A Valentine’s Day Ranking of Sports’ Best Power Couples

A Valentine’s Day Ranking of Sports’ Best Power Couples

Well, we’ve had another Valentine’s Day come and go, and Bryce Harper still didn’t stand under my window with flowers and a boom box playing an assortment of my favorite songs. (It may be because he’s married, and not to me, but I’ll worry about that later.)

Amid the numerous social media posts of happy couples, I was lucky enough to see some posts from everyone’s favorite athletes wishing their significant others/spouses a happy Valentine’s Day. These posts were very cute, and most of them made me smile, but they also got me thinking—who is the ultimate sports power couple?

I set out to rank the Top 10 sports power couples, combining my love of sports with my adoration of celebrity gossip. While some couples on the list are comprised of two current or former professional athletes, most contain one athlete and one other public figure. Several different factors went into the rankings, including athletic achievement, public opinion of the couple, and, some might say most importantly of all, my personal opinion of the couple. Bonus points went to couples who publicly said sweet and supportive things about one another.

Honorable Mention: Justin Dunn and Kaliya Johnson

How could I rank the best sports couples without including a couple made on this very campus? Justin Dunn and Kaliya Johnson both left in 2016, and both made their mark on campus through sports. Dunn pitched for Birdball with a stellar 2016 season and is currently in the New York Mets organization. Johnson played for women’s hockey and currently plays for the Connecticut Whale of the National Women’s Hockey League. The former Eagles frequently post sweet snapshots of one another on social media, proving that their love has continued after graduation.

10. Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen

I would like the record to reflect that I am only including Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen because I suspect I would be crucified for leaving them off the list. Outside of New England, this power couple’s popularity is lukewarm at best. But there is absolutely no denying that both Brady and Bündchen are highly accomplished in their fields. Brady, in case you missed it, won his fifth Super Bowl two weekends ago, cementing his place as the best quarterback in NFL history. Bündchen, meanwhile, is the highest-paid supermodel in the world, having earned more than $30 million in 2016 alone. Plus, even though she isn’t an athlete herself, the Brazil native participated in the opening ceremonies for the Rio Olympics.

9. Matt and Sarah Ryan

Like Dunn and Johnson, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and former basketball player Sarah Ryan (née Marshall) met while students at BC. According to Sarah, they were just 18 when they met—and have been together ever since, fulfilling the ultimate college-sweetheart dream. Matt, of course, played football, and Sarah played basketball. They married in 2011 after graduating from BC and now live in Atlanta together. Matt enjoyed a phenomenal 2016, winning Offensive Player of the Year as well as Most Valuable Player before falling in the Super Bowl to the Patriots. Sarah, meanwhile, works for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream in addition to volunteering at multiple charities. The two of them seem to have hearts of (maroon and) gold, propelling them to No. 9 on the list.

8. Justin Verlander and Kate Upton

Remember when I said bonus points went to couples who said sweet, supportive things about one another? This is that couple.

Yes, Sports Illustrated swimsuit-edition supermodel Kate Upton was quick to jump to her fiancé’s defense when he did not win the Cy Young Award late last year. The two of them have been through a lot together—like a nude photo scandal. But that’s not the only reason why Upton and pitcher Justin Verlander make it to No. 8 on my list. Over the course of his 11-year career for the Detroit Tigers, Verlander has won Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors. Upton got her start, as previously mentioned, in Sports Illustrated, and has since appeared in blockbuster films like The Three Stooges. Mainly, though, they get ranked this high because of that tweet.

7. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union-Wade

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are undeniably a power couple. Wade has won three NBA titles, all with the Miami Heat, and Union-Wade is an accomplished actress. This couple gets genuine bonus points for their sweet social media love. A quick perusal of their Instagram accounts reveals multiple photos and videos posted on Valentine’s Day to celebrate their love for one another.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Valentine's Day my ❤

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on

Together, Wade and Union-Wade are worth millions of dollars and have enjoyed success in their fields.

