January 25, 2011 27 Comments
It’s not your fault.
Leave it Jay Cutler to pull off the inexcusable, unimaginable, inconceivable blunder to start a new decade of NFL playoff football.
“As a guy how had 20 knee surgeries you’d have to drag me out on a stretcher to Leave a championship game!” That tweet came from current ESPN analyst and former NFLer Mark Schlereth. Even though the grammar may be a bit off, the sentiment expressed in the tweet is one that represents the feeling of the majority of football fans towards Jay Cutler’s…situation.
People are questioning Jay Cutler’s toughness and rightfully so. I mean, how is it possible for an NFL quarterback to keep himself out of the NFC Championship game? He’s got to be pretty much dying, doesn’t he?
Jay Cutler was walking around without much of a noticeable limp during and after the game, as well as not looking too troubled by the disconcerting situation that his team was in on Sunday. Down 14 points with the 3rd stringer in and he is just going to sit there and watch uncaringly.
Just recently, I wrote a post all about the mistake the Denver Broncos made in trading away Jay Cutler. I feel a bit foolish for saying what I said in hindsight because, among a number of other things, I referred to Cutler as an emerging leader, which he obviously is not. However, I still stand by the general idea of the post because the thought of giving away a franchise quarterback is wrong.
Anyways, I’m not here to question his physical toughness despite the validity of the question because I don’t think there is enough evidence to support it. Cutler, faced a season with a brutal offensive line during the season and was under constant pressure and harassment from opposing defences. However, we did not hear too much as a peep coming from his mouth. He continued to persevere through the issues, the bruising, and the battering. He brought his team to the NFC Championship game for goodness sakes!
Jay Cutler did not stay on the bench against Green Bay because he was afraid of getting hurt or that he couldn’t handle the pain in his knee. He just flat out didn’t want to play.
Once more, I am not questioning his physical toughness, what I am questioning is his mental toughness.
Jay Cutler had an awful half. 6-14, 80 yards passing and 1 interception. With the season on the line and his team’s chances riding on his right arm, Jay Cutler was content to stay on the bench because he didn’t want the burden that the John Elway’s and Michael Jordan’s of the world thrive on. He had an excuse and he was perfectly fine with standing by it because he simply is not comfortable with everyone depending on him.
The worst part about it is Jay Cutler can’t do a damned thing about it.
The great quarterback is the olden day General. He wants to go to battle with his troops and without a second thought would sacrifice himself for the well-being of his men. The mindset that these generals have is something that you can’t acquire, you’re born with it.
Jay Cutler was not born with it. Cutler was born with a skill set that scouts drool over, but not the intangibles that the ordinary Joe Schmuck can relate to. He is not a person that is well liked by his peers as evidenced by the barrage of tweets from Colleagues around the league telling him simply to suck it up.
Brett Favre played on a broken ankle for heaven’s sakes.
He can’t fully comprehend the nature of the position and the responsibilities that come along with it. He doesn’t have the mentality that he can’t let his teammates down because he doesn’t understand how much he actually is letting down not only his teammates but the legion of Chicago Bear fans.
On an emotional level, Cutler doesn’t connect with people, which is why fans and players have not taken to him. He is often dispassionate and often seems to be detached from real human feeling. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but the fact of the matter is that this emotional disconnect is what prevented him from coming back into the game on Sunday.
Once Jay Cutler had found a reason to escape the nightmare of his poor play, he did not feel the obligation that most guys would have felt in the same situation. He just wanted to get outta there and then it was somebody else’s problem.
This was a chance for Jay Cutler to cement himself a legacy that would last for generations. An opportunity of a lifetime that kids dream about. Leading your team to the super bowl on a bum knee is the embodiment of football hero. Nah, Jay Cutler isn’t worried about leaving a legacy, being considered an all-time great or letting down his team. Something is missing between the ears that separates him from the heart of the champions.
Jay Cutler can’t help it. You can ridicule him all you want for his decision to stay on the bench when his team needed him most but it’s useless. You think you don’t understand how Jay Cutler could do what he did? Well, neither does Jay Cutler.
Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favor.
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