Hip, hip, hooray: Jocks say bring it on!

Ryan Howard and Krystle Campbell reportedly got engaged during spring training. They are planning a 2012 wedding.

Ryan Howard, aka The Big Piece, joined a different kind of elite class recently — the group of athletes who have dated professional cheerleaders.

Howard, 31, got engaged to Eagles cheerleader Krystle Campbell sometime before the season began. While there isn’t yet a comprehensive list of every athlete-cheerleader couple, enough of them have gone public with their romances that we’ve been able to compile a handful of prominent ones:

» David Nelson, an undrafted rookie receiver for Buffalo, has been dating Cowboys cheerleader Kelsi Reich. They’re both from Dallas and extremely religious.

» Lions QB Matt Stafford dated cheerleader Kelly Hall when the two attended the University of Georgia. She’s extremely popular on the Internet.

» Redskins TE Chris Cooley made national headlines when he admitted that his wife had been a Redskins cheerleader — and was kicked off the team for dating him.

» Former Laker AC Green, the poster boy for virgins, eventually married Rockets dancer Veronique Green.

» Astros slugger Hunter Pence recently admitted that he’s dating a Houston Texans cheerleader, Lindsay Slott.

» Jimmer Fredette (if you need us to tell you who this is, then you really need to get out more) is so famous that BYU asked him to not attend class because he’s a distraction. Obviously, he’s dating a cheerleader there.

» Who could forget Boise State’s Ian Johnson, the hero of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, who proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend on the sideline? Surely you remember reporter Chris Myers ruining it, right?

» Hunter Mahan, a pro golfer who has never won a major, got married to Cowboys cheerleader Kandi Harris.

» Lakers center Pau Gasol has been dating dancer Silvia Lopez Castro for about two years. She dances on “Spain’s Dream Cheers,” a cheerleading group that dances in Europe.

–Jason Raj McIntyre covers athletes off the field and runs the popular blog, The Big Lead.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome.



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