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Sports couples who stuck around

Babe Didrikson and husband George Zaharias, Don Drysdale and wife Ann Meyers stood the test of time, as Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi have done.

August 04, 2011|By Houston Mitchell

All-time loves

Babe Didrikson and George Zaharias: Didrikson won two gold medals and a silver in track and field at the 1932 Olympics, won 41 LPGA events and is the only woman to make the cut in a PGA Tour event. Zaharias was a professional wrestler whose nickname was "The Crying Greek From Cripple Creek." They were married from 1938 until her death in 1956.

Don Drysdale and Ann Meyers: Drysdale appeared in "The Brady Bunch" and was apparently a baseball player of some sort. Meyers was the only woman to sign a contract with an NBA team and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. They were married from 1986 until Drysdale's death in 1993.

Barry Bonds and himself: Did anyone else enjoy watching his own home runs more? It was a match made in heaven. They were together from 1986 until the death of Bonds' career after the 2007 season.

Still in play

Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi: Graf is the only person to win a Grand Slam and an Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Agassi was an eight-time Grand Slam event champion. There is absolutely no pressure on their son to become a great tennis player.

Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton: Reece was a beach volleyball player and is now a model. Hamilton is a surfer. We're guessing they will never live in Iowa.

Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci: The gymnasts met at a competition in 1976 and married 20 years later. They would be the perfect choice to star in a remake of the movie "10."

Julianne McNamara and Todd Zeile: McNamara won a gold and two silvers in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Zeile played 16 seasons in the majors and is best known in Los Angeles for being traded with Mike Piazza to the Florida Marlins. He's also the best baseball player in history whose last name starts with Z.

Curtis Conway and Laila Ali: Conway was a wide receiver for 12 years in the NFL. Ali is the second-most-famous fighter named Ali and retired with a 24-0 record. We're guessing when she asks Conway to take out the trash, he doesn't argue.

Nancy Lopez and Ray Knight: Lopez won 48 LPGA events and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Knight played 13 seasons in the majors and was the most valuable player in the 1986 World Series. He had been married to Lopez for four years already at that point. If you see him and want to make him mad, say, "Hi, Mr. Lopez!"

Bret Hedican and Kristi Yamaguchi: Hedican was a member of the 2006 Stanley Cup-winning Carolina Hurricanes. Yamaguchi won the 1992 gold medal in figure skating. I believe, for them, the proper 10th anniversary gift is a Zamboni.

Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm: The great Red Sox and mediocre Dodgers star has been married since 2004 to the iconic U.S. soccer player.

Agony of defeat

Terry Bradshaw and JoJo Starbuck: Bradshaw won four Super Bowls as the quarterback of the Steelers, Starbuck was an Olympic pairs figure skater. The two divorced after four years. Bradshaw: still famous. Starbuck: not so much.

Chris Evert and Greg Norman. Chris Evert and Andy Mill. Chris Evert and John Lloyd. Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors: The Elizabeth Taylor of the sports world, tennis legend Evert quadruple-faulted when it came to love. She did vary her sports at least, hooking up with two tennis players, a golfer and a skier.

C.J. Hunter and Marion Jones: Sprinter Jones and shot putter Hunter married in 1998 and split in 2001, not long after Hunter failed a drug test at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway. Because, after all, Jones certainly wouldn't have wanted her name to be tainted by suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use.

Sergei Fedorov and Anna Kournikova: The hockey great claims he was married to the tennis star from 2001 to 2003. She says they were never married. They were seen together frequently during those years.

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