How to Meet Single Football Players
More than million people use social networking to find love - or lust. And athletes are no different. Take a look inside the world of digital dating for athletes, where options are plentiful but possible pitfalls are just one click away. This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's May 9 Fame Issue. THE SINGLE MAN with the sexy job is stuck. For starters, he is fairly thick, just large enough to have not seen his Adam's apple since never, and to have not enjoyed a ton of success with women on looks alone.
When he catches their eye, it's his social status or bank balance dating sites for professional athletes see -- because he is, in fact, an NFL lineman. Tonight he's in San Francisco for Super Bowl 50, not for the actual game, which kicks off tomorrow, but to kindle a legit romance, which, to him, is the Big Game. His field of play: From the stage, Lil Wayne and his joint command a dance floor of hundreds.
Up above dangles an aerialist. Down below is, inexplicably, a kangaroo. And all around are runway models, Instagram models and fresh faces bused in from across the Bay Area. When they're not milking the open bar, they're arm-tackling stars like Marshawn Lynch. Now imagine how a guy who is often mistaken for an NFL star's bodyguard would find a match in this crowd. In years past, it was a long shot.
But at the moment, the lineman is dating sites for professional athletes with a pretty lady, who's very much into him. She knew she was into him before she knew how he earned a living. How did that happen? Like 50 million other fish in the dating app's sea, he swims the murky waters in search of companionship, if not lasting dating sites for professional athletes. Unlike the majority, he must go to extreme lengths to stay afloat, deploying an arsenal of tricks developed by the stars for the stars.
But the qualities that make him an extra-large catch to virtual predators also come with outsize benefits. Of his five Tinder dating sites for professional athletes, he estimates he has a real shot with two. And that, in part, is why I'm not allowed to use his name or even true position. So I coined a handle: He thinks it's funny but not entirely accurate.
WHEN THE HISTORY of the early 21st century is written, it will kick off like this: All the world can be had on an app. Tickets to watch the Lakers lose? A quinoa bowl with a side of boring? A bare-tushed Kim Kardashian? An IRL bare tush? Or, if it's more your thing, Grindr! Or Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Vine Mobile dating overtook online dating in and, based on a study by GlobalWebIndex, now claims more than 91 million users, but that number doesn't include platforms repurposed for romance.
Some 80 other athletes interviewed for this story support the claim -- jocks of all sports and stripes are using social media to search for a Ms. Right, or at least Right Now. If you consider the pros' distinct advantages, including fame, fortune and sculpted bodies, and factor in the atypical challenges, such as long days in a unisex workplace and a life on the road, is it any wonder they press a screen when they want to press up against somebody? Like Jackson, most athletes prefer Instagram for its wealth of intel.
Social media is an awesome dating tool. Meanwhile, sprinting bobsledder Lolo Jones has flipped Twitter-connects into many iDates. So how does Tinder work? Don't ask the Cavaliers. Show me," says big man Timofey Mozgov, snatching my phone. OK, we send a message: The cavalier cupid is beside himself with laughter. I wish they had it before I got married. UPON LANDING AT an airport, pros can trumpet their arrival on Twitter, and by the time they reach the hotel, they have a virtual black book at their phone-side without having to venture into a foreign bar scene.
And you're far less likely to land on TMZ. Tinder's location-specific search makes an athlete's road game easier, and longer stays increase the chances of consummating a match, so for MLB players, in particular, scores come in bunches. And that number spikes during spring training, when regulars can punch out by the fifth inning. The taken might kill that time with golf and pool parties. Patriots star Rob Gronkowski tried Tinder four years ago just for laughs, he says, "and I was matching like crazy!
It hits him like a bolt of lightning. First, make like Mozgov, "Swipe right on everything. Get the ball rolling. Just Google 'Tinder pickup lines. You must be a dictator, cuz I have an uprising. Entertainment aside, some lovelorn pros see Tinder as a means to enter the game sans their jersey. Tinder gives me the answer. Tackle's profile, you'll see his first name and photos but no mention of his NFL gig, a factoid he typically shares on the first date.
Their misdirection play has a cheerleader in ex-teammate Terrance Knighton. They just set up a semi-blind date with photos that aren't too revealing. It's working out for them. It's certainly working in the NFL, where man rosters of face-masked faces allow for swiping incognito. But in the NBA, a sport with man rosters of trees with legs, a player's star can blow up his Tinder. Just ask former No. And for famous women, the dating app can be a nonstarter.
Before Ronda Rousey met her main squeeze, fellow MMAer Travis Browne, the fighter dipped her toe in Tinder's water for a nanosecond -- and even used an alter ego, Brynn Campbell -- only to flee with a case of cold feet. Rousey aimed to avoid the inevitable backlash that comes with being a known woman on the dating app that snowboarder Jamie Anderson calls scandalous.
The Olympian installed the app in Sochi in "just to crush on guys" but couldn't uninstall it fast enough after watching what happened to her friend Rebecca Torr, a snowboarder for New Zealand who dished on Sochi's Tinder scene in an interview. It's dating sites for professional athletes of the reasons female iPlayers prefer to stay mum about their efforts, or away from them entirely.
I have a better chance of getting a read on them that way. In fact, to hear athlete lotharios tell it, Tinder runs a distant third in popularity to Twitter and Instagram, two vast seas with more than a billion fish. COURTNEY FORCE FACED a conundrum. Inthe biggest name in NHRA Funny Car racing wanted a relationship, not dating sites for professional athletes fling, but even when she did manage to find someone who wanted her for her, that person typically couldn't stomach her work schedule.