Athletes Who Love to Go to Games

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2013

Athletes Who Love to Go to Games

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    While some of our favorite athletes would never think about leaving their sport for another one—unless their name is LeBron James—they do show that they're fans just like us when seen fraternizing with their peers on the sidelines of other sporting events.

    Naturally, athletes build friendships from working out together, promotional responsibilities or just general interests.

    That's why I'm giving you the 12 athletes who love to support others at their events—even though they're not playing themselves.

Shane Vereen

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    Few outside of New England—or fantasy football—might recognize Shane Vereen's name. But whether you're a football junky or not, the running back has shown that he wants to be associated with more than just the sport that he plays.

    So much so that Vereen was actually given a customized Bruins jersey before Game 3 of this year's Stanley Cup Finals by the organization.

    Admitting that he wasn't a big hockey fan growing up back in Cali, he's certainly changed his stance after seeing the B's go as deep into the playoffs as they did this past season.

Amar'e Stoudemire

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    It's not really that common to see an athlete taking part in watching his own sport from the stands after his team has been eliminated, but then again, Amar'e Stoudemire doesn't really follow the norm.

    After his Knicks were bounced by the Heat in the 2012 playoffs, STAT was seen courtside rocking a cut-off jean jacket, fedora and some designer shades. To say he looked Lenny Kravitz cool is an understatement.

    Besides catching NBA games he's not associated with, Amar'e frequents Yankees games and was seen at this year's U.S. Open too.

Vince Wilfork

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    Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork is a big man.

    Standing at 6'2" and tipping the scales at 325 pounds, when dude walks into a room, I'm guessing people stop and stare at the behemoth.

    But as big as he is physically, the five-time Pro Bowler might be a bigger Celtics fan, taking each loss pretty tough, while lending his opinion on keeping his faith in the green and white.

    Who knows if Vince has game, but I'd bet if he could be out there setting screens and wreaking havoc down low on the parquet floor, he would.

James Harden

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    If you've ever been to San Francisco this time of year, you probably know that the weather is completely unpredictable and deceiving. Even with the sun out, there always seems to be a cool breeze that forces people to add some layers.

    So when Rockets guard James Harden showed up with the NBA's best beard at the Niners opening game a couple weeks ago, I'm sure he was nice and warm—or at least his face was.

    Harden was able to mingle with head coach Jim Harbaugh, as well as join a few other NBA players on the sidelines to take in the game against the Packers.

Tiger Woods

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    As the current No. 1 player in the world and a guy who has his name wrapped around 14 Major titles, Tiger Woods knows a thing or two about winning.

    So it's only natural that he likes to take in other forms of competition—even if he isn't participating himself—as he can regularly be seen at both his hometown Magic games during the NBA season and in support of his alma mater, Stanford.

    Don't forget that Woods' girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn, is an Olympic skier, meaning we may also see him bundled up on the slopes once the winter rolls around.

Rob Gronkowski

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    Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski might be making New Englanders nervous about when he'll actually return to the football field this season, but he's shown a few times at other Boston sporting events that he's healthy enough to move around, so they need not worry.

    Cutting a rug at a Celtics-Heat game last year, Gronk knows that just because he might not be snagging touchdown passes, he doesn't need to sit on the shelf.

    Side note: Best part of this picture is Belichick just a few rows in front of his rowdy tight end, who's shaking it in the stands.

Michael Phelps

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    Based purely off stats, Michael Phelps is the most accomplished Olympian ever.

    With his record 22 medals—18 of which are gold—Phelps has been part of some seriously memorable sporting moments.

    Could it be that his greatest came in a sport he doesn't even compete in?

    After being caught crying and celebrating with his mom after his hometown Ravens won last year's Super Bowl, it's possible—though doubtful.

    Phelps didn't just soak up the confetti in NOLA though, he's also taken batting practice with the Orioles and often attends his alma mater, Michigan's, football games.

Tom Brady

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again—every guy is (rightfully) absolutely envious of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

    When he's not helping lead his team to the playoffs—which he's done in 10 of the past 11 seasons—or rolling around town with his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, he's taking in other sporting events and chatting it up with some of his athlete buddies courtside.

    Or he may just be in the suite of a baseball game, considering his sister, Julie, is married to former Red Sox and current Yankees player Kevin Youkilis.

    Yeah, even if Brady wasn't who he was, he'd still have the hook-up.

Kobe Bryant

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    Depending on who you ask, Kobe Bryant might not be the King of the NBA anymore, but there's no doubt that he rules the kingdom that is the city of Los Angeles.

    As one of the greatest Lakers ever—yes, it's time to say it—Kobe gets the hook-up at pretty much any event he wants to.

    Lucky for him, those usually involve sports games, as he's shown his face at a few Galaxy and Dodgers games—with quite the entrance—as well as checking out some events at last year's Olympics in London with his family.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    In case you've been living under a rock your entire life, you probably know that welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. has some serious coin.

    After breaking his own record for biggest payday ever with this past weekend's fight, there's a reason why the dude earned (literally) the nickname "Money."

    Fighting just a few times a year, dude gets a ton of time off, which, subsequently leads him to numerous sporting events like NBA games—even if it does come with a bit of controversy for the boxer.

David Beckham

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    He may not be an active athlete any longer, but former soccer player David Beckham isn't too far removed to still be considered an athlete in my eyes.

    Even before Becks hung up the boots following his last game with Paris Saint-Germain in May, he was a regular at numerous sporting events outside of soccer.

    Already this summer, he's been seen cheering on guys at the NBA Finals, a few Dodgers games and, more recently, the U.S. Open.

LeBron James

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    LeBron James, possibly the greatest basketball player on the planet, doesn't hide away in his lair.

    Bron Bron gets out to a ton of different sporting events, especially any that involve his favorite teams like the Cowboys or Yankees.

    With VIP treatment anywhere he goes, why wouldn't James take advantage of tossing around a football pregame or getting a tour of Yankees Stadium?