Jay Cutler is screwed.
He can play, sure. He can throw. He can ball. He’s clearly athletic, even thought he looks a little puffy. He’s engaged to a high school celebrity. Any janitor or plumber out there would tell you, “I don’t feel bad for anyone who makes millions of dollars a year.” So, yes. Thank you, janitors and plumbers.
But, Jay Cutler is screwed. He’s the NFL’s favourite whipping boy, even if the jokes are lame and stale. He’s an easy target. He’s pulp. Cutler is the guy you make fun of when you don’t know what else to say, not unlike Justin Bieber, The Jersey Shore, or Charlie Sheen.
His co-workers make fun of him, because it’s easy.
Whenever he plays out-of-his-mind-awesome (see: Week 1), ESPN builds him up and wonders about whether he’ll stick. They wonder whether Chicago will finally usurp the Packers, or the Saints, or the Giants. But, we soon realize it’s all an act.
They build him up – they inflate him to such a degree – that he ends up being an elephant on a balancing ball, while the national circus watches on with shallow delight, stuffing their faces with popcorn.
They just can’t wait for Cutler to have a bad game (see: Week 2) so they can tear him back down again. Ah yes, they’ll say. Order is restored. Cutler is bad. Aaron Rodgers is God.
But, Cutler can play. He can throw. He can ball.
It’s just that every game is picked apart and scrutinized to an exponential degree.
Thursday night’s shellacking by Green Bay was no mistake. With every pick Cutler threw – and, there were multiple – the faceless voices at NBC seemed to giggle and sigh, as if that was just Cutler being Cutler. Oh, the boy looks so funny out there, doesn’t he? His touchdowns were looked at like, “Oh, finally! That’s what he should have been doing all along.”
But then, when Aaron Rodgers had their ball, they did their best to subtly let us know that he was back in their spank banks. (Of course, what can you expect in a state where the cheese is more desirable than the humans.)
With every touchdown, they didn’t miss an opportunity to let us know how much they love him. Or, how good he was. When Rodgers threw a pick to Tim Jennings in the fourth quarter – which was a great play by Jennings, by the way – they couldn’t wait to let us know that wide receiver James Jones was the one at fault. And then, when they admitted that Jennings outplayed the quarterback on the play, it was floated with a reminder that it won’t happen again.
“Jennings just fooled Rodgers,” one of them said, “which doesn’t happen a lot.”
Yes, we get it. Aaron Rodgers is smart. Whoop-dee-doo.
It’s almost like they resent the fact that Cutler made the Broncos straight out of high school, while Rodgers had to earn it behind that di*k face, Brett Favre. (That was ad libbed.) They act like that was Jay’s fault, whereas Rodgers is this rags-to-riches story.
(*NOTE: This is the NFL. They’re all rags-to-riches stories.)
While it seems like every play-by-play man in the country has a quota that forces them to remind us how amazing Aaron Rodgers is, the opposite appears true for Cutler.
“You can criticize Rodgers,” they’ll say. “Just don’t get too down on him. That would be unfair.”
It’s like Aaron Rodgers is Julia Roberts. Each character must mention once or twice how beautiful she is, even if it’s Tinkerbell. Meanwhile, Cutler is Zooey Deschanel from the first few episodes of New Girl, who were to believe is undesirable to men even though we’re never given an explanation as to why.
Cutler’s confidence is called cocky. If it was Aaron, it would be called bold. They would say, “It sounds cocky, guys, but the truth is that he just really believes it in himself.”
And, that’s different how?
But, really, why do I feel bad for Jay Cutler?
In the end, this all seems to go back to Denver. It goes back to Josh McDaniels, and how it ended. It goes back to Cutler have the tendency to say things that might irk some people. It goes back to how he used an indifferent coach to escape the Rocky Mountains. He couldn’t wait to get to Chicago. He even remarked that their fans were better than Denver’s.
Anyone else says that, it’s called commitment. But, Cutler was a punk.
Jay Cutler has come under the media’s analytical knife for far too long. He’s been slapped around like a salmon brought on board a fishing boat. Beaten with a mallet, and gutted for dinner. He’s treated like a pinata on the Day of the Dead.
Of course, he doesn’t help himself out much, either. But, do we have to keep sounding so happy about it?
*post by Kolby Solinsky, editor of White Cover Magazine
Read more NFL coverage: “Green Bay Slams Chicago, and Week 2 Returns the NFL to Normal”