The all out hate, vitriol, angst, and venom spewed by fans...and not just Bears fans, but regular fans who had no dog in the fight, came with the all-out assault on Jay Cutler as the Bears gave the fight for their life against the NFC Champion Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon.
"He quit." - A Bears fan I know and respect via Facebook.
"When the going gets tough, you get like Urban Meyer....you quit." Maurice Jones-Drew via Twitter
"If my knee was hurt or acl/mcl/pcl sprain, I would not be standing up on the sideline. #jaycutler"- Kirk Morrison, Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker via Twitter
(As a Jaguars fan, this touched my soul. When in the hell did my Jaguars decide to be so mouthy and pop off about what another team is doing. For once, in the words of The NFL Chick, sit yo ass down and be quiet when grown folks are talking. You are out here embarrassing me in public.)
"Welp, I guess I'll go burn my Cutler jersey now. Wouldn't be caught dead wearing this thing." - Another Bears fan I know and respect via Twitter.
Really? Is this how we're going to react, when your franchise quarterback knee has been mangled, to the point where he can't plant and throw accurately? Come on now, be smarter than that.
"We gave it a go that first series, but I really couldn't plant and throw. So they (kind of) pulled me," Cutler said, and he will undergo an MRI on Monday.
Put your emotion aside for a second, and lets look at the facts. Your franchise quarterback, who's game is based off of instinct and guts, if he doesn't feel good about his knee and his ability to throw with accuracy, which is already iffy, then what good is he going to be on the football field? What do you want him to go out there and do? Be a gimp, and try to throw a couple of passes to prove a point, and throw a couple of interceptions...well, that would be really Jay Cutler-ish of him.
Jay Cutler, Lovie Smith, and the medical staff did the responsible thing, they sat him on that bench.
Its not even really Jay Cutler's fault, all the way, his former rival in the AFC West Philip Rivers laid this foundation for new age quarterbacks that if you're knee is about to fall off, you're supposed to go out there and play. We also remember Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson having a hurt knee and after a couple of carries sitting down. That was the right decision by both players, here's why.
Rivers' felt competent enough to play, and that's fine, but do you all actually remembers his line for the game against the Patriots?
P. Rivers - 19/37, 211 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs
Now, look...we applaud the man for putting up the effort, but how much help was Rivers in that game, a game that was very winnable with the final score just 21-12? Conversely, we look at LaDainian, who got ridiculed to no end for that game, decided that he couldn't give a quality effort for the Chargers. They put in a capable backups in Michael Turner and Darren Sproles, and look what they produced. 20 carries, 99 yards. You'll take that from your backfield, especially against a Super Bowl defense like the Patriots, they did work.
My question is...who was ultimately more effective? A gimpy quarterback who was severely limited, or your backup who's capable of giving it your all? In the Chargers case, Rivers was more hindrance than help and although his performance was admirable...I wonder if the backup could've done more.
The Bears did the right thing, they sat Cutler. They went to the old dog in Todd Collins, that drink was weak, so they ordered another one in Caleb Hanie. Caleb Hanie, with fire and brimstone, a deer in headlights look, and the air of confidence only a quarterback from Colorado State could have, gave the Bears the best opportunity to win. Lovie Smith put the Bears in the best position to win, and if you can't recognize that then clearly we were watching the same game, but saw something completely different.
As far as Bears fans burning Cutler #6 jerseys, you should be ashamed of yourselves, and in my opinion your just as wack of a fan as Cleveland fans.
Stop slaying Cutler, you knew what type of guy you had taking snaps when you got him. As my dude Bomani Jones said to me last night, he looks like a Bears quarterback who was actually raised by Bears. Or as I would say, he looks like he just got done smoking a pack of Pall Mall's and sipping Johnny Walker Blue. He's an aloof dude, a bit of a jerk, but that's who he is for better or worse. Him acting the way he did shouldn't be a surprise, that's who he is. Hell, the man put on a headset and clapped it up a bit, and was supportive of the squad. I wouldn't have even expected that.
Cutler is who he is as a quarterback, he's the gunslinger—esque signal caller, but being tough...you all question that?
You all forgot he missed only two games since he became a starter five years ago. You all forgot he was sacked 57 times this season, including the postseason. You all forgot he has played with Type 1 diabetes for years.
Leave the man alone, and focus on the fact that the Bears defense played awesome. Rodgers was made to look average, but the Packers defense is super legit. The Raji Boogie was dope as hell. Sam Shields played the game of his life. Caleb Hanie played admirable, but for those of you who want him to be a starter....well, there's a reason he was the #3 quarterback.
Tough luck for the Bears, but if I was a Bears fan I would be proud of what my team did, regardless of what happened with #6.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!