Christian Ponder
American football player
Christian Ponder
Christian Ponder is an American football quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Vikings with the twelfth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and signed with them on July 31, 2011, shortly after the 2011 NFL lockout ended. He played college football as the starting quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles at Florida State University. He won the starting job from Drew Weatherford prior to the 2008 season.
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Samantha Ponder Is Living Her Sports Dream In Sports
Huffington Post - 3 months
Samantha Ponder has become one of ESPN’s most versatile on-air talents and a staple of its most popular college football show, “College GameDay.” More recently though, the 30-year-old Phoenix native has cut back her basketball responsibilities to focus more on her daughter ― Ponder is married to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Christian Ponder ― and create a better work-life balance.  Ponder caught up with The Huffington Post to discuss how her career in sports began, why she embraces both the positive and negative aspects of social media and the most challenging part about being a woman in her industry. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. What is it about your job that you appreciate the most? Most of my life I played with kids that looked nothing like me, had completely different backgrounds and yet we all got along and had this one thing in common. And that’s still what happens when you work in sports broadcasting. And then you get to do some real ...
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Huffington Post article
Time for Chicago Bears to Commit to a New Quarterback
Huffington Post - about 2 years
Giving Bears quarterback Jay Cutler chances in Chicago is like Sylvester Stallone making Rocky movies. They're never ending, and no matter how bad the previous performance, the next one is just around the corner. On Wednesday new Bears head coach John Fox and new GM Ryan Pace were repeatedly asked about the elephant in the room, but they remained non-committal to Cutler during their press conference. One thing is clear. After six years of failure, it's time the Bears' organization commits to getting a new quarterback. "We're not up against a deadline," Fox said. "My experience has always been that you need to gather the information, and in turn, you usually make better decisions. We're in that process, and we'll keep you posted." Pace added, "There's certain things that were happening last year that might have been tough for him, and so we're going to analyze that and go further. The quarterback position is the hardest position to evaluate, so I think the more games we can ...
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Huffington Post article
Christian Ponder kissed a goat instead of Sam Ponder
USA Today - about 3 years
The ESPN personality's husband smooched a goat instead of her.
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USA Today article
Super Bowl Preview Part 2: Seattle Seahawks Offense vs. Denver Broncos Defense
Huffington Post - about 3 years
In the shadow of the NFL's biggest game, the Broncos defensive and Seahawks offensive players must feel like the forgotten stepchildren of Super Bowl hype. Outside of Seattle super-rusher Marshawn Lynch, impressive young QB Russell Wilson, Denver's new sensation DT Terrance Knighton and veteran Broncos CB Champ Bailey, many of these players are not well known. That is about to change. The Seattle offense's stats may pale in comparison to Denver's record-breaking numbers, with a mere 26.1 points per game in the playoffs. Yet, here they are in New York and the score is 0-0. The unit has averaged 339 total yards per game: 202.2 passing yards and136.8 rushing yards. The offense has achieved only 27 first downs compared to opponents 41, but the 'Hawks have a +3 turnover count. Denver's TO ratio is -2.* Hmmm. The rather maligned Denver D's playoff numbers include 24.9 points per game. Resurrecting themselves after multiple starter injuries, this squad gave up a total of 129 rushing yards ...
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Huffington Post article
Cassel on track to start at quarterback for Vikings in place of injured Ponder
Fox News - about 3 years
Matt Cassel is on track to start this week at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, with Christian Ponder recovering from a concussion.
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Fox News article
Minnesota Vikings Top Chicago Bears 23-20 In Overtime (VIDEO)
Huffington Post - about 3 years
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings avoided a second straight tie, and dealt the Chicago Bears a serious blow in the NFC North. Peterson rushed for 211 yards and Blair Walsh kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Vikings to a wild 23-20 victory over the Bears on Sunday. Matt Cassel threw for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception in relief of the injured Christian Ponder for the Vikings (3-8-1), who tied Green Bay last week. Alshon Jeffery had 12 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns for the Bears (6-6), who led by 10 points midway through the fourth quarter. They also had a chance to win in overtime, but Robbie Gould's 47-yard field goal sailed wide right to set up the Vikings' final drive. Matt Forte rushed 23 times for 120 yards and Josh McCown was 23 of 36 for 355 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for the Bears. Julius Peppers had 2½ sacks, but the Bears' defense cou ...
