Former Vol Jabari Greer's dreams coming true on the field, on his blog

Ex-UT player never runs out of things to say

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) reaches forward as he is tackled by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas (52) and cornerback Jabari Greer (33) during the second quarter of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) reaches forward as he is tackled by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas (52) and cornerback Jabari Greer (33) during the second quarter of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Jabari Greer

Jabari Greer

Thoughts, ideas, scenarios and ironic situations race through Jabari Greer's head so fast, he barely has time to write it all down.

The blog the former University of Tennessee cornerback fills on a weekly basis for the New Orleans Times-Picayune provides a necessary outlet, but Greer's creative impulses know no bounds.

Even during a Wednesday telephone interview with the News Sentinel, Greer couldn't resist.

"My ultimate dream would be to be in a writer's meeting and just spitting out ideas at 12 o'clock on a Wednesday for my next career," Greer said. "Just to be able to be funny and say, 'You know what would be funny? If this guy in a banana suit came in and farted.' Silly stuff like that and call that work. That would be a great next progression."

The quirky, eight-year NFL veteran, who will be in Nashville today when the Saints take on the Tennessee Titans at LP Field, has emerged as one of the best defensive backs on one of the league's best teams.

He's in his prime, playing at a position where some of the game's greats have found success well into their late 30s.

Still, the 29-year-old Greer is quick to admit he has other passions, goals that could, perhaps, move him from the center of the NFL's glaring spotlight to a role behind the scenes.

"I would love to be able to intern with some of these network TV shows," Greer said. "Just be able to learn how to write scripts and how to create scene flow and storyboards and things like that."

In 2008, then a member of the Buffalo Bills, Greer was doing just that. Under the title "Out of Bounds," which also is the name of his blog with the Times-Picayune, Greer would post two- to three-minute skits to YouTube on a weekly basis.

One video had Greer playing the role of a skin cream salesman, whose product, "Zap It," scorched the cheek of one of his test clients.

Another pitted Greer at a mock press conference, where, after fielding a question about the plight of the 2008 Vols, he jumped from behind the podium and tackled the reporter.

The scene cuts to black, flashes the Tennessee "Power T" and ends with a phrase Greer repeated with a laugh Wednesday.

"The University of Tennessee: We might not be winning, but you better not say anything."

Greer, though, seemingly never runs out of things to say.

"It's my crazy imagination," Greer said. "In football, we play a very serious game. So many situations arise that are just funny. I go about it every day and I live it.

"Being able to write it down and poke fun at it, it's been a dream come true. I've always been a social commentator."

It wasn't always this easy to express himself, Greer said.

In his four years at UT, Greer said he knew he saw things differently than his teammates, but the passion he currently has just wasn't there.

"Back in Tennessee, they just said I was weird. I was just a weird kid," Greer said. "Now, people are starting to appreciate my different perspective on issues."

One of Greer's old road roommates, former UT tailback Buck Fitzgerald, disagrees. He noticed the "Hollywood" in Greer right away.

Fitzgerald, who was two classes ahead of Greer, laughs when he thinks back on Greer's "weird rituals" and his desire to always watch CNN.

"Back then, he wanted to come across as a run-of-the-mill, country Jackson boy," Fitzgerald said. "But he's really worldly."

The first sentence of Greer's first blog post this season certainly backs that up.

"The people over at The Times-Picayune and I are like the clownfish and the sea anemone," he wrote, "... an example of a symbiotic relationship existing between two individuals (well, actually one individual and a HUGE MULTIMILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS)."

Greer's writing isn't all humor-driven.

In a recent post, he explained how a bye week allows him the time to reconnect with his family rather than "raising a kid in an hour and a half." In his post Tuesday, he stressed the importance of friendship between a father and son by relaying a scenario that played out in his kitchen earlier that morning.

"As a parent, it's natural to have delusions of grandeur for our children. We all believe our children are going to cure diseases, lead nations or compose timeless melodies. I am no different," Greer wrote. "But at that time, my son and I were connecting on a level that transcended the normal parenting role; instructing, mentoring and molding.

"We were, at that moment, friends."

The feedback, Greer said, has been overwhelmingly positive.

"People have come up and told me that they've been a fan of me playing football but they're even more of a fan of my blog. It's incredible," Greer said. "I would love to be able to turn this into something special."

His priorities on the field likely will delay that for the immediate future, but Greer has his eyes opened, his ears tuned and his stream of thoughts on a constant loop from his head to a computer screen.

Even Wednesday, Greer couldn't help but put out a feeler or two.

"If you know anybody that's interested in teaching a young up-and-coming creator," Greer asked, "I would love to be able to pick their brain."

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 2

sambad writes:

Interesting.

Sir_Spanky writes:

How about falling by here after the season and teaching a few of them how to play corner?

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features