In today’s world, the majority of the top athletes are sitting pretty. They are famous beyond measure, they get to make a living by playing a game, and they have the adoration of fans all across the globe. Which is why, for many of these individuals, when life’s big moments come along, they can’t help but go big. Just ask Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale, one of the highest-paid soccer players on the planet, took this idea to the extreme.
While marriage proposals happen every day, Bale wanted to make sure his was extra special. Since money is no object, that can only mean one thing: renting out an entire island. That’s right, the football player proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Emma Rhys-Jones, on the private island of Tagomago. The cost for such an extravagant getaway: more than 400,000 pounds.
We thought we’d seen it all, but Bale just raised the game to an completely unattainable level — for regular humans and famous athletes alike. Still, in the spirit of this over-the-top act of love, we figured it was only fitting to look back on some of the other memorable marriage proposals by athletes. These five instances, in particular, had us feeling the love.
1. The contest is bigger than ever before
Back in 2014, you’d think that competitive eater Joey Chestnut would’ve wanted to focus all his energy on the task at hand — winning the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest. Instead, he had other plans. Before the contest began, in front of all the fans at Coney Island, Chestnut proposed to his girlfriend. After receiving the answer he was hoping for, Chestnut went on to devour 61 hot dogs, winning the contest for the eighth straight time. Now, that’s what you call a “win-win.”
2. One ring is not good enough
For linebacker Greg Jones, defeating the previously unbeaten New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI was just the start of the celebration. Sure, he had just earned himself some serious bling, but he had another “ring” on his mind — an engagement ring. Jones used the grandest stage in the NFL — literally on the field — to propose to his girlfriend. She said yes, making the Super Bowl that much more special.
3. Draft day decision
On the day of the 2014 NFL Draft, Eric Ebron’s life changed forever, as the Detroit Lions selected the former North Carolina tight end with the No. 10 overall pick. Of course, the reality is that Ebron got some good news long before his name was ever called by the commissioner. On the morning of the draft, Ebron proposed to his girlfriend at the top of the Empire State Building. As you can see in the video above, he got the answer he was looking for. We think Tom Hanks would approve of this move.
4. One more magical moment at the 2007 Fiesta Bowl
The 2007 Fiesta Bowl saw the Boise State Broncos use both the hook and ladder and the “Statue of Liberty” to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners 43-42 in overtime, pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in college football history. As we were about to find out, there were more surprises still to come. Following the game itself, Broncos running back Ian Johnson, who had 101 rushing yards and a touchdown on the night, proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend live on TV. We’re sure you can probably guess how she responded to the question.
5. Tonight’s the night
Former defensive back Jason Sehorn made the bold decision to propose to actress Angie Harmon on the Tonight Show. Aside from taking her completely by surprise, Sehorn managed to even impress Sir Elton John, who was also a guest on the show on that particular occasion. We think think this marriage proposal is a tough one to top.
Information courtesy of Sports Reference.