August 8, 2012

Athletes marrying athletes

In which sports are men men and women athletes most and least likely to marry each other? 

The least likely sport for marrying a fellow professional appears to be professional golf. The only couple I can think of off the top of my head was Gardner Dickinson and Judy Clark-Dickinson. The husband, who was 23 years older, had pretty much retired by the time they married. The PGA and LPGA tours are separate, except maybe for one week per year during golf's silly season, so men and women pros seldom get together. In contrast, male and female tennis players get together at several championships per year. Male pro golfers generally marry women who like being home with the kids and house while they are travelling on tour. '

Similarly, I can't think of any NBA-WNBA couples.

In contrast, my impression is that track and field athletes are most likely to marry each other. Blacks don't get married at a particularly high rate, but black women runners often hyphenate their last names after marrying a male track & field athlete. Traditionally, track was an upscale sport among African-Americans, the spring sport at black colleges instead of baseball. Men's and women's track meets are typically held together, and they tend to be hurry-up and wait affairs, kind of like a movie set, another famous locus for romance since there isn't much else to do.

Famous cross-sport couples include soccer player Mia Hamm and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, golfer Nancy Lopez and baseball manager Ray Knight, and golfer Greg Norman and Chris Evert. That last pair of strong personalities burned brightly but quickly burned out, with complaints from their new step-children of micro-management leading to disputes with their new spouses' long-suffering ex-spouses.

61 comments:

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

If the Chick-Fil-A guy doesn't get his way, we'll probably see LOTS more LPGA golfers getting married.

Durr said...

Candice Parker is married to an NBA player. I met her on campus in Knoxville, and she was stunning. Seriously, if she was only 5'8" she would have been one of the most beautiful women I've seen in person.

The NBA dude she's married to is supposed to be hideous.

Anonymous said...

Maybe tennis? Graf/Agassi, almost Connors/Evert, Hewitt/Clijsters

Jack said...

Shelden Williams, who played basketball at Duke and I believe is now in the NBA, is married to WNBA player Candace Parker. Of course, most WNBA players are not interested in men.

MC said...

Tennis is the sport that is most conducive to having attractive women at the elite levels, based on the generic, proportionate athleticism required. Thus, male tennis players, who have way too much value in the dating market to date most female athletes, will often go for another tennis player.

Prime example: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.

See also: Rory McIlroy (golfer) is dating Caroline Wozniacki (tennis). And there's not a man in the world who would pass up Ana Ivanovic.

Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

How could you forget baseball player Matt Treanor and his Olympian beach volleyballer wife Misty May Treanor?

Anonymous said...

Ahem: Casey Daigle and JENNIE FINCH!!!

Sheesh.

[I mean, you guys are hetero, right?]

jj said...

Do you think the Jamaicans are cheating (ie doping)?
They seem to have made a dramatically quick rise to total domination of sprinting.

Less than 3 million Jamaicans. So the US West African population is 15x as large to pick from.

I find it easy to believe that all levels of govt in Jamaica would look the other way, if not actively assist, in any doping program and cover-up.

The success of Jamaica's sprinting is the best PR for Jamaica since Bob Marley. Who would want to rock that boat?

Truth said...

"I mean, you guys are hetero, right?]"

There's been a debate about that raging her for a week or two.

TH said...

Roger Federer is married to a tennis player, too.

Andrew Ryan said...

Don't forget former Eagles backup QB A.J. Feely and professional soccer player Heather Mitts.

Anonymous said...

When will they be able to 'marry genes'?

The traditional method is to take man A and woman B. Together they have kid C who has special talent. And then kid C is mated with kid D(also with special talent), and they have a special kid, and etc. But this takes a long time.

But suppose we could wed the genes of person A and person B. And then take those genes and mate it other genes, and keep doing this. Thus, a 1000 yrs of generational processes could be done in a few days. There would be no need to wait for the person to grow up and be of mating age. We would just work on the genes, mixing genes with genes, and then mixing new genes with other new genes. We can speed up evolution like a mothafu***.

Anonymous said...

Has testy, formerly gold-shoed, antique-lovin' gay Carl Lewis gotten married yet?

Anonymous said...

Is Carl Lewis the only gay dude to win the 100m sprint? Or lung jump?

Anonymous said...

"The success of Jamaica's sprinting is the best PR for Jamaica since Bob Marley. Who would want to rock that boat?"

.

Anonymous said...

Gabriell Reece and Laird Hamilton. Beach volleyball and surfing, respectively.

Yates said...

Steve, you're using Ockham's butterknife here.

