In a tale of love and a love of college football, it was in the comments section of ESPN blogs that newlyweds Kate Queram and Brandon Wagoner started their unique love story.
Prior to their wedding on October 24, “bleu_girl_04” and “AAWolv” as they were known on the anonymous forums started chatting in January 2012 according to an interview with ESPN. But they didn’t connect through a dating website as you would expect; their love blossomed in the comments section of ESPN.com.
The couple bonded over jokes that they were the only Michigan fans on ESPN, and though they both attended school at Michigan, Queram graduated in 2004 and Wagoner in 2011, so they never met. It wasn’t until one fateful day January when college football brought the two together on the web.
“I liked him right away,” Queram told BuzzFeed Life, “He was funny and flirty and he could spell, and he was, of course, a Michigan fan. He made me laugh, and every time I logged on, I hoped he would be there.” Queram also Buzzfeed News that many fellow commenters thought she was a man masquerading as a woman online.
“I was immediately struck by how hilarious and fun she is,” Wagoner said, saying that she seemed to be the only woman joining the conversation in the forum. “Beyond that, I didn’t think that anything serious would occur, because, well, we were commenting on an ESPN blog.”
Queram and Wagoner created a wedding website with TheKnot.com and shared their blog proposal story, prior to Wagoner’s IRL (in real life) proposal. Once their flirtation picked up online, other commenters caught on to their relationship and started calling the pair a “blog couple.” Accepting their fate, Wagoner feigned a “blog proposal” by posting an image of a Michigan 1997 Championship ring, before the two even knew each other’s real names. “She said yes, and from then on referred to him as her ‘blogband,'” the couple wrote on their personalized website with TheKnot.
After Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o’s catfish scandal broke in 2013, bringing the possibility of fake online identities to the mainstream and sports media, the so-called “blog couple” became quite cautious of one another, they told Buzzfeed News.
“When the Te’o thing happened, all the guys started up the ‘but are you a guy, really?’ comments again, and this time even Brandon said something along the lines of, ‘But really, am I being catfished?’” Queram said referencing the film Catfish and MTV series of the same name. Catfish producer, actor and co-host Nev Schulman’s online love story with a twist sparked the 2010 documentary, whose name is now synonymous with deceit by fictional online personas.
Queram, who had been receiving questions of her identity since her first comment, wanted to set the record straight. She sent Wagoner a private message to prove she was who she said she was, offering up her Twitter screen name as proof. It was then that the two exchanged email addresses and started writing to each other privately. They were miles away, but inseparable.
It was two months later, in March 2013, that the two took a chance on love by meeting in person. Wagoner drove 12 hours (from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Wilmington, North Carolina) to meet Queram, and their online spark continued to grow, despite Wagoner being, “so nervous that I could barely stand,” he told Buzzfeed News.
“He looked so nervous and was like, visibly shaking on the porch which was very adorable” Queram said to ESPN.
Though most friends and family accepted their unconventional meet cute, but some still had their doubts about how strong ties could be formed from anonymous communication.
“I never lied [about how we met], but I didn’t go out of my way to tell everyone at first,” Wagoner said.
Their relationship steadily grew stronger after their meeting, and Wagoner moved to North Carolina and the two started living together in December 2014. Wagoner proposed on Christmas Eve and Queram said yes, and with the help of TheKnot.com the two were married on October 24 in Queram’s hometown of Middleton, Wisconsin, in front of friends and family – with ESPN filming it all.
If there’s any indication of how wonderful this unique match-up is, it can be seen on Queram’s Twitter account. “GETTING MARRIED IS THE BEST IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING” she shared on October 27.
— Kate E. Queram (@KateElizabethNR) October 27, 2015
According to Buzzfeed News, Queram said in her vows, “Since the very first time we ever talked on that ridiculous football blog, you have been the best part of my day. I will spend the rest of my life trying to be the best part of yours.” Wagoner and their officiant also mentioned their blog commenting during the ceremony.
Though the pair no longer comment on the ESPN blogs, they’ve proven that anonymous commenting doesn’t always go to the trolls and end in catfishing.
“I think that in any other universe it makes a lot more sense that I miss Brandon completely than that we end up married, just because there were so many things that had to happen in order for us to even talk once, let alone start dating,” she told Buzzfeed News. “I had to get off Facebook, we had to decide to congregate in this weird corner of the internet, and catfishing had to enter the popular lexicon, etc. I will forever be grateful to that website.”