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Outside the Game: Jags cornerback Aaron Ross has learned a lot from his Olympic wife

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

After five years in the Big Apple, and two Super Bowl wins with the New York Giants, cornerback Aaron Ross has moved on to Jacksonville. It's now there that he lives with his wife, fellow athlete and sometime competitor, Olympic sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross.

"We met in our freshman year," Ross told Yahoo! Sports of his wife -- they both attended the University of Texas. "It was love at first sight."

"We became like the first couple around UT," Richards-Ross added. "I won my first Olympic gold medal in 2004, and he won the national championship [the next season]. He won the Thorpe Award for the [NCAA's] best defensive back, so we had a wonderful experience."

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Aaron Ross celebrates with wife Sanya Richards-Ross as she takes home the gold. (Getty Images)

Ross was the Giants' first-round draft pick in 2007, and those two rings he has would carry a lot of weight in most families. In Ross' case, however, he plays a very happy second fiddle when it comes to athletic exploits. His wife has run in three Olympic games and won four gold medals in the process.

"I believe that relationships are built on great experiences," Richards-Ross said. "This is what I had dreamed of -- to win the gold medal and share it with the people who matter to me the most."

"She was there for both of my Super Bowls -- that's the top point of my life," Ross added. "And to be there for hers ... you really can't explain it."

One obvious effect of a relationship involving two natural competitors is that there's always something to compete about in the Ross household.

"He's an NFL player, but whenever he's home, you'd think he was in the NBA," Richards-Ross said of her husband. The two played a bit of living-room basketball for the benefit of Yahoo correspondent Angela Sun, and Richards-Ross "fouled" her husband for dunking on her.

"We're friends first, and we can talk to each other about pretty much anything," Ross said of Sanya, whom he married in 2010. The conversations got more complex when Ross made the decision to head to Jacksonville when the Jags offered the free agent a three-year, $9.75 million contract in March.

"Making the transition from a Giant to a Jag is kind of bittersweet. It was a new start, but Jacksonville really welcomed us in with open arms."

The Jaguars showed their commitment to family by allowing Ross to travel to London during training camp to watch his wife compete in the 2012 Olympics. Richards-Ross won gold in the women's 400-meter final.

"They talked about it and came to an agreement that I could miss a couple of days to go watch my wife run," Ross said then. "They preach family first here, so that was a big part of it."

Both of these athletes are used to that feeling, because they give it to each other -- on and off the field of play.

"To be able to cheer him on when he's doing what he loves to do, and vice versa ... I wouldn't want to be married to anybody else," Richards-Ross said.

As far as children, it would seem that any future Rosses would have quite the athletic head start.

"The running joke about our kids is that they already have a full scholarship to UT, and they already have a sports agent," Richards-Ross said.

Aaron Ross agreed. "We'll allow them to do what they want to do ... but hopefully, they'll be athletes."

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