Why would a testosterone-riddled world famous athlete with millions marry a muscular woman with a horse face when millions of gorgeous curvy blondes are chasing after them.

Anonymous said...

Has testy, formerly gold-shoed, antique-lovin' gay Carl Lewis gotten married yet?

I can't decide whether Lewis was gay or just very metrosexual. If Lewis is gay, then he is by far the most famous and most talented gay athlete ever. I just always assumed he was super metro like another 80's icon, Prince. Maybe he just seemed very gay in comparison with testosterone addled Ben Johnson who looked like a bodybuilder. Then again he is 51 and the rumors have been persistent since 1984. The British Olympic decathlon champion and alpha male Daley Thompson pretty much said he was back during the 1984 Olympics. He is 51 and never been married, has never been linked romantically to any woman, and has no children. So... it's looking very likely.

as said...

Gymnastics?

Danell Leyva's mother and stepfather were both on Cuba's gymnastics team.

Nastia Liukin's parents were both world class gymnasts.

Liang Chow (the coach of both Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas) and his wife were both on China's gymnastics team

DaveinHackensack said...

In mixed martial arts, there's, Brandon and Kerry Vera and Randy and Kim Couture. Here's a clip of Kerry fighting Kim.

Anonymous said...

There's the Lopez family for US taekwondo:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/lopez-clan-back-another-olympics-184703824--oly.html

Coach Tom Tellez said...

Are 50-something guys collecting earrrings gay?

Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Why are countries like Finland, Argentina and Ireland lagging so far behind? Just a medal each?

Gaydar said...

Hum , hum . . .

Anonymous said...

Carl Lewis does have a gay smile. It's not only a gay smile, but he seems to always smile, and frequent smiling is a gay thing.

Tom Regan said...

@MC: And there's not a man in the world who would pass up Ana Ivanovic.


The delectable Ana dated Aussie golfer Adam Scott for a while but they broke up. Maybe if Adam had a morning workout with Ana he wouldn't have been so tense in the final round of the British Open, where he followed the grand Greg Norman tradition of blowing a seemingly unbeatable lead.

Mr X said...

Prime example: Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.

Andre
Agassi and Steffi Graf attractive? Never thought so, specially her. She always reminded me a bit of Barbra Streisand, maybe it was the nose.

I think some the most attractive tennis player are usually the less talented (i.e. Kournikova).

But Monica Seles was not bad looking and played pretty well. She is still looking pretty good now, at 40:

http://tinyurl.com/8ty8xob

(So I can't understand why (according to wikipedia) she's apparently now dating a 70 year old man. Well, he's rich. But does she really need money?)

Why are countries like Finland, Argentina and Ireland lagging so far behind? Just a medal each?

Small populations?

Well Argentina has a relatively large population, but not a lot of tradition in Olympic sports (except soccer, basketball and rugby - is there rugby in the olympics?)

Anonymous said...

"Carl Lewis does have a gay smile. It's not only a gay smile, but he seems to always smile, and frequent smiling is a gay thing."

Dang, I pretty much wear a grin all the time. I thought it was just a sign of insanity.

Charles said...

" Truth said...

"I mean, you guys are hetero, right?]"

There's been a debate about that raging her for a week or two."

- This from the guy who uses 'ghey' instead of 'gay'?

irishman said...

I just come across an interesting example of athletes marrying each other and the consequences.

In the 400 metres there twins from Belgium called the Kevin and Jonathan BorleƩ. Both their parents are sprinters and they ran near identical times in the final the other night. And they're as cute as a button.

As regards why we Irish suck at olympics...

Irish sport is dominated by Gaelic football, Hurling, Soccer, rugby and golf. Other than soccer alas none of these are in the Olympics.

What is in the Olympics are equestrian events and boxing. These are the best sports for us in the olympics. We came within 0.02 seconds of gold in horse jumping the other night and ended up with bronze after a jump off. We will get at least 3 more in boxing. We have one in a final and two in semi finals so we could end up with three golds. That would not be bad given our population.

Anonymous said...

Irish diaspora does well in Australia and U.S. (Little Ireland not so much)

Der Frost said...

Hey Steve, just thought to let you know: we've finally know why West Africans dominate sprinting events. It's because they have "a center of gravity that is 3 percent higher than Europeans". Similarly, East Africans dominate marathons because they have "a small, thin body [that] helps maximize heat dissipation". So there you go, one of the HBD conundrums solved. It was so obvious all along.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/08/09/158448224/olympic-bodies-they-just-dont-make-them-like-they-used-to?ft=1&f=1001

Matthew said...

