The beloved former Cleveland Browns football return specialist has parlayed his popularity into gigs as a football analyst and television personality. Last fall, he and his outspoken, high-octane wife, Maria, began co-hosting WOIO-TV 19’s “Cribbs in the CLE: Josh and Maria Live,” a weekday-morning show in which they conduct often-hilarious discussions of the day’s events and showcase local businesses and nonprofits. The community-service-oriented couple also give back to the community through the TeamCribbs Foundation.
Love at First Sight. Josh and Maria met in November 2001 as Kent State University students attending the school’s Renaissance Ball. The freshman quarterback was smitten with the sophomore journalism major the minute he saw her onstage receiving the event’s best-dressed award. “It was like a movie,” he remembers. “There actually was a spotlight on her, and everything else was dark. For me, it felt like everything slowed down. It was like God telling me, ‘This is the one!’” He waited in a crowd of Maria’s friends afterward just so he could introduce himself.
Strong, Silent Type. Maria was attracted to Josh’s “very calming and peaceful spirit.” “He had a really good-looking body because he did play football,” she adds.
Camera Ready. Josh’s manager began pitching a show featuring Josh and Maria two-plus years ago after one person after another told the Cribbses they should be on television. Those who didn’t know the couple had seen their amusing conversations/arguments during Maria’s appearances on “Josh’s Cribbs,” his now-defunct FSN Ohio reality show. They believe they’re doing more now than simply entertaining and informing on a show Maria describes as “authentic” and “kind of raw.”
“We’re giving other people who look like us, other people who want this type of life, permission to go for it …,” Josh begins. “… without having to change who you are,” Maria finishes.
“No Cause Left Behind.” It’s the motto of the TeamCribbs Foundation, the nonprofit Josh started eight years ago. The organization has done everything from handing out backpacks to students at Stepstone Academy, a charter school in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, to partnering with the Greater Cleveland Salvation Army in providing 100-plus turkey dinners on its annual Thanksgiving Pantry Day. “We partner with other smaller foundations or smaller initiatives to help bring awareness to those initiatives and those other foundations that may be overlooked, to have them either get bigger or to help them with their cause,” he adds.
Unselfish Beauty. Maria is the woman behind Selfish Beauty (mariacribbs.com/selfishbeauty), a website that sells all-natural products she’s used and determined to be free of harmful chemicals. The state-licensed esthetician was spurred to action after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and told to stop using anything containing parabens, particularly antiperspirants. “Why would you not tell someone beforehand that, ‘Hey, antiperspirants aren’t good for you?’” she wonders.
Opposites Attract. The relatively reserved Cribbs admits he and his wife are like fire and water when it comes to their personalities. “Maria’s the party,” he quips. “I’m like the police that come to the door.” The same goes for their work styles. “Even now, I try to focus her up on stuff,” he says. “She’s like, ‘Nah, we’re just going to wing it.’”
Secret to Success. “We allow each other to be who we are,” Maria says. “I don’t try to change Josh or stop Josh from doing things that he wants to do, his aspirations or his desires. And, he doesn’t try to stop me or limit me in what I would like to do.”