Last night was huge for Danica Patrick. The 36-year-old retired IndyCar driver was the first woman ever to host the ESPY Awards, and she chose to celebrate her accomplishment by flaunting her relationship with football star Aaron Rodgers on the red carpet. Though they've only been together for approximately eight months, the couple couldn't have looked more comfortable as they nuzzled closely and smiled for the flashing cameras, wearing black so well, even Johnny Cash would have approved.
But the evening wasn't just important because it gave the pair an opportunity to make everyone jealous with their chiseled physiques. It also marked the anniversary of their first encounter at the 2012 ESPYs. Fate has a way of crashing into you harder than a race car into a cement barrier.
"We both remember meeting each other; it was quick," she said. "I got his email address. I remember thinking to myself back then, 'Oh. Not a phone number, just an email address."
Despite her disappointment, they "kept in touch just a little bit" over the years that followed. As time passed, they grew closer and joked about their different football alliances (she was a diehard Chicago gal, while he was obviously pro-Green Bay). She even went so far as to compare their relationship to the Capulets and the Montagues in Romeo and Juliet. Aw, yes, the great Shakespearean tragedy where two incredible athletes come together to share a life of money, fame, and all the protein one could dream of.
While the two clearly got along, it wasn't until 2017 that the newly single duo (Rodgers and former girlfriend Olivia Munn split in April, while Patrick and her ex, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., called it quits later that year) dared to take their relationship to the next level by exchanging phone numbers and going on a few dates. After TMZ spotted the two dining al fresco in late December, Patrick released a short statement to the New York Post saying that, yes, she was dating Rodgers.
While the football player has said in the past that "living out a relationship in the public eye" has been detrimental in the past, the spotlight doesn't seem to have had an impact on he and Patrick. The two seem smitten, supporting each other at big events and posting fun Instagram updates of their romance along the way. Patrick even told Jimmy Kimmel in a recent appearance on his late-night show that she had, indeed, become a Packers fan. If abandoning your childhood team for your partner isn't love, I don't know what is.