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It's a woman's world for McCardell

By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 8, 2002

Receiver Keenan McCardell spends his day among men and his nights among women, with wife Nicole, and daughters Keandra (6), Nia and Nakeeya (11 months). Here he is on the female world, shoes, dressing up, smothered steak and groupies who follow the team.

* * *

RM: What's it like going home to a house full of females?

KM: There's a lot of testosterone (at One Buc Place), a lot of guys feeling their oats. When I get home, the girls calm me down. I go from the I-want-to-knock-somebody-out frame of mind, to the I-got-to-give-some love here and there frame of mind.

* * *

RM: That's some adjustment.

KM: Your voice has to change, you can't be right in someone's face like I am here. Sometimes I catch myself, 'Oh man, I just yelled at her." I don't mean to. I have learned to tone it down, a lot.

* * *

RM: A lot of pastel colors in the house, I presume?.

KM: My wife is not a pink and yellow type of person, but she wants lots of flowers, pictures, pillows. It's different. You know with bachelors, it's a black or white sofa and we're cool. At home, it's about hues and tones.

* * *

RM: What about the bathroom?

KM: The bathroom is a different place for a man. We're simple. But for women, it's different. And brother, you've got to put the seat down. If you don't, all hell can break lose. You could be in another room, you're going to hear the yelling. I'm tired of getting yelled at.

* * *

RM: And then there's the soap.

KM: Soap is an issue. You know with us, soap is soap. But for them, you have to have Dove to soften your skin. Give me (the generic brand). But no, not the girls. They've got to have shower jell, some cucumber stuff, some peach, some kind of smelly stuff.

* * *

RM: When will you let your daughters start dating?

KM: That's a tough question because I don't want them to date.

* * *

RM: News flash Keenan, they're going to date.

KM: I know, I know. I think when I feel comfortable that she's ready and if it has to be an age, I would say about 15 or 16.

* * *

RM: What about makeup?

KM: Well, she's already has worn it because she was in dance and ballet. But true make up? It's going to be hard to for me to see it before maybe around 16. Maybe a little lip gloss.

* * *

RM: Some eyeliner?

KM: Maybe a little lip gloss.

* * *

RM: Do you realize that between the ages of 15 and 50, a woman will purchase about 500 pairs of shoes?

KM: I can believe that, I'm seeing signs of it already. But I can't be mad at my wife, because I love shoes too.... In fact, I think I have more shoes than she does.

* * *

RM: Say it ain't so.

KM: It's so. My wife says I have too many shoes.

* * *

RM: How many do you have?

KM: I have a lot shoes. About 150 to 200, at least.

* * *

RM: That's a lot shoes, dog.

KM: Shoes make the outfit. You can't come in there with a $2,000 suit and a pair of $150 shoes. It ain't going to look right, it's not going to flow. Alarms are going to go off, sirens. If you dress in a European style, you have to have a European-styled shoe.

* * *

RM: Mr. Blackwell said you once were one of the best dressed players in the league and blessed with "savoir faire," which is what in layman's terms?

KM: It's the whole package. From cuff-links, to watch, to the whole ensemble. When you know you're right from head to toe.

* * *

RM: What about on the field?

KM: Same thing. You want to be right. You want your jersey laying right. You want your socks right. Your tape right. Everything has to be right.

* * *

RM: That sounds a bit anal.

KM: It's not anal. I take this from Jerry Rice, if you're looking good, you're playing good. That's what he said and he's the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game. It's like in an interview. If you're looking good, you feel like you can get the job. So every time I step out on the field, it's an interview for me.

* * *

RM: You've since cut them off, but how did you make your dreadlocks mesh with the rest of the look.

KM: You've got to keep them neat. I would try to get mine done every week, just to retwist them so they look fresh. But my stylist in Jacksonville told me it would make my hair thin. You just can't have them looking raggedy.

* * *

RM: Why dreads?

KM: I was on my television show and I wanted to make people realize that they are not a symbol of one thing, or another, let people realize that you can look good in dreads.

* * *

RM: What's something you like to smell?

KM: Good smothered steak. Oxtails. Cornbread. Collard greens. I love the aroma of good food. I don't care what kind of food it is, if it's banging coming out of the oven, I'm with it.

* * *

RM: Tell me a song that reminds you of your wife.

KM: Uhh... We have our song... We played it at our wedding.... I know the song, but... I can't remember the name... She's going to kill me if I can't remember.

* * *

RM: Don't you think we need legal representation on Judgment Day?

KM: I wouldn't help. We're all guilty. God knows all and we're all guilty.

* * *

RM: True, but a good lawyer can get your sentence reduced. Maybe instead of five years in hell, you get three and two off for time served.

KM: In that case, I want Johnnie Cochran. If anyone can persuade God, it's him.

* * *

RM: Average number of women trying to prey on players at team hotels.

KM: I would say, between 25 and 50. But you've got to see them. Sometimes they're hiding, back in the cut. But they are there. And they are there for a reason.

* * *

RM: Do you ever notice them?

KM: Ahh.... no.

* * *

(One Day Later).

KM: By the way, the song is called, 'Baby Hold On," by Eddie and Gerald Levert.

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