Greg Jennings continues to play chicken with Leslie Frazier’s patience. During an appearance on KFAN’s unspeakably awful morning show, the hopelessly shy Vikings receiver again offered up a weird and controversial statement about the Green Bay Packers. This just days after Frazier reportedly asked Jennings to wind down his one-sided public war of words with the team that once employed him.
Jennings was asked an innocuous question about the Vikings’ “championship qualities” and he responded by launching into another bizarre tirade about the operation in Green Bay. “One of the things that obviously drew me coming over here [to the Vikings] was the makeup of the team,” Jennings said. “When I came over here, I kind of had, I was kind of brainwashed. There’s no ‘kind of’ to it. Being over in Green Bay, you’re brainwashed to think that anyone in the division is just tiers below you.
“So coming over here I meet the people within the organization and I’m like, ‘Wow, these are really great people.’”
These new remarks come on the heels of several other eyebrow-raising comments, many directed at Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whom Jennings has openly characterized as a selfish diva.
The previous comments were justifiable under the banner of “jilted former player getting it out of his system.” I think we all thought the fun-and-games would end though after Leslie Frazier called Jennings in for a sit-down. Normally those sit-downs end with the player backing off. Unless that player is Bernard Berrian; then the sit-down ends with the player being released.
But that’s the thing with Jennings. He knows the Vikings, who just gave him a big contract and are counting on him leading their receiver corps, aren’t going to really do anything to punish him. They might fine him but what does he care? He can pay fines all day.
Leslie Frazier is probably simmering with rage right now though you would never know it by the look on his face. But in the end what can Frazier really do? If Jennings wants to talk to the media, Jennings is going to talk to the media. If he wants to turn every interview into Slam the Packers, he’s going to do that and he is obviously willing to accept any consequences.
Jennings thus far as a Viking has presented a weird dual image. On the one hand he seems like the ultimate pro, the way he comes out and participates in all team-related activities, sets a great tone at practice and mentors young players like Cordarrelle Patterson. On the other hand, he sometimes comes across like a standard-issue prima donna wide receiver who puts himself before the team.
You know who he reminds me of? Brett Favre. Pro’s pro some of the time, giant diva the rest of the time. It’s probably no coincidence. Favre did play with Jennings in Green Bay and obviously Favre rubbed off on the receiver.
But it’s not just the Favre factor at play here with Jennings. Clearly there is something about the culture in Green Bay that drives guys a little bit crazy. Too many guys have angry feelings after they leave Green Bay. Packer fans want to believe it’s just envy and jealousy but I think there’s something more going on here.
I think we need to look beyond the outward bitterness of Jennings’ remarks and ask a serious question. Does playing for the Packers cause people to become psychotic? I’m deadly serious here. Let’s not be too quick to dismiss Jennings as just another former player with a gripe. I think we need to launch an investigation and find out if the Packers really are literally brainwashing people.
It would certainly explain a lot if the Packers were employing immoral mind-control tactics. It would explain why so many ex-Packers, after they finally sign elsewhere, behave like former hostages getting their first taste of freedom in years.
That said, it’s probably time for Jennings to cool it a little. Maybe save the Packer-bashing for after he retires? He can write a book. “The Long Road Out of Cheese Hell” by Greg Jennings. I’d read it.