Which athlete/celebrity coupling is your favorite?

4-CORNERS

December 28, 2009

Beckhams end debate
Andrea Adelson, Orlando Sentinel

If you are going to gush over athlete/celebrity couples, then you have to gush about the most glamorous, most famous, most recognizable couple in the world: David and Victoria Beckham.

They are talented, gorgeous and powerful.

They could be the most photographed couple by paparazzi and advertisers alike thanks to their good looks and instant marketability.

David has left jaws dropping with his bending kicks and his bulging biceps. Victoria has left jaws dropping with her slim physique and fine fashion - but not so much for her music career with the Spice Girls. When they married in 1999, it was a match made in soccer and music heavens.

Together, they are the "it" couple, bigger than Tom and Gisele, Carrie and Mike and Nomar and Mia.

aadelson@tribune.com

'The Shark' and Chrissie
Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times

Greg Norman and Chris Evert.

Yes, they separated, but somehow that end game seems fitting.

Both divorced their spouses in 2006 to commence a middle-aged, sports/celebrity relationship and later married. "The Shark" was megarich from his golf career and related ventures, not to mention a wine business. . Evert was a 50-something trophy wife with a lot of trophies.

When Norman nearly won the British Open in 2008, he was effusive in thanking Chrissie for helping revive his interest in the game, while she was bubbling over because Norman was her guide to a sport in which she hadn't spend much time. So what went wrong? The rumors claim they didn't get along well with their stepchildren. But who knows?

What we do know: Evert now has three failed marriages, Norman two.

bstavro@tribune.com

The storybook romance ...
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant

I'm going old school on this one. Tony and Jessica? T.I. was right, it's not fair (sob, sob). A-Rod and Kate Hudson? He has his ring, she has "Nine." It's over. Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood?

They all fade to insignificance alongside the brief 1954 nuptial of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, the one that started it all. For sheer star power, this was a romantic and matrimonial clash of equal titans. There is no actress, singer, diva, billionaire's daughter or former governor who is as big a star today as Monroe was in her day. And no athlete has matched the class, elegance and mystique of DiMaggio.

Put them together and their brief marriage was such a gigantic story that fans still are familiar with details of their divorce. And the story's tragic ending still haunts our culture.

Joe and Marilyn remains the romance for all seasons.

damore@tribune.com

... with the tragic ending
Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune

Tom and Gisele? Jessica and Tony? Elisha Cuthbert and whatever hockey player she's with this week?

Those modern-era sports/celebrity couplings don't hold a candle in the wind to Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

If the blond bombshell and the Yankee Clipper were around today, they'd be the lead story on TMZ. But despite the scandals and eventual split, the couple's love had a touch of class, truth and depth that is hard to detect in lovers like actress Kate Hudson and Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.

While the Monroe-DiMaggio marriage wasn't permanent, their love was.

They even rekindled their romance after divorce, and Monroe joined DiMaggio at the Yankees' training camp. If they were in a couple in the 2000s, their friendship probably would not have endured in the harsh celebrity spotlight.

sryan@tribune.com

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