By Patty Hsieh, NJFFL Contributor
Ok, by now I’m sure everyone has formed an opinion on Jay Cutler. Questions abound: Did he quit on this team? Was he really injured badly enough to have to leave the game? If he was injured why in the world wasn’t he acting as such? Why didn’t the Bears training staff at least make it look like a serious enough injury?
I was just going to let this go and hope that sanity would prevail but as I was reading tweets and other media outlets it made me mad as hell. The worst being Jay Cutler’s peers (and their relatives!) who from the comforts of their own couches were ripping him a new one. I fully expected the media and the fans to have their rants but for current players to lash out like that seemed to me very stupid and rash. Especially considering that NO ONE knew what the extent of his injuries was.
As a Bears fan and as a rational person I give Jay Cutler the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I support him! I give him credit for trying to give it a go in the 3rd quarter. I give him props for not acting like an Oscar-seeking diva craving attention. Other players have thrown helmets, had to be held back from going back on to the field, etc. but that’s just not Cutler. Maybe he’s the sane one for knowing when it was in his AND THE TEAM’s best interest to sit. I like the fact that he didn’t put on a show to appease others. He stayed true to himself.
That being said, I do understand a great deal of professional sports and how fans react are based on perception. Cutler is not “perceived” as media friendly (Rick Reilly) nor does he like having all that attention drawn to him. It’s probably not the most ideal demeanor to have as an NFL quarterback in this day and age but that’s who he is. I don’t think him nor should anyone else have to apologize for who they are. If we go back to the beginning of the season it should be noted that the Bears weren’t even in the conversation of being the NFC North champions let alone playing in the NFC Championship game. He’s lead this team far beyond what the so-called experts have predicted and taken quite the beating in the process.
He’ll have his MRI done this morning and the truth – good or bad – will be come out. My guess is that even with an MCL tear people will still bag on him and say that he should have tried to play through it. Idiots.
p.s. I wonder if anyone else had stopped to think that maybe there was more to what was going on. As many of you know back in 2008, Jay Cutler was diagnosed with Type I diabetes (http://bit.ly/hL0xpw). It’s when one’s pancreas for whatever reason stops producing an important digestive enzyme, insulin, which is needed to break down carbohydrates. Cutler has been very open about his situation and how he’s been handling it. He even has a foundation which raises awareness and funds for Type I (Juvenile) diabetes research (Jay Cutler foundation). He’s helped and supported many children who also suffer from this disease. Many of these kids look up to him and find inspiration in him knowing that they could still lead a normal healthy life and even excel at the highest levels of professional sports.
This is just purely my own speculation, but WHAT IF he was experiencing complications from his diabetes and didn’t want it to be known. Maybe he was willing to take the criticisms and the back lashing to keep these kids from being disappointed. That’s just my two cents.