Antwan Barnes is the last of the romantics — sort of.
While many celebrities get a bit carried away with their marriage proposals, the Jets linebacker didn't want to go over the top. He didn't want emotion to get in the way of the decision and he didn't want his girlfriend to get caught up in the moment. So he chose the most innocent of times to pop the question to his girlfriend Cameren.
Barnes proposed in the middle of the night — while his girlfriend was asleep.
Last December, Barnes was weeks away from season-ending left knee injury. While in bed one night, he was second-guessing the decision to ask his girlfriend to become his wife and life partner.
“Marriage is serious business after all,” Barnes said.
But he wanted her to make an honest decision to be with him, not one where she was wrapped up in the emotion of an elaborate marriage proposal.
So he figured what better time than the middle of the night, when she would be roused from her sleep and wouldn't have time to be overwhelmed by the moment? Barnes, an instinctual player on the field, wanted an instinctual answer from Cameren, who he had been dating several years.
So one night, just a couple weeks before New Year's Eve, the two went to bed around 11 p.m., but Barnes couldn't sleep with nerves getting in the way. Barnes asked himself, “Should I do this? Should I not? Am I really ready? Then I prayed about it and I knew it was right.”
Around 3 a.m. he rolled over and said something to try and get her awake.
“She thought it was my knee and that I was in pain,” Barnes told Metro. “I answered, 'No,' but why don't you go ahead and marry me?”
It was then that he pulled out a ring from underneath the pillow and put it on her finger.
After five minutes of asking him if it was serious, Cameren finally believed him and called her mother on the West Coast. The two will get married on July 12 and Barnes said he couldn't be happier – and he is rehabbing well from his knee injury so there shouldn't be a limp down the aisle.
“After that, she was the one who couldn't go to sleep. She was too excited, probably staring at the ring or something,” Barnes said. “I had no problems; I fell straight asleep. I got a good night's sleep too.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.