Tags: sam ponder | chris berman | espn | nfl

Sam Ponder Could Replace Chris Berman on ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown'

Image: Sam Ponder Could Replace Chris Berman on ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown'

ESPN field reported Sam Ponder during an NCAA football game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers on Oct. 29, 2016, at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida. (Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 03 Mar 2017 01:28 PM

Sam Ponder, who is married to NFL quarterback Christian Ponder, is rumored to be a strong candidate to replace longtime "Sunday NFL Countdown" host Chris Berman on ESPN.

Berman led the pre-game pro football show for more than three decades and is one of the enduring personalities that came to define ESPN during the 1980s. But Sporting News reported that the network wants to get younger and bring in more women.

The publication said ESPN's "NFL Live" host Trey Wingo and Suzy Kolber were believed to be the leading candidates for Berman's seat, but sources said that Ponder, 31, was also a "strong candidate."

Ponder, a Liberty University graduate, is currently a contributor for ESPN's "College GameDay" and "College Football Live," according to her ESPN biography. Last year, she joined Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit for the "ABC Saturday Night Football" telecast as well.

She has worked at ESPN since 2011, moving from the Fox Sports Net and Fox college football coverage.

The New York Post said ESPN may divide Berman's duties, by giving Ponder the "Sunday NFL Countdown" gig, Kolber his "Monday Night Football" assignment, and Wingo his coveted NFL draft anchor slot.

"Berman has hosted his final 'Countdown,' one of his various ESPN babies he held for 31 years," wrote the Post's Mark W. Sanchez. "Plucking Ponder from the collegiate world as a fresh face would continue the network's overhaul of a program that looks radically different than it did just two years ago.

"The non-Berman panelists last season were all first-timers: Randy Moss, Trent Dilfer, Matt Hasselbeck and Charles Woodson. Ponder would finish off the facelift, whenever she's able to join — she's pregnant and due in the spring," Sanchez continued.

The Post said, though, that ESPN is trying to lure Fox Sports 1 properties Charissa Thompson and Katie Nolan to the network, a possible hint that it has not settled on any final decisions.

Christian Ponder, who played four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers last season, is currently a free agent, USA Today noted.

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Sam Ponder, who is married to NFL quarterback Christian Ponder, is rumored to be a strong candidate to replace longtime "Sunday NFL Countdown" host Chris Berman on ESPN.
sam ponder, chris berman, espn, nfl
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2017-28-03
Friday, 03 Mar 2017 01:28 PM
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