New Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings took out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper Wednesday to thank fans for supporting him during his seven years with the Green Bay Packers.
He wrote: "Although the business side of this great game has brought about change, my family and I will be forever indebted to the Packers organization and fans for giving us the opportunity to be part of an amazing culture."
In November, Austin High School reserve guard Tommy Olmsted decided to participate in a No-Shave November competition.
Then, the ugly downside of being an undefeated basketball team in the state tournament kicked in.
Olmsted vowed not to shave the beard until the Packers lost a game. The contrast to his teammates became even more stark when the Austin players shaved their heads in January in support of a teammate's mother who is fighting cancer.
As noted on the Packer Fast Break Club web site: "Thus was born “Fear the Beard!” And since Austin is now 28-0, Tommy’s beard has had a lot of time to grow. James Harden has nothing on Tommy…at least in beard-growing ability."
The Packers will play The Blake School in the Class 3A quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon at Williams Arena. Olmsted is typically the third player off the Packers bench and won't be hard to spot.
Olmsted also plays baseball for Austin. If the Packers win the state tournament -- they're seeded second behind De La Salle -- there's no word on whether Olmsted will keep the beard until the baseball team loses a game.
If you want to see Olmsted without facial hair, go here.
There's been talk about Packers veteran wide receiver Donald Driver being a target for the Vikings in the off-season. But you can cross him off the wish list after Driver announced his retirement Thursday morning on ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning Show.
"There are other things out there," said Driver, who saw his playing time reduced significantly this season. He caught only eight passes for 77 yards this season, his 14th in the NFL.
Driver didn't disclose many details, saying he's planning a public event in Green Bay for next week to talk more about his decision.
One thing he did say: He won't be doing a Brett Favre.
"I'm not coming back," Driver said. "The thing is, you know, you just don't want to jump back and forth."
A Green Bay TV report over the weekend mentioned the Vikings' interest in Driver.
Driver's career statistics are here.
Maybe you're tired of the debate over the Vikings stadium and don't want to read another word.
But Upload suggests you suspend all objections and settle in to read this narrative from Grantland.com of how the stadium bill came to pass. If you're going to the lake this weekend (or have time to kill during a Target Field rain delay (or a Twins pitching change), print it out and take it along.
Characters in Steve Marsh's story range for the lobbyists to the lawmakers to Larry (Spoons) Spooner, the guy who you probably saw in photos wearing a Vikings jersey and shorts among the decision-making suits.
Here's a brief passage:
"I try to be a progressive-minded guy that cares about schools and the arts and the downtrodden and the sick, but sitting there on the bench beneath the capitol rotunda, listening to Spoons's symposium beneath the statues of long-dead Union generals, I suspected that deep down, something might really be wrong with me. Because the only guy speaking my language here is wearing jean shorts.
"So I recognize my purple guilt, but the other side really does seem to be acting far less reasonably on this one. For instance, the afternoon that Roger Goodell was at the capitol, I ran into an old liberal dude upstairs who said he was a card-carrying member of the Occupy Movement. Seemed like a nice, compassionate guy. But when we got down to discussing the endgame of his anti-stadium position, he looked me in the eye and said, 'We were Packers fans in the '60s. We can be Packers fans again.' "
Now, go read the rest.
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