25 Romantic Sports Moments That Make You Say 'Aww'
Source: The New York Times
For most of us, our sports-loving minds are currently consumed with thoughts of NBA All-Star weekend, the upcoming NFL draft and the dawn of another MLB spring training.
But there's always time to step back and appreciate the little things in life—like romance.
It's Valentine's Day, which means it's time to celebrate those moments in sports that remind us that even the toughest of sports stars can be turned into piles of mush by the ones they love. Everyone has a soft spot—even these guys.
Here's a look at 25 sports-related romantic moments that make our hearts melt.
Landry Fields Proposes to Elaine Alden
First of all: Holy cow, what a rock.
It needed to be said.
Now that we've clarified that Landry Fields has enough money to buy a behemoth of a ring, we can move on to his proposal story.
Earlier this week, Fields, a former New York Knick and current Toronto Raptor, proposed to model girlfriend Elaine Alden with a cute little string of photos spelling out, "Will you marry me?" It's unclear whether he also asked in person, but regardless, he gets creativity points.
I'm ENGAGED to the man of my dreams!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @landryfields— Elaine Alden (@elainealden) February 13, 2013
Couldn't be happier!! Marrying the woman of my dreams!! God is SO good! :D— Landry Fields (@landryfields) February 13, 2013
These two really know how to celebrate Valentine's Day.
Dwyane Wade's and Gabrielle Union's Post-Championship Snugglefest
Source: Palm Beach Post
There were probably a lot of things on Dwyane Wade's mind when he and the Miami Heat won the NBA crown over the Oklahoma City Thunder last June.
Isn't it kind of sweet that one of the first things he did upon claiming the trophy was kiss his girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union?
Wade and Union are a celebrity-athlete couple that's easy to root for because they're never in your face, don't court paparazzi and never seem to care that the whole world is watching them.
They just do their thing.
In the days of celebration that followed Miami's big win, Wade was barely ever seen without Union by his side. There are times to celebrate the big win with the boys, but it's always nice to see a superstar who keeps his lady in on the fun.
Santa Proposes to Titans Cheerleader
Source: The Washington Post
You have to give this guy props for some serious planning.
This is the love story of Nationals minor league pitcher Ben Graham and Tennessee Titans cheerleader Janae Kram.
In 2011, during halftime of a Titans game, Graham dressed up as Santa Claus, according to the Washington Post, and approached Kram. As first, she may have been perplexed at about being approached by Santa mid-cheer routine, but any skepticism soon waned when Santa revealed himself to be Graham.
Right then and there, he got down on one knee and proposed.
Iowa State Women's Basketball Player Gets a Proposal at Half-Court
Now this is how you celebrate the New Year.
Ryan De Hamer and Iowa State women's basketball player Anna Prins had been dating for years, and he was ready to take things to the next level—so he picked an unorthodox time to pop the question.
Instead of doing it on the Jumbotron or at a candlelit dinner, he took a knee at half-court after one of Prins' games.
It takes a lot of guts for a dude to pop the question in public, but at least he made sure his lady would be in good spirits before he did it. There's nothing like beating Alabama State to put you in the mood for a marriage proposal.
Oh, and she said yes.
Gisele Bundchen Defends Tom Brady
Perhaps this is romantic in a different and somewhat psychotic way, but any lady who defends her man like Gisele Bundchen did deserves some recognition.
Especially when she is faced with the ire of so many New York Giants fans and still appears completely undaunted.
When the New England Patriots lost their second Super Bowl to the Giants in February 2012, Bundchen—supermodel and wife of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady—was miffed. While she waited for an elevator postgame, she endured some ribbing from Giants fans, and after a while, couldn't take it anymore.
According to the New York Daily News, Bundchen finally exclaimed:
You have to catch the ball when you're supposed to catch the ball. My husband cannot f***ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times.
Couple Gets Down During the Vancouver Riot
Canucks fans really know how to riot when their team loses. And Alex Thomas and Scott Jones know how to do more than riot.
