Tuesday, January 25, 2011
An Apology to Jay Cutler
I am apologetic.
I got caught up in the hype of Jay’s injury not to have enough clarity with my own eyes. I threw Jay Cutler under the bus when I tweeted about the knee injury. Sure, I could go into a speculative rant about how the injury happened and the oddity of the situation but where does that get me? At the end of the day, I am accountable for my actions and my behavior as a fan.
I have had some clarity since then but I wish I could say the same for other Bears fans…
“He quit on us” I heard in the line of a Dunkin' Donuts this morning.
“What do you think of Jay Cutler now?!” said sarcastically by a Bears “fan” at work.
“I hate Jay Cutler. Can’t stand him” a disgruntled season ticket holder told me.
In Chicago, we pride ourselves on our work effort and I believe Jay Cutler is no different from the rest of us. In Cutler’s 5 seasons in the NFL he has missed 2.5 games (including playoffs). He has had to learn 4 offensive schemes on 2 different teams. This below average offensive line has allowed Cutler to be sacked a total of 89 times in two seasons. Throughout the 2010 season, Cutler was sacked the most out of any other QB in the league (57). As the pocket collapsed around him, he had only average receivers to throw to. Despite all of this, he refused to throw his teammates under the bus and continued to play hard every Sunday (with type 1 diabetes mind you).
Tough S.O.B.? Yes.
This was a good season. The Bears finished with an 12-6 record, earned a first-round bye in the playoffs, decisively won a playoff game against the Seahawks (a team that beat them earlier in the season) and played in the NFC Championship game. Under the circumstances, this was an improved team from last year. It goes without saying that Cutler also made strides statistically. But this improvement doesn’t seem good enough for some Bears fans.
I think it’s important not to spread systemic hatred for Jay Cutler and subsequently run him out of town (ask Denver about this). Jay is our quarterback (said in Lovie Smith voice). Now that we have heard the severity of his injury (torn MCL), I would hope some of us would be apologetic about our behavior. To go so far as to call him a quitter, light him up with ignorant tweets, have unbelievable hatred for this man and burn his jersey is inappropriate and classless.
I guess the old saying is true; "It's easier to apologize than it is to ask permission."