why? Well, for one, he couldn't play much worse than he did in that last stinker. Besides, there's a history of athletes whose performance suffered because of a woman, and they usually get back on track once they drop their dimes. Read on below to see what we mean...

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Andre Rison and Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes, '94

Before: Rison pulled down 86 receptions for 1,242 yards and 15 touchdowns in the 1993 season before beginning his stormy relationship with Left-Eye.

During: The Falcons Wide Receiver saw his stats begin to slide as things heated up in '94. Rison had 81 receptions for 1,088 yards and 8 touchdowns.

After: Rison would spend the '95 season with the Browns and make 47 receptions for a meager 701 yards and only 3 touchdowns.

Girlfriend Effect? Things got a little hot for Rison when Left-Eye burned down his house and broke up with him. Then again, you try studying your playbook (a.k.a. Madden) after it's been melted.
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Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields, '97-'99

Before: Andre took home an Olympic gold at the Atlanta Games in '96.

During: '97 would prove to be the low point in both Agassi's career and his marriage to Shields. Agassi spent the year suffering from a wrist injury and saw his world ranking plummet from no. 1 in '95 to no. 141 in '97.

After: After breaking free from Shields, Agassi returned to tennis court domination. '96 brought Agassi five titles, among them the French Open and US Open, bringing his world ranking from 122 to 6.

Girlfriend Effect? Shields was Agassi's tennis kryptonite. We find it a little suspicious that his wrist injury resurfaced around the time of their divorce. Aren't you supposed to, you know, get it on the regular when you're married?
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Chuck Finley and Tawny Kitaen, '97-'02

Before: California Angels Pitcher Chuck Finley pitched 35 games with 215 strikeouts in the year before his marriage to Whitesnake vixen Kitaen.

During: As the marriage began to dissolve in '01, Finley would endure a rough season, pitching 22 games with just 96 strikeouts.

After: After the vacuous marriage came to an end, Finley was back on his grind, albeit for three different teams, pitching 32 total games for 174 strikeouts.

Girlfriend Effect? When you have a wife that beats you with her stiletto slore heels, then snitches to the league about your drug and steroid use, you've got to expect a performance dip.
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Chris Webber and Tyra Banks, '03-'06

Before: In the 2002-'03 season, Webber had 1,542 season points and a .461 field goal percentage. Not bad.

During: Between a shoulder surgery and sparse playing time, Webber only banked 430 points in the 2003-'04 season, managing to maintain a .413 field goal percentage.

After: With America's Next Top Model behind him, Webber was back to 1,518 points in the 2005-'06 season.

Girlfriend Effect? We'd like to think Webber's shoulder injury stemmed from a wild sex swing injury paired with a lack of conditioning. Or maybe the size of Tyra's forehead just weighed too heavily on him.
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Alex Rodriguez and Madonna, 2008

Before: A-Rod put up solid numbers during his 2007 season as a family man, with an impressive .314 batting average, 143 runs, and 54 ding-dongs.

During: Fresh off a divorce from his wife Cynthia, A-Rod allegedly popped Madonna's cherry for the 234,123 time while still managing to uphold a .302 batting average in 2008 with 104 runs and 35 homers.

After: With the smoke cleared, A-Rod seems to be hurting this season (possibly from steroid withdrawal). So far in 2009, he's got a .256 batting average, 35 runs, and 17 homers.

Girlfriend Effect? It's hard to say considering A-Rod was the source of so much heartbreak and scandal in the past few years, but realistically, Madonna's sag may well have deflated his swag.
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BONUS COUPLE

lewis_nicole

Lewis Hamilton and Nicole Scherzinger, 2009

Before: Hamilton was the first black driver (and the youngest) to become a Formula One Champion in 2008.

During: Hamilton's current standing has dropped to 11th.

Girlfriend Effect? For Scher-zinger.

Tags: a-rod, chris-webber, madonna, sports, tony-romo, tyra-banks
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