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Thursday, March 8, 2012
BBAO: You see, officer, it all started ...

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

It's quite possible that the attention on Peyton Manning's departure from the Indianapolis Colts caused you to miss the Jerry Springer-worthy opening statements from the felony strangulation trial of Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook.

Prosecutors stuck to the story laid out in the original charges, saying that Cook struck and choked his girlfriend after learning she was texting with another man during the early-morning hours of Oct. 22. Cook's attorney, however, provided a different version of the story.

It's all in this Associated Press report, but the short version is that the argument began at a Minneapolis strip club. Cook ordered a lap dance, enraging his girlfriend, whereupon she stormed out. Drunk, the girlfriend began texting the other man, which deflated Cook because, the attorney said, Cook planned to propose to her later that weekend.

According to Cook's version, the girlfriend punched him when they returned to his home. Cook retaliated in self-defense. The girlfriend will recant her earlier testimony that Cook choked her, according to Cook's attorney.

In the end, this ridiculousness is important only because a felony conviction would jeopardize Cook's future with the team. We'll keep you updated.

Continuing around the NFC North: