Finding love online isn’t a novel concept. But finding it in a comments section of a much-trolled Web site (which, really, is every Web site) — that’s unique. Yet it’s exactly what happened for bleu_girl_04 and AAWolv, aka two Michigan football fans named Kate Queram and Brandon Wagoner who got married over the weekend, ESPN.com reports.
The two avatars first met in 2012 as regular commenters on ESPN’s Big Ten blog, which ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett clearly have a high opinion of:
“For those who forget, the blog’s pre-Facebook comments section allowed users to post anonymously, identified only by handles of their choosing. Like most online forums, it was humanity’s digital septic tank, a playground for the obnoxious, the juvenile and the fakest of tough guys (and, occasionally, gals). Insults flew like paper airplanes in detention. If commenters weren’t putting down rival schools, they were trolling one another. Intelligent football discussions would occasionally initiate, but most threads turned ugly in a hurry.”
What could possibly be more romantic?!
Sure, the correct answer is “nearly everything,” but according to Queram, there was one giant advantage to finding love in this “digital septic tank.” Wagoner stood out as one of the message board’s only non-trolls.
“Brandon was the only one who didn’t accuse me of being a middle-aged man in a basement somewhere. so you know, that’s a good first impression,” said Queram.
Wagoner’s attraction wasn’t so instant, however.
“All I remember is wondering why she had this weird obsession with Bo Pelini,” he said.
That is weird, considering Pelini, the former Nebraska coach who now leads the Youngstown State Penguins, has basically no connection with the school.
“It was mostly because of Faux Pelini who I was pretty sure was Real Pelini for a long time,” Queram said.
Oh, okay then.
Pelini aside, the two star-crossed commenters chatted and flirted for about six months on the message board before deciding to move their relationship to the next level — the phone. They didn’t get there without the help of Brandon’s dad, however, who had voiced concern that his son was getting catfished by, well, a middle-aged guy in a basement.
“I said, ‘Are you sure it’s a girl you’re talking to?’ ” Wagoner’s dad told ESPN, remembering this was all happening around the same time as the Manti Te’o catfishing story.
Wagoner was sure, though, and the conversation flowed so naturally that soon the couple decided to meet in person. Or rather, Wagoner decided it was time to meet in person. He drove from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Queram’s house in North Carolina for a surprise visit.
“It was pretty serious right away,” Queram recalls, possibly because a man she’d never met in real life just drove 12 hours to meet her. “I think because we felt like we’d spent so much time getting to know each other already.”
Soon Wagoner decided to relocate to North Carolina and the two became set on starting a non-virtual life together… as long as the wedding occurred on Michigan’s bye week.
“Luckily, she pointed out the bye week first thing,” Wagoner said.