real life

Being a WAG isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Courtney with her boyfriend

By COURTNEY COLLINS

I am always surprised at the amount of girls that want to date an AFL player.

Some people seem to think I live in this mystical land of free things, champagne & pretty people.

Well, I just spent a good 30 minutes cleaning up dog turds on my deck because my puppies are really dumb and lazy. I clean up a lot of poo. So on that note, let me tell you why being a WAG (the term for Wives and Girlfriends of sports stars) is a BAD IDEA.

A VERY BAD IDEA.

1.  It’s not about you.

Ever. I don’t mean sometimes, I mean all the time.

Exhibit A: Really sick and have no family because you moved interstate to be with the love of your life? (Can you tell I’m an expert on this shit?) Doesn’t matter. Your boyfriend has to play footy and the fact that you feel like you may have died and met the devil himself in a feverish hallucination is beyond insignificant.

People ask about your partner all the time. If you’re lucky, they might even decide to end the conversation by emitting a: “So, how are you too?” But it’s unlikely.

I grew up as the apple of my family’s eye, so to be ushered to the sidelines both literally and metaphorically can be hard on a girl.

The constant reminder that you are just another brick in the wall and your boyfriend is part of an elite group of professionals can kind of suck on those days where you’re up to your tenth blank stare from someone and you just know they’re thinking: “Who the fuck are you?”.

2. Footy becomes your life.

Don’t close the browser tab, I’m not insulting your intelligence.

When you’re a WAG, footy becomes your life in a way you never really considered before.

Let me elaborate. You’re buying the weekly groceries and planning what to eat for the week. In a lot of households a “What do you want for dinner?” may suffice. Uh uh. Not here.

“What day is the game this week? Are you playing AFL or WAFL? Will you even be home for dinner or are you doing appearances & clinics this week?” (The game’s date is by far THE most important.)

Ladies, an AFL player needs to carb load. Even local footy players need to do this, but this is the big league and god forbid you better feed him right lest he have a shitty game and you feel guilty for not fulfilling your WAG duties. On a low carb diet? HA! Think you’ll make two meals and avoid that massive bowl of spaghetti on a weekly basis? I’m laughing.

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I have tried and maybe my resolve is especially weak. You will be carb loading once a week too, I almost guarantee. And it hurts.

Football player Ashley Smith is Courtney’s boyfriend

3. The WAG bit.

I am no Rebecca Judd, CLEARLY. I can best be described as “nobody”. I am about 10 kilos heavier than Mrs. Judd even though she has had a child (HOW?), and my bank account is much lighter.

This is probably why my WAG life is so different to what a lot of people imagine. But, I anticipate there are a lot of girls out there who would nod their heads in agreement because only a minority are filthy rich and extremely well-known.

The WAG bit is hard when you’re a bit of an unknown straddling the perimeter. The ability to dress fabulously while maintaining you spent no time or effort at all is one that is really hard to master. Three years later and I’m still trying desperately.

My role of WAG can be better described as this: a second mother, a lover, a cleaner, a chef, the cheer squad, the therapist, the psychologist, & the fierce lioness who will RIP YOUR HEAD OFF IF I HEAR YOU SAY ANYTHING ABOUT NUMBER 28. You have many, many roles to play. Many more than donning a dress and making your man look amazing at the annual Best and Fairest Awards.

I hope it is obvious that this is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek rendition of my life. But it is also an attempt to tell you what it’s really like for a lot of the partners of professional athletes.

Most of all, what I would like people to understand is that both people in the WAG relationship work extremely hard. My boyfriend trains roughly five times a week, plus a game on the weekend in front of tens of thousands. His midweek day off is taken up with various other commitments related to his job.

Don’t get me wrong, there are perks. For some a lot more than others. But it is a taxing life. Emotionally, physically, and mentally. Life is hard no matter who you are or what you do, but it is an extremely misunderstood profession.

So here’s a little advice: ladies, date a tradie. He’ll have a killer bod and can fix anything around the house at your whim.

Courtney is a third year, soon-to-be-qualified and absolutely-no-idea-where-to-go-now, Media & Communications student from Western Australia. Majoring in Journalism & Criminology. She loves to write, & is excited for what the future holds out in the “real” world. You can find her blog here

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