Sometimes a couple gets together and it’s a little difficult to see how and why they wound up together. But sometimes the pairing makes sense.
Just like celebrity romances, athlete romances are often in the public eye and this includes a wide variety of social networking sites as well as media platforms. And, of course, there are plenty of high-profile relationships that make us wonder, “Wait, did this person and that person really get together?”
Yes, the heart wants what it wants, but there are some lovey-dovey moments that shock the heck out of you like a lightning bolt. For all your trouble, there are just about as many new couples who made their relationships public, but you weren’t so surprised because you sort of expected the results or were totally aware that one or both parties had a certain type they’d definitely go for.
Obviously, the couples mentioned in this list may or may not turn out to be the pairs you had in mind, but that’s the glory about writing about trending topics—there’s no right or wrong in choosing 15 different couples to write about! Anyways, we’re pretty sure that you’ve heard at least a few of these couples on tabloid programs such as TMZ, Perez Hilton and Hollywood Life. We’ve got you covered when it comes to predictable and not-so-predictable couples in the sports world from Cleveland Cavaliers player Tristan Thompson and Revenge Body host Khloe Kardashian to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Camille Kostek.
So here we are, and about to look at 10 new athlete romances we were not expecting and 5 that made sense.
Unexpected: Aaron Rodgers And Danica Patrick
Who would’ve thought that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and NASCAR star Danica Patrick were going to get together?
Rodgers, who recently joined the Milwaukee Bucks’ ownership group, has apparently rebounded from his ex-girlfriend Olivia Munn, a sports reporter turned science fiction actress. But that’s not to mention that Patrick wasn’t a rebounder herself.
Patrick rebounded from her NASCAR beau Ricky Stenhouse Jr. just two months after the 30-year-old was unsure about marriage, despite five years of dating.
Although it’s too early to predict if the sporty couple is going to last, it sure seems unlikely as they’ve both been through similar issues in their past relationships when it comes to long-term commitment. But in the meantime, Rodgers appears to be enjoying the fact that he gets to spend more time with Patrick, who officially hit the brakes on her career on November 17, 2017.
Patrick spoke about her retirement decision on Nightline, saying, “It wasn’t in my heart anymore. What I love about racing was that ability to progress and get better and finish better and better and ultimately win. And I just felt like that was becoming less and less something that was in my control.”
Unexpected: Eugenie Bouchard And John Goerke
Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard, who’s often referred to as “Genie” by her fans, may not be one of the highest-ranking female tennis players at the moment, but she’s certainly one of the most beautiful ones. Of course, you don’t have to agree with me when it comes to her looks, but you’ll likely agree that you would’ve assumed that she was going to date a male tennis player or some sort of high-profile guy.
However, that’s not the case as she has reportedly been dating John Goerke, a “normal” guy who studies marketing at the University of Missouri after Goerke won a bet to date Bouchard. The pair went on their first date at a Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks game in the Barclays Center, and yes, Goerke earned himself a kiss along with a second date.
According to Mirror Online, Bouchard said, “I planned the date. He picked me up at my hotel like a gentleman, then we came over here, he brought me a nice little gift and he enjoyed the game courtside. … I’m lucky he’s normal. … For sure [there will be a second date].”
We don’t know how serious the relationship (if there’s any) is, but one thing’s for sure; no one expected a fan to court Genie and actually hit it off with her.
Made Sense: Tristan Thompson And Khloe Kardashian
You shouldn’t have been too surprised when the news broke that Cleveland Cavaliers player Tristan Thompson was dating Revenge Body host Khloe Kardashian after a mutual friend set the two up on a blind date in September 2016.
Kardashian mentioned on the Keeping Up With The Kardashians 10th anniversary special, “Brandon Jennings, who is a basketball player, is a friend of mine and Malika [Haqq], and he was like, ‘You’re such a good girl, I want to introduce you to someone … I was at the Bel-Air Hotel. He came to the dinner. I didn’t want to go on a blind date. … Brandon kind of ambushed the blind date. So I had a bunch of people, and he brought him and we just connected.”
Since then, Kardashian has been vocal about her feelings for Thompson and even gave birth to their daughter True on April 12, 2018. While the relationship hasn’t been all roses and chocolates as of late, Kardashian has seemingly been trying to care for her little girl the best she could because she has struggled with getting pregnant with her ex-husband, Lamar Odom, in the past.
