The back-and-forth banter on Twitter between Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and ESPN college football sideline reporter Samantha Steele spurred one Twitter user to ask if they were dating. Kyle King’s hunch was correct, with Ponder confirming that Steele is his girlfriend in a tweet.
Just 37 minutes after King sent the tweet, Ponder responded to the question Thursday in the third person.
“[A]ctually yes they are,” the overachieving Vikings quarterback, who has led Minnesota to a 4-2 record so far this year, said.
Steele replaced the high-profile Erin Andrews as ESPN’s sideline reporter for Thursday night college football games after Andrews, a former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant, left the network for Fox.
The down-to-earth quarterback, who is not afraid to show off his goofy side and is always interacting with his more than 105,000 Twitter followers, gushed about his relationship with Steele.
Twitter user Molly Elizabeth, who lives in Tallahassee, Fla., where Ponder played quarterback at Florida State, called Ponder and Steele dating the “best news” ever.
“I’m impressed,” she wrote to Ponder.
The Vikings quarterback responded, “haha I'm not gonna lie I am kind of impressed with myself too.”
Ponder joked that Steele, a blonde-haired beauty, was out of his league.
A Twitter follower said Ponder is “doing grrrrrreat” for dating Steele, and the quarterback replied, “haha yeah don't ask how I pulled that off cuz I don't even know.”
The Twitter flirting between Ponder and Steele started when Vikings teammate Jerome Simpson posted a picture of the Vikings quarterback in the Minnesota locker room wearing pink cleats for breast cancer awareness on the micro-blogging site.
Steele commented about the attire and the rest of Ponder’s ensemble.
She tweeted, “my eyes!! Pink ... Red ... Spandex?!”
“I like to diversify my colors,” Ponder replied. “And real men wear spandex.”