This is not just an elongated reply to the Rick Reilly article claiming that Jay Cutler is "in the running for The Most Hated Man in the NFL."
Sure, it may have been the insult to finally set me off. Yet his poorly constructed piece of "journalism" is just another random "Jay Cutler-Hate Article." It's just more of the same embittered garbage.
This is a section of his article, where he obviously is trying to frame Cutler as a jerk by showing a post-game quote, but it backfires almost completely:
Reporter (after a game): What happened on that first interception, Jay?
Cutler: I threw the ball.
Reporter: Right, but what did you see developing there? Take us through it.
Cutler (archly): It seemed like a good place to throw the ball.
I find it quite comical. Jay is simply a guy who is fed up with how he has been portrayed by many members of popular sports media, since joining the Bears. Is he supposed to be excited to talk to the people who, in essence, resort to unjust schoolyard name-calling?
I don't really need to get into overly lambasting Mr. Reilly. He has already felt the uproar of Bear fans and fans of football in general. No one likes to see a player get incessantly ragged on, years after a few youthful mistakes, especially for ones that have been almost entirely changed.
In his two seasons on the Bears, he has been the consummate teammate and leader in the locker room. He has been sacked more than any QB in football, battling through a concussion, all the while saying the right things in interviews.
But I guess if he isn't smiling on the field, he isn't a leader...and he's a punk...or something.
It's not Jay's fault that he has an introverted personality stuck in the sport where celebrity-whores run rampant.
It is true that modern sports need their storylines. Whether your team is the Cinderella-story, or the perennial champ, it's the story that keeps your interest. Fans need their heroes and their villains.
Yet they don't need to be force-fed the biases of writer's who hold indefinite grudges. (Yes, Rick Reilly is a Colorado man. I'm sure that has nothing to do with his fair and balanced feelings, right?)
ESPN is the main recipient of my angst, but many popular sports media outlets just love to create their World Wrestling Federation-style storylines. Oh, who will be the villain this week? Will Hulk Hogan be the bad guy this year? At least he didn't send dick-pics out like one of the NFL's newly created villains (to the best of my knowledge, at least).
Basically, it's soap opera journalism at its finest.
Reputations die extremely hard in modern sports. Julius Peppers was called lazy by many members of the media after the Bears signed him...based on things he did in Carolina in his rookie season...almost a decade ago. Maybe instead of sticking to their preconceived notions, how about modern sports reporters do some, what do you call it...reporting.
You want a storyline? How about one of an immensely-talented young quarterback. He gains a new head coach, who does not want him. This new coach tries to trade him almost immediately. The young quarterback wants out of this hostile situation and gets his wish. Is he headstrong? Most certainly. I wouldn't have it any other way.
The storyline that I'm taking out of this? Jay Cutler needs to win his next three football games to be a Super Bowl champion. If he pulls it off, it is the proverbial middle finger to the evil empire, er, ESPN.
Any fan of modern sports who is simply sick of ESPN and their multitude of biased former players and misinformation should be rooting the Bears into the championship.
What would ESPN do? Would they actually have to say consistently positive things about Chicago AND Jay Cutler?
Knowing them, they would somehow focus on something like the Cowboys changing their defensive coordinator, or just how Tim Tebow keeps on being so swell (Answer to the Tebow question: He says 15 Hail Mary's before each drive).
They still stick to their completely ridiculous idea that a quarterback can inherently be a "winner" or a "loser." I remember Kyle Orton being called a born-winner when he left Chicago, with his win percentage being the sole reasoning.
Does everyone in the class see how quickly this changes, given your teammates? This isn't golf. You kind of have 52 other players on your team. Try to take note of that, everyone.
How about Cutty himself, who has been dubbed the eternal loser. He didn't have a winning season in college or when he was on a terrible defensive Denver squad; therefore, he just couldn't win.
Nevermind how good he was, the blame was squarely on him. Now the so-called "perrenial-loser" is leading the No. 2 seed, 11-5 Chicago Bears. Those Bears are also 10-point favorites in Jay's first career playoff game.
If I was a fan of Jay Cutler before this season, I have become a devotee of what he stands for now. He is the anti-hero that doesn't care one bit about what writers and analysts think of him. He is the incarnation of all the frustration we fans suffer when the media allows their biases to lead stories, instead of truly doing their job.
Maybe that's reading too much into things, and I should just watch football. Probably so. I don't much care. Jay Cutler has a very strong fanbase, and it deserves to grow. I hope we see Jay Cutler come out this playoff season and make a statement.
He's very simply the most exciting quarterback I ever could have dreamed to be helming the Bears. Many fans would agree with this.
I can't speak for him, and I know he would never stoop to Reilly's level, so he will just let his arm do the talking.