- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Eric Miller)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and popular ESPN NFL sideline reporter Samantha Steele officially tied the knot after a brief courtship.
Ponder, 24, and Steele, 27, were married on Monday in Wisconsin in a St. Croix County Court room, which is just across the border from Minnesota.
The two have made headlines recently after news of the two dating came about in October amid speculation that his relationship was getting in the way of his performance on the field.
The Vikings started the season in impressive fashion but soon after word got out about the pair's relationship the Vikings fell to 5-4 and were in danger of falling out of playoff contention.
At the time Ponder conducted an interview with Paul Allen on KFAN in Minneapolis and talked about his high-profile relationship with Steele.
When asked about his relationship with Steele, Ponder insisted that his relationship had nothing to do with the Vikings recent troubles. He stated that the Vikings had been playing well overall, but had played some really tough opponents and came up a bit short in those games.
"She has nothing to do with it. We've been dating since the beginning of the season, so she had also to do with the five wins. So it has really nothing to do with anything on the football field," Ponder explained at the time.
Ponder went on to explain that he is not feeling the outside pressure because he is used to setting high expectations while not focusing too much on the amount of pressure he places on himself.
"No, no. I put a lot of pressure on myself but I think I've grown used to dealing with that pressure so … I don't think it's too much. I don't think it's something that negatively affects me," Ponder said.
But since news of his engagement was revealed the Vikings have also turned their season around.
The Vikings are now 8-6 and are currently in second place behind the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North division.