These are, of course, the infamous people who fell to the pavement in a steamy embrace while the fans around them unleashed their anger over the fact that Vancouver had just been defeated in the Stanley Cup finals by the Boston Bruins.
In Boston, the iconic images of that year's championship are of the players hoisting the Cup. In Vancouver, the iconic image is a loving couple in the streets surrounded by a SWAT team, fires and toppled cars.
Gerard Pique's and Shakira's First Baby Photo
Shakira's romance with FC Barcelona star Gerard Pique was still relatively young when she found out that she was expecting. But in the nine-ish months since, she and Pique have been reveling in all of their expectant-parent glory.
Milan Pique Mebarak was born on Jan. 22, and after keeping photos of the baby under wraps for a little while, the songstress released his first photo on her own instead of cashing in on first-picture offers from magazines.
Instead, she asked for donations to Unicef. There's nothing like a cute father-son pic mixed with a little bit of goodwill.
Bradley Wiggins Kisses Wife Cath After Tour de France Win
Source: The Mirror
These days, we're all so excited to see anyone but Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France that Bradley Wiggins' post-win antics seem like a dream come true.
It was only fitting that the 2012 champion commemorated his special moment with a super sweet kiss from wife Cath.
Wiggins certainly had plenty to be proud of this summer, when he became the first Brit ever—in 109 years of competition—to win the Tour de France, according to the Daily Mirror.
When you contrast Wiggins with the surly, self-centered Armstrong, it's even more touching to see the guy celebrate with his adorable family in the immediate aftermath of his biggest career accomplishment.
Chris Mueller Spells "Marry" Wrong
If nothing else, he gets an "A" for effort—even if an "R" is what he really needed.
Back in 2005, AHL forward Chris Mueller sought a creative way to propose to girlfriend Katie Goltz—and what's more creative than spelling out a proposal in a soybean field?
Well, nothing. But it would have helped if he learned how to spell "marry" before plowing it into the field. Alas, there was nothing he could do once, "Will you mary me?" was set in stone (or grass).
In the end, he got what he wanted: Katie said yes, and she even thought it was cute that her man couldn't spell, according to ABC Action News.
Carmelo Anthony Proposes to La La
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Who knew Carmelo Anthony had so much romance in him?
Lately, he and wife LaLa have been in the headlines for some Kevin Garnett-related shenanigans, but their engagement story is the one that is truly newsworthy.
According to ESPN.com's Page 3, the couple—who met after Melo spent considerable time "stalking" the former MTV VJ—got engaged in Cabo San Lucas right after La La's birthday.
The New York Knicks forward decorated a hotel room with flowers and threw off his soon-to-be fiance by getting her a pair of pajamas for her big day.
But that wasn't the only gift on the agenda. Right before they went to bed, he popped the question.
Jason Sehorn Proposes to Angie Harmon
Before there was Tom and Gisele, there was Jason and Angie.
Jason Sehorn may never have achieved the acclaim of Tom Brady during his NFL career, but his engagement story is much better.
Way back in 1998, the former cornerback proposed to his model-actress wife live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (above).
Leno set it up perfectly by asking a completely oblivious Harmon if she was dating anyone at the moment, and she giggled and acted embarrassed for a while (while Elton John looked on awkwardly) before Sehorn appeared from backstage and popped the question.
I may have shed a tear or two while watching.
Andy Murray's PDA with Kim Sears After the U.S. Open
Source: Digital Spy
It's been a long road to the top for Andy Murray.
For years, he has battled the notion that he would never join the elite group of today's tennis stars, toiling in the shadows of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Sometimes, it looked like he was on the brink of a big victory, only to let it slip through his fingers.
Lady friend Kim Sears was there through all of the trials and tribulations, so it's only fitting that she was one of the first to congratulate her man when the triumphs began.
In September, Murray defeated Djokovic to win his first-ever major at the U.S. Open, but a couple of months before that, Murray set the stage for his run of success at the London Olympics. After he took down Federer to win the gold medal, Sears—who got plenty of camera time in the stands throughout the Games—rewarded him with a courtside kiss.
