ESPN “Sunday NFL Countdown” host Sam Ponder reflects with The Post’s Justin Terranova on her first two years on the show, almost leaving the network and her recent health scare.

(The answers were edited for space)

Q: How do you think you’ve done your first two years on the show?
A: The first year was admittedly a struggle. I was just meeting these guys and I had just happened to have a baby over the summer, so we weren’t able to do the typical get-together things. So, I went in blind that first week and chemistry is a process. It took most of the first year to get a hold on, “All right, can I joke with this guy? Is this a sensitive subject?” with the analysts. It was an adjustment for them, too. That’s about as big a change as you can get going from Chris Berman to me. This year has been so much fun, though, and I think it shows.

Q: What was it like going from reporter to host?
A: The lifestyle that was required to be a sideline reporter at games was just not manageable for me with little kids. … I grew up on fields and courts playing, and with my dad coaching. So, that environment really felt like home to me and it’s difficult to be in a big empty studio in Bristol and not in Tuscaloosa for a big game. It’s a whole lot more work in the studio. The lifestyle for me as a mom and wife, though, is night and day.

Q: Did you tell ESPN about the issue?
A: I didn’t bring it up to them. When I found out I was pregnant with my second — I had been traveling with my daughter and she had been on over 100 flights with me before she was 1 — I loved this job, but decided I couldn’t do it anymore. Literally that week my agent called and asked me what I thought about the Chris Berman job. I laughed and said, “What about it? How does that have anything to do with me?” It ended up being such a gift. It’s challenged me in so many ways. The timing of everything was as perfect as it gets.

Q: What are the challenges of taking over for someone like Berman?
A: I had to set up some social media boundaries for myself. I knew what the response was going to be. Shoot, I was in shock when I got the job. I knew there were people that weren’t going to be comfortable with a woman in that job, a former player’s wife [Christian Ponder], someone my age [32 at the time], someone who had been in college football. There were plenty of things stacked up against me. So, I figured out who my circle was, whose opinions I value and outside of that I am going to be really careful because it would be so easy to be discouraged. I messed up with that a lot earlier in my career.

Q: A recent seizure (before Week 17) on a flight to New York forced you to miss a show. What do you remember about that?
A: We’re still not sure [what the issue is] and we are meeting with neurologists. It was totally out of nowhere. The guy next to me saw me shaking, but I don’t remember any of it. It was terrifying and on top of that having to miss the show. In some ways, like a lot of challenging things in my life, there’s already been good to come out of it. Remembering to slow down and be grateful for every interaction. When you’re all alone in a hospital in New York City with doctors telling you what happened and thinking you have a job to do. … It just puts everything in perspective.

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