samantha-steele-christian-ponder-dating-NFL-ESPN.jpgThere’s an adorable new sports couple out there — ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele and NFL quarterback Christian Ponder.

Ponder, 24 and a second-year player for the Minnesota Vikings, first alluded to the relationship when he tweeted, then deleted, a message to Steele, 26, on Oct. 2. Then this week, he tweeted many exchanges with her, prompting the rumor mill to start churning.

And finally he confirmed it to ESPN: “I’m proud of the relationship. I can brag. I’ve got bragging rights, I believe.”

The two met a couple months ago on the set of College GameDay, the ESPN Saturday college football program.

Ponder also acknowledges the virtues of working in the same business.

“The cool thing is that obviously, we’re both busy at the same time,
so we don’t get to see each other that much. But at least
one person isn’t feeling guilty about not making the effort to do it or
whatever. Then we kind of have the same schedule in the offseason, so
that’ll be good,” the quarterback tells ESPN.

Ponder was a second-round draft pick out of Florida State and made his NFL debut on Oct. 16, 2011. Steele is ostensibly Erin Andrews’ replacement on College GameDay. She attended Liberty University and worked for Fox Sports Net after graduating in 2009.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."