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Huffington Post article
Up next for Bears: Vikings
Chicago Times - over 3 years
Vikings QB Christian Ponder has improved even if uninspiring.     
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Chicago Times article
Vikings sticking with Ponder as starter
Fox News - over 3 years
Minneapolis, MN ( - Christian Ponder will get another chance to prove himself for the Minnesota Vikings, with head coach Leslie Frazier announcing Wednesday that the struggling quarterback will start this weekend's game against the Green Bay Packers.Ponder had been benched in favor of Matt Cassel after throwing a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, during last Sunday's 41-20 Minnesota loss at Seattle
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Fox News article
Vikings unsure if QB Christian Ponder can play vs Seattle after dislocating shoulder
Fox News - over 3 years
The Minnesota Vikings are unsure if Christian Ponder will be healed in time for their next game.
Article Link:
Fox News article
NFL-Vikings claim rare comeback win over Washington
Yahoo News - over 3 years
The Minnesota Vikings fought back from a 13-point deficit and the loss of their starting quarterback to earn just their second win of the year, prevailing 34-27 over the Washington Redskins on Thursday. The visitors almost scored a touchdown with 30 seconds remaining as Santana Moss caught a pass from Robert Griffin III but he was only able to ground one foot in the end zone. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns and Christian Ponder threw for two more scores before leaving the field with a shoulder injury to help the home side overcome a 27-14 third quarter deficit. Back-up quarterback Matt Cassel came on and oversaw Peterson's second touchdown on the next play to take the lead, before calmly moving the Vikings into field goal range as the clock wound down to set up the seven-point advantage.
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Yahoo News article
Romo spoils homecoming for Peterson, Ponder as Cowboys avoid upset with 27-23 win over Vikings
Fox News - over 3 years
Homecoming for Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder went from sweet to sour at the last minute.
Article Link:
Fox News article
Christian Ponder will start at QB for Vikings against Cowboys on Sunday
Fox News - over 3 years
Christian Ponder will start at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Article Link:
Fox News article
NFL Week 9 Football Picks
Huffington Post - over 3 years
The NFL Week 9 Picks will put us over the hump on the 2013 football season. So, we have eight more regular season Sundays to win our office pool. One thing I have learned is that the Seattle Seahawks have an alarmingly bad habit of winning, but not covering the spread. I want to be a Russell Wilson fan; I really do. The Seattle QB is a fellow Virginian and short person, not to mention amazingly talented and generally cool. But he's killing me! Week 8 chart-topper: Calvin Johnson's 329-yard receiving game was nothing short of historically great TV. That it was short of Willie Lee "Flipper" Anderson's 1989 336-yard record makes one wonder how incredibly good Anderson must have been to amass that many yards when DB's were actually allowed to defend a pass. Not to mention the fact that it was Jim Everett and not Matthew Stafford under center for the 1989 Rams. No offense meant to Mr. Everett but, you know... Week 8 trivia: Quick, what's the name of the Packers' punter? It's Tim Masthay. ...
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Huffington Post article
NFL Game Capsules - Week 8
Fox News - over 3 years
Minneapolis, MN ( - Aaron Rodgers and his seldom-used receivers are making it work. Rodgers threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns in the Green Bay Packers' 44-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Rodgers, who was a perfect 10-of-10 for 172 yards and his pair of scores on third down, finished 24-of-29 for the Packers (5-2), who have won four straight games. Green Bay was 13-of-18 on third down overall and tallied points on each possession before its final drive where it took a knee. Jordy Nelson, the only mainstay among the receiving corps, caught seven passes for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Eddie Lacy carried the ball 29 times for 94 yards and a score in the triumph. Adrian Peterson ran for 60 yards and a score on 13 carries, while also adding three receptions for 23 yards for Minnesota (1-6), which has dropped three in a row. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34 l ...
