With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I figured I’d let all of you in on the more tender side of sports. Guys bear with me, or rather, start taking notes. There are certain things every little girl dreams of at her wedding, a flowing white dress, flowers abound, one last dance with her dad, oh and the never ending image of sports.
Wait, rewind, every girl out there just cringed and every guy just cheered. But, with so many athletic conscious weddings out there, sports traditions are becoming more and more prevalent. I have to give kudos to my next door neighbor who really got the ball rolling on this one: he announced his wedding party to Monday Night Football. Yes, that’s right, he, the groom, came out and announced each member of the wedding party as if they were a member of his fantasy football league. I hear they tried to bring in some WWE wrestlers for entertainment, but they were all booked that weekend. I know the bride is still upset.
These trends can be seen on the silver screen as well, with countless romantic sports movie moments, think Marla Hooch and Nelson in A League of Their Own exiting under a promenade of baseball bats.
Sports love stories aren’t only for movies, however. Check out any People or InStyle, and you will see story after story about famous couples, and quite a few involve athletes. For example, Bret Hedican, defenseman for the Florida Panthers and Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, tennis star Martina Hingis and golfer Sergio Garcia, soccer star Mia Hamm and Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, Anna Kournikova and _____ (I’ll let you fill in the blank for the man of the moment.)
One of the biggest sports mergers, however, may have come with the marriage of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Even bigger news than their marriage and birth of their son, however, may have been the bet they made. A bet which became public following Agassi’s victory over No. 12 Sebastien Grosjean in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Agassi told Graf that if he won the Australian Open, she had to come out of retirement and play mixed doubles with him at the next Grand Slam.
Although I haven’t heard Graf’s response, maybe we can just wait a few years for their son Jaden Gil to hit the courts. Supposedly an American millionaire has offered the couple $10 million for their first born to play in a tennis tournament in the year 2017.
And that same money man has offered to foot the bill to see the young Jaden take on Christian Charles Sampras, the newborn of tennis star Pete Sampras and wife, actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. Who knows, could make for an interesting sequel, Agassi and Sampras: the younger years.
But nothing can compare to the tale of romantic bliss at Ohio State University. My friend Kenny, a proud Buckeye, shared this story with me and a fellow Cornell student one night during Winter Break.
After the Buckeyes secured themselves a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, the school set up a lottery system in which lucky students would be able to purchase a ticket for the game. If that student was married, he would receive two tickets.
With the rules obviously stated, what happens when only one member of a couple wins a ticket? Get married so your boyfriend can go, of course. No, you didn’t read that wrong. A couple at Ohio State got married in order to go to the National Championship, and not just one couple, but a few.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical, so I had Kenny e-mail me the article, and right there in Ohio State’s own Lantern, “Couples rush to marry for bowl tickets.”
The article by Jamie Duffy and Brade Kane explains the tale of Joe, a veterinary student, and his girlfriend Rachel, a graduate student, who got married after she won a ticket and he didn’t. The marriage was so new the couple asked to have their last names withheld because they hadn’t told their parents yet. Joe explained that the couple had planned on getting married, but not for a few years.
Joe and Rachel, however, are not the only football crazed Ohio State couples. On a local radio show, “Wags and Elliot,” another OSU couple identified as Jennifer and Shane also went and got married in order for Jennifer to go to Tempe. This couple was engaged but would not have been married prior to the deadline.
With marriage on the mind, Lawrence Belskis, a judge in the probate court near OSU said another judge had called him about marrying two students so they could go to the Fiesta Bowl. Belskis said, however, that his fellow judge called him back later to say the whole thing was called off, by the couples’ parents.
After reading this story, I was shocked, mystified, and couldn’t stop laughing. I guess nothing can stop true love, of football that is. See guys, there are some girls out there willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, so don’t forget that special person next week!
And just in case you are placed in this situation in Ithaca any time soon, I hear you can get a marriage license at the court downtown, and it only costs $25 dollars.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss