Vikings’ Christian Ponder, ESPN’s Samantha Steele are engaged

A bit of happy news out of Minneapolis, as Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch is reporting that Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is engaged to ESPN reporter Samantha Steele.

The two met earlier this year on the set of ESPN's "College GameDay." Ponder had confirmed in October that the two were dating. "I'm proud of the relationship," Ponder said at the time. "I can brag. I've got bragging rights, I believe."

[Rewind: Vikings QB Christian Ponder doesn't blame his girlfriend for slump]

As you'd expect, the happy couple has some tricky scheduling to negotiate, but Ponder noted in October that their schedules can work in their favor. "The cool thing is that obviously, we're both at the same time, so we don't get to see each other that much," Ponder said in October. "But at least one person isn't feeling guilty about not making the effort to do it or whatever. Then we kind of have the same schedule in the offseason, so that'll be good."

Ponder took a bit of heat in early November because of suggestions that his relationship with Steele might be hurting his on-field performance. His passer rating of 79.4 currently ranks 25th in the NFL, and at the moment, his Vikings are one game out of the sixth playoff spot.

No official word on any wedding date or anything like that. The garter toss and bouquet throw ought to be fairly interesting, though.

-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-

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