Fair Is Fair — Give It Back!

By Jason Keidel
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I know what you’re thinking…

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If he’s dumb enough to spend a million bucks on an engagement ring, he doesn’t deserve to get it back.

Mario Williams has been sacked. But his conqueror isn’t some behemoth from the Midwest who graduated from the grinder of Big Ten running attacks. No, his ex-fiancee has pancaked an otherwise very strong man.

Mario Williams thought it was a good idea to drop 785 grand on a ten-carat monstrosity for Erin Marzouki, whose 15 minutes will end as soon as this matter does. She – let’s repeat, she – unilaterally ended the engagement, yet Marzouki refuses to remove the meteor from her finger.

Beyonce, Material Girl 2.0, said if we like it we need to slap a ring on it. Mario did precisely that, providing a ring perfectly contoured to his contract. She also charged 100 grand to his American Express card and spent another six-figures on other “gifts,” according to Williams. The hustler set will laud her; the more humane will lament her.

“(Marzouki) never intended to marry (Williams) and used the relationship as a means to get to (Williams’) money and acquire gifts,” Williams’ lawyers alleged in a lawsuit filed last week.

It’s hard to feel pity for rich, fit, and famous men, particularly one who left a winning team (Houston) to play for a losing team (Buffalo) just for the money ($50 million guaranteed). As my favorite show (The Wire) always says: The Game is The Game. Williams simply got played.

There’s no playbook for romance. Williams is hardly the first or last athlete to be burned by a sycophant with malice aforethought. The list of woeful financial moves by sports stars is longer than the Magna Carta.

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And Mario Williams doesn’t get a pass simply because he can afford, as F. Scott Fitzgerald would say, A Diamond as Big as the Ritz. But fair is indeed fair. And though the numbers are never incidental, the principle should stand no matter the money involved.

This feeling isn’t the province of jilted men. Indeed, most women I’ve heard on the matter feel the same way – with the proviso that the man didn’t cheat on the woman to whom he gave the rock. Agreed.

Maybe this is something we all may finally agree on. Surely this is more fun than my nth assertion that Carmelo Anthony will never win his own ring and his apologists calling me a moron daily. My boss can’t even get mad at me for veering from New York sports. Buffalo counts. Even if it doesn’t.

And this is from someone who got a ring back. After a marriage of Liz Taylor-ian brevity, I demanded the jewel, and she handed it to me.

Then I lost it at a Sizzlers in Secaucus.


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