It’s not a pretty tale either. A few years ago I’d read about an author who had successfully sued The CW, Warner Brothers and CBS for stealing her story idea. Staci Robinson had written a television script loosely based on her life about a UCLA student dating a young man who’d be drafted into the NFL and their subsequent break-up.
Robinson’s script was rejected but about a year or so later when the sitcom The Game premiered she saw all the key components of her submission being used and took them to court. for copyright infringement. The fact that she a) won her case b) didn’t have to sign a gag order c) went on to publish her book was nothing short of a miracle. It reminds me of Sophia Stewart’s unsuccessful attempt when suing Warner Brothers at not receiving credit and compensation for The Matrix/Terminator story. Stewart being discredited does not mean she did not in fact create it.
When the show debuted as a “spin-off” from Girlfriends I watched but I found myself constantly annoyed while doing so. This was back in my pre-BWE days where I couldn’t quite identify the DBR and other dysfunctional behavior I find so distasteful. All I knew was I thought the premise of a young woman who’d been accepted to a premier medical school decide to give that up to support the NFL aspirations of her boyfriend was insane. I suspected had the situation been reversed he would’ve never put his life on hold or turned down a rare opportunity the way she did.
The book premise per Amazon:
Stefanie Pointer, a UCLA senior on her way to a top ten law school, likes herself just the way she is-a smart, ambitious, but simple girl who is comfortable in a tank top, a pair of jeans and flip-flops. When she foregoes her lifelong professional goals and puts the career of her college sweetheart, star football player, Ricky Powers, before hers, her life turns upside down. She must face the blatant disapproval of her parents and the unremitting voice inside her head constantly asking if she’s doing the right thing. As she finds her way through the complicated life of a soon-to-be NFL wife, Stefanie finds herself trading in her flip-flops for a pair of Jimmy Choos, reckoning with the fierce competition of ruthless groupies and losing sight of her dreams. What else is she willing to sacrifice in her search for true love?
The real-life story was (allegedly) between Robinson and Roman Phifer, who were both UCLA students. She did put her life and career aspirations on hold for him. He was drafted to the NFL. The book details the character helping the athlete with his homework, letting her grades suffer, their multiple break-ups, his constant and escalated infidelities and the warnings she received from numerous friends about getting away from him.
I remember reading the book and shaking from the visceral emotional reaction I was experiencing. I doubt I’d be able to read it today or would even buy it as I’d throw it against the wall in disgust. Of course many people will ask Roman Phifer who? Exactly. He’s not even a famous player and has since retired. Not that that should matter. Sorry, but now I’d be just as likely to dismiss the author character for being a stubborn fool as she was warned repeatedly by her friends to use common sense, look at his behavior (not what he said) and end a wholly dysfunctional relationship and get back to focusing on her own life.
The book details the characters’ engagement and the lengths Staci Stephanie went through to hold onto a jerk despite the inevitable sexual perversions that many males seem to want to engage in these days (group sex, etc), the lying, the buying off with expensive trinkets and the promises to change that never occur. Oh and I forgot to mention Roman’s Ricky’s obsession with light/white skin women. At the mere age of 22, 23 (I’d have to go check) she finds him with an even younger (17, 18) and lighter version of herself and she finally decides to end the relationship. She walks away with nothing because she gave up everything to be with him in the first place.
This is really just another example of the wholly dysfunctional, deviant behavior of black males at large and the women who insist on surrounding themselves with the sickness. My only hope is that fans of the show take heed the real-life warning Robinson issues in the book that she had to learn the hard way.
One of the closing scenes in the book (which is very visual by the way – because she is an excellent writer) has her at a bus stop in Westwood where she sees her replacement driving a brand new overpriced car (top down) and wearing a ring big enough to choke a horse. She said she wished the woman well.
The only other tidbit I found mildly interesting about this scenario was the real-life woman in question was allegedly Alexis Eggleston who uses her ex-husband’s last name Phifer, the clothing designer who used to be engaged to Kayne West. I think karma must have visited her for its payment at some point with that relationship. It all comes full circle at the end of the day.
Did I issue enough “allegedly” flags to CYA??????
Where the tv show ventured off was in diminishing Roman’s Ricky’s Derwin’s duplicity, making Staci Stephanie Melanie a medical student instead of a law student, in adding different characters and making it a comedy. There was a British show titled Footballers’ Wives that was a drama…for a reason. That lifestyle is no joke. Yet, even if the producers had not stolen her idea to turn tragedy into comedy the show is problematic for the message it sends.
When the series ended on the CW network the leads had survived their break-ups, but he had impregnated another woman he’d briefly dated. She was scrambling to throw together a hastily put together wedding so she could be the Mrs. before the ex gave birth to his son. DRAMA.
Now that Satan’s Entertainment Network (that would be BET) has picked up the series I shudder to think about the nonsense that will ensue as they continue down this path. This show also featured a black male player who was an extreme cheapskate married to a white woman where they made jokes about not combing their daughter’s hair. There’s the street-savvy, loud Mom-Manager and her over-sexed, immature son. The only thing that differentiates this show from certain real-life behaviors is none of the lead actresses are bigger than a size 2 and the show has cast the revolving door of disposable women these men “date” of varying skin shades. Classic tv fake-out.
Speaking of which, I spied the HBO documentary about Magic Johnson & Larry Bird that contained some interesting archival footage. A pre-HIV Johnson was shown being interviewed by a white male sportscaster where he was explicitly bragging about the orgy he’d recently participated in. He was happy as a clam discussing in detail about his ability to sex six women. I know my jaw hit the floor as I felt the thud and didn’t want to trip over it later. He saw nothing wrong with personifying the big Black Buck, Mandingo stereotype and thought nothing about broadcasting his depravity to the world. I’m not going to discuss the Jermaine Stewart accusations. You can Google it if you’d like.
Now let’s be clear that he certainly was not and is not the only male to engage in such activities, but most have the common sense to keep their traps shut about advertising it. He was obviously very famous, especially in comparison to the basically anonymous random Negro athlete who was the orbit of a young woman’s universe featured above. Men who solely focus on playing with balls (instruments, politics, etc.) no matter how gifted, usually have not developed other vital life skills that are necessary to sustain viable relationships. While their fame and money may net them a lot of attention while it lasts, perhaps it’s best to let other women who are willing to sacrifice themselves have at it. YOU can find happiness and contentment with a higher-quality man without enduring unnecessary burdens.