Johnson, cheerleader fiancee pray to end prejudice before getting married

Updated: July 29, 2007, 12:04 AM ET
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho -- Before Boise State running back Ian Johnson married the girl he proposed to on national television, the couple prayed to end prejudice.

Ian Johnson proposed to Chrissy Popadics after scoring the winning points in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma.
Greg Kreller/AP Photo/Idaho Press-TribuneIan Johnson proposed to Chrissy Popadics after scoring the winning points in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma.

Johnson and Chrissy Popadics, the cheerleader he proposed to after scoring the winning points in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma, were married Saturday in a traditional ceremony at the Cathedral of the Rockies First United Methodist Church.

Johnson, who is black, has said he received phone calls and about 30 letters, including personal threats from people who objected to his plans to marry his white fiancee. Johnson has not described the threats, and it is unclear where they came from.

The ceremony began with the prayer and ended with the couple jumping over a broom -- an African tradition signifying the couple jumping into a new life together.

As they drove away in a stretch limousine, Johnson kissed his new wife and said, "Let's play ball," the Idaho Statesman reported.

Johnson ran for a 2-point conversion on a "Statue of Liberty" play to give the underdog Broncos a 43-42 overtime win over Oklahoma on Jan. 1 in Glendale, Ariz. Boise State finished the season 13-0 and No. 5 in the AP Top 25.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press