JEFF PEARLMAN

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All athletes cheat on their wives

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All athletes cheat on their wives.

OK, perhaps not all. But, at the minimum, 80 percent of professional athletes cheat on their wives.

Why? For myriad reasons. It’s there—everywhere. The hottest women, coming after you, waiting for you, dressing for you, salivating for you. It’s exciting. You’re on the road. You’re sorta bored. Another movie? Meh. Trip to the zoo? No thanks. Fine dining with teammates? B-o-r-i-n-g. Sex with a groupie? Hell, yes.

I’ve covered sports for 20 years, and I know far more athletes who cheat than don’t. And then, inevitably, the questions come. “OK, but [FILL IN THE NAME] doesn’t cheat, right?”

What makes you ask about him?

“Well, he seems like a really good guy.”

Really good guys can cheat.

“No, you can’t be a really good guy and cheat on your wife.”

Yes, you can. Temptation is a bitch. Loneliness is a bitch. It makes you an awful husband and crap role model as a father, but a charitable man, a soft-natured man, a caring man can also dabble in infidelity. I wouldn’t have said that years ago, but—again—I know so many athletes who have had affairs, and some of them I’ve genuinely liked.

That being said, if you have an idol, and you want to know whether he’s faithful, well, you’re best not asking.

Because the odds are against you.