We all love celebrity couples. We want to know everything about what they’re up to, where they’ve been, what they’re tweeting and often, how they crashed and burned. It’s a strange and often twisted guilty pleasure, but it’s a billion-dollar industry for producers of tabloids, fan sites and paparazzi flooded news destinations. But there is a catch. You don’t often hear about celebs who are dating or married to average, everyday people. In, fact, if both members of the relationship aren’t famous, we everyday folk find it kind of boring. Tell us J-Lo is dating Ben Affleck and we’re all over it. Tell us Matt Damon has been faithfully married to the same lovely woman for years (even though you don’t know her name) and you simply don’t care. How shallow of us.
On the opposite side of the entertainment spectrum, sports fans also love their athletes. But, unlike in Hollywood or the music biz, more often than not, famous athletes marry regular non-famous people. In fact, if you take a look at any team in any sport, 95% of the players on that roster are in relationships with people you’ve probably never heard of. They may be attractive, but they’re not typically household names. But every once in a while, an athlete and a celebrity hook up. When they do, it’s big news but also begs an interesting question. When you mix a famous sports athlete and a famous entertainment celebrity, who is more famous?
We’ve come up with a list of 15 athletes who are dating, were married or are currently married to celebrities that appear to be much more famous than they are. Sports fans might dispute some of the couples on this list because they’re loyal sports fans, but when you look at every part of the equation, their celebrity significant others garner much more attention on the world stage.
15. Jarret Stoll And Erin Andrews
She hosts Dancing With the Stars and is a sideline reporter in the NFL for Fox. He was a serviceable centre in the NHL but is now retired and his final years were known more for his legal troubles and the fact that he was dating Erin Andrews than anything he ever really accomplished in hockey. That’s saying a lot since he won multiple Stanley Cups.
The two got married in June of 2017 and while he’s not actively involved in the NHL, she’s still working hard on two very popular, demanding and lucrative jobs. In terms of answer the question or who’s more famous, this one’s not even close. If Stoll was a football player, we’d say he outkicked his coverage. Since he’s a former hockey player, we’ll just have to say he scored a game-winner.
14. Dion Phaneuf And Elisha Cuthbert
Inside hockey circles, Dion Phaneuf was kind of a big deal. For a few years, he was considered a top-20 defenceman in the NHL. Today he’s still part of the Ottawa Senators organization and plays a ton of minutes on their blue line, but he’s widely regarded as overpaid and on the decline.
Meanwhile, his wife Elisha Cuthbert has been a household name for some time. Her big break came in the movie The Girl Next Door and she’s had a very successful career as an actress. Even in hockey circles, she has become somewhat of a legend. First, she was the topic of a very messy media situation when Sean Avery called her sloppy seconds and more recently she’s been seen in the Goon movies about hockey and fighting. She currently stars on the Netflix original series The Ranch with Ashton Kutcher.
13. Justin Verlander And Kate Upton
Justin Verlander was one heck of a pitcher in the MLB for a long time. In fact, for a while, he was among the best. But, um.. he’s with Kate Upton. She’s graced the cover of countless magazines, became a cult favourite for her commercials for video games and other products and won multiple awards for Model of the Year and other such achievements.
Millions and millions of people know who Upton is and thousands upon thousands of men probably have her as their computer screen saver. Verlander was quite the baseball player, but outside of baseball, people likey only know him as Upton’s other half. The two seem to have a ton of fun together though as nude photos of the two leaked online not long ago.
12. Mike Comrie And Hilary Duff
This relationship is one we have to now toss into the ex-relationship category, but for a long time, it was one of the most famous athletes to wed celebrity relationships in the world. Why? Well, because Hilary Duff was extremely famous and Mike Comrie was known as that NHL player she married. While they’re no longer married, they are still close as they try to raise their child together.