David and Victoria Beckham's First Kiss
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
They're one of the most famous celebrity-athlete couples on the planet, so it's only fitting to wonder how they met and where they shared their first kiss.
David Beckham and former Spice Girl Victoria weren't always as glamorous as they appear now. The two met at a charity event back in 1997 and began dating, though they kept it a secret for months.
Or at least they tried to.
Perhaps that's why they shared their first kiss at a simple old pub near his mother's house, according to OK Magazine.
See? Even Britain's (other) royal couple knows how to keep it simple. Romance doesn't always have to be fancy.
As for the secret to their healthy marriage, Beckham told the magazine, "I made her fall in love with me by giving her more wine."
Justin Blackmon's Sideline Kiss at the Fiesta Bowl
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
2012 was a good year for Justin Blackmon. The former Oklahoma State wide receiver won the Fiesta Bowl and was the first wideout off the board in the NFL Draft, going No. 5 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He also made out with a cheerleader and girlfriend Mariel Dunlap on the sideline at the big game in Glendale.
Blackmon's Fiesta Bowl stats were already impressive: He finished the game with 186 yards and three touchdowns. That's one way to get noticed by the draft scouts.
This, it seems, is another.
Bills' David Nelson Hugs Cowboys' Cheerleader Girlfriend Post-TD
When you're a member of the Buffalo Bills, there isn't usually a lot to celebrate.
Fortunately, Bills wideout David Nelson had girlfriend Kelsi Reich around to celebrate with him when he caught a touchdown against the Cowboys back in 2011. The only problem was, she's a cheerleader for the other team.
It was a long journey from the end zone to the Cowboys' sideline, and it probably felt a lot longer for Reich, who appeared half-humiliated, half-infuriated upon receiving the game ball from her man.
It was a sweet gesture, and we can only hope Reich had a more positive reaction when the cameras were no longer rolling.
AJ McCarron Kisses Katherine Webb After BCS Championship
She was probably more famous than he was after the game was over, but who cares?
Clearly, not AJ McCarron. Or perhaps he just felt the need to mark his territory.
Katherine Webb, Miss Alabama 2012 and current girlfriend of the Crimson Tide quarterback, got lots of attention during the BCS Championship Game when ESPN commentator Brent Musburger took a liking to her.
By game's end, she had thousands more Twitter followers than when the game began—but there was only one she cared about, as evidenced by the above photo.
Dario Franchitti's and Ashley Judd's Indy 500 Kiss
Source: USA Today
Sadly, the romance between these two wasn't meant to last—but perhaps we can use this Valentine's Day to remember the better times between Ashley Judd and three-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti.
And during those better times, they gave us the most romantic moment in the history of race car driving.
After Franchitt's first Indy 500 victory, Judd couldn't contain her excitement. Before her hubby had even climbed out of his car, she rushed over to give him a big old kiss (above).
Sadly, the two are now separating after 11 years of marriage.
Barry Zito's and Amber Seyer's 'Notebook' Moment
There have been few major league pitchers as frustratingly inconsistent as Barry Zito during the course of his 13-year career, but wife Amber Seyer loves him unconditionally.
And we all saw that during the 2012 World Series.
After the Giants took down the Detroit Tigers for their second championship in three years, Zito and Seyer shared an infamous on-field kiss that has been compared to movie posters for the blockbuster movie The Notebook.
A Hollywood moment to conclude a Hollywood ending to the season. Very fitting.
J.J. Watt Proposes to 6-Year-Old Fan
Age ain't nothing but a number to one fan with a thing for J.J. Watt. Unfortunately, age does matter to Watt himself.
2012 was a big year for the Texans defensive end, who was one of the key components of a team that managed to reach the divisional round of the playoffs. His rise to fame wasn't lost on a six-year-old fan who famously cried over her desire to marry the budding star.
Watt couldn't stand to see those tears, so once he saw the video of the crying girl on YouTube, he tracked her down and pretend-proposed to her.
