Samantha Ponder worked as a reporter and host for ESPN college football and as a basketball sideline reporter. Samantha Ponder is an American sportscaster who is the host of Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN. Samantha Ponder was born on December 11, 1985 in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She is a writer and producer, known for Sunday NFL Countdown (1985), ESPN College Football (1979) and BattleBots (2015). She has been married to Christian Ponder since December 17, 2012. They have three children.
She interned at ESPN Zone initially and even joined ABC-TV as a researcher assistant. She then earned a job at Liberty University, where she also studied. She soon started reporting for the university’s athletic team, Liberty Flames. Ponder also reported for Fox Sports Net and Fox College Sports.
She then joined the ESPN Longhorn Network, where she was a sideline reporter for the program Thursday Night College Football and a co-host of College Football GameDay. Ponder began hosting the show NFL Countdown in 2017, and with that, she became the third person to host the show in its 33-year history.
Samantha Steele Ponder is an American sports broadcaster and current television host of Sunday NFL Countdown with Randy Moss, Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck and Rex Ryan on ESPN and ABC. Before taking over for the legendary Chris Berman in 2017, she was a host and reporter on ESPN’s College Gameday with Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Lee Corso, and ABC’s Saturday Night Football With Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit.
In addition to her football duties, Ponder has reported and hosted on Tuesday Night Primetime college basketball, BattleBots on ABC, the NBA Playoffs on ESPN and more. Prior to her time with ESPN, she was a sideline reporter for FOX Sports, columnist for FoxSports.com and radio personality.
Ponder attended The King’s College in NYC, Arizona State University and Liberty University, where she hosted and reported on all football and basketball games on the Mid Atlantic Sports Network while earning her degree. While living in New York City, she interned at ABC Sports and ABC Sports Radio from age 18 to 21, as a research assistant on the College Football Studio Show with John Saunders, Craig James and Aaron Taylor.
A product of Phoenix, Arizona, Ponder is a graduate of Central High School where she earned all state honors in volleyball and tennis, ran track, played basketball, softball and soccer. She is married to former NFL quarterback and CEO of The Post, Christian Ponder, and has three children; Scout, True and Price. The Ponder family lives in New York City.
Samantha Ponder Husband:
Samantha Ponder has been married to former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder since December 17, 2012. They began dating in 2012 after Christian started sending her messages on Twitter. Even though Ponder found that weird initially, she eventually started liking him. The two got engaged in December 2012.
Ponder and Christian had no elaborate plans for their wedding ceremony. They had a casual and straightforward ceremony in Hudson, Wisconsin. Christian picked her up from the airport, and they had a civil marriage ceremony right away, without even informing their parents. Ponder wore a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt for the ceremony.
Following her marriage, Ponder changed her professional name and began using Christian’s surname for her ESPN and ABC broadcast credits. Her first credit with the new surname was on CapitalOne Bowl, aired on January 1, 2013.
Samantha Ponder Children:
In July 2014, Samantha Ponder gave birth to her first child, her daughter Bowden Sainte-Claire “Scout.” The couple’s second child and first son, Robinson True, was born in June 2017. In July 2018, she delivered her second daughter, Price. Unfortunately, the newborn had to undergo an emergency surgery.
She has three children with her husband Christian Ponder: a daughter Bowden ”Scout” Sainte-Claire Ponder (b. July 2014), a son Robinson True Ponder (b. June 20, 2017) and another daughter Price Ponder (b. July 2018).
Sam Ponder Net Worth:
Sam has an estimated net worth of $12.5 million. Sam undoubtedly has earned quite a good amount of money as she has worked hard for years.
Yes, you heard it right, $12.5 million! Indeed, it is a good amount of money. Besides, in a year, Samantha reportedly earns about $4.9 million.
Apart from that, her husband, Christian, is no less in terms of net worth. From his successful football career, Christian has generated a net worth of $10 million.
Moreover, this fantastic couple lives a lavish life in their $2.2 million mansion located in Arizona.
Samantha Ponder Religion:
Ponder is a devout Christian. The host of the Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take, Dan Katz, had once criticized her faith on the show. He had apparently described her as a “Bible-thumping freak.”
