In all the Jay Cutler hoopla about whether he let his team down, there are several things that stand out as twisted, creepy and unfair. As a fan of the Bears and the NFL, I feel compelled to bring this out into the "forum of fair play". Let's start with how a considerable number of the Chicago sports media admit the obvious, that Jay is very much a tough NFL hombre, given how he was sacked 60 times this season and played without complaint. He could have sued his oline for lack of support and not a court in the land would have ruled against him. As they say, this boy throughout the year "took a licking and kept on ticking".
The evidence is overwhelming that he did not quit on his team. He came back in the second half and obviously could not plant his back foot enough to throw the ball accurately for even 10 yards. Although, Cutler was able to walk around, when he tried to plant his left leg, it was wobbly. The experts have weighed in that this is typical for a torn MCL and that this is a serious injury. Dez Clark, Bear tight end, said on the radio that Jay was taking small half-type steps to get around. The guy could hardly walk let alone run. If you can't run even slowly, you can't play QB in the NFL.
The local media did what was obviously needed and they confirmed all of this. Yet some local snakes in the grass couldn't help but spit-out some unnecessary venom to the public. They declared that because of the outcry against him, the fans who turned against him for the apparent quitting on his team, will never forgive or forget. Now let's freeze frame this moment in time, the day after the game, and consider a few key elements. Firstly, right after a tough loss, fans are very angry and that anger makes them quite irrational. Typically, the angrier they are the more irrational they become. Given the importance of this game and it was against a hated rival as well, the anger pyramided into a volcanic eruption. When things go wrong in sports, politics etc., people want a scapegoat to vilify because that makes them feel better. In this angered state they want answers but mainly they want to feel better and scapegoats are just the tonic for a quick fix. I have been there more times than I care to mention, and have learned to let my anger die down before attempting to arrive at any judgments.
The situation was like 100 people throwing water on a burning house. A few others were throwing water and along with that throwing cans of gasoline. Some in the media in their own fevered state just could not resist the urge to state their opinion as fact to bolster their already overly inflated ego's as sports experts. Their useless and harmful opinions made it, much less likely, that the fans who turned on Cutler will ever reconsider their feelings toward him. Instead, these so called experts could have accurately said, "it doesn't look good at the moment for Cutler that the fans will turn around - but stranger things have happened." They could also have encouraged fans to reconsider their position before writing the final chapter on how they feel about Jay Cutler. That would have been doing something positive and helpful to all concerned fans. Instead they poured more gas on the fire. What really galls me about this is that Jay Cutler is arguably the most talented QB on a Bears team in over 50 years. These fans need Cutler as much and perhaps more than he needs them. Yet, I question if certain self-centered cold-hearted members of the media care more about mending this important relationship than they do about sounding like and acting like so called experts. This is clearly yet another example of the media taking a difficult situation and making it worse.
Okay, so the next act, began once word got around that it was very likely that Jay did not continue to play because of the seriousness of his injury not because he could have played but did not want to tough it out. Now the same members of the media, who were quick to jump to their wrong conclusion, go counter point with other criticisms' of his game and character to justify their attacks on him. The real irony here is that in spite of Jay leaving himself open to all sorts of criticism for other reasons, the one thing that Jay has shown, beyond a doubt from a character perspective, is that one his best qualities is, indeed his toughness. Jay is maybe a bit slow to develop as a leader of men, but he is he not a quitter, in any way, shape or form!
So you have current players, former players, many members of the media, Bear fans, Bear haters, NFL fans etc., all dumping on Cutler. However, the dumping continues even after their initial scathing criticism is shown to be false. Now, this is where I have to start questioning humanity's level of civility in the early 21st Century. In our 21st Century we now have twitter among other popular social networks. Some no doubt want to blame twitter and Facebook, for humanity's decline. However, it isn't twitters fault some of its users are jackasses that's humanity's contemporary shortcoming. Judging people quickly and harshly for ego gratification appears to have become the rule and not the exception of how the majority behave.
Part 2 will be published tomorrow and will go further into big picture issues regarding the Jay Cutler saga as well as my thoughts on Jay himself.
This post originally appeared at tompappssportsnews.com