Many people cry foul over how hard dating has become thanks to apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, The Grade, The League, Happn, and so on. They're all both right and wrong at the same time, because dating has always been "hard" regardless of whatever mediums existed for making connections. Your attitude forever has been and forever will be the key — you're either willing to put up with the games of the times or you're not.
But how do the games change if you're a world-class athlete who already has a massive online following?
In a lengthy story on ESPN today, Sam Alipour interviewed several single sports stars to find out how they're using dating apps (and non-dating apps) to meet cool people, hook up on the road, or find true love. What he found is that athletes' online dating experiences are similar to ours, and yet wildly, completely different.
New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski said when he first downloaded Tinder four years ago, he "was matching like crazy!" As his AIM screen name (remember those?) was "chickmagnet4life," you can imagine what kind of messages the dude sends.
"Swipe right on everything. Get the ball rolling," he advised. "Make them laugh. Just Google 'Tinder pickup lines.' "
As for athletes who are already married or older figures in the locker room, they don't even know what online dating is like, but are intrigued by how their younger teammates deal with it.
"Teender? Show me," said big man Timofey Mozgov of the Cleveland Cavaliers. "All right, what is it? A game? I see, just random girls." As he talked, he was apparently swiping every girl on Alipour's phone to the right, and laughed when he got a match.
"If you know girls like you, you don't need to do the dirty works! So easy. I wish they had it before I got married," he said.
One of the most interesting insights from the article was that some athletes have a ton of luck online, and others can't seem to find their groove. During MLB spring training, a player on the San Francisco Giants said younger players were "having lots of sex out here, and at least half [were] using Tinder to do it. It's like shooting fish in a barrel."
On the other side of the coin, New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has apparently been having a tough time sliding into girls' DMs (direct messages). "My DM's not popping," he said, frowning. "I don't know what my problem is."
Don't stress, man. We've all been there.
Cover image: Rob Gronkowski via Instagram