Christian Ponder has been having an up and down season, and while many people were high on his performance early in the year, most of his recent performances have been poor at best. Well it seems he has put aside his poor play for a day. Ponder confirmed today that he married ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele at a Wisconsin courthouse on Monday. Ponder said he knows some Vikings fans will be upset that he married across the border in Wisconsin, but that he was just trying to keep it quiet.
Apparently they wanted to get married before the holidays and for some other personal reasons. He also explained that his recent nuptials would not distract him from the very important matchup with the Texans in Houston on Sunday, a game which Ponder is calling the biggest game of his career.
Coach Frazier said that he’s happy for Ponder and not all concerned about the timing.
Let’s hope that’s the case. We need Ponder to play the best game of his career to keep our playoff hopes alive. And there’s at least one analyst that doesn’t think Ponder can keep those playoff hopes alive. A week ago Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson was not impressed with Ponder’s play this season:
“Christian Ponder the last couple of months has been horrible,” Johnson said. “He has been the worst quarterback in the league. Really struggling. Right now, he is playing scared. Throwing checkdowns. Checkdowns may get you field goals, but not touchdowns. They’re going to struggle because they just don’t have the explosive throws down the field.”
Said Terry Bradshaw: “Ponder, I’m glad he’s engaged. He’s got the love thing all kind of out of the way. . . . Maybe he’ll step it up a little bit.”
To which Johnson responded: “Maybe his wife can teach him how to throw.”
Ouch. Those are not kind words to the newly married couple. Hopefully Ponder can prove Johnson wrong this Sunday.