Remember when Boise State?s Ian Johnson popped the question to his cheerleader girlfriend on the sidelines after the Broncos won the Fiesta Bowl? What was more heartwarming than that?
In a day and age where approximately one-half of all marriages end in divorce, it?s nice to see some of our favorite ESPN stars join forces with some of our favorite E! stars and take that plunge toward eternal love and happiness. Plus, they give the tabloids something truly juicy to gossip about and ESPN anchors something to roll their eyes over publicly — but you know that secretly, they?re rushing to PerezHilton.com to find out who made the bride?s dress and how many of the groom?s teammates made it to the ceremony.
Everyone loves a good wedding because everyone loves some good old-fashioned drama ? and when celebrities and athletes join forces, you know there will be no shortage of that.
In honor of Derek Jeter?s (allegedly) impending nuptials to Minka Kelly, here are NESN.com's top 10 celebrity-athlete weddings. Not all of them ended with sunshine and rainbows, but six of the marriages have not ended yet — which means they beat the odds, folks. And that is sunshine and rainbows.
10. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher
OK, so this one hasn?t happened yet, but it will be happening very soon in Underwood?s lovely hometown of Checotah, Okla. The two lovebirds met through mutual friends two years ago and bonded over their love for sports and Jesus. Fisher — or Mr. Underwood, as Bruins play-by-play commentator Jack Edwards so lovingly calls him — proposed to the country star just after Thanksgiving, and Underwood showed off her very impressive rock during a December game against the Bruins (reportedly, the ring cost anywhere between $150,000 and $1 million). Now for the big question: Will Simon be invited to Idol alum?s wedding?
9. Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe
Now here?s a great American love story for you. After the baseball legend saw a photo of Monroe with a couple of White Sox players, he requested a date with her — and she turned him down. But you know what they say: If at first you don?t succeed, you must try again, and try again DiMaggio did. He won the big-screen starlet?s heart, and they eloped in 1954. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the end of the happy part of the story. After 274 days of marriage, Monroe filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty.
Shortly thereafter, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The two were never remarried but remained close, and after her death, DiMaggio arranged her funeral and sent a half-dozen red roses to her crypt three times a week for 20 years.
8. Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian
This is my kind of celebrity wedding: ridiculously extravagant, spur of the moment, and lots of drama over the prenup. After a whirlwind month-long romance, the underdog Kardashian beat both of her older sisters to the altar and married her personal Laker in a private ceremony in Beverly Hills. (Unfortunately, fellow reality-star and step-brother Brody Jenner was unable to make it to the ceremony, which means no Spencer Pratt-Kobe Bryant run-ins that would?ve made for some excellent Hills footage.)
The wedding was, however, taped for an episode of E!?s Keeping Up With the Kardashians. And just in case things don?t work out, Khloe won?t be in dire straits anytime soon: According to the prenup, she gets $500,000 for every year they were married, $25,000 per month in general support, their house, a new luxury vehicle at the end of every lease cycle, $5,000 per month for shopping, $1,000 for beauty care and courtside Lakers tickets for everyone in her family. Hooray!
Yeah. Looks like Lamar?s locked into this one.
7. Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields
Yet another union that didn?t quite work out — but no hard feelings here. The tennis legend married the supermodel in 1997 and almost made it to the new millennium before heading into divorce court. Of course, everything looked perfect from afar. Shields was a constant presence in the stands at Agassi?s tennis matches, but privately, they allegedly didn?t have time to make things work because of dueling careers. Court documents state that the two had ?become so incompatible in their tastes, natures, views and dislikes ? [that] a happy marital status can no longer exist.?
Still, though, just 24 hours after divorce papers were filed, Shields placed a call to Agassi — who was in Hong Kong for a tournament — just to make sure he was awake for his next match.
6. Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra
After things didn?t work out with Madonna, the enigmatic NBA star set his sights on Electra, a former Baywatch star. Some thought their romance was just a publicity stunt when Rodman married Electra at The Little Chapel of Flowers in Las Vegas — which it probably was, considering the marriage lasted 10 whole days.
Things were doomed from the start as Rodman was allegedly intoxicated during their November 1998 wedding. Even Rodman?s agent questioned the validity of the union, considering Rodman was in an altered state of mind, and accused Electra and others of taking advantage of the outrageous hoops star.
It may have been short-lived, but it was a shotgun wedding between the NBA?s most recognizably crazy star and a Baywatch girl. Things like that just don?t happen these days.
