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August 28, 2015

Five for Friday: DeMeco and Jamila Ryans

Influencers Eagles
DeMeco and Jamila Zarwin Baum/DeMeco and Jamila Ryans

DeMeco and Jamila Ryans at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Fashion Touchdown event, located at Boyds Philadelphia in Center City.

DeMeco Ryans has become a staple of the Philadelphia Eagles since joining the team as a linebacker in 2012 from the Houston Texans. To date, he's racked up 285 tackles for the Eagles across 40 games; anticipation, meanwhile, continues to build as to whether he'll surface for his 41st game at this year's season-opener following a torn Achilles tendon injury last fall that cut his season short. Described as a spark-plug personality and leader of the defensive team, all eyes will gaze at the field for Ryans' presence when the Eagles face the Atlanta Falcons on Monday, Sept. 14.

But he's not just known for taking a leadership role on the field. In 2007, he launched the DeMeco Ryans Foundation, which helps youth through educational and recreational programs and will award 10 scholarships this year. His wife, Jamila, takes on executive director duties -- making them quite the Philly power couple. 

Here, the duo talks life as a football couple, superhero fantasies and where they spend their off time in Philadelphia.

What superhero would you turn your husband/wife into, given the chance? 

DeMeco: I would change her into Storm from X-Men. My wife already has the ability to brighten up my day, but becoming Storm would allow her to change the weather conditions as it is convenient for me. Like, maybe changing that "snowy game" against Detroit to a sunny day, or hiding the sun behind the clouds so I don't burn up during training camp! [Laughs]

Jamila: I would turn DeMeco into Iron Man. There's just something about him. He's intelligent, handsome, rich, edgy, has a sense of humor and is constantly evolving. Wait a minute ... that is DeMeco! Guess I don't even need Iron Man. I'll just take DeMeco. [Laughs]

What is your biggest pet peeve about one another? 

D: She's always moving my stuff around and puts it in places I can never find. She says it's "in the way," but it's funny how only my stuff is "in the way" and her stuff never is!

J: OMG, I can't stand all of the "stuff" DeMeco leaves laying around the house! I hate clutter and random items lying around taking up space, but it doesn't seem to bother DeMeco until it gets completely out of hand, which never happens because I refuse to let it get there.  

What are you binge-watching right now?

D & J: We can't get enough of "Empire," "Power" and "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta." We know that reality TV addiction is a bit embarrassing, but I think the draw is the fact that it gets us away from our own craziness and reminds us how normal we actually are! [Laughs]

Jamila, do you spend much time with the wives/partners of other Eagles players? Is "Football Wives" a thing?

J: I do spend a great deal of time with several wives/significant others. "Football Wives" is a thing on some teams (not like everyone thinks though), but not in Philly. We actually have a great group of girls brought together by a great organization. [Eagles owner] Mr. Lurie and other people at the top are extremely friendly and down-to-earth, and I believe that vibe and culture trickles down. Of course, like anywhere else, there are groups of people you find yourself having more in common with than others, so naturally, I find myself spending more time with those specific individuals.  

Where do the two of you like to go in Philadelphia for "date night"?

D & J: Well, since the birth of our 16-month-old, DeMeco Ryans Jr, we haven't been able to go out as much as we used to. But, when we do get a chance to sneak out, we enjoy Del Frisco's and Time bar for food and great live music.