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Fox News article
Tom Brady, Cam Newton & More: Who Is The Sexiest Quarterback?
Hollywood Life - over 3 years
For those who don’t care what the final scores are in the NFL on Oct. 27, and who don’t play fantasy football, we’ve put together a competition that you CAN get into. Namely, which starting QB is the league’s hottest? If you get bored watching the Green Bay Packers stomp on their opponents (or in the case of the New York Giants, lose horribly), then you’ve come to the right place, because we’re talking about what really matters — sexy guys. Join us as we examine the sexiest play-callers in the NFL, and help us determine who has the best look. Hottest Quarterbacks In The NFL: The Veterans Though these guys are approaching or are in their thirties, they’re still in great shape. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re the best QBs in the game. Tom Brady He didn’t lock down Gisele Bundchen with just a pretty smile. This guy’s got it all, including a bevy of hairstyles. Tony Romo Remember when he went to Cabo with Jessica Simpson in 2008? Yeah, that was just so he could show off hi ...
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Hollywood Life article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Christian Ponder
  • 2016
    Age 28
    On October 7th 2016 it was reported that after bad play by starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert several teammates believed Ponder should start.
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    On August 16, 2016, Ponder signed with the San Francisco 49ers on a one-year deal following a season-ending injury to Thad Lewis and the unknown health status of Colin Kaepernick.
    More Details Hide Details The contract is worth $800,000 and includes no signing bonus or guarantees. Ponder had previously worked out for the Cardinals just days before the 49ers called him. After signing with the 49ers, Ponder's wife revealed on her Instagram account that Ponder had previously turned down other NFL jobs for the sake of his family.
  • 2015
    Age 27
    A week after being waived by Denver, Ponder generated interest from the Cincinnati Bengals, but ultimately went unsigned as the season came to a conclusion. In total, Ponder spent the 2015 season on two different teams, worked out for two others and received interest from at least two more teams.
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    On November 25, 2015, Ponder signed with the Denver Broncos to be the third-string quarterback, while Peyton Manning nursed injuries.
    More Details Hide Details Ponder grew up a Broncos fan and quickly flew out to Denver the week of Thanksgiving to sign with them, once the Broncos called him. Ponder was inactive for games against New England and San Diego as he learned the playbook but was waived on December 8 before ever being active for a game.
    On March 13, 2015, Ponder signed with the Oakland Raiders on a one-year contract that included a $1.5 million signing bonus.
    More Details Hide Details In Oakland, he was reunited with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who coordinated the offense on the Vikings during Ponder's first three seasons with Minnesota. Ponder entered training camp playing with Oakland's second team offense behind starter Derek Carr but ahead of Matt McGloin. During the preseason, Ponder returned to Minnesota in a game where he was booed by Vikings fans. Ponder finished the game 7 for 11 with 69 yards. Following the preseason, the Raiders released Ponder in favor of having McGloin be their backup to Carr for the season. Following his release from Oakland, Ponder generated interest from the Philadelphia Eagles but was not signed. Ponder also had conversations about returning to Oakland after the first regular season game once Carr was injured, but once his injury was proven not serious, Oakland opted not to sign him. During the regular season, Ponder worked out for the Dallas Cowboys in September and the Tennessee Titans on November 3 but again went unsigned.
    As of the 2015 season, Ponder is 9th in Vikings history in quarterback yards and 10th in passing touchdowns.
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  • 2014
    Age 26
    With the Vikings obtaining a new coaching staff and having drafted notable quarterback prospect Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 NFL Draft, Ponder was effectively rendered a third-string quarterback.
    More Details Hide Details Despite this, Ponder stated that he wished to stay with the Vikings, stating that he had learned a lot from new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. During the preseason Ponder was booed by the Vikings fans in a home preseason game, to which many in the organization, including new head coach Mike Zimmer and receiver Greg Jennings stuck up for him. "You boo one of us, you boo all of us," Jennings was quoted as saying. After being inactive for the first three games of the regular season as a third stringer, Ponder moved up the depth chart after Cassel was placed on Injured Reserve after a foot injury, while the rookie Bridgewater served as the starter for the remainder of the season. On September 28, Ponder saw his first regular season action filling in for Bridgewater when he injured his ankle late in his first career start, which was a 41–28 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Ponder would do little more than hand the ball off to rookie running back Jerick McKinnon as the Vikings preserved and added to their lead in the game. Fans in attendance who had previously booed Ponder, cheered his name like they had changed "Teddy" earlier in the game.
