You've heard about it before. You know, one of those contests where the fan who gives the most to a sports celebrity's favorite charity goes to dinner with him/her. If your first "date" is a prize and photo op, then you know that the night is doomed from the start. Bulbs flashing, scripted moments; it's the opposite of 'hanging out'—the antithesis of cool.
So, what if it wasn't some contrived set-up? What if, for example, you run into Troy Polamalu and his wife at REI, and miraculously, you hit it off? What if, like Jerry Seinfeld and Keith Hernandez, you find yourself in a budding friendship with a superstar?
First, if you're going to hang out with famous sports icons, don't do it alone. Make it a couples night. You need a release valve; you need your better half. Secondly, don't hang out with a diva or ego maniac, because you'll never recover from a night that ends with Chad Johnson looking at his phone for hours before saying, "I gotta go."
You and your guy or gal need to be paired with an athlete and WAG/HAB who are grounded enough to have fun with you. Yeah, they may be beautiful and pay the bill (besides, you didn't order the Cristal), but that doesn't mean they can't play Jenga or play a good ol' fashioned game of "Quarters."
These are the 20 Coolest Couples in Sports.