Unexpected: Allison Stokke And Rickie Fowler
Ricky Fowler and Allison Stokke are both high profile athletes in their respective sports, but this pairing caught fans and the media a little off guard. While Stokke is arguably the more famous athlete, Fowler has been doing pretty well for himself on the PGA Tour as of late too.
As Fowler tries to keep improving his golf game, Stokke has been a pole vaulter and also does some modelling on the side, unsurprisingly.
However, despite both athletes being in the spotlight, many weren’t expecting this relationship, given that Stokke likes to keep her personal life private.
Obviously, going out with a fellow pro athlete like Fowler is going to bring a lot of attention, but they’re in love, so that’s all that matters to Stokke.
Stokke has been seen at several tournaments supporting her boyfriend and following his performance at Augusta earlier this year, where he came up short, Stokke shared the following on Instagram: “What. A. Week. So proud to stand alongside this man!💚,” Stokke posted.
Fowler hasn’t been shy about professing his love for Stokke either. Back on Valentine’s Day, he shared an Instagram post dedicated to her: “This last year has been nothing but the best! My best friend, sprint coach, training partner…I’ll be your sous chef any day! Thanks for being you! To many more!” Fowler wrote.
Unexpected: Aly Raisman And Tim Schaller
Unlike other Olympic gymnasts, three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman continues to remain relevant, whether it’s for her “Flip The Switch” campaign or for her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photoshoots.
Raisman, however, deserves to be in the public eye. In January 2018, Raisman’s testimony against disgraced doctor Larry Nassar went viral as many females remembered her chilling lines such as “Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing. The tables have turned, Larry. We are here. We have our voices, and we are not going anywhere. And now, Larry, it’s your turn to listen to me.”
Raisman’s personal life has been sporty thus far. The 24-year-old has dated former tight end Colton Underwood, who last played for the Oakland Raiders in 2015-16. Underwood will appear on Season 14 of The Bachelorette in an attempt to win Becca Kufrin’s heart, but let’s focus on Raisman, who is reportedly dating Boston Bruins forward Tim Schaller. That actually makes sense as Raisman is a Needham, Massachusetts, native who grew up as a Boston sports fan, but we didn’t expect her to get in a relationship just months after her harsh impact statement because many survivors struggle with low self-esteem, which often changes their personal lives for the worse.
Made Sense: Caroline Wozniacki And David Lee
Danish tennis sensation Caroline Wozniacki is currently ranked No. 2 in singles on the WTA Tour. Wozniacki was the first female from a Scandinavian country to hold the top ranking position and 20th overall. Moreover, Wozniacki won her first Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Yep, Wozniacki’s personal life wasn’t always smooth sailing. Remember when the blonde beauty was briefly engaged to Northern Irish professional golfer Roy McIlroy in 2014? The pair dated for three years before taking things to the next level, but McIlroy called off their engagement and told the Irish Independent, “The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails. I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had.”
McIlroy has moved on and tied the knot with another woman, whom we’ll discuss later in this list, but yeah, Wozniacki revealed that she was dating 2015 NBA champion David Lee on Valentine’s Day 2017 and the sporty couple got engaged nine months later. The timing couldn’t have been any better as Lee confirmed his retirement on November 19, 2017, following multiple injuries sustained in the past.
Unexpected: Maria Sharapova And Alexander Gilkes
Former Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has been ranked No. 1 in singles on the WTA Tour on five separate occasions that lasted a total of 21 weeks. Sharapova has also landed a lot of endorsements and even a feature for an edition of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Despite failing a test for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, Sharapova remains one of the biggest tennis stars in the world with a reported net worth of $195 million.
That being said, Sharapova can have her choice in men when it comes to dating. The 31-year-old has been in relationships with other athletes like Slovenian basketball player Sasha Vujacic, who currently plays for the Auxilium Torino of the Italian LBA, and Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dmitrov, who is ranked N0. 3 on the ATP World Tour.
Now, Sharapova apparently has a different type as she has been dating Paddle 8 president and co-founder Alexander Gilkes since January 2018.
Unlike her previous boyfriends, Gilkes was born and raised in London but relocated to New York in 2008. Gilkes is also an Etonian millionaire who is reportedly close friends with the Royal Family. They’re a rather odd couple, but let’s hope for the best.
