Defending Jay Cutler

by Jeeves

Full disclosure: I am from Chicago and am indeed a Bears fan. I think it is important to get all biases out front and center

Update: Turns out Cutler has a torn MCL, so I suppose I was correct.

Update 2: The official prognosis is a grade 2 MCL tear which takes 3-4 weeks to heal. Also it should be noted that a tear and sprain for all intents and purposes are synonymous when dealing with the MCL, per here.

The above picture is from the front page of Yahoo! Sports’ NFL section and is a large motivating factor for this post. I realize that Cutler didn’t play a great game today; his deep ball was off and the pressure limited his performance on shorter routes. He missed Hester a couple times though he did make a nice pass to Knox, but that’s not why I’m writing.

The excessive hyperbole and complete vilification of Cutler for being forced out of the game is absurd. I realize and understand that part of sports writing is to capture the emotion of the moment and the feelings of the fan, but I think it’s clear that the ensuing clusterf*** (or Cutlerf****, if you will) is going to move beyond the means of any reasonable literary device. Steve Bartman (rightly or wrongly) is one of the most hated ‘characters’ in  Chicago. Fans were so angry, so enraged at him, that the governor recommended he go into the witness protection program. Naturally, Yahoo! equates the Bartman situation to Cutler having an, at best, sprained MCL, at worst, torn MCL.

It just strikes me as absurd that this amount of vitriol is coming out when the extent of the injury hasn’t even been determined. It strikes me as doubly absurd when you question Cutler’s toughness, as Kerry Rhodes of the Arizona Cardinals did, because this requires you to also forget every other game that he has played for the Bears. Cutler has been the picture of resolve in his short time in Chicago. He has been sacked 87 times and hit countless other occasions in just 31 regular season games due to a horrendous, porous offensive line. Up until today, save for his concussion against the Giants, he got up, dusted himself off and went back to work. You would think that such continual perseverance would buy the guy the benefit of the doubt. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think he’s even complained about the line and how often he’s been hit let alone sulk his way off the field because of it.

If you really, really think about it; separate out the emotion and the magnitude of today’s loss, and ask yourself, what is more likely?: “Jay Cutler was legitimately hurt and unable to plant while throwing the football, thus rendering him useless” or “Jay Cutler is a gutless wimp who quit on his team during the biggest game of the season even though he had absorbed countless hits this season and never asked out of a previous game.” I don’t understand how you can reconcile Cutler as gutless while completely ignoring his body of work/toughness up until now.

I realize the rebuttals to this line of thinking would go something like, “Yeah, but he wasn’t even limping after he came out!” Right. Ligament damage, though, isn’t necessarily crippling during low impact movements. I have a friend who has torn multiple ligaments in both knees on multiple occasions. Prior to surgery he was able to walk around no problem. Granted he was moving around slowly, much like Cutler, I’ll add, but he looked totally fine until being faced with the task of climbing stairs. It’s dynamic movements like pushing upwards and forwards or planting to throw a football where the lack of stability in the knee comes into play; so the fact that he could pace the sideline shouldn’t be used as an indictment of his character or his toughness.

Jay Cutler may come off as brash or whiny. He may not have charmed the media with his interactions or endeared himself to Bears’ fans with his interceptions, but the one thing I could always say without reservation is that, at least, Cutler is tough as nails. No matter what the others may say, I will still continue to consider Cutler one tough S.O.B.


5 Comments to “Defending Jay Cutler”

  1. We’ll see what the prognosis is. If it’s a tear, obvs I’ll stop calling him a pussy. If it’s a sprain, then, I dunno. I guess I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. If it’s anything less than I hate him for leaving us with Todd effing Collins.

  2. I think Cutler’s major problem is his body language. He just didn’t seem upset enough on the sideline, and that’s why I think a lot of Chicago fans wanted to call him a pussy. Still, the suggestion is ridiculous. Does anyone honestly think the guy was just looking for a way OUT of playing? He’s an NFL quarterback who plays for Mike Martz, famous for letting his quarterbacks get smashed. And as Jeeves pointed out, he NEVER complained.

  3. Cutler’s taken hit after hit after hit so I agree it is absurd that people are/were discounting him after he was taken out.

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