Despite hectic schedules, here’s how professional athletes score with their sweethearts on Valentine’s Day

By Michaela Schirra
Medill Reports

Valentine’s Day has a history of being complicated. Some people try too hard, while others try too little, leaving behind a mix of unrealistic expectations and disappointing memories. According to professional athletes, those complications do not dissipate with fame and money.

Despite the larger paychecks and slews of adoring fans, the holiday can still raise stressful questions such as which gift to buy or which restaurant has the best atmosphere. Athletes also have to worry about scheduling in holidays.

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Cal Petersen said players may have to celebrate in a nontraditional fashion due to their busy schedules.

“It might just be making Valentine’s a different day,” Petersen said. “It’s the athlete’s job to make time for their significant other, you know, around whatever schedule.”

While most athletes can re-arrange their schedules, sometimes the task is impossible. When that is the case, athletes have to search for ways to make their sweethearts feel appreciated from afar. 

Some athletes, like professional golfer Keegan Bradley, don’t always get to spend Valentine’s Day with their significant others but try to make a romantic gesture of some kind. 

“I like to make sure I get my wife some flowers and a nice little gift,” Bradley said. 

In addition to planning the celebration around their busy schedules, athletes still have to consider what will make their valentines swoon.

Phoenix Suns newcomer Tariq Owens said thinking about the individual is an important key to having a successful holiday. “It honestly depends on each person and who your Valentine is,” Owens said. “In general, a movie or dinner, that’s too basic.”

Regardless of all the complications of being in a relationship, professional athletes try to keep the romance alive during the February holiday. According to Owens, sincerity is the most important ingredient to a successful Valentine’s Day.

“I mean as long as whatever you’re doing comes from the heart [and] is sincere,” Owens said. “I think your Valentine’s Day will be perfectly fine.”

Photo at top: Red and pink decor highlight the romantic holiday. (Michaela Schirra/MEDILL)