Ponder marries ESPN sideline reporter in Hudson

1:15 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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Christian Ponder and Samantha Steele photos by USA Today Sports

HUDSON, Wis. - Two Sundays ago, before the Vikings beat the Bears to climb back over .500, FOX Sports commentator Jimmy Johnson called Christian Ponder the worst quarterback in the league.

"Maybe his wife can teach him to throw," Johnson said.

At the time, Johnson was technically incorrect; Ponder had not married ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele. If Johnson had waited eight days, he would have been right.

Ponder and Steele were married Monday afternoon in Hearing Room 1 at the St. Croix County Courthouse in Hudson, Wisconsin.

The marriage application, which is a matter of public record, lists Christian Andrew Ponder and Samantha Sainte-Claire Steele as the bride and groom. Stephan Dunlap officiated the ceremony.

The license cost the multi-million dollar quarterback a whopping $100.  

While not officially confirming the nuptials, Steele posted a tongue-in-cheek message on her Twitter account. She wrote "Twitter is so tricky. Who knew that 'she's pregnant' & 'they'll be divorced soon' are just the 2012 version of "congrats"! Thx guys!

Tying the knot is the latest step in a whirlwind romance that began during the 2012 football season, with both Ponder and Steele spending plenty of time working but apparently enough time to decide that they each had found "the one."

Though it's unclear whether Ponder would be playing any better (or worse) if he hadn't spent a large chunk of the season pursuing a fairly important off-field life objective since he hadn't previously played enough for anyone to conclude whether he is or isn't a good NFL quarterback, we can only imagine the storm of criticism that would have been directed to, say, Tony Romo if he'd done something similar.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE/Pro Football Talk. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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