Add ESPN's Samantha Ponder to Your List of Favorite Women in Sports
If you're into sports, chances are you are already a fan of Samantha Ponder — contributor for ESPN's six-time Emmy-award winning College GameDay and College Football Live, commentator for ABC Saturday Night Football telecast and former reporter for ESPN’s Tuesday and Saturday primetime college basketball games.
We think Samantha Ponder is pretty rad — and after learning a little more about her, you probably will too — even if you don't give a rat's patootie about sports. Here's a little about her.
1. She ain't taking no shit
Being pregnant is hard — but being pregnant in the public eye is crazy. Ponder, who is expecting her second child sometime this spring, recently took up her grievances with rude-ass people on Twitter.
"Getting sexist/vulgar tweets abt my job/appearance while I'm unable to see my own feet & covered in toddler pee is somethin else I tell ya," she tweeted.
Seriously, what is wrong with people?
2. She's not here for your mommy-shaming/advice
Twitter isn't the only public place she has been belittled. Ponder, who has a 2-year-old daughter named Scout, says part of what's so hard about being a mom is unsolicited advice from others. And being that she and Scout are on the road so much, she gets plenty of "tips" from complete strangers.
"I have had people walk up to me and say things to my face about my parenting and mothering," Ponder told Sports Illustrated in 2014. "One time I had a lady ask me if this was her [Scout’s] first flight and I made a joke out of it as I usually do, saying she’s a long pro at this. The woman said, ‘You know, that is terrible for a baby. The immune systems are not ready for this.'
"One of the things I have learned is some of the most judgmental people have been other moms, and there have also been a ton of moms who have been very supportive and encouraging," she added. "I think a lot of people see how they did it and it worked for them, and they assume that is what works for everyone. I told my doctor I was feeling guilty about having her out so much and he said, 'There are two things that you have to do. You have to love her and you have to feed her.’ I was like, ‘Okay, I can do those things.'"
3. She loves traveling with Scout
Aside from intrusive people getting up in her grill, Ponder actually loves bringing Scout along with her while she works.
"What other baby has been to Manhattan, Kansas and Starkville, Mississippi, in the same year?" Ponder told SI back when Scout was still a tiny baby. "There was no thought in my mind to leave her at home. I had a commitment to fulfill with work and I love my job, but to be gone four days a week from her — when the  season started she was only five weeks old — I could not fathom leaving her home and then checking in four days later. It’s been a challenge but also an incredible adventure... I don’t know how I lucked out so much because I have a baby who likes to fly. She is awesome on the plane."
4. She loves the diversity that comes with working in sports
"Most of my life I played with kids that looked nothing like me, had completely different backgrounds and yet we all got along and had this one thing in common. And that’s still what happens when you work in sports broadcasting," she told The Huffington Post in December 2016.
5. Sports is a family thing
For Ponder, athletics has been a way of life since she was born.
"It was important to me to stay around sports because that was such a big part of my identity growing up," she said to The Huffington Post. "My dad is a coach. All four of us kids played three sports a year. So it was a way for me to kind of stay connected to my family and my youth and the way I grew up."
And she's continuing the family tradition. Ponder is married to San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Christian Ponder, and Scout — whose real name is Bowden Sainte-Claire Ponder — is named after Christian's Florida State coach, Bobby Bowden, according to People magazine. (Scout is a nickname the Ponders sourced from To Kill a Mockingbird.)
6. She hosted BattleBots
Ponder hosted the 2016 season of the ABC competition. Sports and robot battles royale — this chick gets to have all the fun!
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.