These days Hilary is often seen trying to make multiple comebacks in her acting and singing career, but Comrie has virtually disappeared from the scene having now retired and gone on to be part of the group of regular everyday Joe’s. These two were together for a very long time and it’s hard to find someone more famous than Hilary Duff when she was ruling the television, clothing and Disney world. She’s still a major subject of TMZ and tabloid photos (partially because she wants to be.)
11. Nick Young And Iggy Azalea
Nick Young and Iggy Azalea are no longer together but when they were, it wasn’t debatable about who was more famous. Iggy Azalea gets press everywhere she goes. Constantly hounded by paparazzi and the likes of TMZ, whatever she’s up to, including talking to guys like Odell Beckham Jr. (even though she claimed to not really know him) makes front page news.
Meanwhile, Young is still playing in the NBA and just recently signed on with the Golden State Warriors where he’ll quickly take a back seat to some of the biggest names in the sport of basketball. He’s widely considered one of the biggest ball hogs and showboaters in the league and he’s clearly all about himself. He impregnated his ex after Azalea broke off their engagement and that’s not terribly surprising.
10. Nick Swisher And Joanna Garcia
He’s a recently retired MLB baseball player and she’s a famous actress starring in shows like Kevin (Probably) Saves the World and Once Upon a Time as the character Ariel from Little Mermaid. While she’s been acting for a while, she’s really just getting started in her career and she’ll have much more coming with bigger and better things in her future. Meanwhile, he’s leaving his old career to start a new one and to try his hand at broadcasting.
The couple have two daughters together and both seem incredibly happy. She’s even taken his last name and made it part of hers when it comes to her professional career. That’s a pretty big deal in Hollywood these days. She’s more famous but they seem equally happy. Nothing wrong with that.
9. Jay Cutler And Kristin Cavallari
He’s perhaps equally as famous as his wife, but for all the wrong reasons. Cutler is known for being the most overrated and overpaid quarterback in the NFL. Not a great title to have. Meanwhile, she’s the former star of Laguna Beach and The Hills and is currently a fashion designer. She’s not really acting anymore, but it can be argued the legacy she left on reality television probably far surpasses whatever Cutler will have done in football. She helped spawn an entire generation of crappy MTV reality shows.
While they are married, the two seem to have an on-again, off-again relationship and their struggles are often documented and the content of interviews. They have three children together, two sons named Camden Jack Cutler and Jaxon Wyatt, and a girl named Saylor. Cutler is trying to make a comeback with the Miami Dolphins this season. He’ll probably move to the broadcast booth when his NFL playing career is done.
8. Wladimir Klitschko And Hayden Panettiere
Wladimir Klitschko just recently retired from professional boxing. He was pretty good for a while too. After a twenty year career, he won two major titles and you might be surprised to learn that he is second all-time for boxers to successfully defend his title and holds the record for the longest combined world championship reign in the history of boxing. None of that compares to how many people recognize his wife though.
Hayden Panettiere has been an actor in Hollywood since she was a child. Starring in over 25 films and almost 30 tv shows. She became a household name for her role on the television series Heroes and then again when she was the star of the hit show Nashville. She’s had a bunch of hit songs as part of the show and is still a huge star while her hubby is backing away from his sport.
7. Tom Brady And Gisele
There are going to be people who blast this entry simply because Tom Brady is one of the best, if not the best, NFL quarterbacks in history. For that reason, I’ll agree that he’s extremely famous. Perhaps more of a celebrity than any other NFL player. But when trying to figure out who’s more famous, we can’t discount just how popular supermodels are all around the world.
His wife Giselle is about as famous a supermodel as you’ll ever find. She long been one of the highest paid and most in-demand models in history and not even three years ago was listed at #89 of the Top Most Powerful Women in the World. That’s simply because of her reach globally and how much she’s impacted her profession. She’s basically retired now, working much less often, but she’s been the face of over 550 ad campaigns, 800 runway shows and thousands upon thousands of magazine covers. She’s done movies and videos and all sorts of stuff to make her a household name. If there’s a tie on our list, this is probably the closest thing to it.
