🎙TFG Pod: Inside Jimmy G’s World with Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB

From the The Football Girl Podcast, hosted by Melissa Jacobs. Subscribe to get new episodes of the pod in your feed the second we publish – and if you like what you hear, please rate and/or review us! 

Disclaimer: We have devoted a lot of time to analyzing every corner of Jimmy Garoppolo. That does not change this week.

Jenny Vrentas, the brilliant senior writer for Sports Illustrated and The MMQB joins to discuss her new deeply reported feature on Garoppolo. Jenny breaks down Garoppolo’s background, including his idolization of Tom Brady and more recent trajectory to superstardom after just seven NFL starts.

She also takes a broader lens to explain the methods behind her “write-around” reporting, what Garoppolo factoid surprised her most (hint: It’s Bill Belichick related) and whether or not the 49ers QB is overhyped.

Jenny also discusses post-Peter King life at The MMQB, her most memorable pieces and how she gets subjects to trust her and open up.

Also in the episode, Melissa talks about the struggle to protect children from hero worship of athletes. Finally, our Do-Gooder of the week is Bucs WR Mike Evans who donated $11,000 to the family of a black man in Florida shot to death in his garage by police.

Please give us a good rating and/or review on iTunes and magical things will happen to your favorite football team!


1:55: Melissa on trying to figure out how to  protect her kids from hero worship of athletes (coming off Tiger’s British Open run)

10:22: Jenny on the challenge of reporting a story where the main subject (Jimmy G) won’t speak

13:07: Jenny on how invested Bill Belichick was in Garoppolo

19:45: Jenny on how much hype Garoppolo deserves now

22:45: Jenny on the top three storylines that intrigue her this season

27:50: Jenny on the support from Peter King during and after his time with The MMQB

31:50: Jenny on being slightly uncomfortable with brand building required of writers these days

35:13: Jenny’s on her three favorite stories

41:50: Jenny offers advice to young journalists on getting access to subjects

46:07: Melissa explains why Bucs WR Mike Evans is our Do-Gooder of the Week


Jenny on what she found most interesting in her reporting on Garoppolo

I thought the tidbit about Belichick texting him after every win, it wasn’t a surprise necessarily, it just confirmed how invested Belichick had been in Garoppolo. Invested in his success, so much so that when he was having success elsewhere, he took the time to text a player he had helped develop and get to this point.

Jenny on working with Peter King

I always felt energized being around him. I may have had a rough day at game on Sunday and you come in for your Monday afternoon meeting, which I don’t know how he was awake because he’d been up the entire night before writing MMQB, he had all these ideas and he’d be fired up. He really got you going about whatever you were talking about. That was such a nice crutch to have.


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