Can't blame Vikings QB Christian Ponder's throwing problems on his distracting ESPN lady friend, Samantha Steele. She can THROW a football! Here's the video:

After Ponder's not-so-good 58-yard passing performance in the win over the Cardinals, KFAN's Dan Cole, the Common Man, ruminated about romantic relationships on his radio program. "You know, they say when we're in relationships you always learn something from that person," Common told listeners. "It looks to me like Samantha taught Christian how to throw the football."

Common has changed his tune now that he's seen YouTube videos of the college sideline reporter throwing a football.

"She throws a perfect pass," said Common when we talked Wednesday. "It looks like a tighter spiral. Better decision-making. The thing is the decision-making's better."

That's a joke -- Steele was not in a game situation so no decision-making was required.

We're not suggesting that Ponder's current problems on the field have anything to do with a girlfriend.

"No. He's had them forever," said Common. "Sounds like he's kind of a ladies' man. I don't how good he's going to be [as a QB]. He hasn't really done anything to [make you say] 'Whoa, this guy's a top 10 quarterback.' I'm also not ready to give up on him, either. I'd say he's not going to be big-time, long-term, but he doesn't have a lot to work with, either. He's still got some work to do. No question about that."

Common predicts the Vikings lose by 10 against the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday.

Still it's nice to know that in addition to helping Ponder with media coaching, not that he needs much, Steele can go outside and throw the rock around as well.

Fancy Ray is fuming

It'll be interesting see how many letters to the MplsStPaul magazine editor are printed in defense of a hurtful October mention of Fancy Ray, self-proclaimed "Best Looking Man in Comedy."

The magazine has received at least two letters, according to my info.

October's "Bizarre Twin Cities" issue, with "Bizarre Foods" star Andrew Zimmern on the cover, included a weird Fancy Ray mention.

"They had 'good weird, bad weird' and a chart with 'low-brow weird and bad weird' and me sandwiched between Envy Nightclub and Denny Hecker," Fancy Ray said Wednesday. "Both of those are associated with crime and illegal activity. I thought that was a horrible association, especially with all I do in the community. I'm a businessman, a commercial-maker. I'm a wedding officiant."

Envy surrendered its liquor license and Hecker, the disgraced automobile mogul, is serving time in prison for fraud.

When the October issue hit newsstands, Fancy Ray called me sounding crushed. I advised him to ignore it. When he couldn't, I told him to write a letter to the magazine. He did that, plus some whining on his Facebook page.

That prompted a Jason Braddock, who identified himself as a former Twin Cities resident and comedian, to send a letter to the magazine, which Fancy Ray sent to me. "Due to what I felt was an egregious use of your image, I sent this 'Letter to the editor" at Hope you don't mind," Braddock wrote to Fancy Ray.

Braddock's letter throws around fighting words like "defamation of character" and "boycotting" on behalf of "people who are just trying to make a legitimate living."

Fancy Ray chafed when I asked if he encouraged the Braddock letter. "Not at all. It was just a big gift I got from him," said Fancy Ray, who said "not really" when asked if he knew Braddock.

Fancy Ray said he didn't mind being grouped in the same section as Spam, just those unsavory characters. Clearly he is unaware that MSP was ripping off New York magazine's popular "approval matrix." It's considered an honor to be mentioned anywhere in there.

Is Fancy Ray that thin-skinned? "I can't be thin-skinned after all the things you've said about me over the years," he laughed.

McKinnie, my oh my

Former Viking defensive lineman Bryant McKinnie is calling BS on a lawsuit filed by a Miami strip club owner claiming that the NFLer owes the establishment $375,000.

That's a lot of lap dancing, champagne and rain.

It's also "real stupid to run up a tab at a strip club!!!!!," @cwladybug64 told @BryantMcKinnie on Twitter.

McKinnie asked if the ladybug believes everything she reads.

"I read it on USA Today ... just saying!!!!," she wrote.

Bryant, who makes $2.2 million as a Ravens left tackle, was more forceful in comments to the Baltimore Sun: "I just called my lawyer about this because this is a bogus story. What strip club gives you a $375,000 tab? I would never pay this guy because what he's saying isn't true."

USA Today has loveboat loads of credibility compared to McKinnie. With even a broken clock being right twice a day, maybe this is one of those times.

Raise your hand if you're going to feel sorry for McKinnie with his off-field record.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.