Greg Jennings’ pot shots at Aaron Rodgers inflicted collateral damage to the QB Jennings was trying to prop up: Christian Ponder.
Last week Jennings, a former Packers receiver as a result of becoming a Viking, gave some spicy remarks to this newspaper indicating that he thought Rodgers, the Packers QB, was egotistical and not being called on his shortcomings, all without using Rodgers’ name. Jennings has since been told to shut his yap by coach Leslie Frazier.
On ESPN’s “Sports Reporters,” Israel Gutierrez, in an understated style that usually requires a few minutes of listening before you realize there’s blood, went off on Jennings. Just a taste of Gutierrez:
“By itself it’s not the most damning assessment of a QB ever. It’s the hypocrisy and childishness that make Jennings look like a diva wideout at his worst. Rodgers isn’t perfect. We already know he’s not great at picking honest baseball-playing friends. [The preceding was a shot at suspended, steroid-infused Brewer Ryan Braun.] But he’s an MVP and a champion. Christian Ponder? Probably not.”
On ESPN’s “PTI,” Tony Kornheiser and Kevin Blackistone did a mini-screed.
Kornheiser: “The implication here is that Rodgers is a big-time egomaniac. I never had that sense, especially compared to [former Packer and Viking Brett] Favre, who was the classic diva. Obviously, Jennings doesn’t like Rodgers.”
Blackistone, saying our QB’s name with incredulity, added: “And now he’s going to be catching passes from Christian Ponder?”
CBS Radio’s Jim Rome, heard on my dial at 105.1FM, hammered home the hypocrisy angle, highlighting an interview he did with Jennings a few months ago.
“If you go to win a Super Bowl and you’ve got a choice between Rodgers and Favre, who you going into battle with?” Rome asked. Jennings responded, “Give me Aaron, just because of his decisionmaking. No. 1, I’ve been around Aaron longer. He’s mobile, in and out of the pocket. He’s accurate. He’s more complete all-around.”
Rome added, “That was in February. What changed between now and then?”
I sent Jennings a tweet asking for a comment on what the national media are saying. Still waiting for a response.
Week 8 of the NFL season can’t get here fast enough. My fingers are crossed that by then, Ponder will be in control of his tendency to remind me of a slightly less jittery and more handsome version of Tarvaris Jackson.
Shows at the Dakota
Everette Harp, the sax player who nursed Bill Clinton through his musical contribution during his first inauguration, and Jeff Lorber, jazz fusion pioneer, are performing at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis.
Harp and Lorber are headlining four shows over two nights with Stokley and my friend Shaun LaBelle. LaBelle has pulled together “my dream band” to launch LaBelle’s latest Billboard smash single, “I’m Back.”
“It will be nice to get on stage with Jeff Lorber, a living legend I’ve know for over 30 years, as well as my buddy Everette — I’ve had the pleasure of writing and working with on four of his solo albums,” said LaBelle. “And Stokley is one of the most phenomenal talents to come out the Twin Cities.”
There’s a funny story about how Harp and LaBelle first met in the ’90s.