ESPN’s Samantha Ponder Lists NDSU as Her Favorite College GameDay Stop
You can add ESPN's Samantha Ponder to the list of people impressed by the state of North Dakota's dedication to the Bison.
Definitely North Dakota State. That experience, I don’t know if it fully translated on TV. One, I guess it really shocked me, I was living in Minneapolis at the time, but I’m not as familiar with North Dakota State football. I knew they had won a bunch, and all that, but I didn’t realize what that team and school was in that community. The whole city shut down. Everything shut down. There were people in the balconies. I felt like I was on the Yankees and this was the World Series parade. It was just crazy. It was a night I will never forget, and it was crazy from the perspective of my husband was playing for the Vikings at the time, and there were a bunch of Packers fans there, and angry Vikings fans also. It was just an insane day. That whole experience was an out-of-body deal. I’ll never forget that.
Ponder's husband is former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who was drafted 12th overall by the team back in 2011.
Ponder was also asked about the crowd in Fargo actually showing up the night before the College GameDay broadcast:
They were camped out. Sometimes we’ll get little crowds when we have a DJ or we do giveaways, but there was nothing going on. They were just out there to be together and celebrate their school finally getting some national attention. It was a cool thing to be a part of. I still run into people at airports who will come up to me and tell me, “You have no idea how much that meant to our town, and how exciting that was for us.” Stuff like that, I’m not trying to be cheesy, but it makes me a little emotional. My family is all from small towns, even though I grew up in a big city, but everybody I grew up around was from communities like that. You kind of feel ignored and you’re not a part of the national conversation, and all the East Coast or West Coast media just ignores the middle of the country. It was really fun for me to spotlight that group of people.
ESPN's College GameDay has made stops in Fargo in both 2013 and 2014. This year, instead of having College GameDay in town, Fargo welcomed SportsCenter on the Road, which set up inside the FargoDome.
Of course, nothing can compare to having College GameDay set up right in the middle of downtown Fargo. Hopefully, the show will return in 2016. It's always a possibility.