Rick Reilly’s NFL Morality Report: How Many Out-of-Wedlock Babies Is Too Many?

ESPN’s Rick Reilly, vamping his way through a

playoff-filler column

on the (untrue) premise that everyone has to either love or hate the New York Jets, included this among his reasons the Jets are hateful:

Antonio Cromartie, who has nine kids (all 5 years old and younger) by eight different women in six states. Cromartie is the guy who called Tom Brady an “ass—-.” Curious word coming from somebody who has left kids all over America with no dad.

Setting aside the mystery of why Reilly thinks the particular word “asshole” is curious in this case (that’s not the body part you make babies with, Rick)—is that really where you want to draw a contrast between Tom Brady and Antonio Cromartie? Not on the field, where Brady has collected

three Super Bowl titles and six Pro Bowl appearances

to Cromartie’s

zero and one

, respectively. (And where Cromartie was talking about Brady having been an asshole, for taunting the Jets’ sideline while playing football.) But in their personal lives?


does seem curious: Brady, as even readers of

non-sports publications

are aware, has two known children (both younger than 4 years old) by

two different women

. Sure, only one of the kids was born out of wedlock. But still. If you want to shame Cromartie, it’s probably better not to do it by comparing him to someone who broke up with his own pregnant model-actress girlfriend and took up with a supermodel. Or is there some agreed-upon number of illegitimate children, between Brady’s one and Cromartie’s 9, where it stops being OK?