MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Christian Ponder may have lost his first game as a starter, but he sure won over the fans.
“It was a loss,” said Misty Saltzman of Moorhead. “But it was a Vikings success.”
He provided a ray of hope that lit up the Vikings Locker Room Store at the Mall of America.
“Is their season going to be saved by Christian Ponder?” said Jaymie Bowditch, a Vikings fan in town from Missoula, Montana to see the game with his son Grant. “No, but it gives us hope.”
It certainly sparked a run on Ponder jerseys, which the store is trying to restock at quickly as possible.
“I’d say probably a good 60 to 75 percent of the people who have walked through have been going Ponder, Ponder, Ponder,” said store manager Michael Cobb.
It’s the same story everywhere — from Chad Hartman’s show on WCCO Radio to the lunch tables at Manny’s Steakhouse — everybody’s talking about Ponder.
“He seems like he’s in command of the offense,” said Darin Erhardt of Maple Grove. “Didn’t seem like he panicked at all.”
“He definitely seemed to have a presence,” responded James Puttin of Rogers. “Players seemed to respond to what he’s trying to do.”
Although that’s not the kind of presence that interested one Packer backer.
“He’s a good looking guy,” said Tracie Kunz. “He’s a good looking dude. I’ll give him that.”
In fact, with Ponder set to play celebrity waiter at the Manny’s on Monday night, Kunz had a prediction.
“They’ll be clamoring for his sections,” she laughed.
Ponder and eight of his teammates will wait tables to raise money for Chad Greenway’s Lead the Way Foundation. Tickets to the event cost $350 apiece.