Difference of Opinion

I am not a Jay Cutler guy. He’d be one of the last qb’s I’d choose in the NFL for my team. That said, I wanted to scream yesterday as the talking heads and pundits around America talked uncontrollably about him not playing the 2nd half of Sunday’s game against the Packers.

The talk started immediately on Sunday as folks sitting at home in their overstuffed sofas, mouth full of chips, began calling him a wimp and a coward. On Monday, it’s all anyone talked or wrote about. A bunch of “Joe 6-packs” calling this NFL QB out for a knee injury. I’ve got two words for that: Busch league.

There are many things that bother me about this situation. First of all, if you watched any of that first half, you saw Cutler getting pounded, just as he did all season long behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league. However, he kept grinding and fighting. Then his knee gets blown (2nd degree sprain/tear, if you’ve never had that then shut up). He goes out and tries to play before halftime, then talks his way onto the field after halftime. His first throw he can’t even plant, short hops an 8 yard pass, and is pulled. The Head Coach made that decision, with his advice coming from the doctors. Lovie Smith thought, correctly so, that his quarterback who can’t plant and throw, needed to come out in order for them to win. Yet Cutler is the one who is hanged for it.

The other thing that is driving me nuts is people talking about the “perception.” Jay Cutler has been the same stoic person since he was at Vandy. It’s just who he is. He’s not your Aaron Rodgers who fist pumps and jumps on his linemen. It’s just not his personality. Brian Ulracher is the vocal leader of the Bears, not Cutler. Yet folks are saying Cutler laid down because he was not fired up on the sideline. If you follow the Bears one bit, you know that it is just his personality. Period. America loves the “Cinderella” comeback story, but what America does not understand is that some of that is put on, and it doesn’t involve a knee. Playing with a broken thumb is not the same as playing with a torn knee.

I played ¾ of a season in high school with two broken toes. It hurt like the devil, but I could still play. Everyone plays football hurt. There’s not a player in the NFL who suits up a game not hurt to some extent. But knees are different. I also had to undergo knee surgery in high school due to a football injury. The knee is that one thing that limits you more than any other injury. I played with a concussion (not smart), broken fingers, and all sorts of ailments. But with the knee, there’s no playing. You can try, but it doesn’t work. Most importantly, it doesn’t give your team the best chance to win.

I understand that I am digressing, almost to the point of a rant. The fact of the matter is, it has driven me crazy to witness folks sit behind a computer or in front of a microphone and bash Jay Cutler for something out of his control. There is ZERO chance Jay Cutler was going to lay down in that situation unless he absolutely had to. You don’t get to that level as an NFL QB and not be a tremendous competitor. It just does not happen. That may be the most absurd part of this whole argument to me. Just put yourself in that mindset if you can. Do you really get to the pinnacle of the NFL not wanting to play? NO! The weak are the ones who don’t make it to the NFL. There are hundreds of quarterbacks in America who have great skills. Only a select few have the drive to get to that upper echelon of starting NFL QB’s.

Jay Cutler was near tears due to frustration of hearing people say these insane things. I can only imagine his pain; to know something that the public doesn’t understand, yet not be able to explain it. Forget the idiots like Dion Sanders who tweet from their home; I guarantee that clown wouldn’t have been playing with a torn MCL. The bottom line is, when you get taken out by the coach and training staff due to a severe knee injury and get hung publicly by it, that is just wrong. Forget the fact that he’s diabetic, and that plays into his stoic nature on the sideline. The bottom line is that everyone, from Mike Ditka to Joe 6-pack, needs to get a life and get over this. We don’t care if you played football hurt, everyone does. But you cannot play quarterback, especially in the NFL, with a 2nd degree sprain on your MCL.

I apologize for my rant, but it’s therapy for the soul.


6 Responses to “Difference of Opinion”

  1. 1 Scott January 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Agree ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. I can’t stand Jay Cutler, but it was absurd to see how many people just pounced on him and basically called him a p***y for not playing on what turned out to be a legitimate injury.

    It wasn’t enough to make me pull for the guy…but it was still ridiculous.

  2. 2 Corbindawg January 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I didn’t know the severity of the injury when I wrote my post yesterday morning, but I still stand behind my final paragraph. Show some dern emotion. We want Richt to get fired up every now and then and the team usually responds well when he does. He was hurt bad enough to play,but Jay Cutler sat there bundled up like he was trying to figure up in his head what time he could be home.

    I have never been one to bang on Cutler…even with the interceptions he is a talented QB. But wave the towel. Fire up your team. If he isn’t a rah rah guy, become rah-rah.

    • 3 ucheedawg January 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

      You can’t become something you’re not. If you don’t like it, get someone else to qb your team. They knew Cutler wasn’t a “rah rah” guy from the beginning. Come on, man! He’s just not wired that way. Give the dude a break. That’s like telling someone who is just not a funny guy to become a genuine joke teller. It just doesn’t work that way. Some folks have that charisma, some don’t.

      • 4 Corbindawg January 25, 2011 at 11:12 am

        A certain situations call for changing. Mark Richt isn’t a yeller and a screamer, but when his team needed a spark, “Evil Richt” came out.

        I understand Cutler isn’t a rah rah guy, but what I am saying is he could have adapted for this one situation. It could have lit a fire under the rest of the team.

  3. 5 A Different Jim January 25, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I agreed also. Everyone ends up playing hurt to some degree if you play football, like most sports. But there is a time when it hurts the team if you continue to play too hurt.

    I have watched people play with a sprained ankle while other people had a sprained ankle hurt so bad they could not touch the ground.

  4. 6 Chris Ross January 26, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Nice read bud. You know, this Jay Cutler thing I guess is in line with everything a lot of people thought about Jay Cutler. I thought he had grown a bit but I guess he really hasn’t. He didn’t seem upset by the fact that he was sitting on his bench while the 3rd string quarterback was being thrown into the lions den. His teammates needed him and he didn’t respond. I think it goes back to him not connecting with people, fans, players, media etc. Etc. He’s just not what we expect out of a great NFL quarterback and he is never going to be so I’m not really sure what to make of that. He’s got so much ability but it is sort of wasted because of what he’s got or lacks between the ears. Nevertheless, it’s another great story in the NFL, love it! Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/emotional-disconnect/

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