Funny. I thought about mentioning this subject on your blog when I saw a picture of three-time Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards with her husband, NFL cornerback Aaron Ross, a 2007 first-round draft pick. Their kids should be shoo-ins for for world class athletes.

Richards won a gold in the 400m this year, a bronze in the 400m back in 2008, and golds in the 400m relay in 2008 and 2004.

Of course given the amount of shagging supposedly happening at the Olympics, the place could be considered a eugenics lab in itself, though according to an article I read yesterday, a lot of that shagging is between athletes and "volunteers," not other athletes.

Matthew said...

Actually what shocks me is the number of professional atheletes who marry bimbos - black, blonde, or other. If I were a pro athlete making $20 million a year but with an 87 IQ I'd try to have smarter kids, not ones who were better athletes. If I couldn't marry one I'd go in for donated eggs. Of course most of them are probably be too stupid to know better...

Anonymous said...

Carl Lewis is gay. Instead of saying there are different kinds of closets, I think it more accurate to say there are levels of announcements. No, he hasn't gone on NBC in front of the camera and said "As a gay track star, I found that....." but he doesn't hide his gayness from the "community" either. And, as that ad some commenter linked to shows, the one in which he wears women's heels, what more is needed to scream, "I'm gay!" ?

To the person who said Lewis always smiles--haven't you also noticed his bitchiness? Carl is a hard guy to like.

pat said...

I wonder if the premise of your blog post is true.

Some other blogs that I follow make observations about the passing scene but they feel constrained to count stuff. One of these other bloggers would feel the need to compile a table of althletes crossed with the occupation of their spouses. You don't. You just announce your observation as if it is a undoubtedly true.

Maybe this means that you are now established and don't therefore have to demonstrate your reliability.

You seem to be three or four kinds of posts. The most valuable are clearly those where you have done some original research - most of these are referenced in the sidebar. For example there is your article on Lesbians or your article on PISA and American education. Great stuff.

Next are the comments on articles that appeared in the New York Times. So when I comment on your post I'm really commenting on a comment.

Finally there are the the subjective posts like the one on this page about you seeing a pretty athlete on the street. Movie reviews fall in this category too.

This post seems to be in a kind of middle ground. It is in the form of an objective observation but is really subjective. Maybe it's just not important enough. I'm sure someone cares about the love lives of sports stars but not me, anymore than I care about the political views of movie stars.


Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

In track, men and women train on the same field and so they bump into one another much.

Not so in basketball where men play HERE and women play THERE.


Also, most track people are about equal in income terms. Except for top winners, most are doing it for the sport.

But pros in basketball are very rich. So they get what they want.

Truth said...

" If I were a pro athlete making $20 million a year but with an 87 IQ I'd try to have smarter kids, not ones who were better athletes."

Now why would you do that?

If your father had thought that way, you'd be $110,000 in debt on your PHD, grading some snot-nose's physics exam in Lawrence, Kansas instead of where you are, making $20m a year.

Anonymous said...

http://www.nbcolympics.com/track-and-field/medals/2012-standings/by-nation/index.html

hehe, China left in dust in track and field.

Anonymous said...

France has lots of blacks but only one medal in track and field. Surprising.

Truth said...

"- This from the guy who uses 'ghey' instead of 'gay'?"

"Gay" is a word that implies implicit homosexual activity between to men. Now I have no idea if you guys who don't find Sofia Vergara attractive, or would kick Jessica Ennis out of bed, or whatever are "gay", but I'd bet a month's salary that you are, well...

Anonymous said...

Now why would you do that?

Because so many low IQ pro athletes with million dollar salaries go broke:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1153364/1/index.htm

Steve Sailer said...

"Hey Steve, just thought to let you know: we've finally know why West Africans dominate sprinting events. It's because they have "a center of gravity that is 3 percent higher than Europeans"."

So that explains why there aren't any black running backs in the NFL: they tip over too easy!

The center of gravity thing is real -- Michael Jordan, for example, famously has a very high center of gravity -- but it's just one aspect. OJ Simpson came up with a more comprehensive list off the top of his head in 1977.

Anonymous said...

most gays are sneering. they should be called sneers.

Anonymous said...

"So that explains why there aren't any black running backs in the NFL: they tip over too easy!"

Blacks don't tip at all.

Truth said...

"Because so many low IQ pro athletes with million dollar salaries go broke:"

Oh, and if you marry a smart chick, your 6-year old will do your taxes for you. Got it.

Matthew said...

"Oh, and if you marry a smart chick, your 6-year old will do your taxes for you. Got it."

