Christian Ponder would probably love to blame his recent struggles on something or someone other than himself, but as a fellow human being possessing X and Y chromosomes, I can tell you that by refusing to throw his relatively new girlfriend Samantha Steele under the bus, Ponder is doing the right thing.
KFAN's Paul Allen gave Ponder that opportunity in a radio interview earlier this week, but Ponder was smart enough to declare that his relationship with ESPN personality Samantha Steele was in no way affecting his performance… at least on the field of play.
From yours truly at Sports Radio Interviews:
“She has nothing to do with it. We’ve been dating since the beginning of the season, so she had also to do with the five wins. So it has really nothing to do with anything on the football field.”
Well played, Christian. And I'm referring to that answer, not your on-field performance. No one would say that about your on-field performance, not even Sam herself if she's the unbiased sports journalist she purports to be.
Realistically, though, if having a new girlfriend leads your production to dip at the office, you might require a prescription of some sort. Regularly-functioning humans are able to juggle relationships and work, and professional athletes like Ponder are supremely-functioning humans.
By now it's probably become obvious that I'm not taking this post seriously, but nobody should. This is a joke. The newsworthiness from our perspective at Awful Announcing is that Ponder would even have to answer such a question and the microscope he now has to live under in dating a celebrity figure like Samantha Steele is quickly becoming. When it comes to Ponder's play on the field, Steele's name shouldn't even have to enter the equation. The reason, according to Allen, is that callers have been raising this as a possible factor to help explain why Ponder's play has declined dramatically after a strong start to the season.
If you're taking time out of your afternoon to call a local sports radio station and suggest that your team's starting quarterback is failing (partly or fully) because of the high-profile female he's dating, you need a new hobby. Sticking to fake trade proposals is a much better proposition.