Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Updated: February 14, 5:53 PM ET
SportsNation dances a Valentine's Day fandango
Whatever our relationship status on Valentine's Day 2007, we can all agree we love sports.
Fans flooded our inbox with stories about how games and teams play a major role in their romantic lives. They also shared some cautionary tales.
Chris Womack and
Kyle Lindeman and
John and Anisa Kinsey
When Kyle Lindeman and his brother couldn't answer a question about who had scored in the Nebraska baseball game, a frustrated Kacie Meyers rattled through the lineup.
Kyle was so taken with his waitress that he came back to the bar where Kacie worked a week later with tickets to the College World Series, their first date.
A few weeks later they had a fight, and instead of bringing flowers, "he brought me three college football preview magazines. My dad knew he was the one for me," Kacie said.
Road trip: An improbable trip to the Final Four this past spring introduced Paul Sansone to his girlfriend Annah Steckel.
"If UCLA doesn't come back from that huge deficit against Gonzaga, I truthfully don't go to Indy, and I don't meet the lady in my life! 8-clap for the Bruins' comeback."
Often it's not love at first sight. Chris Womack and Shelly Daigle met at an LSU tailgate in 2003 and attended many of the same LSU events over the years bud didn't start dating until last spring.
He worried his passion for LSU might cause a problem the first time they watched a game at her parents' house, but was relieved to find her shouting at the television right alongside him when the refs made a bad call.
After a trip to the LSU-Arkansas game this season, Chris is ready to make a commitment.
"We started talking about making the Arkansas road trip a must every other year," Chris said. "I never really made plan like that with a girlfriend before that far in advance."
Rivalry week: Brian Roundy and Liz Sayad met and started dating after his Seahawks beat her Redskins in the 2006 NFL Playoffs. Now they're waiting for the 2007 NFL schedule, hoping there's no Seattle-Washington matchup that could test the relationship.
The jinx: Erikk Geannikis, a die-hard Mets fan, mistakenly allowed his girlfriend (Lauren Kurinskas, who follows the Yankees) to join him at a New York bar this fall after Endy Chavez's amazing catch in Game 7 of the NLCS.
"She shows up toward the beginning of seventh, as I tell her, half-jokingly, 'You better not be bad luck, or we're through.' Well, we all know how many stages of heartbreak I had to endure in the eternity of time from Aaron Heilman's pitch to Yadier Molina in the top of the ninth to Carlos Beltran's stone-cold gaze at a [Adam] Wainright curve to end the game."
Sitting one out: Pat in Chicago turned down bleacher tickets to the Cubs-Pirates doubleheader that clinched a spot in the 2003 playoffs because his girlfriend insisted they attend a family dinner.
"I sat in the bar at the restaurant the entire time, in a weeping state of combined disbelief at the facts that I didn't go, and that my boys were playoff-bound. The anguish of the incident is deepened by the fact that I dumped the girl a year later. I'll never forgive myself for going to that stupid dinner."
There's nothing more magical than seeing a game live, and what better place to propose? Admit it. You've considered the possibility. These people actually did it.
Michael Brylawski made arrangements with the Clippers, then nervously fidgeted through three quarters. He was ready, but the scoreboard was not, welcoming schools, families and companies. The list seemed endless.
He nudged Stacy to look at the screen and the proposal came: "Vivian, Would You Marry Me." What? Michael wasn't the only one proposing.
The momentary confusion cleared when his request -- "Stacy, Would You Marry Me?" -- appeared, accompanied by an engagement ring attached to a foam fan finger.
No guarantees: The bright lights were less kind for Kris in Boston. He had his proposal posted on the scoreboard at a Celtics game (a loss) two years ago. His girlfriend said she needed time to think about it, then after the game told him she wasn't ready to get married. They are no longer together.
Easing his pain: Shawn Schaeffer took the Eagles' loss in Super Bowl XXXIX hard. To cheer himself up, he asked Larissa to marry him two months earlier than planned. She said yes, and they celebrated with cheesesteak sandwiches he learned to make by eating at Philly landmark Pat's every day for a week.
Courtesy of Michael Brylawski
Stacy Feinberg's engagement ring arrived on the end of a foam finger.
It was important for "ultimate Buckeye fans" Allison and Chris Nester to include the Ohio State in their wedding. While students at OSU, they were members of the marching band, and spent five hours each day practicing at Ohio Stadium.
Their love of OSU football and their band memories made the stadium the perfect place to tie the knot. The ramp entrance doubled as the aisle, and the couple said "I do" at the flagpole just off the field.
The bridesmaids wore scarlet, and mascot Brutus attended the reception.
Inside the numbers: Dan Castillo has no excuse for forgetting his wedding date, 8-16-97. It includes the jersey numbers for Steve Young, Joe Montana and Bryant Young, three of his favorite 49ers.
Matt Braid and his wife set their wedding date well before the NFL schedule was released but were relieved when the big day and the Seahawks bye week coincided.
Courtesy of Allison Nesler
O-H-I-dO: Allison and Chris Nesler got married at the stadium.
Marriage doesn't have to end cheering for your favorite team. For many, the sports honeymoon has just begun, even if it isn't always easy.
Paul Brough was a longtime Reds fan but had never seen them play in person. His wife, Sylvia, grew up in Peru and had never been to a baseball game. In 2004, he ordered tickets online, and they set off from their home in Las Vegas.
Their car had no air conditioning or windshield wipers, and the transmission quit as they topped the Cajon Pass. Undeterred, they coasted to the bottom, rented a car and drove on.
"We got to watch the Reds not only play but beat the Dodgers that glorious Saturday 4-0," Paul said. "The Reds swept the series that weekend. It was the best trip that I ever took."
Anniversary special: To celebrate their first year of marriage, Jeff Gust surprised his wife, Korrine, with tickets to her favorite team, the Packers, at Lambeau.
Things we do for love: Driving his wife to his mother-in-law's house in 1993, Mikel Spencer missed Joe Carter's ninth-inning, World Series-clinching home run for the Blue Jays.
"I still remind her of that display of love and sacrifice, usually when I'm trying to get out of the dog house."
Courtesy of Jeff Gust
Seahawks fan Jeff Gust expresses his love for the Packers (and his wife, Korrine).
And rivalries don't end with the vows to love and cherish.
Jeremiah and Tana Louden have a truce arranged around the birth of their first child this spring. If it's a girl, she'll be dressed in her mom's Ohio State clothing. A boy will wear dad's Michigan colors.
There is no such conflict for John and Melissa Elder. "Our son and daughter both came home from the hospital wearing Cornhusker clothes."
Name game: Was Steven Ray, the first son of Raiders fan David in Louisville, Ky., named after punter Ray Guy? "On that, I plead the fifth," he said.
Your story: sports dates and gifts | proposals and weddings | games missed and tragedy
Kyle Johnsen and
Shawn and Larissa Schaeffer
Bob and Kris Jarosinski