Unexpected: Nelson Agholor And Viviana Volpicelli
The Philadelphia Eagles finally seized championship rings as they became World Champions at Super Bowl LII. Not only that, the wives and girlfriends of the Eagles players got their 15 minutes of fame and maybe even more than that.
Nigerian-born wide receiver Nelson Agholor and his beautiful blogger girlfriend Viviana Volpicelli certainly entered the spotlight following the Eagles’ epic 44-33 win over the Patriots on February 4, 2018. But don’t let the sudden attention fool you as the pair has been an item since college at the University of Southern California. Volpicelli graduated from USC in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Development.
We just wonder how these two got together. We also wonder if he would be able to do the exact thing if he wasn’t a backup turned starter WR who forwent his senior year at USC to enter the 2015 NFL Draft and then get selected 20th overall by the Eagles. Agoholor is a lucky guy who should try his best to keep Volpicelli around and he should start by not letting the fame and fortune get to his head before it’s too late to turn things around. Remember folks, Agholor dodged some serious charges stemming from an alleged incident at the Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club in June 2016.
Made Sense: Rob Gronkowski And Camille Kostek
Whether you love them or not, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and cheerleader turned swimsuit model Camille Kostek are back together. The on-again, off-again couple recently embarked on a tropical vacation to Jamaica to celebrate Gronk’s 29th birthday. Of course, that vacation was full of excitement because Kostek is, well, never not dancing, according to her Instagram account.
But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Gronk reunited with Kostek, who modelled for the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and slain the photoshoots as a rookie swimsuit model. There are lots of girls who are fans of Gronk, but he seemingly seems to favor the current television reporter and former Patriots cheerleader because she has that lovable combination of beauty and brains.
Not everyone was thrilled about the couple’s recent reunion. Reality TV star Kim Zolciak’s daughter Brielle Biermann tweeted, “When the f–- did Gronkowski get a girlfriend I am salty about this.” Biermann hasn’t had much luck in relationships thus far. Shortly after turning 21, Biermann broke up with Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Michael Koepech after nearly two years of dating.
Zolciak told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, “Brielle just turned 21—that’s exactly what happened I think … She’s been out. He’s 21 as well, but he’s doing his whole training, and that’s nine months out of the year.”
Unexpected: Rory McIlroy And Erica Stoll
Northern Irish pro golfer Rory McIlroy didn’t seem like a man who was ready to become a married man when he broke things off with his ex-fiancee Caroline Wozniacki, a Danish tennis player. But it seems that things changed when he began a relationship with a former PGA of America employee named Erica Stoll, whom he popped the question to during a vacation trip in Paris, France, and tied the knot with at Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo, Ireland, on April 2017.
McIlroy told Cool FM Radio, “We were friends for a couple of years and we knew each other sort of from the golf circuit, and in summer 2014, towards the end of the summer, started to spend a bit more time together and it went from there.”
Not much is known about the American-born Stoll, but maybe that’s a good thing because McIlroy’s last relationship turned engagement was fairly high-profile.
This relationship seems to be more relaxed as Stoll reportedly prefers to live a low-key life with little attention from the media, despite being the wife of one of the most popular golfers in the world.
McIlroy told the Daily Mail: “She is a low-key person but she brings a level of normality to everything. She has a calming presence and that’s not just on me, it is noticeable in any company. … She never wants to be the center of attention and is always comfortable in the background. … It is great having someone like that and someone who knows what it is all about, having been around the game.”
Unexpected: Johnny Manziel And Bre Tiesi
Don’t be shocked that former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel dated Los Angeles-bred model Bre Tiesi. Be shocked about how fast the couple took things to the next level.
It was confirmed that Tiesi was dating Manziel in December 2016. Then, three months later, the couple became engaged on a romantic date in Paris, France.
The couple married two years later on March 14, 2018, in a secret ceremony in a California courthouse.
An insider told PEOPLE, “He is telling people close to him [about the wedding] … They didn’t invite anyone but a couple of witnesses. I think they’ll have a party later.”
Also, a source close to Manziel told PEOPLE that Tiesi was a stabilizing force in Manziel’s troubled life. The source said, “He’s trying to get his life settled down … She’s good for him and balances him, and he’s crazy about her.”
Hopefully, the insiders and sources were right on the money when it comes to Manziel because he currently plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL and is reportedly eyeing a return to the NFL. We don’t know the specifics just yet, but Manziel’s life appears to be falling into place, and we hope it’ll continue to stay that way.
