Sex, Lives and Football (Players): A Study in Suh

Defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, recently signed with the Miami Dolphins in a $114 million dollar contract with a guaranteed $60 million.  This deal will make Suh the highest paid player in the NFL  who isn’t a quarterback, averaging $19 million over six years.

Suh signing Contract

Is Suh worth the money?

The Miami Dolphins obviously think so.  And the feeling appears mutual.

With Suh’s reputation, some might think the Dolphins were addicted to trouble.  Recovering from the Richie Incognito locker room scandal, the Dolphins have chosen another ‘infamous’ figure in the league.  But, unlike Incognito, Suh doesn’t hide his aggression in the locker room.  He puts it all out on the field.  Because Suh isn’t out to bully his teammates, he out to bully the opposing team of the week.  And, he does it well.

Suh’s NFL record speaks for itself.  While with the Detroit Lions, Suh made 238 tackles and 36 sacks, was a 4-time probowler and 4-times first-team All-Pro.  And that’s not all:

But, who is Ndamukong Suh?

First, some basics:

Age: 28 (January 6, 1987)

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

40-yard dash: 4.98 sec

Weight: 307

Height: 6’4”

And now, let’s take a closer look.

Ndamukong Suh was Awesome in College

At the University of Nebraska, Suh was an outstanding athlete on the field.  While playing at Nebraska, Suh totaled 215 career tackles, including 57 for lost yards, 24 sacks, 6 blocked kicks, 15 pass break-ups and scored 3 touchdowns – two interceptions and one as a receiver on the offense.

During his senior year (2009), Suh was awarded:

  • Associated Press College Football Player of the Year,
  • Bronko Nagurski Trophy,
  • Chuck Bednarik Award,
  • Lombardi Award,
  • Outland Trophy,
  • AP Player of the Year (Suh was the first defensive player to receive the award) and was recognized as an AP first team All-American.

Ndamukong Suh was not just an intimidating defensive player at the University of Nebraska though.

Suh graduated from the Charles Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction in the College of Engineering, earning a degree in Construction Management.

Before getting involved in football, Suh sought to become a general contractor and work with his father, Micheal Suh, a mechanical engineer who owns a heating and cooling company in Portland, Oregon.

Ndamukong Suh is a Charitable Alum

In 2010, Suh donated of $2 million to the Nebraska Athletics department for its Strength and Conditioning Program and an additional $600,000 to the UNL’s College of Engineering to endow student scholarships.

Ndamukong Suh has a Foundation

The Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation involves giving back to the community through programs and donations to education, health and wellness, nutrition and international outreach.

The “90 backpack program” is just one of many programs in the Suh Foundation.  Each year, the foundation gives 90 students in need a backpack full of goodies – notebooks, folders, paperclips…you get the idea…to prepare for the upcoming school year.

In the fall of 2013, Suh’s foundation gave away 90 backpacks to underprivileged children in Omaha.

Camp Suh is a youth football camp teaching children the fundamentals of the game as well as teamwork, leadership and responsibility.

Suh - Foundation

Ndamukong Suh makes Wishes Come True

And I don’t mean only for Dolphins fans during his recent signing.  I mean off the field.

In December 2012, Suh made 8-year-old Issac’s, suffering from CANDLE Syndrome – a rare life threatening auto-inflammatory disease, wish come true.  But, it didn’t stop there.

Two years later, Suh attended Issac’s 10-year birthday party, playing catch for 20-minutes while Issac’s friends watched.

Suh - Make A Wish

Ndamukong Suh’s Had an Awesome Rookie Year

Not much needs to be said here, but let me give you a few facts to help sum it up:

  • September 12th, Suh had his first sack against Chicago Bears Jay Cutler
  • October 10, St. Louis Rams: His only career interception off Sam Bradford
  • October 31st against the Washington Redskins: Scored his only touchdown from a recovery of Rex Grossman’s fumble.
  • Selected for the Pro-Bowl (missed due to a shoulder surgery)
  • Won Pepsi NFL Rookie of the year
  • Won AP Defensive Rookie of the year

He also totaled 10 sacks and 48 tackles in his rookie year (both of which are the most he’s had in a regular season).  Not bad for a year’s work.

The Ndamukong Suh We Know

In 2014, Suh was among Sports Illustrated list of the 35 Most Disliked People in Sports.

Unfortunately, Suh’s no stranger to this list and many like them.

A physically dominant defensive linesman, Suh’s aggressive play-style and penchant for penalties has earned him a bad reputation.

Getty Images

Getty Images

The fearless defensive tackle has 8 fines and 2 suspensions totaling $420,669 in total fines and lost pay for suspension of games.

ESPN Photo

ESPN Photo

In 2014, Suh had 53 tackles and 8.5 sacks under his belt.

In week 17, Suh was suspended for stepping on Aaron Rodger’s calf.  Later, video footage showed TJ Lang pushing Suh on Rodgers.  Suh’s suspension was lifted and he was allowed to play in the wild card game against the Dallas Cowboys, but was fined $70,000.  The Lions lost 24-20.

Of course, if it was anyone but Suh, that might have been the end of it.  But rest assured, that week 17 step is still being discussed today.

Ndamukong Suh Dates?

In 2013, Playerwives.com wrote that Suh was dating Olympian track-and-field star Lori “Lolo” Jones.

Fox Sports Photo

Fox Sports Photo

Why was Playerswives.com so convinced that the two were dating (and stunned at the same time)?  The rumors first began in 2012 when Jones went to a Lions game.  Lolo Jones later denied the rumors during an interview with the Huffington post, stating “We are not currently dating. However, if the Lions win the Super Bowl and he (Suh) wants to use the ring to propose to me, then we’ll see.”

Then, Suh was spotted at the Drake Relays in Iowa, supposedly to cheer on Jones.  Finally, Suh was said to have invited Jones to the Lions season opener as his guest.

In July 2014, rumors circulated that Jones was dating recently divorced Russell Wilson.

Obviously, Suh and Jones are not dating.  I don’t think they ever were.  But, I think they should.  Jones is an attractive athlete, seems to have a sense of humor and appears very personable.  From what I’ve read, Suh is the strong silent type with an kind-of awkward sense of humor.  It would be a good match – like Beauty and the Beast (not that Suh is a Beast…at least not off the field).

Ndamukong Suh does Reality Television

You might not know it, but in 2012, Suh was on “the Choice,” a short lived reality dating show on FOX.

No love-match was found that day…but are you really surprised?

Suh was also to appear on ABC’s “The Splash”.  The show never took off.  Suh was the 2nd person to be eliminated.  Suh is in the blue robe.  Enjoy this short video of what could have been.

In 2014, Suh was on “American Muscle” on the Discovery Channel.

Now that you’ve got to know Ndamukong Suh, what do you think? Who is the real Ndamukong Suh?  The Suh the media has vilified or Suh’s off-the-field persona?

It’s not easy to understand someone who is known as a loner, quiet and private.  And, it’s always easy to make quick judgments.  Even his mother, Bernadette, couldn’t get the reason “why” when she asked about Suh’s stomp on the arm of Green Bay Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith three years ago.

But, there is another side.  A quirky side that isn’t often seen.  A rough reputation on the field and a potential sweetheart off.  We all have different facets of ourselves, but one thing is certain.

No matter what Suh does, he gives it his all.

Suh’s definitely won me over.

By Joanne Kong

6 comments

Leave a Reply