  • 2013
    Age 25
    Following the disappointing 2013 season, Ponder's future with the Vikings fell in doubt.
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    Ponder went into the 2013 season as the starting quarterback.
    More Details Hide Details However, the Vikings started 0-3 and Ponder performed inconsistently in losses at Detroit, at Chicago, and home to Cleveland. Despite criticism from media and the fans, some defended Ponder. Following their week two game, Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman spoke of how impressed he was by Ponder's play. "My respect level has gone up tremendously for Ponder," Tillman said. "He did some great things out there." During the home loss to Cleveland in week three, Ponder was booed by some Vikings fans as they also chanted for backup quarterback Matt Cassel. Following the game, Adrian Peterson stuck up for Ponder calling the boos unfair. "I got his back. He scored two touchdowns and kept us in the game," Peterson said. Ponder would miss the week four game against Pittsburgh that was played in London due to a rib injury sustained during the Cleveland game, when team doctors wouldn't let him play because they were concerned of the fractured rib being too close to his heart. Cassel led the Vikings to their first win of the season, but following the team's bye week struggled badly in a home loss to Carolina.
  • 2012
    Age 24
    Ponder married ESPN reporter Samantha Steele on December 17, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details The couple first started seeing each other after Ponder messaged her on Twitter. After two months, the couple decided to get married, driving to a Hudson, Wisconsin courthouse before having their wedding meal at Arby's. The two held a formal ceremony the following April. Their first child, a daughter named Bowden Saint-Claire Ponder was born July 22, 2014. Bowden Ponder was named after Christian's college football coach at Florida State, Bobby Bowden and also goes by the name "Scout" derived from Samantha's favorite novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." In August 2015, Ponder and his wife moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Ponder is a Christian, and has spoken about his love for the Bible on Twitter. Ponder also attended team Bible studies during his time in Minnesota.
  • 2011
    Age 23
    Ponder was able to get his first win as an NFL starting quarterback the following week against his fellow 2011 draft mate Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on October 30, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details He threw for 236 yards and a touchdown, and had a passer rating of 102.7. After a bye week, the Vikings faced off against the Packers again, this time on Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field. Ponder didn't perform as well as he did in the first game against Green Bay, and the Vikings were blown out 7-45. Ponder finished out the next seven games with ups and downs. He threw two touchdowns with three interceptions against the Oakland Raiders in a losing effort. After a loss on the road to the Falcons, the team played a home game against the Denver Broncos. Ponder threw three touchdowns and set a Vikings rookie record with 381 yards passing. But Ponder also threw a crucial interception late in the fourth quarter to set up Tim Tebow and the Broncos for a game-winning drive. The next week, Ponder was injured in a game against the rival Detroit Lions at Ford Field, in which backup quarterback Joe Webb nearly brought Minnesota to a victory after Ponder threw two interceptions earlier in the game. After a home blowout loss to the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints, Ponder was injured in each of the final two regular season games, at the Washington Redskins and in the season finale against the Chicago Bears. Ponder finished the season throwing 13 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, compiling a 2-8 record as a starter as the Vikings finished 3-13 for only the second time in franchise history.
    Following a disastrous start to the season for the Vikings under McNabb, Ponder made his NFL debut against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter on October 16, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details In a game where the Vikings were blown out 10-39, Ponder completed 9 of 17 passes for 99 yards in his first real action. It was announced on Tuesday, October 18, that he would make his first start the following Sunday against the Green Bay Packers replacing McNabb as the starter. On Ponder's first career pass attempt as a starter he hit Michael Jenkins on a 72-yard playaction pass. Two plays later, he threw his first career touchdown completing a short pass to Visanthe Shiancoe. Ponder helped the 1-5 Vikings give the undefeated Packers a close game and finished 13 of 32 for 219 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the 27-33 loss.
