Athletes across all types of sports can all attest to at least one thing that they all have in common, no matter what they play; teammates create bonds matched by few other types of relationships.
In reality, athletes in team sports don't have much choice in the matter. When you're spending months at a time seeing the same group of people each day, you're bound to grow closer. Sure, it's possible that some teammates may not got along, but for the greater good, the majority of athletes will at least maintain civil relationships with their teammates. On the other end of the "teammate relationship spectrum" is the epitome of sports relationships: The Bromance.
The Bromance is more than just a friendship between two individuals who don the same jersey on game-day. It is a practically unbreakable bond that borders on legitimate brotherhood; the kind of relationship that are accompanied with sappy phrases like "a friend will bail you out of jail, but a best friend will be in the cell with you." Professional sports bromances are unique in that, as fans, we become spectators in a friendship, a concept that is foreign to the average Joe - no one is watching you and your best friend have a beer and take a selfie during your night out, but if two pro athletes are seen walking through a mall together, they are the two most interesting friends in the entire universe (and you'll get the standard "they're so cute" response from said athletes' female fan-base).
All kidding aside, though, bromances are arguably an important aspect of sport - especially in today's social media crazed society - because they provide us with a reminder that these athletes aren't just robots programmed to score goals or throw touchdown passes; they are human beings with feelings and, like the rest of us, crave human contact (or as men would put it, someone who they can share a cold one with).
15 Drake and (Insert Athlete Name Here)
Superstar Canadian rapper Drake is near the top of the rap-game right now, and with good reason. He's taken advantage of his success by associating himself with several high profile athletes, most notably LeBron James and Johnny Manziel. Drake's problem, however, is that he's a bit of a "promiscuous" celebrity friend, as he's also been seen fraternizing with the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and others. The running joke is that Drake follows winners, so whenever a team wins a championship, don't be surprised to see someone Tweet out the obvious "Drake on a plane right now to celebrate with (whoever won the MVP award of said finals)."
14 Michael Jordan and Roger Federer
This one doesn't seem like an obvious match at a first glance. While both are among the greatest of all-time in their respective sports, what could shy, timid Roger Federer have in common with one of the most intimidating sports icons of all-time? Perhaps it's simply a matter of opposites attracting. The two seem to have gone "public" with their friendship, this after Federer invited Jordan to one of his recent matches at the U.S. Open. From the looks of it, Jordan is a big fan, cheering Federer along throughout the entire match (which Federer ultimately won...because you don't want to lose if Michael is watching.)
13 Mike Richards and Jeff Carter
This one might come as a bit of a surprise to those less-engaged with the National Hockey League. This bromance goes back farther than most on this list, as Richards and Carter we're originally teammates with the Philadelphia Flyers - that is, until then general manager Paul Holmgren woke up one day and decided to trade half his roster (not that far off from the truth, by the way). The two were separated for awhile and both had horrible seasons, but their reunion in Los Angeles resurrected both of their careers and coincided with two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings.
12 Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider
This bromance makes the list because it could have easily been a bromance that could have not only fallen apart at the seams, but also exploded into an all-out disaster. Instead, the two goaltenders found a way to get through the mess that was the Vancouver Canucks goaltending situation, even making a few satirical videos about their "struggle" along the way. They've also been prominent in promoting their bromance on Twitter - it's only official once you acknowledge it on social media.
11 Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole
This isn't your conventional "sports bromance," because as far as we know the only place Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole were athletic teammates was probably on a company softball team. That being said, they are far and away the funniest and most creative anchors in the sports media industry today. Onrait and O'Toole are Canadian sports television legends, after years of pleasing late night audiences with their witty take on reading sports highlights. The only thing that has more chemistry than these two on set is their mustaches side-by-side during Movember.
