..I had to. There’s just too much here to bury it in the Points of View. And there’s a major point to be made in the end for those of you who hand in there long enough.
First, David Haugh‘s column in the Chicago Tribune this morning addressing Jay Cutler‘s sprained MCL and the unfair reaction amongst current and former players reflects my own feelings in at least this aspect:
“I can’t believe I’m defending a guy who played so poorly in the first half Sunday and can act so unprofessionally, but Cutler doesn’t deserve the labels [as a quitter] being attached.”
General manager Jerry Angelo also got into the Cutler by taking this unfair shot at the media via Vaughn McClure and Deborah Shelton at the Tribune:
“Angelo was asked why people constantly point the finger at Cutler. “I can’t answer that,” he said. “I don’t create perceptions. You create perceptions.”
That’s true amongst fans. But its not the fans that are Cutler’s biggest problem. Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times would seem to agree:
“The backlash over his leaving the Bears’ 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers after the first series of the third quarter isn’t so much an indictment of the media, which has mostly only reported what his peers have written on their Twitter accounts, or the evils of social networking.”
Exactly. Its his fellow players, the people who know him or have talked to others who know him, that are taking the shots that count. ESPN‘s NFC North bloggerKevin Seifert speculates as to why:
“If there were simply one or two players speaking out, maybe you could write them off as extremists. But the cross-section that we’ve already heard from suggests Cutler’s departure struck a true nerve not just among fans but among his peers as well. Part of me wonders if it was more an indictment of Cutler’s standing with his peers than it was a serious questioning of his toughness. If you don’t like someone, you’re going to be much less likely to give him the benefit of the doubt.”
This goes way beyond dislike. Players dislike each other all the time. This is a total lack of respect. As I pointed out yesterday in total agreement with Michael Wilbon, in that respect Cutler made his own bed.
Trent Dilfer at ESPN gets the last word on Cutler and I think he bottom lines the root cause for the reaction to the injury amongst current and former players. Every Bear fan should watch this video. I think he’s hit the major point square on the head. If you are not disturbed by this as a Bear fan, you should be: