Ponder gets assist in Golden Gophers’ upset
by Chris Strauss, USA TODAY Sports
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
A triceps injury might have prevented Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder from being able to impact the fortunes of his team in its NFC wild card game against Green Bay in January, but he certainly had a winning effect on two area teams Tuesday.
According to Minnesota Star-Tribune reporter Amelia Rayno, Golden Gophers coach Tubby Smith said Ponder happened to be on-hand at the University of Minnesota’s game versus top-ranked Indiana and ended up speaking to the team before the game.
Greg Coleman and Christian Ponder spoke to the #Gophers before last night’s game. Smith said Ponder just showed up. (Ponder’s wife, Samantha Steele [ESPN] worked the game last night.) Ponder compared the end of the #Vikings season to the way the #Gophers can end theirs, Smith said.
The Golden Gophers’ 77-73 upset win certainly strengthened the team’s case for an at-large bid, as would several more late-season wins. The Vikings won their last four regular season games in 2012 to advance to clinch an NFC wild card berth.
Ponder’s presence may have been a good luck charm for the Minnesota Wild as well, as he tweeted a photo from the team’s shootaround Tuesday morning.
Taking in @mnwild morning skate with @PAKFANVikes
The Wild ended up beating the Calgary Flames 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night thanks to a Zach Parise power-play goal. Maybe the Timberwolves should invite Ponder down to the Target Center before Monday’s game versus the Miami Heat. They’ll definitely need any help they can get.