10 Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki
Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki are the proverbial elder-statesmen of this bunch, but their bromance runs just as deep as any other younger dynamic duos. The friendship was born upon their simultaneous arrival in Dallas in the late 90's and with their horrible hair-dos that caught everyone's attention from the start. Soon they were busy scoring buckets for the Mavs at a torrid pace, and while their time as teammates was short, the bromance lasted even as they became opponents.
9 Tony Romo and Jason Witten
Despite Tony Romo's recent struggles and his slowly-but-surely budding bromance (on the field, anyways) with Dez Bryant, the bond between Romo and his security blanket Jason Witten is still strong. Witten has always been there for Romo in times of duress, whether it's being open while a defense is bringing the house or when the media is hounding Romo's big moment blunders. Perhaps if Romo got back to keying in on Witten, he wouldn't throw as many INT's.
8 Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan
Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan might not be high on this list, but their bromance involves a lot of flying - flying over the rim for huge dunks, specifically. The two have grown into superstars in Lob City as the focal points of the Los Angeles Clippers high-octane offense, and they've taken the on-court chemistry off the field, whether it means just kicking it or heading overseas for some quality vacation time together.
7 Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan
It seems odd to view a surly, older head coach as part of a bromance with the veteran leader of his basketball team, but that's one of the best ways to describe the relationship with Tim Duncan. Perhaps it's their extremely low and similar levels of general excitement, their low-key attitudes...or perhaps it's the chemistry they've displayed in being perennial championship contenders for so many years. Whatever it is that makes them click, it's worked extremely well.
6 Tom Brady and Bill Belichick
Like Popovich and Duncan, the combination of Brady and Belichick is a unique relationship between coach and player that few others could pull off. It's rare to think of coach and athlete as "buddies," but these two could be two peas in a pod. It's almost as if they operate along the same brainwaves - but when their genius has led to championships, they celebrate like long-lost brothers meeting for the first time in decades. When both their careers are over, there's no doubt we'll one day spend time discussing a photo of Brady and Belichick sharing a beer on a luxurious yacht in the middle of nowhere.
5 Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler
The relationship that has developed between two of the most colorful stars on the PGA Tour has definitely been fun to watch. From general camaraderie on the golf course, heartfelt moments between two friends, or hilariously awful rap videos, Watson and Fowler have proven that while the big names like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will get the ratings for the big networks, the laid-back guys with fun personalities are the ones that make a sometimes boring sport more lively.
4 Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler
Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler started their bromance in Denver, and similarly to Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, once they were split up, everything went downhill. Cutler struggled early on during his time in Chicago, while Marshall never played up to his potential for the rest of his time in Denver or with the Miami Dolphins. Once Marshall and Cutler were reunited in the Windy City, though, the fireworks started to fly again.
3 Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook
Before LeBron left for Cleveland, the best bromance in the NBA was James and Dwayne Wade. With James heading home, though, the crown has been handed to the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Two of the elite players at their positions, the two work as well as peanut butter and jelly. Not only does their bromance lead to success on the court, it has also led to the sweeping trend of interesting and downright strange pre-game and post-game wardrobes across the NBA, with these two fashion kings leading the way.
2 Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus
Of all the bromances on this list, this one as is close to a "real" brother relationship, in that Elvis Andrus is the annoying little brother who does everything in his power to aggrevate his bigger (physically and age-wise) brother, Adrian Beltre. Andrus has a not-so-secret weapon at his disposal - Beltre's disdain for people touching his head. So does Andrus respect Beltre's space? Of course not. He grabs, taps, slaps, and rubs Beltre's head whenever he can, which sends Beltre into a sporadic fit of rage while Andrus scampers off.
1 LeBron James and Johnny Manziel
If there was a "power-couple" ranking for bromance, these two would be at the top of that list too. The relationship between King James and Johnny Football started with some social media "flirting" - a Tweet here, and Instagram post there - but now that they are both in Cleveland, there's no doubt this bromance is going to explode, especially when (not if) Manziel gets his shot at the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback job.