Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A thought or two on Jay Cutler

Because everyone and their mother has offered their two cents. I've offered many tweets on the situation since Sunday, but allow me to just say this.

I'm not what you would call a Jay Cutler fan. I think he's rubbed a lot of people (myself included) the wrong way with his attitude in the past. I'm positive he thinks he's a bigger deal than he really is. He's not an elite NFL Quarterback, but then again not many are.

None of this has anything to do with what occurred on Sunday.

Jay Cutler suffered a Grade 2 MCL tear during the second quarter of the NFC Championship Game. He played one series before halftime on the bum knee. He had the knee worked on at halftime. He played one series in the second half and was removed from the game by his coaches and team medical staff.

He did everything he could to be there for his team. He did his job, although not very well during the time period he was healthy in that game, and then the coaches and trainers did theirs. It's really no more complicated than that.

But that doesn't stop the parade of bloggers/writers who allow the emotions to overtake their sensibilities and the fans/players with meatball mentalities who think football is a real war and football players are real heroes from ripping him apart. It's amazing how many of these people exist.

Not amazing, actually. That's a positive word. It's disappointing and downright scary how many of these people exist.

Joking about his toughness. Fine, whatever. That comes with the territory. It's the people who can't separate sports from real life, who dead seriously believe that Jay Cutler quit on his team that scare me. It's the ham-n-eggers outside Soldier Field that burn his uniform that scare me. Some of these people have kids. Does that not scare you?

And then you have the vengeful bloggers, writers, analysts and players who hate Jay Cutler with an unhealthy passion. Whatever he did after sustaining that injury, these people would have twisted his actions to reflect poorly on him.

Cutler is removed from the game by the coaches and medical staff = he's a coward and a quitter.

Cutler stands on the sidelines with crutches = he's a drama queen.

Cutler is allowed to play through the injury and hurts his team = he's an egomaniac.

I promise you these people would have found a way to smear his name. It wasn't about truth or reality, it was personal. These people, especially the football players, fit my definition of cowards and tools far more than Cutler does.

Jay Cutler proved his toughness to me. He's a lot of things I don't like, but I promise you he's not a quitter.

I watched every damn play of every Bears game this season. I saw the shit-kicking he took every week. I watched him play a quarter in New York with a concussion. I watched him pick himself up every time he could and go back to the huddle. He never quit.

Why would he take that pounding all season only to quit now, in the biggest game of his life? It's illogical and it's bullshit. If he was the man these people want and need you to believe he is, he wouldn't have played that entire meaningless game in Week 17 at Green Bay. A game in which he was pummeled relentlessly.

It's bullshit he has to deal with all this backlash, but at the end of the day, maybe it's just what he needed to help him grow up on and off the field. And wouldn't it be ironic if the people who so desperately want to tear him down actually assisted in that process.

The way he responds to this situation is what I truly believe will define him. I don't know which way that will go, but I think we're about eight months away from having a really good understanding of the heights or depths of Jay Cutler's character and his potential on the field.