Is Darren McFadden Producing Illegitimate Kids At A Record Rate?
With Darren McFadden's recent admission at the NFL combine that he has two illegitimate kids, in addition to being caught up in a paternity suit, my initial reaction was to bust out the old list of athletes with illegitimate kids and add McFadden to the list. But McFadden's incredible early production had me wondering whether he could ultimately become the champion of illegitimate kids in the sports world.
That title, more or less, has been bestowed on Shawn Kemp (who had 7 kids by 6 women), even though Kemp didn't produce the most illegitimate kids ever by an athlete. That singular achievement went to NBA Hall-of-Famer Calvin "Pocket Rocket" Murphy, who had an unreal 14 kids by 9 women. In addition to that, he also allegedly molested 5 of them. Way to be, Cal.
Anyway, just looking at how many illegitimate kids an athlete produced over his career isn't necessarily the best way to tell how productive he was. I've always had the sneaking suspicion that Kemp was nowhere near as productive as some other athletes and simply got a bad rap. So to try and find out where McFadden ranks, along with Kemp, I had to come up with a formula to determine how to determine a player's "productivity."
Here's what we've got.
In order to determine a player's "productivity" we'll focus entirely on how many illegitimate kids the athlete produced from his final year of high school until the end of his pro career. Then we'll determine the average number of illegitimate kids the athlete produced per year during that specific time period. Since the final year of high school is when most future pro athletes begin to truly get caught up in the life, and they begin to move away from the watchful eyes of their families, this seems to be the best arbitrary starting point. For baseball players and boxers - who are also on the list - their starting point will be either the year before they started college or when they started their careers (as in high school players going straight to the minors or amateur boxing).
There are some exceptions to the rule of course. Noel Devine, who's still a freshman at West Virginia, had two illegitimate kids in high school, and one before his senior year. But we need to wait a few more years on him to see what he does.
Anyway, here's who who'll be considered for the most productive athlete: Darren McFadden, Calvin Murphy, Travis Henry, Willie Anderson, Evander Holyfield, Jason Caffey, Shawn Kemp, Derrick Thomas, Charles Rogers, Santonio Holmes, and Elijah Dukes. I realize there are more athletes out there with illegitimate kids, but these athletes have been selected because of both their sheer production or early work.
Anyway, on the results.
McFadden: We're going to assume he's going to lose that paternity test, which would give him 3 illegitimate kids in 4 years (3 years at Arkansas, 1 year in high school). That's 0.75 kids per year.
Murphy: Played 4 years of college basketball and 13 years in the pros, and add one for high school, thus giving him 18 years under the formula against 14 kids. That's an almost unreal 0.78 kids per year over the course of an 18 year time period.
Travis Henry: 1 year of high school, 4 years of college, 7 years in pro football. Match that up against 9 illegitimate kids, and you've got an average of 0.75 kids per year.
Willie Anderson: 9 illegitimate kids against 16 total years. That's 0.56 kids per year.
Evander Holyfield: He has 9 illegitimate kids, but since he's been boxing since 1942, we'll just forget about him.
Jason Caffey: Former NBA player had 8 illegitimate kids by 7 women, which is up against only 12 years total of pro and college ball. That's almost 0.62 kids per year.
Shawn Kemp: Kemp only spent one year in college technically, at a community college. But he played pro ball for 14 years. That's 16 years total under the formula against 7 kids. Kemp actually comes in pretty low by this formula, at nearly 0.44 kids per year.
Derrick Thomas: Also sometimes viewed in the same light as Kemp, he had total of 16 years under the formula to 7 kids. Identical to Kemp with nearly 0.44 kids per year.
Charles Rogers: Now this one is fun. I've been unable to determine exactly how many illegitimate kids this NFL draft bust had, but the lowest I've heard is 5 - and that was by the time he left Michigan State. But we'll go with 5 kids in a 7 year time period. That would come out to just over 0.71 kids per year.
Santonio Holmes: Had 3 kids before leaving college. Seemingly no more since. Has 6 years total under the formula for 0.50 kids per year.
Elijah Dukes: Started playing minor league ball at 19 in 2003, so we'll give him the extra high school year. He had 2 kids with his former wife, but has also had 4 illegitimate kids with 4 other women. The kicker is this quote from a newspaper article: "Two of those women were pregnant at the same time, giving birth in 2003 within eight days of each other." Under the formula, that 4 kids in 6 years - or 0.66 kids per year. And he's only 23. Yikes.
So here are the final results ranked in order of productivity of illegitimate kids per year during an athletic career (some still pending of course).
1. Calvin Murphy - 0.78
2. (tie) Darren McFadden and Travis Henry - 0.75
4. Charles Rogers - 0.71
5. Elijah Dukes - 0.66
6. Jason Caffey - 0.62
7. Willie Anderson - 0.56
8. Santonio Holmes - 0.50
9. (tie) Derrick Thomas and Shawn Kemp - 0.44
11. Evander Holyfield - forget it
I'm actually surprised Rogers isn't higher. He very well could be, considering I probably went conservative on how many illegitimate kids he has.
But anyway, when you stop and think about it, most of these numbers are ridiculous. Having nearly one illegitimate kid every year - even for only 5 or 6 years - is pretty nuts. And if you're not careful, you may wind up like Dukes and have two women having kids of yours only 8 days apart.
Upon final review, McFadden definitely has an inside track to the title to become the most productive athlete ever, since he's young and seemingly against condoms, but it's hard to imagine he'll keep it up. I'd have to think whoever drafts him will be all over him about this. That means the one person who seems capable of taking down Murphy in terms of production rate is Travis Henry. He's already knocked up as many women as Murphy did, might as well go for broke at this point.