On Friday, Greg Jennings accepted an offer from the Minnesota Vikings that could pay him as much as $47.5 million over the next five years, with $18 million in guaranteed money. As a Packers fan, I feel 20 percent sad and 80 percent indifferent about this. I’ll always remember Greg Jennings as the best receiver of Aaron Rodgers’s early years. He was to no. 12 what Sterling Sharpe was to Brett Favre — or (for you non-Packers fans) what David Caruso was to NYPD Blue or Paul Di’Anno was to Iron Maiden. In seven seasons, Jennings caught 425 passes for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns. The bulk of that production occurred from 2007 to 2010, the period when the Packers transitioned from Favre to Rodgers and ended up winning their fourth Super Bowl. Jennings was a pivotal player in that process; as Ted Thompson put it over the weekend with typical samurai terseness, Jennings was a “Good man. Good player.”
Alas, I come not to praise the Packer Greg Jennings was but to bury the Viking he is now. He was arguably the fourth-best guy in a stacked receiving squad last season, behind Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and the ascendant Randall Cobb. He hasn’t been healthy lately, missing 11 out of his past 22 games. And it was widely assumed that he’d been leaving anyway; Rodgers was already reminiscing back in September about the favorite deep balls thrown to his onetime go-to big-play threat. The most important contribution Jennings made to the Packers lately was not re-signing before the 2012 season, when he could’ve reportedly made $11 million per year, and instead milking the desperate Vikings, the league’s second-worst passing team (just ahead of the Chiefs) last year. Jennings freed up cap space for the Packers and forced a hated divisional opponent to overpay. What a generous parting gift!
At the start of the college basketball season, fans are looking for their team's story — a compelling narrative that will define their school's season. In the coming months there will be plenty of talk about conference records, coaching decisions, and off-the-court controversies. But, in the interest of balance, I've gathered the storylines guaranteed to not define any ranked team's season. Except Vanderbilt. Theirs is destiny.
North Carolina: Its rivalry with Tulsa has heated up after the Tar Heels stole the Golden Hurricanes’ athletic director Bubba Cunningham.
Kentucky: Walk-on Sam Malone hopes to garner playing time in order to become tired of Cheers-related puns in newspaper headlines.
Ohio State: Buckeyes will miss John Diebler’s jump shooting, singing.
Missouri: What do you want me to say? Don Draper went there.
This post has been updated to correct an error in the Gonzaga entry Jordan Carr runs the blog Better than Voodoo while trying to make it as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @btvoodoo.