Jay Cutler's Heart and Soul: Sir, You Have Neither

Ryan NeimanContributor IIIJanuary 24, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears on the sideline in the third quarter after leaving the game with an injury against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

One win.

That's all the Chicago Bears needed to go to the Super Bowl.

It was not going to be an easy task to slay the mighty Green Bay Packers, but with the way things have been going for the Bears this season, many would attest this task should be attainable. 

The Bears had to bring everything they had to this game in order to defeat the Packers and punch their ticket to Dallas. They would have to use the crowd's energy to reel them back from any deficit and to use any inspiration to carry them to a victory.

When any player, from any sport, reaches the playoffs, they know this is an once in a lifetime opportunity, as a chance like this may never happen again. They will want to give it their all, even if that includes a little blood along the way. 

This is their moment to shine and every player wants to be in the spotlight. 

Why wouldn't a player want to show their talents to the world? Why wouldn't a player want to show their passion and love for their sport by displaying their determination on the field?

Every player relishes these moments. Every player wants to rise to these occasions and deliver. 

There have been several great athletes that never corked a bottle and tasted the fresh champagne from either clinching a playoff spot or winning a series in the playoffs; Tony Gonzalez is fan favorite amongst many. He is a future Hall of Famer and he is considered to be one of the greatest tight ends of all time. 

Gonzalez may retire with never winning the Super Bowl. 

However, everyone knows the heart and dedication Gonzalez exemplifies on the field and he would love to get the opportunity to win the Super Bowl. 

Every player wishes they can be in the position where they have a shot winning it all.  They would lay everything on the line to be given this opportunity.

Unfortunately, some players do not possess the same desire as others.

After observing Jay Cutler's attitude and body language during Sunday's game, it is clear Cutler barely gives it his all when everything is on the line. 

In his first playoff experience, everyone would expect Cutler to enjoy the moment, take it all in and be appreciative he is in this spot where so few have gone before. Even before Cutler left the game with an apparent knee injury, he looked uninterested in the game as it appeared he was just going through the motions. 

At times, it really felt like Cutler did not fully grasp what this game meant as he lazily jogged onto the field.

It is hard to imagine a player did not prepare themselves mentally for a game like this, but Cutler managed to find a way. What is even more disgusting and disheartening is Cutler did not fight his way back into the game after he left briefly in the third quarter with a knee injury. 

In game where the winner goes to the Super Bowl, Cutler should have pouted, shouted or even rolled on the ground like a baby until he would get his way where the Bears would have to force themselves to put Cutler back into the game.

Instead, Cutler accepted the fact the coaches told him it would be a bad idea if he were to re-enter the football game.

Soon after, the Bears' fate was sealed.

Cutler's toughness is being questioned and his heart for the game as well. Each of these criticisms are justified due to the fact that any player would find any way to get themselves back into the game. 

There were numerous kinds of treatments Cutler could have considered to find a way back into the game, but he already packed his bags in without considering any of those options. 

Cutler should take a page out of Philip Rivers' book, who is the true definition of toughness. Rivers was praised by his players and the media for playing on a torn ligament in his knee in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots in 2007.

Rivers knew what was on the line and he wanted to try everything in his own power to make sure the Chargers had a shot at making it to the Super Bowl.

I guess this is the main difference between a player who has a heart and soul compared to a player who does not.