Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder confirmed he was dating ESPN college football reporter Samantha Steele in a tweet posted Thursday.
A fan asked Ponder whether he was dating Steele and Ponder replied that he was. This is far from solid confirmation; you could ask 1,000 ESPN viewers whether they were dating the attractive 26-year-old reporter and at least 700 would reply in the affirmative.
"I'm impressed," a woman tweeted in response to Ponder's declaration.
"I'm not gonna lie," he wrote back, "I am kind of impressed with myself too."
Steele replaced Erin Andrews this year on College GameDay.
Ponder has tweeted about the sideline reporter and host in recent weeks. In one tweet, he took a picture of a child's Cinderella costume at Target and wrote he was "surprised to see Samantha Steele." (Smooth.) Ponder also sent Steele a tweet that read "hello," but quickly deleted it. (Not as smooth.)
Two additional thoughts:
1. The hectic schedules and traveling itineraries of a professional quarterback and college football sideline reporter cannot make it easy to maintain a relationship.
2. I can't imagine dating a player could be good for the career of any sideline reporter. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with a potential Ponder-Steele coupling: She covers college, he plays in the pros. There's no reason to think it will affect her job at all. But perception is key. You know how people get with female sideline reporters, especially ones who look like Steele. The viewing public refuses to judge them based on their merits. It's unfair, but this won't make it easier.