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Perfect Timing - Monroe News Star, LA

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[quote][size=5][b]Perfect Timing[/b][/size]
[size=4][b]The Love Story of Melissa Clark and Andrew Whitworth[/b][/size]

by Mary Margaret Storey


Hawkins Photography

The engaged couple enjoy time together in Ruston prior to their spring marriage in California and their relocation to Cincinnati.

Even though each were local celebrities in their own rights, neither had any idea of the other's lives when they met by chance at a restaurant in West Monroe last spring. It was a matter of perfect timing for KTVE Television News Anchor Melissa Clark and Cincinnati Bengals Guard Andrew Whitworth. And the timing did not take long --- the couple plan to wed at The Ritz Carlton at Laguna Nigel, California next spring prior to a relocation to a Cincinnati home for the regular season and a base in North Louisiana during the off season.

Careerwise, Melissa Clark had her dream job in tow and had her mind more on the next newscast than on marriage when she met Andrew Whitworth. He had the next game on the football field more in mind than the next dating game. It was really not a particularly likely scenario for what turned out to be a love story of special circumstance.

“I was in the best place I possibly could have been with regard to my career,” Clark said. “At a young age I had my dream job, I had my ideal apartment and I was really not dating a lot. I had a nice life. I started dating when I was sixteen years old and I am twenty-eight, so I dated a lot and I had a lot of first dates without second dates and a lot of failed relationships. At the same time, I always felt that God might have something special in mind for me if I waited and I was doing just that --- I was waiting. And when Andrew came along he just blew all of my expectations. I was content with the life I had and I was ready to meeting him. It came at a perfect time.”

“My first impression of her was that she was very beautiful, of course, but really I loved the elegant and mature way she handled herself,” Whitworth recalled. “It was just different. She was not dressed in a showy way to emphasize her body either. She impressed me from the beginning --- as a real person --- not a fake. From that first meeting we both wanted to see each other but it was a battle of the egos. Neither of us wanted to be the first to admit that we wanted to see the other. For several weeks it was a stand off with me asking her out and her refusing.”

All of that changed one Sunday afternoon when Andrew invited Melissa to go out on his boat when he was at home during off season. She agreed. When the appointed hour came, it was raining and he text messaged with the rejoinder, “Well, I guess you don't have to make any excuses about not going out with me. It's raining. We can't go.” She gave it some thought and decided to take a chance. She was at home watching NASCAR races in her sweats and invited him to come over.

“I will never forget going to the door and looking through the peephole,” she recalled. “He is six feet eight inches tall and he weighs 330 pounds. He is huge. There is not an ounce of fat on him, he is just huge. Anyway, when I looked through the peephole all I could see was his chest because his head was above my field of vision. I invited him in and we sat on the couch talking for five hours. When we first met and I found out what he did, I thought about just Googling him on the Internet, but I decided not to do that and waited to find out what he was all about in person. We spent all that time just laughing and talking. It was as if we had known each other for five years. There was never an awkward moment.”

By the end of the summer, Whitworth was ready for the big step of making a formal proposal but he was not sure exactly how he wanted to do it. He said just about everything crossed his mind.

“I had all sorts of thoughts about laying out a path with sheets to walk over, having dozens of roses, having a lot of candles, I just thought of all kinds of ways to set a scene for a romantic proposal,” he recalled. “But then I thought about the true nature of our relationship and none of that really fit what we were.”

“So ... what happened was that we were in Cincinnati the weekend of a game against the Detroit Lions and she thought I was going to have to stay in the team hotel ... which is usually the case, but instead, I got to come back to my condo where she was staying. I made her go for a walk with me and while we were enjoying views of the river I just simply got on my knees there and told her that we both loved each other and nothing else mattered and we should get married. Her immediate response was to start crying and ask me to get off my knees because she was afraid that I might hurt them before the game. That is how sweet and down to earth she is. It was the perfect proposal for us.”

As for the life which is ahead after their marriage, Whitworth said there are certain customs which dictate the roles football wives play in their marriages and theirs will have elements of that along with the unique elements which are characteristic of any marriage, no matter the profession of the partners.

