If you happen to live under a rock or don't follow NFL players on Twitter, you may have missed the newsflash--Jay Cutler is a disgrace to football and quite possibly the biggest wuss in the history of wussy wusses everywhere. Jay Cutler? Pfft... More like Jay QUITLER.
And... Yeah. The backlash has been pretty breathtaking. In addition to current players like Maurice Jones-Drew and Darnell Dockett openly questioning his toughness, Bears fans took to the streets (read: YouTube) to express their displeasure. WITH FIRE.
And after the jump, a Bears fan teaches his sons how to burn a jersey the right way.
Somewhere between the man taking a hunting knife to the jersey and telling his kids it's "just like cleanin' a deer" and when he pours gasoline all over Cutler's name plate, it's all a pretty good reminder that sometimes, America can be a pretty unforgiving place.
And for the record, who knows how badly Jay Cutler was injured? Nobody but Cutler can say, really. But on Friday, talking about Chicago's resurgence this year, I mentioned this: "We're not used to seeing Jay Cutler, the dependable and occasionally explosive young quarterback. We're used to Jay Cutler, the inconsistent malcontent that's occasionally explosive, but just as prone to complete implosion. Where is THAT guy?"
Well, THAT Jay Cutler showed up on Sunday. Even before his mysterious knee injury sidelined him for the second half, Cutler was throwing off his back foot, sailing passes over the heads of his receivers, and slumping his way back to the sideline. Eventually, he stayed there for good.
And yeah, the venom--or gasoline, as it were--pouring in Cutler's direction has been pretty insane since the Bears' loss, but it's also telling. This is a guy who'd forfeited the benefit of the doubt with many of his peers and even Bears fans. So when things imploded, fair or not, everything caved in on his head, and his reputation.
That's what happens when you don't make an effort to at least look the part of hard-working QB amongst your NFL peers. When you don't reach to your fans and media. If things go bad, there's no good will or credibility to trade on. That's the way the NFL game is played. A leader has to care about the way he looks to the rest of the team, the fans, and even the rest of the league. If he doesn't make an effort in that department, people will be skeptical. It's politics, but it's also a crucial part of being a franchise quarterback. If Cutler is surprised by the backlash, he shouldn't be.
Or, if Cutler's is surprised by the backlash, it's just another example of what he's never understood about playing quarterback in the NFL. And so in Cutler's case, the skepticism turned to cynicism on Sunday, and it reportedly left him in tears after Chicago's loss. It's the ugly side of sports, and if rooted in facts, it's certainly spiraled to completely irrational heights.
Nobody deserves to have their jersey burned en masse, and everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to nursing injuries. But then, Cutler never left himself much room for error. And on that one, he's got nobody to blame but himself.