Antonio Pierce a New York Giants linebacker, met Jocelyn Maldonado during his celebrity appearance at an August 2006 ESPN Fantasy Football Draft. Maldonado, who was a model at the event, instantly caught his eye. Pierce and Maldonado (who now hosts the N.Y.C. sports show Mets Weekly) were inseparable over the next six months, working out together and playing gin rummy during downtime.
In February 2007, Pierce treated Maldonado to a scenic helicopter ride above Manhattan before dining à deux at Brooklyn's The River Café. Famous for its chocolate Brooklyn Bridge cake, Pierce conspired with the restaurant's manager to place the engagement ring atop the confection, which was covered with pink rose petals.