“We will live in Cincinnati during the season in my condo on the Ohio River and then have a place in Monroe or West Monroe or Ruston during the off season,” Whitworth said. “I expect Melissa to come to my out of town games either on her own or with other players' wives. Sometimes they get together and travel in a group but they are not allowed on the team plane with their husbands.”

“As far as the custom at the games, there is a family section near the bench and tunnel and that is where she will sit. I really don't know if I will be able to see her but it is probably better if I can't because that might mess me up thinking about her. I really don't know who gets more fired up about the games, me or her. She is absolutely passionate about what happens on the field. She wants her man to win.”

In closing my account of what was a special opportunity to visit with two remarkable young people, I relate their attitudes about their faith which they requested be included in the hopes that it would influence others to seek the approval of The Lord in their personal relationships and commitments.

“We both attend the same church and when we decided that we wanted to get married, we also decided to visit with our pastor about it,” Clark said. “We made a conscious decision that we wanted a God honoring relationship in the time before our marriage, realizing that such - was very old fashioned but we both felt it was what we wanted to do. And we have both been glad we did it.”

“When we talked about this we knew that with the current way of thinking that some people might even laugh at this,” Whitworth said. “But we decided that that this was the approach we wanted to take and we have both been glad we did. I really think that we are respected for making this decision and taking this stand and we hope because we are somewhat in the public eye that people who are aware that we have made this commitment will consider doing the same thing.”[/quote]


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she's pretty hot and what i can't believe is that Whit decided not to hit it before getting married, don't see that heppening much at all anymore....

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She's pretty and smart. What a wonderful combination.

Melissa Elise Clark Singer and Songwriter industrial and organizational psychology Louisiana Tech University

Miss Louisiana Tech University, Melissa Elise Clark, 23, of Ruston, was crowned Miss Louisiana 2003 after three previous attempts on June 21, 2003

Melissa Elise Clark , representing Louisiana , beat out 27 other young women to capture the National Sweetheart Pageant on Sunday night.The pageant at the McFerren Park Civic Center was part of the 58th annual National Sweetcorn Festival , which concludes today.Clark , a native of Ruston , La. , and a student at Louisiana Tech University , also won the talent competition with her vocal rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.


Mike and Cindy Clark of Ruston are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Melissa Elise Clark, to Andrew James Whitworth, son of Mike and Charlotte Whitworth of West Monroe.

Melissa is the granddaughter of Artie Clark of Ruston, Henry E. Clark of Ball, La., and the late Mr. and Mrs. H.O. Cooley.

Andrew is the grandson of the late L.D. and Kathleen Whitworth of Bastrop, the late Irvin McDaniel of Calhoun, and Grace McDaniel of Calhoun.

Melissa is a 1998 graduate of Ruston High School and a 2003 graduate of Louisiana Tech University, where she was a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority. She also earned her master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech in 2005.

Melissa is currently the evening news anchor/producer for NBC 10 News in West Monroe.

Andrew graduated from West Monroe High School in 2001 and from Louisiana State University in 2005. While at LSU, Andrew was a member of the 2003 national-championship football team. Presently, Andrew is employed by the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The couple will marry at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California on March 14. After their honeymoon at Punta Mita, Mexico, they will reside in Cincinnati, Ohio, and West Monroe, La.

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Congrats to Andrew and Melissa. Most likely she'll look for a TV job in Cincy but working in separate cities in the meantime will be hard. They both sound like they have a lot of character so I bet it works out well for them.

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I wonder how often she allows him to be in the "missionary" position. He's huge, she's little.

Anyway, he's my favorite Bengal and I wish them well.

As far as her passion for the game, I wonder what she thought when she saw him tangling with John Henderson!

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[quote name='Bunghole' post='737230' date='Jan 2 2009, 07:44 PM']I wonder how often she allows him to be in the "missionary" position. He's huge, she's little.[/quote]


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[quote name='Phish' post='737219' date='Jan 2 2009, 06:55 PM']she's pretty hot and what i can't believe is that Whit decided not to hit it before getting married, don't see that heppening much at all anymore....[/quote]


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