The Curse of the Celeb Girlfriends

We prove that celebrity girlfriends are bad for athletes. With science! Sort of. Not really.

After watching Reggie Bush tear up the Oakland Raiders yesterday to the tune of 197 total yards and two touchdowns, we couldn’t help but note how much better the much-maligned tailback has played since breaking up with Kim Kardashian a few years ago. It got us thinking – are celebrity girlfriends worse for an athlete’s performance than assorted sprains, tears, fractions and concussions? To investigate this theory, we looked at five examples which definitively prove it. (Because that’s how science works: only pick examples that support your hypothesis.) Let’s examine the evidence:

Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian

Pre-Kim: As a tailback for the USC Trojans, Bush had one of the most dominant college campaigns of the decade: Heisman Trophy winner, Two-time All-American, NCAA championship, 2nd pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

With Kim: After an up-and-down rookie season, Bush started dating the big-bootied whateversheis in 2007. . . and then promptly stank up the Superdome over three injury-plagued seasons. The worst came in 2010, when an investigation into improper gifts while he was at USC resulted in Bush having to forfeit his Heisman, and the Trojans having to vacate their title.

Post-Kim: Bush was traded to the Miami Dolphins and, free from the paparazzi’s glare, he seems to have finally fulfilled his promise, topping 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career. And after yesterday’s performance, who knows what we can expect.

James Atoa / Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Tom Brady and Gisele

Pre-Gisele: Famously, Brady wasn’t drafted until the 6th round in 2000, and no one could have predicted he’d go on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, leading the Patriots to Super Bowls in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

With Gisele: Since ditching his baby mama Bridget Moynihan for the Brazilian Ubermodel in 2006, Brady has been dynamite during the regular season, but has seeming lost his touch when it really counts, losing Super Bowls to to the Giants in both 2008 and 2012.

Photoshot / Retna Ltd. | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly

Pre Minka: The legendary Yankee has had his fair share of famous paramours (Mariah Carey, Jordana Brewster, Vanessa Minillo, Jessica Alba, Jessica  Biehl) but these were just flings. Meanwhile, he led the Yankees to four world titles on his way to Cooperstown.

With Minka: The Captain started dating the Friday Night Lights star in 2008, and at first things were great: Jeter hit .334 on the way to the Yankees taking a fifth World Series Title. But after that it started looking like the high-priced Jeter was ready to be put out to pasture, hitting .270 in 2010 and .297 last year.

Post Minka: Since breaking up with Kelly last February, Jeter has returned to form. As of today he holds the Major League lead in hits by 15, while his .323 average is good for third in the AL, as the Yankees hang on to first place in the AL East.

Icon / SMI / Retna Ltd. | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Mark Sanchez and Eva Longoria

Pre-Eva: Drafted fifth overall in the 2009 draft, Sanchez was seen as the heir to Joe Namath, and promptly led the Jets to the AFC Championship game. In 2010, he did it again, and things were looking great until the dashing QB took a step backwards last season, prompting New York to bring in Tim Tebow as a backup. But in week one of this season, Sanchez silenced all doubters with a three-TD performance in week one.

With Eva: Just last week, mere days after Sanchez’ stellar showing against the Buffalo Bulls, Eva Longoria confirmed that the pair were dating. Sanchez responded by going 10/27 in a 20-10 loss against the Steelers.

Dennis Van Tine / Retna Ltd. / Kirkland / Retna Digital | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe

Pre-Marilyn: Oh, not much, just three MVPs, a 56-game hitting streak and NINE World Series titles.

With Marilyn: Now pay attention kids, because Joltin’ Joe did it right, waiting until after he’d retired to take up with the most beautiful woman in the world. That’s how you do it!

Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

So there you go. Science!

Want to seewhat we learned from NFL Week 2? Click here!

Or would you rather just look at some NFL cheerleaders? Here you go, then.