Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/19/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Christian Ponder's development as the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback has been slow. He took significantly less time to finish his courtship of ESPN reporter Samantha Steele.Just a few months after meeting Steele on the set of ESPN's "College GameDay" and two weeks after getting engaged, Ponder confirmed the two were married at a Hudson, Wis., courthouse on Monday afternoon. Ponder, 24, has been surprised by the attention the relationship has received and unsuccessfully tried to keep the marriage out of the public eye."We tried to keep the attention away from us and just went over to Wisconsin and had it done," Ponder said Wednesday during his weekly press conference. "So, it was quick, but it was good."Ponder is used to having the spotlight as Minnesota's second-year starting quarterback, and Steele, 27, is certainly no stranger to the attention. But the two believed going to Hudson about 40 minutes east of the Twin Cities might have kept the marriage under wraps. Ponder said it was just the two of them on Monday but that they will have a bigger ceremony in the offseason."It was important for us to get it done before the holidays and a lot of personal reasons that went into it," Ponder said.News broke of the romance in October when Ponder confirmed the two were dating. Ponder said they were hoping to keep the relationship a secret but knew it would eventually get out. He confirmed later they were engaged on Dec. 4 but refused to get into details.Ponder said the two met when Steele's live ESPN show was at Florida State, where Ponder was the Seminoles' starting quarterback before being drafted in the first round by Minnesota last year. Ponder added that Steele has visited him in Minnesota often since the relationship began. "They call me Mr. Steele," Ponder said in October, adding: "Christian Steele is kind of a sweet name."Steele also confirmed the union via Twitter on Wednesday morning: "Twitter is so tricky. Who knew that 'she's pregnant' & 'they'll be divorced soon' are just the 2012 version of 'congrats'! Thx guys! :)"With two games remaining this season, the Vikings are trying to earn a playoff berth with Ponder in his second year as a starter. The timing of the nuptials has brought attention because of Minnesota's postseason push, but Ponder said it hasn't been a distraction to him or the team."It was a good thing to happen, but it's not going to be a distraction," Ponder said. "I'm still putting in the time that I did Monday and Tuesday and for the rest of the week. . . . (I understand) how big of a game this is for myself and this team. It's important for me."The Vikings (8-6) travel to Houston Sunday to take on the Texans (12-2). Ponder has completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 2,527 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has a 78.6 quarterback rating, which ranks 25th in the league. Ponder was asked if it was a better feeling to be drafted No. 1 -- he was the Vikings' first-round draft pick in 2011, selected No. 12 overall -- or getting married."I liked being drafted No. 1," Ponder said before asking if the cameras were rolling. "Well see how this marriage thing goes." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones kneels with players prior to anthem, later stands

Jim Harbaugh wants Big Ten to address ‘unsportsmanlike’ opposing locker rooms

Yasiel Puig to play Tuesday after being benched two games

The strangest, oddest, most ridiculous developments of NFL Week 3

LeBron on Irving trade: I was ready to give him the keys

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Norman to Raiders WRs: ‘Do not run your mouth’

WATCH: Dez Bryant drags half of Arizona’s defense into end zone

Marcus Smart lost a lot of weight in offseason to become more athletic

Report: Bucs LB Lavonte David week-to-week with ankle sprain

These ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants had no clue on NFL questions

Von Miller advertisement pulled after anthem protest

After Carmelo Anthony trade, the Western Conference looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

Vikings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

After Melo trade, the West looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker