Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Curse of Cutlerface

Fair or unfair, photos like this are now the definition of Jay Cutler's career.

I will start off here by saying how completely horrified and fucking idiotic it makes me feel that I'm even paying attention to the events of the last couple days. As a bunch of fools who waste stupid amounts of time watching (or blogging about) a team of millionaires who we'll never meet and spending even stupider amounts of money supporting their sports car and Faberge Egg-buying habits, there are better things we could be questioning, following the Packers beating the Bears Sunday. Why did it take most of a half for the defense to start playing like it was supposed to? Who in their right mind kept Todd Collins as the #2 quarterback after that Carolina game? What was Mike Martz thinking by calling that end-around, and what was Lovie Smith thinking on the time-out that led to it? Is Tommie Harris going to be a Bear next year? Is Jerry Angelo going to finally admit that maybe Frank Omiyale isn't the worst offensive lineman, ever? But no. It's all about Jay Cutler, and his knee, and his fucking "demeanor," even though - and this might come as a shock to you - there is no story there to report.

"Guys, guys, he's STANDING! That means he can make quick changes of direction and take constant hits from Cullen Jenkins!"

Here's what happened: Jay Cutler got hit in the knee and started limping. At halftime, the trainers checked him out, taped him up, and gave him a chance to go in the second half. He played a series, his knee was shaky, he couldn't plant his foot, and the medical staff and Coach Smith decided to pull him out of there. I'll repeat that, and for Deion Sanders's benefit, I'll repeat it slowly: The. De-ci-sion. To. Pull. Jay. Cut-ler. Out. Was. Made. By. Lo-vie. Smith. And. The. Team. Doc-tors. You. Fuck-ing. I-di-ots. After that, the Bears decided to list his return as "questionable," even though they knew he was done for the day, in some half-assed attempt to keep the Packers guessing. Then, all hell broke loose. Then on Monday, the MRI revealed a Grade II MCL tear, which should have shut everyone up. But it didn't.

With a whole bunch of $80 jerseys as the innocent victims.

Rather than a lot of "oh, now that we know the whole story, I guess we shouldn't have said all that shit we said Sunday night before we knew anything," we've got a mixture of silence and the same people saying the same things. Deion Sanders - celebrated as one of the NFL's all-time biggest on-field pussies - has changed his story to say that he's just talking about the perception of Jay Cutler after the knee injury, while completely ignoring that he had a pretty big hand in creating that perception and continuing to spout the utter bullshit that caused it. He does this all while repeatedly yelling that he should have just gotten shot up with cortisone and played - blissfully ignorant of the fact that if you have Type I diabetes, doing that can kill you. Jason Whitlock - who should probably be best known for being the guy that was still pimping Jeff George as the solution to every team's quarterback woes as late as 2008 - just ignored the MRI and the actual story as it happened and start blabbering something unintelligible about Lebron James and race. Meanwhile, Trent Dilfer has switched gears to questioning Cutler's demeanor, as though that's a thing that ever mattered about anything, ever, which it isn't. That's okay, though, because no one pays attention to anything Trent Dilfer ever says for reasons other than to throw out a brief quote as a means of leading into making fun of him for being the worst Super Bowl-winning quarterback ever. Which is totally why I just mentioned him now. I haven't paid any attention to that guy today, but I'm sure if Mark Schlereth said anything, it involved him using the phrase "petulant child," while furiously masturbating on a John Elway jersey hidden under the desk. Okay, that was uncalled for, but for real, Schlereth can be pretty much ignored any time Cutler comes up, because of how ass-hurt that homer was when Cutler didn't just smile, bend over, and take it when Broncos now ex-coach Josh McDaniels tried to put together a one-for-one trade for barely-proven backup Matt Cassell, a few months removed from Cutler making the Pro Bowl. The loud, the ignorant, and the vindictive are pushing this thing as far as it logically never should have gone, no one's owning up to their early overreactions, Warren Sapp has become the Last Sane Man, and we're all stupider now for bothering to pay attention to any of this.

