NFL football players often date celebrities, but Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder has impressed many sports fans with the revelation that he’s dating comely ESPN college football reporter Samantha Steele. He originally answered affirmatively when asked by a fan on Twitter and then expanded on the subject in other media outlets.
Ponder and Steele met on the set of ESPN’s ‘College Gameday’ several months ago. He talked about the difficulty of keeping a relationship private due to his high profile job:
“There’s been a thousand articles today about it. You can’t really worry about it. You’ve got to try to keep it private, but that’s just part of the industry, part of the job. I don’t know. Comes with the territory.”
Apparently his teammates have been ribbing him about it calling him ‘Christian Steele’ and other clever names, but Ponder says he’s happy with things:
“I’m proud of the relationship. I can brag. I’ve got bragging rights, I believe.”
Ponder expressed similiar sentiments on Twitter. In response to a woman who tweeted ‘I’m impressed’ Ponder quipped:
“I’m not gonna lie. I am kind of impressed with myself too.”
Ponder says that in a strange way the fact that both he and Steele have demanding, high profile jobs actually makes things easier in their relationship:
“The cool thing is that obviously, we’re both 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.”
Both fans and NFL experts have been impressed with Ponder’s improved play so far in the 2012 season. The Vikings have been one of the biggest surprises of the NFL season and head into a weekend home game against the Arizona Cardinals with a 4-2 record. That’s already more games than they won all of last season when they were one of the biggest trainwrecks in the league and finished 3-13, the third worst overall record in the league ahead of only St. Louis and Indianapolis.