Although Ponder and ESPN were eventually able to strike a new deal, negotiations between the two sides were reportedly bumpy at times. According to Marchand, one of the potential points of contention was that the host’s role at the company had been limited to Sundays since she took over hosting Sunday NFL Countdown.
Nevertheless, the 36-year-old and ESPN were able to hash out a new contract. With a quarter of its pregame show crew locked up for the next few years, the network will now turn its efforts to finalizing a lineup of studio analysts for Sundays in 2022.
|Full Name:||Samantha Ponder|
|Age:||36 years old|
|Birth Date:||11 December 1985|
|Birth Place:||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Husband/Spouse (Name):||Christian Ponder (m. 2012)|
|Children/Kids (Son and Daughter):||Yes (Bowden Sainte-Claire Ponder)|
|Profession:||ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Host|
|Children||Bowden Sainte-Claire Ponder, Robinson True Ponder, Price Ponder|
|Notable Alumni||The King’s College|
|Net Worth in 2022:||$12.5 Million|
Samantha Ponder Quick Facts:
- Soon after Samantha Ponder graduated from Liberty University, she joined Fox Sports Net and Fox College Sports as a sideline reporter. She covered collegiate basketball and football games and events, especially Pac-10 and Big 12 games.
- At 18, she got her first big interview as a sports broadcaster when she interviewed Hall of Fame inductee and former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman.
- On July 7, 2011, Ponder became a sideline reporter for the multinational regional sports channel Longhorn Network, which operated under ESPN in Texas. She was one of the first three to be hired by the network. Soon after she joined Longhorn, Ponder moved to Austin, Texas.
- In 2012, Samantha Ponder replaced sportscaster Erin Andrews as the host of the ESPN pre-game show College GameDay, when the latter left the network to join Fox Sports. Ponder also replaced Andrews as a co-host of another edition of the show, aired on ESPNU.
- From August 2012 to 2014, Ponder served as a regular sideline reporter for the ESPN show Thursday Night College Football, hosting it along with Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, and David Pollack.
- In 2017, Ponder faced backlash on Twitter after rumors surfaced that she would replace Chris Berman on NFL Countdown.. People argued that she was inappropriate for a sports-themed show. They believed that Ponder had no knowledge of the basics of football, as she had never played the sport. Similarly, the audience questioned her skills as a reporter. However, there was a section of people that supported Ponder as a sports journalist.
- Samantha Ponder was born Samantha Steele, on December 11, 1985, in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., to a missionary couple, Cindi and Jerry Steele. Her parents established the charity M.A.D. Ministries, which supports education, college scholarships, athletic training, and housing, apart from providing spiritual practice to the young generation. They now serve at the Palestine chapter of the non-profit. Ponder has an older sister and two younger brothers.
- Ponder studied at the Central High School in Phoenix and at The King’s College in New York City. While in college, she sent a job application to ESPN Zone. She had reportedly met the college football researcher and ABC Sports Radio manager Ben Keeperman, who had then got her an internship with ESPN Zone. Back then, ESPN has merged with the ABC network.
- Later, Samantha Ponder became a researcher assistant for a college football studio show on ABC-TV. While working with the network, she was mentored by Craig James, John Saunders, and Doug Flutie. They helped Ponder in making a demo tape, which landed her a job at Liberty University.
- The senior sports producer at Liberty University hired her as a sideline football and basketball reporter for the sports TV network of the university’s athletic team, Liberty Flames. Ponder thus completed the rest of her education from the university and graduated in 2009.
- Ponder had decided to become a sports broadcaster when she was in third grade. She was motivated by her father, who worked as a football and basketball coach back then. She and her siblings were all interested in sports.
- Ponder is a board member of the charity M.A.D. Ministries, Inc. (also known as M.A.D. House).
- In December 2018, Samantha Ponder had a seizure during a flight from Phoenix to New York City and had to sit out for a show.
- She dreams of interviewing former NBA player Charles Barkley and former American football quarterback Vince Young. She would also like to interview her husband someday. She once said that she would have interviewed New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, had he been alive.