With the Chicago Bears' upcoming playoff game with the Seattle Seahawks only a few days away, most NFL writers (who seem to have run out of ideas with the Bears so heavily favored over Seattle) have decided to take the opportunity to rip Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in every single way.
Pundits are saying he is moody and sullen and lacks passion (which seems ridiculous in even mentioning it), concluding that he is a basically a big fat crybaby.
Apparently what a player does and says off the field means ENTIRELY MORE than what they do on the field.
I've never seen a player so completely hated by NFL fans for seemingly doing nothing wrong.
He didn't keep a team waiting until two weeks before the regular season started, played even though he was not even close to being prepared, email naked photos of himself to a young "miss" at another team—that was Brett Favre.
He didn't consistently throw his team under the bus, say his coaches deserve most of the blame, bragged about his success without having any, and concentrate more on a reality show then his team—that was Terrell Owens.
He didn't coach a team in which most of the headlines were focused on things off the field like his players sexually harassed a female reporter, one of his assistant coaches tripping an opposing player during a special teams play, get involved in a humiliating scandal involving fetish porn, and give ridiculous press conferences in which he brags and boasts like a young Muhammad Ali—that was Rex Ryan.
He didn't order any deaths (Ray Lewis), kill anything (Mike Vick; Donte Stallworth), assault anybody (Ben Roethlisberger, give up on a team (Randy Moss; Vince Young) or drag out contract dealings until the midnight before the season started (Darrell Revis).
By all account and purposes, Jay Cutler is just a boring guy who happens to be a good quarterback. He might give bad press conferences and he isn't exactly the most willing to do interviews, but what athletes don't do that?
His situation in Denver should be followed. He didn't sit around and wine his way through a season. MCD didn't want him, tried to trade for Matt Cassel behind his back, and then Cutler demanded that he get himself out, which is the same thing that anybody would do if they had some balls. And it's not like MCD has been Bill Walsh since he left.
By all accounts, Cutler might be a little smug. But in a world of smug athletes, he's nowhere near 90% of the NBA.
Chicago fans have accepted Cutler...sorta, at least. At this point they don't want to hug him, but they don't want to throw him off a building either. He has been much superior to last season even if his offensive line is awful and his wide receiver class is made up of guys that make broadcast announcer's shake their head with amazement. Guys like Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett don't exactly make their opponents shake with fear, but they have had success this season through Cutler's arm.
The one way that Cutler can get into the hearts of Chicago sports fan (the space is getting snug right now with Rose, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Noah, Urlacher and Hester) is to win this playoff game.
It wouldn't exactly be a crazy impressive victory (as Seattle is a very terrible football team) but any spark of good that comes from Cutler's arm will make everybody in the city smile.
Chicago fans want to love Cutler. They Already love Derrick Rose and Patrick Kane. They are prepared to love Cutler. He makes it difficult, sure, but it is up to him over the next two weeks to make it happen.
*NOTE: If anybody has seen this video of Jay Cutler mic'd up in a game earlier this year against the Buffalo Bills, it's a masterful display of jerkiness: