Anyone who follows Samantha Ponder on Twitter knows she can be glib and has a sense of humor, attributes her husband seems less inclined to display. How long into dating him did you know Christian was the one? I pretty much knew immediately. It all happened really fast. How did you and Christian meet? Christian, Bowden and Samantha. He started sending me messages on Twitter. Nothing creepy, but that was our original connection. Our version of Christian Mingle was on Twitter.
This is last year. We were engaged by December. It was a fast process. Would you describe your courtship as whirlwind? The last year of my life, everything changed. I was confident in the kind of man he was and is and knew what I was looking for. And, really, everyone close to us was so on board.
Both of our families were. We have the same values and the same faith. Granted, there are things I learned about him after we got married. It was never something that was really important. The important stuff, we share. Special to the Pioneer Press: They have different ideas about who people are on TV or in sports.
I tried to stay away from knowing every opinion about Christian. I can deal with the criticism of me. But when it all of a sudden was about my husband, that felt different. I certainly understand it goes with the territory. That does not make hearing just hateful things about your spouse any easier.
I think over time you kind of grow more and more numb to it. Those were the things when we were dating that I got to see that were really important to me. I think people know way too much about me. You get sick of yourself. All the interactions on Twitter and Instagram, all that stuff is so addicting. You seem to have fun on Twitter samsteeleponder , while Christian seems a little more reserved cponder7. Have you talked to him about opening up a little more on Twitter and in interviews?
His focus right now is football. With my job, I get to be a little more interactive. Now, granted, sometimes I go too far. What do you and Christian do for fun? We like being on the lake. That was definitely fun. We go on bike rides. Last Sunday night, we played a pretty long game of Nerf basketball. We just moved into a new place, and that was the first thing we did — we put up a Nerf hoop. We run together sometimes. Our lives are so hectic that when we do get time together, which is rare, we like to relax.
If you were interviewing Christian, what would you ask him? I cover football for a living. He plays for a living. We try to keep the work stuff at work. How did he propose? Or did you propose? Or was it just a nod you gave each other? He picked me up from the airport. I was coming in for just a few hours. He took me back to his house. This was the first week in December. I noticed there were some lights outside. You put Christmas lights outside.
Then it clicked in my head. I turned around, and he was on his knee and asked me. It was all kind of a blur. We decided to get married two weeks later. Yes, we went to lovely Hudson, Wisconsin, December Was your wedding day everything you hoped it would be? I never was really a girl who planned out what my wedding would be, what my dress would look like.
When we got married, he picked me up at the airport and I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and a hat. We drove the 20 minutes to Hudson or whatever it was, walked in, got married. We get way more attention than we ever deserve or need or want, because of our jobs.
I was happy to go get married. We told everybody the next day. We realized stuff was going to leak. We were trying to keep it quiet until the end of the season, and then some people said some things over in Hudson.
You mentioned earlier how Christian deals with criticism. How did you feel when fans started blaming you, and your relationship with him, when he was struggling last season?
People forget they play football at a professional level, but everybody has got a girlfriend or a wife or whatever. It was not a distraction. There was none of that. I still was on the road six days a week doing college football. I was working too much.
Or did you not care what people thought? I knew the comments that were going to be made and the questions about my credibility and all that kind of stuff.
Being an NFL quarterback made it actually more difficult for him. I know some NFL quarterbacks, and I know what goes on. I really did realize from Day One this guy is different.
He operates a different way. Usually these guys are all following porn stars or who knows what kind of women. There were little things like that pointing to maybe this is a different kind of guy. What would be your ultimate job? I wanted to be the local reporter for the Phoenix Suns.
I thought that would have been the greatest job ever. This is so far beyond what my dreams were for myself. What is the best story in college football right now? The best story is, college football is about to start. I love the game and the environment when those guys roll out of the tunnel. I have an appreciation for the NFL and I love what Christian does, but there is nothing like a degree Saturday afternoon standing on the football field, watching guys run out with 80, people around them.
Photo by Paul A. It was an opportunity for me to prove to him this is not as easy as you think. I think he has a little more appreciation now.