Samantha Ponder is an American sportscaster who is the host of Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN.
She was born Samantha Sainte-Claire Steele on December 11, 1985, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Prior to hosting Sunday NFL Countdown, Sam worked as a reporter/host for ESPN college football and as a basketball sideline reporter.
She replaced Erin Andrews on College GameDay Saturdays at 10 AM ET on ESPN, as well as co-host of the Saturday 9 AM ET edition on ESPNU.
Sam has also worked as a host and reporter for Fox Sports where she contributed to both Fox Sports Net and Fox College’s coverage of college basketball and football in the Pac 10 and Big 12 conferences.
Who is Sam Ponder married to?
Sam is married to former NFL quarterback Christian Ponder.
The couple married in 2012 after just two months of dating and have been together ever since.
They have three children together: Bowden Saint-Claire, Robinson and Price.
Sam and Christian met while they were both working in the sports industry.
Christian, who was playing for the Minnesota Vikings at the time, met Sam while she was working at her first College Gameday show in 2012.
The Vikings were competing in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and that is when the couple met for the first time.
According to Sportskeeda, Sam and Christian began seeing each other after connecting again on X, formerly Twitter.
Who is Christian Ponder?
Christian is a former American football quarterback who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and San Francisco 49ers.
He played college football at Florida State and was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Christian’s career earnings were $12,546,345, and his career APY was $2,509,269; he retired from the NFL in 2017.
His completion percentage fell to just 56% during a rough patch of games, and he threw the same number of interceptions (5) as he did touchdowns over those five games.
Despite this, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman stood behind Ponder and said;
“I know everybody in this organization believes Christian Ponder is our guy, and I have full, 100 percent belief that Christian Ponder’s going to be our quarterback heading into the future.”
After signing with the 49ers, Sam revealed on her Instagram account that Christian had previously turned down other NFL jobs for the sake of his family.
Sam Ponder career
Sam is the host for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.
She has been working for ESPN since 2011 and has contributed to various shows, including College Football Live, College GameDay Built by The Home Depot and ABC Saturday Night Football telecast.
She has also worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN’s Thursday Night College Football and Longhorn Network events.
Prior to joining ESPN, Sam worked for Fox Sports as a host and reporter, where she contributed to both Fox Sports Net and Fox College’s coverage of college basketball and football in the Pac 10 and Big 12 conferences.
She also led the pregame, halftime, and postgame studio shows for various events, including the Pac 10 Basketball Tournament and Paradise Jam.
Sam began her journalism career as an intern at ESPN Zone and later worked as a researcher-assistant job with ABC-TV on the college football studio show.
She left Liberty Flames sports television network in 2009 and joined Fox Sports Net and Fox College Sports as a sideline reporter for Pac-10 and Big 12 college basketball and football games.