4Made Sense: Alex Rodriguez And Jennifer Lopez
It actually makes perfect sense that Sunday Night Baseball broadcaster and former MLB star Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez and multi-faceted singer Jennifer “J. Lo” Lopez have been dating since February 2017.
Why’s that? Well, it’s obvious that A-Rod and J. Lo are two of the biggest stars in their respective fields, but let’s not forget that they’re both Latinos and Leos who were born and raised in New York.
Fun Fact: A-Rod and J. Lo unexpectedly met in Beverly Hills, California. J.Lo recalled to Vanity Fair, “I almost yelled out ‘Alex,’ but I am the shyest person when it comes to things like that … I could literally just have walked away … But I walk over and tap him on the shoulder and say ‘Hey.'”
J.Lo added, “I had just come from a promo for my show, Shades of Blue, so I’m dressed like my character, like a boy—Timberlands, jeans, curly short hair. He looks at me. I say, ‘It’s Jennifer.’ He says, ‘You look so beautiful.'”
After that awkward moment, the high-profile couple had their first date, which was a delicious dinner at the Hotel Bel-Air and then learned about each other in a way that most of the fans wouldn’t analyze, to begin with.
Unexpected: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. And Brittany Kellum
NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made headlines when he won his first career race at Talladega in May 2017. With the win, Stenhouse Jr. became one of eight drivers to have won the NASCAR Cup Series and the USAC Silver Crown, National Sprint Car, and National Midget series. Stenhouse Jr. joined Mario Andretti, A. J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman, Ken Schrader and Tony Stewart.
Stenhouse Jr. also made headlines when he dated fellow NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who was more of a marketing tool than a skilled driver, for five years. Patrick broke up with Stenhouse Jr. after he refused to pop the question to her.
Stenhouse Jr. obviously moved on with a new girl named Brittany Kellum, so he must’ve known that Patrick wasn’t the one since he publicly pumped the brakes in his last relationship. Is Stenhouse Jr. better off with Kellum? We’ll let you decide after checking out her Instagram page.
Not much is known about the seemingly low-profile couple, but maybe that’s for the better because Stenhouse Jr. looks like the type of guy who doesn’t like to deal with a lot of baggage in a relationship and he probably wants less of s spotlight on his dating life after dating Patrick for five years.
Unexpected: Cristiano Ronaldo And Georgina Rodriguez
If you’re a soccer (or futbol) fan, you should already know who Cristiano Ronaldo is. But if you need a refresher, Ronaldo is a Portuguese forward who plays for Real Madrid and the Portugal national team.
So far, Ronaldo has won a total of 15 trophies in Spain, but he has also been winning off the field in recent years. The 33-year-old is currently dating a 22-year-old dancer turned model named Georgina Rodriguez, who gave birth to their daughter Alana Martina on November 12, 2017.
Rodriguez wrote on her Instagram page, “Being a mother and caring for the children at home for all of this time has helped me experience a supreme happiness and now with the arrival of Alana Martina, we are now complete, and happier than ever.”
Rodriguez was reportedly forced to give up her job at Prada after fans, media members and paparazzi constantly swarmed the store after it was confirmed that she was dating the world-famous soccer star.
But at least she was protected from possible harm, so she could take care of her daughter in peace. Though it just seems to be a huge responsibility for a 20-something, and she might not enjoy motherhood as time flies by.
Made Sense: Tiger Woods And Erica Herman
Florida-based restaurant manager Erica Herman may not be one of the most famous women in the world, but she appears to be helping veteran pro golfer Tiger Woods get back on the right track after years of relationship and substance-related issues.
Multiple sources have reported that Herman is 33 years old, which would make her a full decade younger than Woods. While little has been reported about the couple’s relationship, Herman’s appearances at Woods’ golf tournaments spoke volumes about her as she appeared to get along with the other golfers’ wives and girlfriends, which is a good thing.
Remember when Radar Online wrote that Herman had a troubled past and referred to Herman as a troublemaker and hard partier?
A source told Radar Online, “Erica is a big partier … Erica was all over him.”
The source added, “Erica’s been chasing Tiger around like a puppy for close to 10 years. I’m not sure if his wife knew, but I’m not sure how she couldn’t know. I can’t believe Tiger’s out in public with her now.”
Just like Woods, Herman’s partying ways seem to be in the past now. Hopefully, the low-key couple will continue to help each other change for the better.