Being a football coach’s wife is not for everyone.
Take a look at this summer’s fourth season of “Last Chance U” and the difficulties Jessica Martin faces following her husband around the JUCO level with three kids.
In some ways, it gets easier. In others, it can be tougher.
Jennifer Gase, the wife of first-year New York Jets coach Adam Gase, can surely relate. An incredibly thorough, shall we say eye-opening, profile of the coach by The Athletic’s Dan Pompei shows how much being an NFL head coach’s wife can entail.
Gase leaves son’s birth for Peyton Manning
Gase has been a coach in the NFL since 2003 and earned a reputation as a bright offensive mind after stints with the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears. He spent six years in Denver from 2009-14, most notably as the quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator.
It overlapped for three years with future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. And that’s where the biggest “um, what” story happens.
The file for Oct. 1, 2013, is particularly interesting. Every Tuesday when he was in Denver, Gase met with Manning at 2 p.m. Except this Tuesday, when Jennifer was delivering Wyatt by caesarean section.
Gase told his wife to schedule the operation for 10 a.m. “So they pulled the baby out of me and said, ‘It’s a boy,’” Jennifer says. “They didn’t even put my organs back and sew me up before he’s like, ‘You good?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good.’” He said, ‘All right then, I’m out.’ They said, ‘You want to cut the umbilical cord?’ He said, ‘No, I’m good.’”
At 2 p.m., Manning was stunned to find Gase waiting for him in the meeting room.
Manning: “You’ve got to be kidding me. Didn’t your wife just have a baby two hours ago?”
Gase: “Yeah, but did you really think I was going to let you win this one?”
The background: The Broncos played the Dallas Cowboys in week 5 that upcoming Sunday. The offense was cruising with an average 44.75 points per game with Gase as offensive coordinator and the Cowboys defense wasn’t stellar.
So a Tuesday afternoon meeting with one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks can wait at the very least a few hours. It seems clear he’d understand, especially given he has children of his own.
Of course, even if it were a big game, none of that really matters because your wife just did all the hard work and delivered your child. That’s no easy task.
No job should come in the way of such big family moments.
Gase asks wife to order lunch
The birth moment isn’t the only eyebrow-raising story when it comes to this profile. Via The Athletic:
Gase is not likely to prepare a meal on his own. When Jennifer recently left him home alone to dog sit for a day, he texted and asked her to order him lunch from Uber Eats.
It’s not clarified if the dog is the Gase’s or not, but if it is he is watching the dog, not dog-sitting. And that he can’t order food for himself, instead asking his wife who might be out enjoying her day off from the kids, is questionable at best.
If you can “mastermind” your way around a stingy defense, you can order a sandwich for lunch.
Gase profiled as caring of players
For those who read the excerpt The Athletic shared on Twitter, it’s tough to start reading the full profile and get to the section on Gase’s benevolence and how he’s reportedly there supporting everyone else.
He stayed on the phone with an assistant’s wife for three hours late at night while the assistant was in surgery after a bike crash. And when Ryan Tannehill went down on the first day of the Dolphins 2017 training camp, he rushed to the hospital after practice to be with the quarterback’s wife.
Multiple sources detailed how Gase was extraordinary at building relationships and relating with players and their families. The juxtaposition of the story of his son’s birth and the stories about connecting with players is stark.
Twitter called it out in the replies to that Athletic post and weren’t pleased with Gase’s priorities. It’s a welcome shift from days of ripping players who took paternity leaves.
Every relationship is different and it’s easy to look in intermittently and criticize without knowing all of it. Via The Athletic:
Jennifer is an ideal fit for him — the daughter of a football coach whose perception of normal may be slightly askew. “I love that he loves what he does,” she says. “He coaches, and I take care of everything else.”
He says he’s like her fourth kid. But no kid is as organized.
Again, being a football coach’s wife is not for everyone.
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