By Mack Hamilton
Fashion and football may seem like polar opposites, yet for some NFL players, they co-exist on red carpet appearances and fashion magazine cover shoots. Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson are the NFL’s best players on the field, but which gladiators are considered fashion icons off the field?
Coming in at number one for the Sports Illustrated crowd is none other than Kim Kardashian’s ex – running back Reggie Bush. The fans and fashion experts kept Reggie at the top of the fashion heap for a number of years. Sports Illustrated credits Bush for making the fleur-de-lis all the rage in his former hometown of New Orleans.
Bush is a cover favorite for magazines like Essence and, in March of 2012, he put his money into the style game, as well. Reggie became a partner and spokesperson for Barc, a skincare company, proving just how seriously he takes his appearance.
Vanity Fair lists the Super Bowl-winning wide receiver from the Giants as its number one guy. His claim to fame is the distinctive way he can rock the skinny suit. This year Cruz showed his chic style while taking a victory lap through New York Fashion Week dressed in posh slim-tailored apparel with ties from American designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. Every Tuesday is Cruzday on Twitter where one lucky winner gets a Foot Locker gift card for showing Cruz their fancy Steve Madden, Ferragamo, Varvatos and other stylin' kicks.
If there is one name that all the top lists agree on, it’s Tom Brady. This GQ cover boy is a favorite among fashion enthusiasts for his love of Zegna suits and beautiful women. Brady has a reputation as a ladies man, but is currently making a home and family with wife supermodel Gisele Bundchen. When he is not on the field or playing with the kids, he is turning heads, whether he's wearing a velvet tuxedo or a fisherman sweater.
Esquire magazine considers Robert Griffin III from the Washington Redskins a real contender for style rookie of the year. Griffin’s signature look is his wild, bright-colored socks. The marketing world loves the way Robert Griffin looks, too. He currently has endorsement deals with Adidas, Nissan, Subway and EA Sports. Darren Rovel from ESPN points out Griffin earns more in endorsements than any other rookie in NFL history.
Trailing the field is a name that makes both Vanity Fair and Esquire’s “best of” list – Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews. Known for his long blond ponytail and suave suits, Matthews has model looks and a big heart. In 2012, he donned a pair of Depend incontinence briefs under his uniform to benefit the Jimmy V Foundation. When not making money for charity, he is walking the red carpet in black and white dinner jackets and sleek pinstripe suits.