Nothing New Came out of Cutler 'News'

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 31, 2011 | Go to article overview

Nothing New Came out of Cutler 'News'


A week after the week before, let's hold our noses and explore what we learned from the knee-dling of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

Nothing, really.

However, much of what we already knew was confirmed.

Like, first of all, Cutler is a real football player to us but only a virtual human being.

Second, many of us live our lives vicariously through professional athletes.

Third, the macho code of the NFL is as goofy as some of Cutler's worst red-zone passes.

So there you have it.

No. 1, Cutler has been treated like a cartoon figure, with no regard for his physical, mental or emotional wellness.

The dumbest words of the past few weeks came before the playoffs in the form of a question to Cutler.

During a media briefing at Halas Hall, espn.com's Rick Reilly asked Cutler how many of the journalists in the Halas Hall workroom knew him.

Why was that a dumb question? Because not even Reilly knows the athletes he spends considerable time with. He might get longer glimpses than most of us get, but he doesn't really know these guys.

So if he doesn't and we don't, you as fans certainly don't. All of us merely get to form superficial perceptions of, say, a Jay Cutler.

So we treat the athlete abstractly. It's easier to berate from a distance somebody we don't know than to berate up close a muscular neighbor or co-worker.

Even Cutler's fellow NFL players were guilty of this. They went on anti-social networks to rant things about him that his own teammates, the ones who know him best, wouldn't or couldn't say.

Cutler was treated like a fictional character in a newspaper comic strip, TV sitcom or film drama rather than, you know, a real person. …

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