By Mary Paoletti
This just in: Jay Cutler is whack.
This isn't a newsflash. People have disliked the Bears quarterback since before he was the Bears quarterback. I'm not going to say that the doctor who pulled baby Cutler out of the womb wanted to slap him across the face instead of the butt when he saw this:
...but Rick Reilly is.
Yes, the ESPN carnival worker took time off from all that to write about how unlikable Cutler is.
I actually like this column.
The anecdotes are interesting; they paint a fresh landscape of Cutler-Sucks-Ville. By the end of the story my upper lip was curled into a snarl: "Only a total jerk would date a member from an MTV reality series" I growled. And that was even after I learned Kristin Cavallari was on "The OC" and not "16 and Pregnant."
Regardless. Reilly's bottom line was that Cutler's a meanie and Chicago fans should be worried because the QB's not switching gears anytime soon.
But why should he?
Why does a quarterback have to be a nice guy? Why does he have to give a full logistical report on his interceptions? I've watched Peyton Manning shut down on a question like that right in front of my face.
Why does Cutler have to bow down and lick-shine John Elway's shoes? True, the kid wasn't just refusing to fall over himself to be polite; he was downright rude. But should Bears fans be wringing their hands over that fact right now?
Their team is in the playoffs.
I want to meet the Bears fan who, if Chicago beats Seattle on Sunday, will sob uncontrollably because Cutler didn't smile and giggle after every throw (or sack).
I want to meet the Bears fan who won't even watch the game because Cutler doesn't look "really, truly" happy to be playing the game of football.
Do you think Chicago cares? I mean, really?
Reilly says yes. He uses this quote, from former Bear and sports radio host Tom Waddle, as 'evidence': "In Chicago, they want to love you. They want to make a connection with you. Any kind of connection. But Jay doesn't really care."
Let's just say Chicago wins the Super Bowl
I doubt anybody in the crowd would stand up and scream, "NO."
"NO, NO NO. GET THAT LOMBARDI TROPHY OUT OF MY FACE. JAY CUTLER AND THE CITY OF CHICAGO DO NOT DESERVE THIS BECAUSE HE IS NOT A NICE MAN."
There is no way in hell that's going to happen. And none of the fans would holler such a ridiculous statement afterward, either.
Trust me, I'm not volunteering to interview the guy. I'm also not advocating that people have personal expectations for athletes. It's wonderful when they save three-legged puppies for funsies, give homeless people piggy-back rides to shelters, or look like Wally Sczerbiack (it's a goodwill effort, believe that).
But the thing of the thing? They don't have to. They have to be good at sports.
That might be actually be a Cutler debate worth having in Chi-Town.