5 Famous Football Couples That Aren't Tom Brady Or Gisele Bundchen, But Are Still Total #Touchdowns
Football and romance are not exactly two words you often hear in the same conversation, but hear me out: Believing in your team with an unconditional, unbending loyalty is not unlike a relationship. Not to mention, the sport requires teamwork, patience, passion, and of course, a lot of physical contact. So it’s no surprise that there's a plethora of famous football couples. And no, I’m not just talking about Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen (although, TBH, #goals). Sure, they have a combined net worth of about $540 million, two beautiful children, and seemingly unparalleled devotion to each other. But they’re not the only power couple in the league.
In fact, many pros have found love while playing for the NFL. Case in point: Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari, who began dating long distance back in the fall of 2010 while he was playing for the Chicago Bears. Mere months later, in the spring of 2011, the quarterback proposed to the star of The Hills. The couple tied the knot in 2013 and now have three (very stylish) children. Then there’s Kerry Washington and former cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who also wed in 2013, and now have two kids together. Now, Asomugha is producing the Scandal star’s Broadway show American Son — because couples who work on creative passion projects together stay together, right?
There’s certainly no shortage of famous football couples, but as Superbowl Sunday fast approaches, here are a handful that make us believe in love (and the league) again.
Rob Gronkowski & Camille Kostek
Just because Tom and Gisele aren’t on this list doesn’t mean I’m going to leave the Patriots out altogether (I am a Bostonian, after all). Besides, this power couple worked on the same field — Kostek as a cheerleader and Gronkowski as the fun-loving Pats tight-end.
But according to E! Online, the duo didn't link up until after Kostek had already resigned from cheerleading in the spring of 2015 to pursue modeling. Since then, the two have made regular appearances on each other’s Instagram accounts, with Kostek even playfully trolling him on National Boyfriend Day. They even work out together, folks. Kostek has obviously cheered Gronk on both on the field and in the stands (in freezing cold temperatures, I might add), but Gronk also showed his support of his supermodel GF when she managed to make the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, saying, “She's always been putting in the work… she definitely deserves it.”
And Kostek definitely has his back, too. When TMZ approached her about why people are so bitter about the New England Patriots making it into the Superbowl yet again, she responded simply: "You hate us 'cause you ain't us.” Now that’s loyalty.
Zach & Julie Ertz
Once upon a time, a pro soccer player married professional football tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles. Sounds like a sports fairytale, right? It’s a real-life love story for Julie and Zach Ertz, who have been married since March of 2017. The couple met at a college baseball game, and after Julie won the Women's World Cup in 2012, Zach sent over a congratulatory text. She soon returned the supportive gesture when he made a touchdown during a football game, and the rest is history — by 2017, they were saying “I do.”
In an interview with ESPN, they admitted that they still push each other to succeed in their respective sports. Meanwhile, they also do yoga and Pilates together to stay on their strength and flexibility game.
Not to mention, the couple shares a passion for philanthropy as well. In June of 2018, they launched the Ertz Family Foundation, and have raised more than $200,000 to support their mission of providing sports opportunities for youth, empowering students, improving education, and building communities in Philadelphia, Haiti, and the Bay Area.
Russell Wilson & Ciara
During a press conference around Thanksgiving 2018, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was asked what he’s grateful for. His response? “I’m thankful for love, thankful for my wife — who she is and the person she is and what she means to our family. I thank her for kids. I’ve always wanted to have kids. I’ve always loved children … I knew I was going to have kids at some point in my lifetime but I never knew that it was gonna be the greatest miracle that I would ever experience. … You realize that they change your life so hopefully, I can always make an impact in their lives. Hopefully, I can always show them what love looks like.” Basically — Wilson and Ciara are #relationshipgoals.
The couple began dating in 2015, tied the knot the following year, and had their first child together in April of 2017. They announced their engagement right after the pro football player surprised Ciara with a luxurious getaway to the Seychelles islands, and were married just three months after he proposed. Talk about a star-studded wedding: Kelly Rowland and Serena Williams were among the bridesmaids.
And while they already seem to have a rock solid bond, the couple is apparently always eager to strengthen it however they can. Ciara told People Magazine that her main New Year’s resolution for 2019 is to focus on “leveling up” their love despite their hectic work schedules.
Colin Kaepernick & Nessa Diab
Radio personality and MTV Girl Code host Nessa Diab doesn’t just support Colin Kaepernick in his NFL career, she also stands by the quarterback in his endeavors to put a stop to racial injustice.
The couple, who officially confirmed their relationship in February of 2016, appeared to start dating back in 2015. In 2016, Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem as a gesture to support the Black Lives Matter movement. When Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017, he filed a grievance against the NFL accusing team owners of colluding to prevent him from being signed. Diab has continued to stand up for his decision in the name of activism. In 2017, Kaepernick was named GQ’s Citizen of the Year.
In the issue, Diab explained why the NFL free agent deserved the award, saying, “Colin has always been helping people, he has always been involved because he has empathy… I'm very fortunate that I have Colin next to me. It's everything. We love each other, we care for each other, and we have to remind each other that, hey, we're doing our part, we're trying to make a difference."
This isn’t just a famous football couple — it’s a couple that works together to raise awareness about police brutality.
Who says the grid game isn't romantic? As these power couples prove, Tom and Gisele aren't the only ones who found love while one partner was playing for the NFL.
Eli Manning & Abby McGrew
Eli Manning’s wife and Abby McGrew aren't just one of the NFL's most powerful couples, they're also college sweethearts — the New York Giants quarterback and fashion account executive met back in 2002 while they were both attending University of Mississippi.
According to New Orleans Magazine, in 2007, Manning designed a custom engagement ring with emerald-cut diamonds for McGrew before proposing on a Tuesday night alone together. They tied the knot in April 2008, and the couple had much to celebrate — not only a future together but also Manning's first Super Bowl win.
When the couple isn't spending quality time with their three daughters, they're often involved in philanthropic work, such as with New York’s St. Vincent’s Hospital, where they helped to fund the development of a holistic birthing center.
The moral of the story is this: Tom and Gisele may take the cake when it comes to high-profile celebrity and glamour (oh, and the number of Superbowl rings, sorry haters), but they're not the only NFL power couple to take notice of. Plenty of other pros have found true love in between touchdowns. And with both Superbowl Sunday and Valentine's Day fast approaching, it's high time to recognize the romance that keeps these players passionate on the field.