Greg Jennings is an all-pro wide receiver, a self made star and genuinely regarded good guy. That didn't stop him from making some particularly puzzling assertions which might escalate the Detroit Lions' budding rivalry with the Green Bay Packers, however.
Jennings recently wondered aloud if the Lions could keep their composure in the wake of a tumultuous offseason and last year's on the field incidents. If I were Jennings, I wouldn't be asking these particular questions of a heated division rival, no matter how calm. As bulletin board material goes, this is tame. But why even fan those flames?
Detroit 's football franchise has been laying dormant for decades. Signs of a turnaround exist, but following some definite discipline problems, it's more of an advantage to the Packers if the Lions don't change their ways and stay out of control. Now, this direct challenge from Jennings could help turn the tide and get the Lions' minds back where they need to be prior to training camp.
The last thing the Packers need is a refocused Lions team on their heels during 2012. In totality, Green Bay shouldn't even want a rivalry with Detroit. They should prefer the status quo, where the Lions lose focus, fall apart and everything stays the same. "Oh those silly Lions, always thinking they have a chance to beat us and failing, on and off the field." That should be the Green Bay mantra as it relates to this. Instead, the Lions now have a bit of extra motivation.
Besides, as the timeless saying goes, let he without sin cast the first stone. Were the Packers lily white off the field in 2011? Last season, Erik Walden was held for domestic violence. Despite the fact charges were dropped, he was re-signed. Were the Packers somehow immune from personal foul penalties last season on the field? Not when defensive leader Charles Woodson decided to throw a punch in the midst of the season's first game. They haven't had the quantity of negative events the Lions have, but they also haven't all been perfect angels, either. This is the NFL, and no team gets by unscathed. Small and large incidents can and will happen.
Perhaps Jennings should remember that facts before he challenges the Lions to get better with their publicized issues. With plenty happening the last two seasons in matchups like Ndaumkong Suh's noteworthy stomp, it already feels as if the Packers and Lions could embark on an interesting rivalry in the coming years. These comments might only fan those flames further, which might not be a terrible thing for either team.
Though the sentiment was peaceful and Jennings provided an honest answer, these comments could be the missing link the Lions need to really get their heads back in the game. The big dog in the division is barking, wondering if the baby has what it takes. Now is Detroit's chance to respond on the field.
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