This week, former NFL cornerback, Antonio Cromartie’s new reality show, The Cromarties, premiered on USA Network. For those of you like myself, who know little about the ball throwing sports, Cromartie, 33, played college football for Florida State and was drafted in the first round to the San Diego Chargers in 2006. His career also included stints with the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, and Indianapolis Colts. According to my husband, he is a “good player” but is most known for having “like a billion kids.” Actually, Cromartie has fourteen children (three of which came AFTER a vasectomy) by nine different women.
That’s a lot of checks.
The show focuses on Cromartie and his beautiful, then-pregnant wife Terricka, mother of six of his children, as Antonio adjusts to life as a full-time, stay-at-home dad. I have to be honest, going into the premiere, I was prepared to judge the hell out of the show. Let’s face it, it is easy to dislike the idea of a man who has that many children by that many different women. However, I must say, I found myself charmed by the couple and their adorable tribe: Jordynn, Jurzie Blu, Jagger, Jynx and J’Adore. In the premiere, Cromartie and Terrika consider a home birth for their newest arrival, plan Jagger’s 6th birthday party, and attempt to ward off a roaming bear from entering their backyard during the party. I laughed out loud when Antonio expressed concern about “placenta juice” on his floor to home birth aides who visited the couple’s home to prepare for the birth. Antonio and Terricka had a well-earned banter and a clear genuine affection for each other as they traded yo’ momma jokes and giggles during their behind the scenes interviews. It was Run’s House meets Tiny and TI meets OWN’s Black Love and I dug it.
Noticeably missing from the premiere was any mention of, clues about or hints as to the whereabouts of his eight other kids or their moms. As a show billed to showcase his life as a dad, you would think all of his kids would somehow be incorporated into the landscape, even if just a phone call. Here’s the thing, I don’t want the baby mama drama. We, as a community, do not need the baby mama drama. In a perfect world, they would live like Diddy and his baby’s moms with group photo-shoots, family vacations, diamonds, Cassie, and yachts (see his Instagram). It’s just that I have watched and been traumatized by enough reality shows to know it’s coming and that makes me view this whole situation with a serious side eye. Nonetheless, for the love of their beautiful family and the six tiny humans we met, I hope the show stays positive. We need shows that show us loving each other and raising our babies right (no matter how many).
The Cromarties airs on USA Thursdays at 10:30 p.m.