How 'bout the blessing of having children and grandchildren who know how to read, who know how to add and divide, who graduate from high school and college, who don't wind up in jail needing to be bailed out by their wealthy (or once wealthy) world-famous dad?

Having smart kids probably won't prevent you from going broke. That's another problem, another solution, entirely. It's a blessing in its own right. But maybe if you do go broke your smart kids will be able to provide in your later years.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and if you marry a smart chick, your 6-year old will do your taxes for you.

Your 6 year-old will be too autustic to function in society.

Anonymous said...

"It's because they have "a center of gravity that is 3 percent higher than Europeans". "

Ok, so there's that color of skin, and now center of gravity, and then there was the fast twit..

JSM said...

"Now why would you do that?:

Try to keep up, truthie.

Multimillionaire ex-sports-stars with 87 IQs tend to find themselves broke in short order; fool and his money being soon parted, etc.

If ex-multimillionaire ex-sports- star has a smarter-than-him kid, then, assuming the kid has anywhere near his pop's abilities, his name alone will get him a tryout. If he's even passingly good, the loyalty of fans to his daddy will bring him big bux, and the 3 digit IQ will help him keep it.

Galactic Overlord said...

To the folks who asked whether rugby is in the Olympics:

Answer is no... for now.

However, rugby (more specifically, rugby union) will return to the Olympics in 2016 (it had been removed from the Olympic program after the 1924 Games).

The twist is that it won't return in its full 15-man version—instead, they'll play rugby sevens. The main differences between sevens and 15s are:

* 7 players per side
* 7-minute halves (10 in competition finals), instead of 40

Note that I didn't mention the playing field—there's no difference. Sevens is played on the very same field as 15s.

There are quite a few more differences, but I won't go into them here.

One really interesting aspect of sevens is that smaller nations will likely have a much better chance of medaling in Olympic sevens than making a deep run in the Rugby World Cup (15s). Although New Zealand has been the most dominant sevens side in recent years, many other countries are capable of beating them on their day. In particular, Fiji has long been one of the strongest sevens teams, and Samoa has joined them at that level.

Difference Maker said...

Only smart people become rulers of the world, silly

Galactic Overlord said...

Back to athletes marrying athletes:

Mitchell Wiggins (former NBA player) is married to Marita Payne (a Barbados-born Canadian who won two Olympic silver medals in relays).

Their son Andrew Wiggins is now touted as the top basketball prospect in the recruiting class of 2014. (Andrew was born and raised in Toronto, but now plays for a basketball-oriented prep school in West Virginia.)

Truth said...

If ex-multimillionaire ex-sports- star has a smarter-than-him kid, then, assuming the kid has anywhere near his pop's abilities, his name alone will get him a tryout. If he's even passingly good, the loyalty of fans to his daddy will bring him big bux, and the 3 digit IQ will help him keep it."

That's brilliant, Sheila, I think maybe you should be the GM for the Dallas Cowboys!

Truth said...

"Only smart people become rulers of the world, silly"

How did "W" get there.

Camlost said...

Oh, and if you marry a smart chick, your 6-year old will do your taxes for you. Got it.

Well, that 6 year-old would probably show more money management ability than the average black athlete.

And still probably a better option than putting your ex-con cousin or real estate hustling minister in charge of your money like the Dennis Rodmans and Antoine Walkers of the world.

Anonymous said...

Let's don't talk about IQ on this thread.

I just spent last three days doing manual labor with some Mexican illegals and they f*cked up every single aspect of the job that could possibly [even theoretically] be f*cked up.

I really, really, really do not feel like even thinking about IQ right now [much less talking about it].

Can we please please please get back to some good old-fashioned Jennie Finch/Natalie Coughlin/Nastia Liukin whack-off material?

Hell, at this point, I wouldn't even kick Steffi Graf and her big nose out of the fantasy.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Their son Andrew Wiggins is now touted as the top basketball prospect in the recruiting class of 2014

Is his nickname "Ender"

Anonymous said...

"just spent last three days" = just spent the last three days

Sword. said...

Biathlon is the marriage sport. Raphael Poiree is a French World Champion, married to a Norwegian World Champion. There are many other examples.

They train and compete on the same arenas, and there is not all that much money in the sport, so golddiggers are not much of a factor.

Also, all of them are from marrying ethnic groups - well-organized Europeans and a small smattering of Chinese.

Anonymous said...

How can you write about the sports where people are most likely tO marry fellow athletes and not mention figure skating? Among doubles it must be close to 100%