C.J.: Greg Jennings going huggy bear on Aaron Rodgers didn't heal rift
- Article by: C.J.
- Star Tribune
- October 30, 2013 - 7:00 PM
That lingering embrace Greg Jennings pressed on Aaron Rodgers after the Packers whupped the Vikings for the last time at the Dome Sunday meant nothing to the QB.
Rodgers was on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” Tuesday talking about football and how well the season is going for the Pack when with my boys Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon asked about that hug.
“I’m going to change the topic entirely to go to the hug with Greg Jennings that seemed to last forever and ever and ever,” asked Kornheiser (as Wilbon chuckled). “Was it as awkward for you as it appeared to be on camera?”
Rodgers remarked: “It was a long hug. Prolonged one, yes.”
These comments really broke up Kornheiser and Wilbon.
“It seemed longer with all the cameras around,” said Rodgers. “Two competitors after the game and words were said and then we went our separate ways.”
Indeed they did, but not before Jennings made sure everybody captured the image. Rodgers went to the winning locker room and Jennings, who left the Packers for the Vikings, to the losing locker room.
As you may recall, Jennings, a wide receiver with a roomy mouth, took some pot shots at Rodgers in an effort to prop up the ego of QB Christian Ponder, who went on to get benched. While being verbally chesty talking about how Rodgers likes the spotlight to be on him and not the team, Jennings refused to mention his former Packer QB by name. But Jennings apparently recognized Rodgers after getting thumped 44-31, a score that doesn’t truly underscore the performance gap witnessed on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
Wilbon said that Jennings told Bob Costas that the post-game conversation turned into jabbering that went too far.
“It seems to me 99.9 percent of the time you let these things roll right off your back and they mean nothing,” Wilbon said to Rodgers. “Did this one mean anything at the time?”
Rodgers said: “This one would probably fit in the 99.9 percent you’re talking about. Every now and then one comes along that might mean a little bit something to you; not this one, though.”
Feel the burn yet, Greg?
At least, Rodgers didn’t tell Jennings, You could have been in the penthouse instead of the projects. That was something Rodgers could have said to Jennings at the game, ESPN’s “Numbers Never Lie” co-host Jemele Hill told viewers while predicting a Packers victory.
The moving Jennings-Rodgers hug will be reenacted by Fox 9 meteorologist Keith Marler and yours truly Thursday around 9:45 a.m. on “The Buzz,” while someone sings the lyrics from K.C. & the Sunshine Band’s “Please Don’t Go.”
Rodgers took on the hits
Aaron Rodgers sounded a little like he’d been hit in the head when the “PTI” guys asked the QB his opinion on safety and minimizing the risks of playing in the NFL.
“We all understand the risk we take playing this game, but also down the road with our future health,” said Rodgers. “I think that’s part of the allure to the game is knowing you’re putting your body in harm’s way but understanding how much you love playing in a collision sport. Contact is a part of it. Our biggest fear as players, though, is not being able to walk off the field after an injury.”
If the allure of the game, as it has evolved, continues to include the pleasure of a collision sport, where hits are the prized moves, doesn’t that increase your chance of not walking off the field? I don’t have time to list all my problems with just this part of what Rodger told “PTI.”
I fell in love with tackle football, not collision football where players are hit so hard they don’t know who they are or where they are. Tackles should showcase artistry, not assaults.
Recently, former Vikings coach Mike Tice told KFAN the day is coming when some player is hit so hard he dies on the football field.
That doesn’t sound very alluring. Is that what it’s going to take before the NFL decides intentional infliction of injuries should not be a part of the game?
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can usually be counted on to be the adult in a room filled with millionaires still in the throes of the arrested development of teenage-dom.
Football will have to change its violent ways because nobody wants more suicidal NFL players or complications of old age which are avoidable.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on FOX 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.
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