Olivia Munn, Ciara and others show that dating an NFL quarterback is a no-win situation

Olivia Munn, Ciara and others show that dating an NFL quarterback is a no-win situation

Sustaining a relationship with an NFL quarterback is no easy feat. Besides the arduous travel schedule, scarce opportunities for date nights and limited privacy, dating a professional quarterback can lead a woman to be the subject of constant tabloid fodder when things go poorly on the field.

Ciara. Olivia Munn. Jessica Simpson.

All famous by their own right. All victims of undeserved blame for a poor sports outcome.

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Ciara fell prey to the sexism that pervades today’s football media culture within minutes of the Seahawks’ crippling playoff loss to the Falcons last weekend.

No, the blame did not belong to the Seahawks’ defense that ceded 36 points to NFL MVP candidate Matt Ryan and his dynamic arsenal of weapons. Instead, Twitter placed blame on Russell Wilson’s significant other, who jinxed the starting quarterback’s once-storied ability to command a triumphant offense in the postseason.

And when the Packers began the 2016-17 NFL season with an underwhelming 5-6 record, fans began pointing fingers at Munn for the mid-season slump. “The Newsroom” actress was hardly ill-prepared for this role as team scapegoat. After all, only one season earlier, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, a Packers beat writer, gave credence to this theory in a column titled, “Five reasons why Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is struggling.”

And back when Jessica Simpson was still with Tony Romo, it was she and not Romo who shouldered the blame in Arlington when America’s Team suffered embarrassing division losses.

“Is Jessica Simpson the football version of Memo Paris, the blonde bombshell who was kryptonite to Roy Hobbs’ Wonderboy in ‘The Natural’?” questioned the The Boys Blog, a former top Cowboys fan site, in a December 2007 post after Romo’s 10-6 loss to the Eagles.

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The aforementioned blog post, now more than 10 years stale and which has since been taken down, holds the same sexist significance today as it did then.

In what other industry could an employee’s underperformance be blamed on his significant other? What performance review even has a box to check on this?

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In a sport already rife with a gender inequality problem in coaching, scouting and team and league executive positions, the media and fans are doing no good chastising players’ lovers for teams’ on-field woes.

But the blame game is only half of the problem. The other half — that is rarely, if ever, spoken about — is the lack of praise for these athletes’ significant others when the team succeeds.

As we continue to hail Rodgers as one of the greatest of our time, acclaim for Munn falls on deaf ears. A quick Google search of the actress is more likely to turn up hits on her alleged role in being the thorn in the Rodgers’ family feud than it is to turn up articles of extolment for Munn and her sacrifices behind Rodgers’ success.

The popular actress could have spent this past Christmas filming a new movie, promoting her current film, “Office Christmas Party,” or working on another endeavor in furtherance of her career. Instead, she spent the holiday in Green Bay cheering on her man, who torched the Vikings’ defense for 38 points.

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Maybe it’s a coincidence that ever since Munn publicly praised Rodgers and their traditions shortly before the start of Week 12, the Packers have been riding high on an eight-game win streak. Maybe the love and support Munn provides to Rodgers has partially led to his success.

We, of course, won’t ever know. Because football media culture precludes us from eulogizing the woman behind the signal caller.

And instead, if the Packers do fall before securing another Lombardi Trophy in the next few weeks, you can be sure the internet trolls will berate Munn.

But they shouldn’t.

Because just like Munn won’t ever knock down a Hail Mary in the end zone, she won’t catch it either.