- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Eric Miller)
Christian Ponder, the quarterback for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, is engaged to ESPN's Samantha Steele after it was revealed the two were dating in October.
After several rumors began to swirl regarded the alleged engagement, the college football host confirmed the news to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated.
The two began their relationship this year after they met each other on the set of ESPN's College Gameday and the two confirmed their relationship soon after the NFL season started.
Ponder is in his second season with the Vikings and all seemed well at the start of the season as the Vikings won four straight. Since then, they have faltered and have managed to win only two of their last seven games.
This has led to a criticism of Ponder, who has maintained that his private life and personal relationships do not affect his ability to play football.
Ponder recently conducted an interview with Paul Allen on KFAN in Minneapolis and discussed not only his motivations as a professional football player and commitment to the Vikings, but also his current high-profile relationship with the prominent ESPN NFL sideline reporter.
"She has nothing to do with it," Ponder stated during an interview. "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 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.