Finally, we discovered a use for the Pro Bowl: providing trash talk for former players in advance of playoff games. That’s as good a selling point as you’ll find. Anyway, Brian Jennings, a long snapper for the 49ers from 2000-2012, went on the radio to jokingly claim that Cam Newton owes him $25,000 – the difference in pay for members of the winning and losing teams in the 2011 Pro Bowl, in which both Cam and Jennings were both members of the losing NFC side.
“We have Drew Brees with his playbook all week, studying,” Jennings said. “We have Cam Newton with his head phones on all week goofing off. We go into the game, and this guy is chucking the ball all over the place, and everybody is looking around going, ‘What’s this guy doing? Is he kidding?’ The punter and I look at each other and say, ‘We are going to have a long second half.’ We punted five times in the Pro Bowl.”
Newton went 9-for-27 for 186 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed four times for 14 yards as the NFC put up 13 points in the second half.
“He went in there and stank it up,” Jennings said, who had a laughing tone throughout. “He never looked at his playbook and he’s chucking the ball all over the place. Can’t hit the open guy.”
Jennings went on to proclaim Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula a “genius!” for turning Newton, whom he first jokingly referred to as Vince Young, into a “functional game manager.”
That’s some fine comical trolling, Brian Jennings. Though you could have sprinkled a glory boy mention in to complete the effect. Still, as far as nonsensical side stories in the lead up to a big game, this has a long way to go to match Panthers fans issuing death threats to Ric Flair because of the Nature Boy’s pep talk to the 49ers in advance of the Wild Card game.
In a statement, Ric Flair's agency says he has received death threats from Panthers fans following his 49ers pep talk
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) January 9, 2014