We all have athlete bar stories, and the best ones usually involve
the biggest man on campus, the starting quarterback. And the largest man
on our campus, Chicago Bear
Jay Cutler, does his work on museum campus. He's the golden boy of
Chicago, northwest Indiana, Iowa, downstate Illinois etc. Since we made
Cutler our local deity, it helped his public image to quickly morph
into that of an egocentric jackass. Therefore, as his toughness is publicly questioned following his arcane injury in the NFC title loss yesterday, it's much easier to turn on him. His unlikable persona invites it.
Back to my athlete bar story, it involves Jay Cutler
and I believe it's 100% true given what we know of Jay's public
persona, but I heard it second hand. Therefore, for the the sake of
journalistic integrity, you'll only hear it if/when we cross paths
offline. But this story summarizes his public persona perfectly and fits
in exactly with some of the names that Bears fans are calling him today.
But for now, I'll tell you why Cutler's unlikable petulance and
condescension is the reason so many people think he's soft and weak. And
why on Twitter you can see him getting ripped apart by fans, NFL players, ex-players, and football cognoscenti alike.
In her early season post "Why Chicago hates Jay Cutler," Chicago
Now's Courtney Drobick explains the Jay phenomenon perfectly. (She can
easily write another much longer post today on the topic)
No matter though, Jay's unwillingness to throw himself under the
bus made us furious. Why wasn't he blaming himself? Where were the
tearful apologies, the "I have to do better's?" That's what we
want. Hold yourself accountable, man! That's what we're used to;
that's what we need to hear! Be the media darling we want you to be, say the right things, and we will love you!
But a media darling, our boy is not. He gets pissed, he looks
like a little bitch when things don't go his way, and he rarely blames
So why does Cutler come off SO POORLY yesterday? Why is he receiving no sympathy despite his MCL tear?
Start with his stoic personality. Whether things are going well or
poorly, he just doesn't publicly display emotion very much. Some people
are like that. Maybe he's just shy, or maybe he's a douche who just
doesn't care. Either way, to not display any emotion at all in the game
which gets you an invite to the Super Bowl is a bit odd! Especially
given the exciting nature of the game and the roller coaster of emotion
that accompanied it.
You'd think if YOUR team came back from the dead with the unlikeliest
of scenarios, a third-string QB leading them, YOU might be a bit
excited when you're just one play way from tying it and forcing
Secondly, you have the Bears media relations department, who have a simple policy for dealing with the media.
That policy is "go fuck yourself." Actually, it's more "go fuck
yourself and I hope you die in the parking lot on your way out."
The Bears spin-masters also put all information on a very strict
"need to know" basis, and yesterday that backfired big time for Cutler.
They described his status as "questionable" and told us he had a knee
injury with a MRI to follow Monday. Since they won't tell us a god damn
thing about the extent of his injury, and we all see him able to put
weight on his leg (not on crutches, or in a cast or anything), of course
we assume that Cutler's injury isn't that serious. Today, we know it's a
MCL tear, but we still don't know the severity of it.
There was blood on Cutler's elbow and they refused to give us any info on that injury too. No wonder people think Cutler quit.
I've met a ton of local journos who refer to Bears PR as "Police
Resistance," and the policies get more restrictive by the year. The
coordinators and Jay Cutler are only available for one hour a week;
that's it! So if you can't get to Halas Hall for that one afternoon hour
that Cutler is available on Wednesdays, I guess you're S.O.L.
Fans infer Cutler's moodiness and softness probably partially because
he's never allowed to say or do anything even remotely memorable to
prove them wrong during these sanitized speaking sessions referred to
as "press conferences." Not once has Cutler ever come close to being
even remotely interesting because this limited access, corporatized
exercise in message control -sometimes involving the Bears very own
"reporter" tossing Cutler softball questions- won't allow it. Since no
one within the Bears organization told us anything about how severe or
not severe Cutler's injury is, we assumed the worst.
So if Cutler doesn't appear warm and cuddly like the Easter Bunny,
some blame falls on the Stalinist gestapo in Lake Forest micromanaging
his media relations. Of course, some of it falls on him for not even
trying to look like he really cares.
And that's what makes Jay so off-putting. He plays QB in the NFL despite having type one diabetes, yet he's the anti-
No one regards Cutler's illness to be a sufficient crutch like they did
with the late former Cub. Part of it is due to the advances in medical
science across the past generation, part of it is because everyone
thinks Cutler is a pussy today. That's how awful Cutler's persona is
regarded. The guy who was sacked more than any other QB in the league is
deemed a pussy.
If he met you in public would Cutler regard himself too cool to bother with you? And so what if he did?
If he happened to be in the same place as me, I don't think I'd
really want to talk to him. I don't think Cutler has to be anyone's role
model or friend, and I don't really care what he does when he's not on
Let's not ruin sports like America has ruined politics with this DUMB
DUMB DUMB idea of
"voting for the candidate you want to have a beer
Even though I love both my hometown of Chicago and football, I no
longer feel any emotional connection to the Bears. The way they handle
the media, the $100 fee to get on the season ticket waiting list, the
thousands of dollars that PSLs cost for the right to buy tickets, the
fact that even preseason tickets cost as much as the annual GDP of an
industrial nation, all that combined is too much of a sunk cost for this
MBA to emotionally invest in them. "Don't keep throwing good money
after bad" like they say in business.
But the reason I don't care isn't because Jay Cutler looks
like he doesn't care about me, or you. Or now the actual game of
football itself. At least if he had "milked the injury" yesterday, or
"looked more injured" maybe we'd regard him differently today.
It's because I know for a fact that the people above him in the organizations don't care about me, or you.
And if they actually let him sit out, despite only having a minor
injury, we now know they don't care about reaching the Super Bowl
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
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