Rather than wait for columnists to bait readers into blind Internet anger, we at SB Nation believe in setting the curve ourselves and doing so honestly. On Troll Tuesdays, we attempt to construct the most obnoxious column on earth. Today: Let's talk about Jay Cutler.
Another big game.
Another big game where Jay Cutler's a no show.
New chapter, same book full of excuses.
The Chicago Bears were destroyed in San Francisco Monday night, and I turned the game off after the first quarter. What's the point? The Bears didn't have a chance without Cutler, and everyone knew it. It's all about Next Man Up in the NFL, but when your No. 1 man can't put his best foot forward, the whole team takes a step back.
I can hear the politically correct police sounding their sirens from 100 miles away. Oh, he had a head injury. He needed to rest. It wasn't worth it.
Look, don't shoot the messenger here. Just look at the facts. What are the three biggest games the Bears have played this year?
- They went to Green Bay and Jay Cutler was 11/27 for 127 yards and four interceptions.
- They played the Texans last week and Cutler left the game at halftime.
- Then the 49ers Monday night, and Cutler was M.I.A. Again.
NEWSFLASH: If you're not beating the elite teams, you're just not elite. In the pros, all that matters is the scoreboard. Excuses are for the birds and the Eagles.
And now everyone will send me angry letters saying Cutler was hurt for the last two games. Well, you know what Vince Lombardi said about injuries? “The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”
This is the National Football League, not middle school.
There's pride on the line every week. Some guys leave it all on the field, some guys never leave the sideline. Who do YOU blame for what happened to the Chicago Bears Monday night?
The people of Chicago?
Ask yourself this: Would Derrick Rose have played Monday Night? Derrick Rose can't even walk, but if his team had 16 opportunities at glory every year, something tells me he'd find a way. That's what winners do. That's what elite superstars do. As Lombardi once said, “Unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it – his mind, his body, his heart – what’s life worth to him?”
Of course, back then it was all about Bart Starr, not reality TV stars.
“Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life," Vince said, "He puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power."
Maybe the Chicago Bears should look into 53 heart transplants?
Lombardi also said, “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
Should we send the Chicago Bears to rehab? We know Cutler can't kick his smoking habit...
That was a goof, but this is serious: We're not talking about the Chicago Bears because of a football game. We're talking about the Chicago Bears because football is a game that reveals character, and while America runs a go route to nowhere, football is the game that teaches us larger lessons about what works in society. 11 men buying into something bigger, ready to go that extra inch. Cliches are cliche for a reason.
"I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline." That's Vince again, America's first Head Coach.
Was it smart to hold Cutler out Monday Night? Maybe. But precautions have a cost, too. And fighting through the grind is what used to build character. These days? Not so much. While the whole world points to science and statistics that give us a new excuse every week, the Age of Enlightenment looks a lot like the Age of Entitlement.
It's never anyone's fault, and the losses keep piling up.
"What the hell's goin out here?" Good question, Vince.
The Bears season isn't over and neither is America's, but it's the fourth quarter now, and the home team's going the wrong direction. So enough with pointing fingers and playing the petty blame game. This is when winning teams dig deep and show the rest of the world what they're made of. This is when elite teams show their true colors. When teams throw Hail Marys that we remember forever.
Do you believe in miracles?
Vince Lombardi isn't here to call the plays anymore. It's 2012 now, and Barack Obama's favorite team is waiting on Jay Cutler to bring his team back from the brink. To find his heart power, forget how to quit, and learn to love the grind.
As Vince once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
We're waiting, Jay.