"...But how are we supposed to believe he was really hurt, when he was clearly healthy enough to 'rassle a gator that very same night?"

In the end, it's kind of sad and funny at the same time how none of what actually happened is going to matter. It doesn't matter that sitting him down was the decision of Lovie and the medical staff, or that Cutler himself was pissed that he got pulled. It doesn't matter that getting a cortisone shot to kill the pain doesn't help when your knee wobbles with every step, or that a shot strong enough to allow someone go play football on a torn-up knee could theoretically kill a diabetic. It doesn't matter that a grade II MCL tear is an injury that knocks players like Hines Ward out of games and generally puts you out anywhere from three to five weeks. It doesn't matter that he spent a lot of time working with Hanie on the sidelines, or that the ear piece in his ear had the coaches in the booth talking it in, and wasn't a fucking iPod, like message board dumbasses will tell you. It doesn't matter that sooner or later, someone's going to point out the part of the "Phillip Rivers played in the AFC Championship with a torn-up knee" story everyone keeps mentioning where he actually left the game he got hurt in and didn't come back, and when he played in the AFC title game a week later, he played like hot dog shit, and the Chargers lost to the Patriots as a direct result. No one of any importance is going to call out the Deions, Whitlocks, Dilfers, Jimmy Johnsons, or Torry Holts of the world for trying as hard as they can to create a story without any information or continue the story when the information doesn't fit the imaginary narrative that Jay Cutler is a pussy who gave up on his team . The story has already been written and will never change. Why?


It's all because Jay Cutler looks like an asshole. He could do everything right: He could throw a million touchdowns, win a million championships, cure a million diseases, and save a million orphanages from foreclosure, and he'd still have the Cutlerface. His expression never changes, and his face always portrays the same set of strangely contradictory emotions. Mopey, surly, depressed, aloof, indifferent, cocky, and smug come to mind. Did you hurt his feelings, or does he not care about yours? Is that a guy who's making a desperate cry for help, or do I need to kick his ass for thinking he's so much better than me? Cutler's face has become an eternal curse, rubbing everyone the wrong way, but not always the same wrong way. So whenever the slightest hint of Cutler screwing up becomes evident, the wolves swarm his ass. You saw it in the week running up to this game when everyone ignored that he had the best season by a Bears QB in 15 years behind their worst offensive line in 90 years to finally use up all the Rex Grossman material they had saved up since 2007. And you're seeing it now. As long as he is cursed with the Cutlerface, it will be a world of nothing but doubt and pain. So maybe we need to hire him an acting coach or get him a spot in the World Series of Poker or something.

Or just get him a haircut like Anton Chigurh.

Anyway, football is over now, and I'm pissed that I can't sit here and reflect over how much of a half-assed miracle the 2010 Bears season was, or how much of a golden princely lord Brian Urlacher played like in that final game. I'd love to, but it's kinda hard to ignore the big, pink, obnoxious elephant in the room, you know? I dunno, but I'm sick, hungry, and tired of typing, so I'll just wrap things up here: If Jay Cutler was a no-hearted wuss, he would have folded up after the Giants game instead of waiting to do it now, Chris Harris is my hero, even if he can't spell "berth," and Howard Cossell was right when he said that ex-jocks would ruin sports broadcasting forever. I'm gonna go get some tacos.


Raven Mack said...

we all know Neil is the King around here, and I've liked to think of myself as like the sub-King or something, but this post has made it painfully clear to me that you are fucking awesome as fuck and I need to step my game up.
I have a friend in real life who is a miserable bastard and he looks a lot like Jay Cutler and he does that SAME FUCKING FACE all the time. It's hilarious.

Neil said...

Yeah, L.B. is fucking fantastic. I think at least half of my favorite Armchair Linebacker posts have been written by him.

Whiouxsie said...

Absolutely excellent. I love reading all of you guys' stuff, really, but I don't say it enough, particularly to L.B.