Playing matchmaker: pairing Northwestern athletes with the pros

    In sports and in dating, playing the field is easier said than done. Athletes' schedules are so hectic and unpredictable that sometimes, like in the case of Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods, they can't help but end up with other athletes who understand their plight. If Northwestern athletes ever crossed paths with their professional counterparts, they might just be a match made in heaven–or on the court.

    Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and junior guard Karly Roser
    By Shannon Lane

    Yes, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback got married in 2012, but hypothetically, Wilson and Roser would make a beautiful and incredibly agile couple. Both players are the first ones to give credit to their teammates and stay remarkably humble. When critics doubted Wilson's potential because of his 5'10 3/8" height, Wilson kept working and eventually led his team to its first Super Bowl victory. Wilson's salary only totaled $526,217 last season, which is less than his opponent Peyton Manning's weekly paycheck in 2013.

    Roser, on the other hand, hit a buzzer-beater lay-up last season against Iowa to give the 'Cats a Big Ten win, but still managed to rack up 337 assists in her NU career. Coach Joe McKweon praised her poise in a close game, proving she and Wilson can both control a team and glorify their teammates in the process.

    Their ideal date: rescuing the stray dogs of Sochi and then adopting them all

    Team USA goalie Hope Solo and former quarterback Kain Colter
    By Daniel Hersh

    As the starting keeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team, Solo has been an outspoken stud, not conforming to anyone’s rules but her own. She speaks her mind, no matter who might disagree. Senior quarterback Kain Colter is the same way. He broke the barrier that no other NCAA football player had the courage to question when he organized the first NCAA player’s union. Like Solo, when he sees something wrong, he doesn’t just go with it simply because that’s how it has been done. He speaks out and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty while fixing the problem.

    Their ideal date: attending a congressional hearing and then re-watching C-SPAN on DVR to see if they were caught on camera

    L.A. Sparks forward/center Candace Parker and senior guard/forward Drew Crawford
    By Jasper Scherer

    Crawford grew up in Naperville, Ill., and while Parker is from St. Louis, the two actually attended and dominated the court at the same high school: Naperville Central High school, albeit at different times. (Parker is four years older than Crawford.)

    Aside from their early proximity, however, the two also share some similarities on the court. Of course, Crawford and Parker are both veterans of their sport (Crawford is a fifth-year senior, Parker is in her sixth season in the WNBA), and they’re also each recognized as the best player on their respective teams.

    Parker is perhaps best known for her dunking ability, thanks to her most famous feat: recording two dunks in one game, making her the first woman to do so in a college basketball game. At Northwestern, Crawford has thrown down more than a few jams himself.

    For all their similarities on the court, how could Crawford and Parker not be a perfect match off it?

    Their ideal date: the 2014 NBA dunk competition (they may just jump on the court and join in)

    2012 U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team and the NU men's diving team
    By Andrew Simpson

    Two summers ago the U.S. gymnastic team flipped and somersaulted their way to a gold medal and melted the hearts of millions of viewers, and I’m sure they could melt the hearts of four college divers. With obvious and seductive icebreakers like “Hey, I basically do gymnastics but while wearing a speedo,” nothing could go wrong for Northwestern's brave divers. It is the ultimate matchup of land and aquatic acrobatics. This matchup is foolproof.

    Their ideal date: a long walk on the beach followed by a quick swim along the Atlantic coastline or across the English Channel

    Real Madrid forward Christiano Ronaldo and freshman forward Nia Coffey
    By Ben Sanders

    Relationships between dominant forces don’t usually work, but these two are the exception. Coffey and Ronaldo are both freakishly athletic and are the “go-to” players of their respective teams. In big games, they are called on to step up and they rarely disappoint. Against Nebraska, Coffey erupted for 22 points and 10 rebounds and outshined fellow superstar Jordan Hooper. Ronaldo, who’s widely regarded as the best soccer player in the world, scored two goals in 38 seconds against Sweden to send Portugal to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. To be honest, I don’t know if the media would know how to handle this power couple.

    Their ideal date: a Beyoncé concert, because powerful people should probably stay in the same room at all times


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