6. Russell Wilson and Ciara

Russell Wilson and Ciara have had an unconventional romance—it isn’t often that your new girlfriend’s ex (maybe) threatens to kill you in a song. But through it all, they have remained together and in love. The couple got married last summer and have since announced that they are expecting a baby. Wilson, a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, has won one Super Bowl, taking down the mighty Peyton Manning in the process. Ciara released her first album in 2004 and is a Grammy winner.

5. Gerard Pique and Shakira

Coming in fifth on the list is another athlete/singer couple. Pique, a professional soccer player, has won a World Cup with Spain, four Champions League titles with FC Barcelona, six La Liga titles with Barça, and one Premier League title with Manchester United. Shakira, meanwhile, has enjoyed a successful music career, winning two Grammys and giving the world such fantastic songs as “Hips Don’t Lie.” Plus, she performed “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” to celebrate the 2010 World Cup, which Pique would go on to win with Spain. If that isn’t enough, they also have the two cutest babies in the entire world. Need I say more?

4. David and Victoria Beckham

Ahhh, the Beckhams. Once upon a time, they were probably the biggest sports power couple in the world, but not so much anymore. Their stars have dimmed, and that’s to be expected. David officially retired from playing soccer in 2013 after an incredibly successful career spanning more than two decades. Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, has a fashion line, but isn’t as big a star as when the Spice Girls were all the rage. They still might have cracked the top three if not for a leaked-email scandal and a seemingly frosty Valentine’s Day between the two. David waited until Feb. 15 to post a photo with Victoria, while she only posted a photo of a card given to her by her daughter.

3. Matt Treanor and Misty May-Treanor

And here we have another double-athlete couple on the list: former baseball player Matt Treanor and former Olympic volleyball star Misty May-Treanor. Treanor played professional baseball for eight years and competed in one World Series, although he lost. May-Treanor, however, is the big name here. Together with Kerri Walsh-Jennings, she rocked the Olympics for 12 straight years, winning three gold medals for the United States. In fact, she and Walsh-Jennings went two-straight Olympics without even dropping a set. If that isn’t enough for top three, I don’t know what is. 

2. Serena Williams and Alex Ohanian

Let’s get it straight—Serena Williams is the GOAT. Don’t @ me. She is truly, indisputably the greatest athlete of all time. Williams has won an astounding 23 Grand Slam titles! That’s absolutely crazy, and that’s five more than the men’s all-time leader, Roger Federer. That’s why Williams and her new fiance, Reddit founder Alex Ohanian, are No. 2 on this list, despite Ohanian’s relative lack of fame. Plus, they are so dang cute together—Ohanian asked her mother for permission to propose, and Williams announced their engagement with a sweet post on Reddit.

1. Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf

Yes, my top ultimate sports power couple is Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Both are retired professional tennis players. They are granted the No. 1 spot because they have both been incredibly successful, because their love story is the stuff of cheesy Valentine’s Day movies, and because they have nothing but the sweetest things to say to and about one another. Let’s take a look at career statistics. Graf used to have the most Grand Slam titles (22) before Williams broke her record and won the Australian Open earlier this year. In 1988, she accomplished an unthinkable achievement by winning a calendar Grand Slam and an Olympic gold medal. Agassi, meanwhile, won eight Grand Slam titles during his career and revolutionized the tennis world with his attitude and with his hair. Both Graf and Agassi achieved the world No. 1 ranking over the course of their careers. Despite being two of the biggest names in tennis for years, they never interacted much until after Agassi split from his first wife. Newly single, he asked Graf out—by asking her to practice with him. They married in 2001 and have been happily together ever since. Agassi credits Graf with inspiring him through her actions, and Graf says that Agassi helps her open up and trust. For these reasons—for their stellar careers, their love story, and their love for one another—Agassi and Graf are the best power couple in all of sports.

Featured Image by Zoe Fanning / Graphics Editor

February 16, 2017

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