Not many NFL quarterbacks have a wife as famous as the QB himself, but that’s the case for Minnesota Vikings backup Christian Ponder, whose wife Samantha is a sideline reporter and college football and basketball correspondent for ESPN.
The former Samantha Steele got her reporting start as a student at Liberty University in Virginia, where she was a sideline reporter on the university’s student TV channel for Flames football and hoops games. Then it was on to a reporting gig at Fox Sports, then, in 2011 to the ESPN family of networks, where she started as a correspondent on the Longhorn Network before moving into her current role on ESPN college football telecasts.
Samantha started dating Christian in 2012 after he started sending her Twitter messages asking what it was like to live in Austin, she told the St. Paul Pioneer Press
The two were dating for less than a year before Christian proposed at his Minnesota home just before Christmas. They got married in a civil ceremony in Wisconsin just weeks later, then had their wedding dinner at Arby’s before attending an “ugly sweater party” hosted by a couple of Vikings offensive linemen.
In 2014, Samantha gave birth to the couple’s first child, a baby girl named Bowden Saint-Claire Ponder in honor of iconic former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, for whom Christian played.
Samantha, one of the most popular reporters on ESPN’s talent roster, is active on Instagram, where her feed
includes photos of everything from her daughter to her shooting a gun while wearing a John Deer cap. Click through for a gallery of her best photos.