6. Gerard Pique And Shakira
Professional soccer players (footballers) are pretty famous all around the world, but when you link up with Shakira, you are immediately forced to acknowledge that she might be a bit more famous than you. Shakira is a star both in North America and internationally and perhaps one of the most underrated female music performers of the last fifteen years.
She’s working on her eleventh studio album and is now the highest selling Columbian recording artist in history with over 50 million records sold. Her single “Hips Don’t Lie” was an anthem for women everywhere and was listed as the best-selling single of the last decade. You simply can’t downplay how big a name Shakira is in the Latin community and still here in North America with guests spots on music reality shows and voicing hugely popular movies. Pique and Shakira have two children together.
5. Brooks Laich And Julianne Hough
Brooks Laich is a pretty good hockey player, but he was never among the NHL’s more recognized faces. Julianne Hough is arguably the most famous dancer in the world. She was the star of the show Dancing With the Stars for years and then went on to become a famous actor in a number of movies and musicals.
She was so well liked as a dancer she returned to the scene and joined her old show as a permanent judge. Her brother is Derek Hough and he’s become extremely famous among male dancers as well. So of course, the more famous he gets, the more famous she gets as they often work on projects together. Before Laich, she was connected to guys like Ryan Seacrest and that didn’t hurt her ability to get recognized. She was the queen of her industry and he was just pretty good in his. This one’s not really close. She’s way more famous.
4. Christian Ponder And Samantha Steele
Christian Ponder is a struggling quarterback in the NFL. His wife, Samantha Steele is the face of ESPN on Sunday NFL Countdown. So, when you consider that Steele is more recognized within the same sport her husband plays, it’s fair to assume she’s more famous on a global scale. Sunday NFL Countdown has a ton of eyeballs. Being a free agent who’s yet to sign with an NFL team isn’t exactly getting Ponder noticed.
The two are married and have two kids. It’s been a relationship that has lasted for some time after they met, dated for two months and then tied the knot. They ate their wedding day meal at an Arby’s fast food restaurant. Not the typical celebrity relationship, but it’s clearly working for them.
3. Eric Decker And Jessie James
Eric Decker is a wide receiver for the Tennesse Titans in the NFL. He’s still got some time left in his career, but he got famous for two reasons. First, he connected with quarterback Peyton Manning when Manning joined the Broncos. For Decker, that on-field relationship led to career-best numbers. Second, he met and married country singer Jessie James.
After he linked up with James, he became a much more popular football player and personality, starring in his own reality television show about their life as a couple. He’s more famous now because of her than he was before her so to say that she’s way more famous might not be fair. Let’s just say they’re a more famous couple than they are famous on their own. She’s got another album set to be released in October of 2017. He’s hoping to keep his career going after a dismal 2016 season with the New York Jets.
2. Andy Roddick And Brooklyn Decker
He’s a former tennis player more known for his on-court antics than he ever was for being successful. She’s a hugely famous model and actress who still actually has a career in her chosen profession. There’s really no contest between these two. I mean, have you seen her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover?
Kudos to Roddick however for having the wherewithal to seek out Decker who he had seen on television and knew right away he wanted to get in touch. Sure, he had his agent call her agent (maybe that’s how these guys get connected) but it worked and the two dated, got married and had a child together. Since he’s basically done playing tennis and she’s still got the acting bug, she’s easily the more famous of the two now.
1. Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood
Mike Fisher was a heck of a hockey player but he never really made it past the status of a depth player for most of the organizations he played for. But, when he married Carrie Underwood, he became infinitely more well known.
Carrie Underwood is one of the biggest female country singers and entertainers in the world. Winner of tons of awards and often regarded as one of the most talented and attractive performers in music, she outclasses Fisher in all sorts of categories when it comes to fame. From money to status and accolades, she has it all. But, Fisher is now retired and he made a pretty penny playing in the NHL. I’m sure he’s more than fine taking a back seat and following his wife around on tour.
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