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Archive for January 24th, 2011

The Butler Did It–The Cutler Didn’t Edition

Posted by Adam Butler on January 24, 2011

In honor of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s abbreviated appearance in yesterday’s NFC Championship game, I have an abbreviated TBDI, errr TCD.

As the talking heads of the sports world, and many current and former players are rushing to judgment after Cutler missed most of the second half with a reported knee injury, I think few deep breaths are in order.

Lemme just go “Against the Grain”, here, like Andrew “McLovin” Perloff from “The Dan Patrick Show” and throw out my (in this instance) unconventional $.02.

One of my favorite maxims in life is that you should never question a man unless you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. I think that’s a pretty good Rule of Thumb, here.

Sure, current players and former NFL players have a great deal of credibility on this issue, because they have played in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.

But, I dare say that none of them have dealt with the issues that Cutler has this season and throughout his career (and I am not talking about being, almost by acclimation, considered one of the biggest jerks in the NFL). I also think I have some credibility on the issue because I have had about as many surgeries as Mark Schlereth.

Cutler lives–and plays–with Type 1 diabetes–you know, the potentially life-threatening one that requires constant monitoring and daily injections. Let’s just say that he has injected himself on the sidelines more than anybody other than maybe former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson. (actually, that was a cheap joke–Henderson admittedly had a cocaine inhaler, not a syringe, on the sidelines during Super Bowl XIII.)

Cutler was also by far the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL this season with 52 (the Ravens’ Joe Flacco was 2nd with 40) and was on the wrong end of a 9-sack outing by the New York Giants in THE FIRST HALF of a game in October. He ultimately left that game with a concussion, but who wouldn’t have?

My point is that Cutler is jerk, but he isn’t necessarily a pansy–at least not based on the information we have now. That’s why NFL “greats” like Oakland QB Bruce Gradkowski (a guy who didn’t really even beat out JaMarcus Russell for the starting job in Oakland in 2009, and has missed more than his fair share of games due to injuries), should probably keep their Tweets to themselves.

Likewise, one actual NFL great–Deion Sanders, might also want to think twice before questioning someone’s manhood. Sanders, a former 2-sport star who was not necessarily MLB analyst Tim McCarver’s best friend, was a great player.

But, he wasn’t exactly “Prime Time” when he missed much of 2 seasons in his athletic “prime” because of a turf toe injury. And, as you can see from the link in the preceding sentence, he didn’t particularly enjoy being criticized in much the same way that he criticized Cutler, yesterday.

Yes, I know turf toe is a much more debilitating injury that one would think, but one would also think Deion might understand a thing or two about the apparent severity of injuries being deceiving, and/or the the sting of a former player from a  different era questioning a current player, publicly, during the playoffs.

But that’s not where I am going Against the Grain.

My Against The Grain take on Cutler is that what he did may have actually been tougher than staying on the field, injured, and quashing any hopes of Chicago winning the game.

He struggled mightily in the first half, came back out in the 2nd half, despite being injured, and tried to give it a go, to no avail.  Ultimately, between the coaching staff, Cutler and the medical staff a decision was made that Cutler no longer gave ‘Da Bears da best chance to win and third-stringer Caleb Hanie’s admirable performance in defeat validated the decision. (Why isn’t anyone question backup Todd Collins’ performance? Now, THAT was a weak effort).

Sometimes in life, self evaluation is one of the more difficult tasks we face. And, for that reason, Cutler’s decision was a tough one that, rather than drawing the credit it may actually deserve, will probably follow Cutler for the rest of his life. The primary reason it will, though, is because Cutler is jerk and his sideline demeanor left something to be desired–not necessarily because it was patently selfish or cowardly.

That’s too bad, because, based on what we currently know, it may well have been a reasonable, but difficult, “tough” call by a guy who is, at least at this point, being demonized by, of all things, a bunch of Tweeters.

Posted in Commentary | 8 Comments »

You Know What Would be Awesome?

Posted by Adam Butler on January 24, 2011

If someone made up a ukulele song about former Arkansas Razorback and current Clevelend Browns running back Peyton Hillis.

Oh wait. Someone did? Sweet.

Posted in Commentary | Comments Off on You Know What Would be Awesome?

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