    Ponder did not have a typical rookie offseason following the draft due to the 2011 NFL lockout.
    More Details Hide Details Late in July, the Vikings traded for veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb to start and mentor Ponder. Three days after the McNabb trade, Ponder agreed to terms with the Vikings on a rookie contract that included $10 million guaranteed. Ponder embraced the competition from McNabb. "The guy deserves a starting job. He's been in the league for a while," Ponder said of McNabb. "My mentality is to be able to go in and compete and try to get that job from him. He deserves to be the starting quarterback. Somewhere down the road I'm going to push to take that over and we'll see." Ponder announced at his introduction press conference that he intended to wear jersey number 7 in the NFL.
    Ponder was selected 12th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
    More Details Hide Details Ponder was the fourth quarterback selected in the draft behind Cam Newton, Jake Locker, and Blaine Gabbert.
    At the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl, Ponder won MVP honors after throwing for 2 TD's and leading the South to a win over the heavily favored North.
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  • 2010
    Age 22
    He also won the 2010 James Tatum award, given to the nation's top student-athlete, and a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award.
    More Details Hide Details He also won the Bobby Bowden Award presented to the top student athlete among FBS schools. Ponder graduated from Florida State in two and a half years with a degree in finance and a 3.73 GPA, then an MBA, and is studying for his second graduate degree, in sports management.
    Ponder's 2010 season, his senior year and only year under coach Jimbo Fisher, was his most successful.
    More Details Hide Details Ponder was the first Seminole quarterback since Chris Weinke in 1999 to lead his team to victories over both its in-state rivals, Miami and Florida.
    During the 2010 season, Ponder battled numerous setbacks to his health, including a swollen bursa sac in his throwing elbow.
    More Details Hide Details He re-injured the elbow numerous times during the season, and had to have it drained three times.
    Florida State launched a campaign promoting Ponder as a Heisman Trophy candidate in July 2010.
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    Before the 2010 season, Ponder was named to the Maxwell Award watch list.
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    He resumed his role as the starting quarterback in 2010.
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  • 2009
    Age 21
    In 2009, Ponder was well on his way to a career season when he suffered a season ending shoulder injury at Clemson.
    More Details Hide Details Through the first eight games of the season, he led the ACC in passing average per game and was one of the national leaders in yards and passing efficiency. He threw for over 2,700 yards and 14 touchdowns and considered jumping to the NFL a year early. However, after hitting Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel on an interception return, Ponder separated his shoulder and missed the rest of the season. This ended his professional hopes, at least for one year.
  • 2008
    Age 20
    Before the 2008 season, Ponder was named the starting quarterback ahead of senior Weatherford.
    More Details Hide Details The Miami Herald said that the decision showed the coaching staff put "a premium on mobility over maturity." Ponder started in all 13 games, and completed 177 passes on 318 attempts for 2,006 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He also made 119 rushing attempts for 423 yards and four touchdowns. The Seminoles finished the season with a 9–4 record, including a victory over Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl. At season's end, Ponder was named the team's most valuable offensive player.
  • 2007
    Age 19
    In 2007, he served as the back-up behind starting quarterback Drew Weatherford.
    More Details Hide Details Ponder saw action against Virginia Tech when Weatherford was taken out of the game due to an injury in the second quarter. Although Florida State lost, 40–21, Ponder completed eight out of 18 passing attempts for 105 yards and one touchdown.
  • 2006
    Age 18
    In 2006, Ponder sat out his true freshman season at Florida State on redshirt status.
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  • 2004
    Age 16
    In 2004, he was the starting quarterback and threw for 1,500 yards and seven touchdowns.
    More Details Hide Details As a senior, he passed for 1,214 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 911 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Dallas Morning News named him to their all-district first team. named him the 20th-ranked quarterback prospect, while rated him the 14th-ranked pro-style quarterback and the 50th-ranked college prospect from Texas. He received scholarship offers from Baylor, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, North Carolina, and Texas Christian.
  • 1988
    Age 0
    Born on February 25, 1988.
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