Media Notebook 12-5-12: Julie Alexandria, Samantha Steele engaged, Jon Gruden

Media Notebook 12-5-12: Julie Alexandria, Samantha Steele engaged, Jon Gruden

-Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is scoring both on and off the field. The second-year signal-caller from FSU is engaged to ESPN reporter Samantha Steele.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch confirmed it on Twitter

“Spoke to ESPN’s @Samantha_Steele today. She confirms she is engaged to @VikingsFootball quarterback Christian Ponder,” Deitch tweeted.

Steele is a ridiculous hottie, and Erin Andrews replacement, so I’ll treat you to more pics of Steele at this link.

-If you watched the Pac-12 and Big Ten championship games, then you probably noticed sideline reporter Julie Alexandria (here's more photos, bio)

-Illinois Fighting Illini forward Tyler Griffey is an active blogger and tweeter

-Turner Sports and HBO Sports are teaming up to present Charles & Reggie: Toe to Toe with Manny Pacquiao,televised exclusively on TNT on Thursday, Dec. 6. The 30-minute show, airing immediately following the network’s NBA coverage, will feature TNT analysts and NBA Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller spending a day with Manny Pacquiao at the gym in Hollywood, Calif., where he is training for his upcoming fight. Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) will face archrival Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) in the HBO Pay-Per-View® mega-fight on Saturday, Dec. 8, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas . The fight is the boxers’ fourth meeting in their epic rivalry.

-The December issue of Playboy profiles the life of Jon Gruden – the man behind what he half-jokingly has named the FFCA, the Fired Football Coaches Association. The fired Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach is joined, many days, by fellow fired coaches, from Northwestern to South Florida to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired assistant.

It turns out that coaching football is a good job for an insomniac – Jon barely sleeps at all. He’s tried everything: sleeping pills, hypnotism, even drinking himself into a stupor. He can’t stay down for more than four hours.

Fittingly for Jon’s odd-hours schedule, fired coaches from across the country come to John’s office at all hours of the day and night, seeking coffee and hours of football tape – their own little support group. Playboy delves into our national football nerd’s history – from the “Chucky zone” (when he gets too intense to talk with before a show) to when he would stand watching his parents sleep in their bed when he was five.

His wife Cindy says, “Jon has two monsters on his shoulder. One is go back to coaching, and the other is stay with this, have a nice life with his family. He’ll always have those two monsters.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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