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The wedding of Nick Sorensen & Danielle Berry

Danielle Berry swore she'd never date -- let alone marry -- a professional athlete. That, of course, was until she fell in love with NFL defensive back Nick Sorensen.

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By Ellen McCarthy and Kathleen Hom
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cleveland is a small enough city that Danielle Berry regularly got to see her assumptions about professional athletes affirmed up close. Players from the Cavaliers and Indians often appeared at the same nightspots she would frequent, and several of her friends ended up dating them.

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"I was familiar with a couple of guys -- and the way they behaved," says Berry, 28. "I was always like, 'No way would I ever date an athlete. There's no way. They're out of their minds.' "

So when she found out that Nick Sorensen, the cute guy she'd met at an October 2008 Coldplay concert, was a special teams player for the Browns, she sighed with disappointment: "Another football player."

Not that it was a huge surprise. They'd both been invited to the show as mutual friends of Braylon Edwards, then a wide receiver for the Browns.

The two spoke only for a few minutes that night, but it was long enough for Berry to make it known she wasn't much impressed with Sorensen's profession, or the perks that went with it.

"I remember thinking, 'This girl is really trying to make it seem like she's not here to hang out with athletes,' " says Sorensen, who grew up in Vienna and played college ball at Virginia Tech. "I was like, 'I understand you have your own thing going for you. I respect that.' "

Berry, a University of Michigan grad who works in health care, was intrigued by Sorensen's calm reserve but didn't want to make her interest known. "I'm not that girl -- to be like, 'Who is that football player guy?' "

But two weeks later she got a little giddy after walking into a club, spotting Sorensen and hearing him say, "Hey, I remember you." They each introduced their friends, wound up hanging out all night as a group and heading back to her place to continue the good times after the bar closed. Several people, including Sorensen, ended up crashing there.

When she woke the next morning -- feeling slightly awkward that there were near-strangers sleeping in her home -- Berry turned on the TV in her living room. Sorensen walked out a few minutes later, took the remote from her hand, changed the channel to MTV's reality show "Run's House" and started doing impressions of its stars.

"I was like, 'Really? He just takes the remote? Who does that?' " she recalls. "But he's really good at doing impressions, and I was dying laughing."

After trying to schedule a date for two weeks, they decided to go to an advance screening of the movie "Seven Pounds." An hour before the start time, Berry called Sorensen, crying because her cat was missing.

"First of all, I hate cats," says Sorensen, 31. "I'm like, 'Who cares? You'll come home, and he'll be sitting at the door. These things have sonar.' "


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