The NFL: Where dreams come true for six-year-old girls.
Carrie Underwood Flashes Engagement Ring from Mike Fisher
One of the most refreshing celebrity-athlete couples of late has to be Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher and country singer Carrie Underwood.
They don't make much of a spectacle of themselves in public, and they seem to genuinely like each other without constantly shoving it in the world's face.
He accompanies her on the red carpet when he can, and she goes to games whenever she can. It certainly helps that he got traded from Ottawa to Nashville, her home, while they were dating.
Back when the two first got engaged, Underwood picked the perfect time to nonchalantly flash her brand new ring.
She showed up to a Predators-Bruins game and didn't pose for any photos or make a scene. She simply waved her hand around while talking to a friend in order to display her five-plus carat rock.
There's nothing more romantic than subtlety. Her ring isn't too shabby, either.
Tony Romo Gets Hitched
Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Speaking of Carrie Underwood, her ex, Tony Romo, had a pretty romantic wedding a couple years after she tied the knot with Fisher.
Romo married Candice Crawford, a former beauty queen and real-life sister of Nate Archibald (another Underwood ex, coincidentally), in a ginormous 600-guest ceremony in May 2011, according to the Daily Mail.
Reports say that the NFL—and the Cowboys in particular—were well-represented at the event: Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant were all in attendance.
In the eyes of Cowboys fans who experienced the havoc caused by Romo's relationship with Jessica Simpson, there's nothing more romantic than him finding the right woman.
Kurt Warner's Post-Super Bowl Moment with Brenda
Here, we have one of the most heartwarming images of Kurt Warner's career.
After going undrafted and toiling in the Arena Football League for several years, he took the Rams to the Super Bowl in his first season as a starter in 1999. Warner subsequently won the Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP award.
Once the big game was officially over, the first thing he did was rush to the sideline to share a romantic moment with wife Brenda, a former U.S. Marine Corps corporal whom he met in college and married in 1997.
It was a special moment for Warner and his wife, who was into him way before he was an NFL superstar: She married him when he was a stock boy at a local grocery store.
Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf Fall in Love at the French Open
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Tennis' bona fide power couple have one of the best how-we-met stories in all of sports.
The 1999 French Open was a special time for each of these superstars. Not only did they both win at Roland Garros that year, but that's when they met.
Agassi—who had just divorced Brooke Shields—had long admired Graf from afar. At the time, though, he had a bad-boy reputation, which put him at a disadvantage.
So, according to InsideTennis.com, Agassi did what any smart dude would—he wrote her a heartfelt note about his true feelings for her.
The move clearly paid off, as they've been married for nearly 14 years. Men of the world: take note.
Beyonce and Jay-Z Embrace After Super Bowl Performance
Source: People Magazine via Instagram
The verdict is in, and it seems as though Beyonce's Super Bowl XLVII halftime performance was a bona fide success.
After so many years of halftime shows ranging from abominably unwatchable to halfway decent, the spectacle we received courtesy of Sasha Fierce was something to behold.
There were leather costumes, enough lights to short the Superdome's power, a Destiny's Child reunion and, most importantly, a superstar singer delivering a plethora of superstar hits.
Right after Beyonce exited the stage, her biggest supporter of all was right there waiting with a hug.
It's admirable that Jay-Z was so adamant about staying out of the spotlight and letting his wife shine, but it's downright adorable that he was so happy to see her succeed.
The Boise State Proposal
This, of course, is one of the most famous romantic stories in all of sports in the last decade. This is straight out of a movie stuff.
The year was 2007. The occasion was the Fiesta Bowl, and the man of the hour was Boise State's Ian Johnson, who was in the midst of the best night of his young, 20-year-old life.
The Broncos ended up beating Oklahoma against all odds, 43-42 (en route to capping off a perfect season), but it was a night to remember for more reasons than one for Johnson.
While being interviewed on camera after the game of his life, Johnson dropped to one knee and—on the spot—proposed to Boise State cheerleader and girlfriend Chrissy Popadics.
Young love and football. It doesn't get any better than that.