5. Tony Parker and Eva Longoria
Before there were Heineken commercials set at San Antonio Spurs games, there was a Desperate Housewife who was dating JC Chasez (the quasi-famous guy from NSYNC who was not Justin Timberlake and now serves as a judge on America?s Best Dance Crew) and Tim Duncan?s wingman. Then, they found one another. Love ensued.
Sometime during his NBA championship run in 2005, the French-born Parker began dating the ABC star, and two years later, they tied the knot in a civil ceremony. Of course, after that, they had a real wedding, because let?s be honest, you aren?t a celebrity unless you have more than one wedding. So Parker and Longoria tied the knot for real in an elaborate ceremony at a 17th-century castle in France. The 30-minute affair was spoken in both French and English and security was so tight that guards shielded guests with big black umbrellas and erected a tarp outside the church to block the event from view of the paparazzi.
4. Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett
OK, maybe they got married because she got pregnant, but they?re still going strong, aren?t they? The Girls Next Door star and former No. 3 girlfriend of the man himself, Hugh Hefner, met the former Eagles wide receiver in 2008, and it became so serious that she had to cut ties with Hef. She didn?t want to be disloyal or anything.
Baskett popped the question in November of 2008, and when Kendra got pregnant in the spring of 2009, they started talking marriage for real (and it was all televised via their reality show on VH-1). Hef generously offered up his mansion for the wedding, and the happy pair graciously accepted. They were married in June in front of 300 guests, including Donovan McNabb, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt (aka Hef girlfriends No. 1 and No. 2, respectively). The two exchanged their vows on the front lawn of the Mansion, and in December, the former bunny gave birth to Hank IV.
Just for the record, the baby weighed a whopping 9 pounds, 5 ounces.
3. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
No, Elin wasn?t a celebrity then, but she certainly is now. Pro golfer Jasper Parnevik set up his Swedish nanny with his eligible bachelor buddy Tiger, and they were married in a $1.5 million ceremony in Barbados in October 2004. The ceremony was a private family affair (which included Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley) in a white-netted pagoda decorated with 500 imported red roses. Hootie and the Blowfish provided entertainment at the reception at the Green Monkey golf course, and the night was capped off with fireworks.
On the privacy scale, Woods and Nordegren one-upped Parker and Longoria, chartering their guests to the ceremony via helicopter and erecting sheets of plywood and crane-hoisted plants to block aerial views of the wedding. Woods also booked all 200 rooms in the island?s on-shore hotel to ensure that nobody off the guest list would be in attendance.
Parnevik, for the record, skipped the wedding to play in the Michelin Championship. He did, however, send Tiger a "specially edited DVD from the recording of Elin?s bachelorette party," according to MSN.com.
2. David Beckham and Posh Spice
The international soccer star wed Spice Girl Victoria Adams on July 4, 1999, in a 15th-century Irish castle (those sports stars sure do love their castles) in front of only 29 family members and friends.
Four hundred more guests joined the newlyweds for the reception, and all of them were asked to dress in either black or white to, you know, enhance the elegant atmosphere. Because the Irish castle wasn?t quite enough to get the job done. And not only did the Manchester United star have fireworks at his reception, just like Tiger and Elin — he and Posh released doves into the sky in an epic show of romanticness.
Every Spice Girl was in attendance except for Ginger Spice, who had recently quit the group and was apparently still on the outs with the other ladies.
1. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen
The super-secretive super-couple also got married 900 times in typical super-celebrity style. In February of 2009, as Brady rehabbed from devastating ACL and MCL injuries, he and Gisele were married in a private ceremony in Santa Monica, Calif. Afterward, they had a small gathering at their home in Brentwood.
Then, two months after that, the three-time Super Bowl champion and the supermodel re-tied the knot in a sunset ceremony at Gisele?s home in Costa Rica. Gisele wore a dress with a 10-foot veil and held a bouquet of white orchids, and Brady wore a gray suit and vest with white pants.
Of course, nobody cares about that. Everyone cares about the fact that a member of the paparazzi may or may not have gotten shot trying to take clandestine photos of the super-private ceremony, which he wasn't permitted to do because Gisele craftily sold exclusive photo rights to a Brazilian magazine. Three or four of the event?s bodyguards allegedly shattered the back window of an SUV, narrowly missing the photographers themselves.
And they all lived happily ever after.