And for famous women, the dating app can be a nonstarter.Before Ronda Rousey met her main squeeze, fellow MMAer Travis Browne, the fighter dipped her toe in Tinder's water for a nanosecond -- and even used an alter ego, Brynn Campbell -- only to flee with a case of cold feet."If I'm like, 'Damn, this chick's hot,' I'll be like, 'Cruise over and party.'"No matter the platform, the party starts when one person sends a direct message -- or, as it's been popularized in memes, "slides into DMs." The allure is obvious."We're trying to get away from all the eyes," says Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, who flipped user-to-user communication into a "couple of dates, good and bad." And its reputation is that of pop culture legend. Girl: I think it's so hot when guys have big upper bodies and little chicken legs. Athletes like Cook know it's best to self-censor, as the virtual road to the bedroom is littered with the wreckage of DMs gone awry.Their misdirection play has a cheerleader in ex-teammate Terrance Knighton."A lot of the guys over there who are on Tinder are looking for love, and that's hard to find in a club where people have the wrong intentions," says the Patriot. They just set up a semi-blind date with photos that aren't too revealing."It's like shooting fish in a barrel."Patriots star Rob Gronkowski tried Tinder four years ago just for laughs, he says, "and I was matching like crazy! Get the ball rolling." Second, make like Dangerfield, "Make them laugh.
Now imagine how a guy who is often mistaken for an NFL star's bodyguard would find a match in this crowd. But at the moment, the lineman is dancing with a pretty lady, who's very much into him. "Every athlete uses them to hook up, and if they say they haven't, they're lying."Some 80 other athletes interviewed for this story support the claim -- jocks of all sports and stripes are using social media to search for a Ms. "It's not like we need help, but social media makes women so accessible," says Washington receiver De Sean Jackson, who has used Instagram.
Unlike the majority, he must go to extreme lengths to stay afloat, deploying an arsenal of tricks developed by the stars for the stars. "Thirty photos can give you a pretty good idea of a person's personality and interests," says motocrosser Bruce Cook. "If you know girls like you, you don't need to do the dirty works! I wish they had it before I got married."UPON LANDING AT an airport, pros can trumpet their arrival on Twitter, and by the time they reach the hotel, they have a virtual black book at their phone-side without having to venture into a foreign bar scene.
But the qualities that make him an extra-large catch to virtual predators also come with outsize benefits. "It might even be more organic than meeting a stranger at a bar," offers Olympic freeskier Nick Goepper, who tells the story of his recent journey down IG friends' tags. "I thought, 'Huh, similar interests and friends.' Now we're planning a date over Face Time. "If you don't have to be at the club all night, you're not drinking as much," Cook says. "If you're looking for girls on social media, nobody's gonna see you out, which keeps you out of trouble," says Sacramento Kings rookie Willie Cauley-Stein.
The kicker: She knew she was into him before she knew how he earned a living. "Tinder -- it's the best invention ever," he says with a hearty laugh, as if he can't believe his good fortune. "I'll send a comment, and if they reply, you ask for a date.
Like 50 million other fish in the dating app's sea, he swims the murky waters in search of companionship, if not lasting love. It's easy."Like Jackson, most athletes prefer Instagram for its wealth of intel. '"The cavalier cupid is beside himself with laughter.