Why Do Hollywood Women Love to Date Athletes? Expert Weighs In

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Celebs who've found love with athletes.
With their recent engagement, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries have joined the growing number of Hollywood women who’ve found love with athletes.

Intertwining the glitz of Hollywood and competitiveness of the sporting world, athletes and celebs like David and Victoria Beckham to Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett are learning to play off the field together. So, what ultimately brings these couples together?

Celebuzz chatted with FOX’s Pop Tarts columnist Hollie McKay to get her views on celebrity-athlete relationships and whether it’s true love — or just great business.

Many celebs and athletes are hooking up these days. Why do you think this trend is growing?
First, there is this sense of glamour and romanticism when it comes to dating an athlete. This was first coined when Marilyn Monroe dated Joe DiMaggio back in the day — and has had quite a ripple effect through Hollywood. It’s alluring because these women get to be the glamorous celebrity and trophy wife, sitting in the crowd, as the cameras roll on. And it’s the one time they can let their hair down and be a giddy fan.

Other than looks, what do you think attracts athletes to these Hollywood gals?
When they date a celebrity, it fills a void in their ego. They get to be covered by the main stream media more, get followed around by paparazzi and get extra attention that makes them even more narcissistic.

Tiger Woods and Tony Parker both cheated on their wives. Should celebs be cautious when dating an athlete?
Any Hollywood star who dates an athlete needs to know what they’re playing with fire. Not all these guys cheat, but they’re in powerful positions and earn a lot of money — usually when they’re young and immature, and don’t know what to do with it … A lot of girls get into these relationships thinking they can change the guys and make them faithful. As we’ve seen, that isn’t always the case.

Do you think these relationships are all about true love or great marketing?
Look at Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom — they’ve built an empire together with the show, perfume — the list goes on. But those two appear to have a pretty solid marriage and relationship. Then, there’s Tom Brady and Gisele, who haven’t gone into any business endeavors together and just want to be a happy, little family. For these couples, there is a unity because they understand the pressures of being in the spotlight but can step away and work on their separate careers.

A lot of stars date one athlete right after another. Is that just their type?
Maybe. But for a lot of stars, they can’t necessarily score a Brad Pitt, so dating athletes is a way to stay within the A-list. A lot of these stars, despite how pretty they are, could never land George Clooney, but in the sporting world, most guys would give up everything for her.