Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rick Morrissey, Don't You Get the Feeling We're Just Destined to Do this Forever?

My favorite hack is back today, once more beating the "I said I didn't want Cutler back before the Bears traded for him when I thought I was safe because there was no chance in hell that Angelo would actually make the deal, and now I can't take it back because that would mean admitting I, the great Rick Morrissey, was wrong" drum. Is he attacking Cutler for a future meltdown again? Nay. This time he's going straight after the fans and media.

In this piece of crap, entitled "Jay Cutler Hype Over the Top," Morrissey tries and fails to dampen enthusiasm over Cutler. His words in italics:

BOURBONNAIS -- Rain fell Friday afternoon, and it was almost perfect.It gave the Bears' training camp at Olivet Nazarene even more of a Woodstock feel. If the rain had come down harder, a photographer might have gotten an iconic shot of mud-streaked fans grooving to the hissing sound of a Jay Cutler pass.

Yes, because nothing is more reminiscent of a three day orgy of hippies, rock, and drugs than a towering meathead wearing an undersized Brian Urlacher jersey while watching Caleb Hanie throw to Devin Aromashadu.

This is the Summer of Love, or the Summer of Jay, whichever you prefer. I have been in this line of work for more than 25 years and I never have seen anything quite like the ado over the Bears' new quarterback. And I covered John Elway for eight seasons.

Is that your problem then? Are you, like many Broncos fans, never satisfied because Jay Cutler somehow doesn't measure up to a guy that retired over a decade ago?

Such unconditional love for Cutler! But enough about the media coverage.

Yeah! Take that, rest of the media. Rick's showing off his professionalism. While you're all being upbeat and optimistic about a quarterback showing up for the first time in your lifetime, Rick's being professional enough to attack without reason any sign of hope in order to salvage some half assed proclamation he made back in March that the Bears were better off without Cutler.

To be fair, I was not in Denver for Elway's rookie season, when one newspaper ran a regular update that included what he ate each meal during training camp. I'm afraid I've just given sports editors in Chicago a new idea: J.C.'s Daily Bread.

So you weren't in Denver when they treated their new franchise quarterback the same way Bears fans are now treating Cutler, but you feel the need to rail against the fanbase like they're the first ones to ever act this way over a new quarterback?

Everybody seems to be giddy about Cutler. Radio interviews with him have turned into giggle-fests. Questions to other players about the quarterback start with, "How amazed are you by ..." I wish an athlete just once would respond to that sort of query with, "I'm about a half of 1 percent amazed" or "Not amazed at all; I've seen better."

Except they haven't.

The reason for the enthusiasm surrounding Cutler is obvious. The Bears haven't had a good quarterback in a long time. And his arm seems to be fitted with a hydraulic slingshot. But if I might be the fly in the Kool-Aid, let's see what this guy can do in, you know, a real game before we crown him the next Peyton Manning.

I love this part. "Let's see what he can do in a real game." Cutler isn't Matthew Stafford. Hell, he's not even Rex Grossman before 2006. He's got 2 1/2 full seasons of experience where he's PROVEN he can play in the NFL. Also- Manning through his first 37 starts-

782 comp./1315 att., 59.5% Comp., 9,475 yds, 7.2 ypa, 63 tds, 50 ints, 81.7 Rating.

Cutler through his first 37 starts-

762 comp./1220 att., 62.5% Comp., 9,024 yds, 7.4 ypa, 54 tds, 37 ints, 87.1 Rating.

Hmm. Interesting. Cutler has a better comp. %, better yards per attempt, and a better TD-Int Ratio. Not to say that Jay will Be the next Peyton Manning, but it does seem like a reasonable comparison.

"It's real exciting," wide receiver Brandon Rideau said. "We have a Pro Bowl quarterback in, so everybody in town is excited about it. We're excited. We just want to make sure we can come in and live up to what we expect of ourselves."

Over and over again, players, fans and media members have referred to Cutler as a Pro Bowl quarterback. If by saying he's a Pro Bowl quarterback you mean he has gone to one Pro Bowl, then, yes, he's a Pro Bowl quarterback. That makes Marty Booker a Pro Bowl wide receiver because he was selected for the game in 2002.

That's exactly what we mean by saying he's a Pro Bowl quarterback. We'd sure look like idiots if he Hadn't gone to one, wouldn't we? Also, there's a statute of limitations on this shit, Rick. I'm quite sure I distinctly remember hearing Marty Booker referred to in 2003 as a "Pro Bowl Wide Receiver." If Jay doesn't go this year, or hasn't gone in 7 years, we won't still call him that, now will we? My God, could you be any more of a pessimistic little shit?

Thousands of fans stood in the rain Friday and oohed and aahed as Cutler completed passes to receivers who were running routes without defenders. When the defense did get on the field, Rideau made some nice catches. That immediately raised his stock to somewhere in the Jerry Rice stratus.

Oh yeah, because I've heard plenty of Bears fans salivating over Rideau. Maybe their just salivating over the fact that they have a quarterback who can get the ball to anybody who has got two hands. If he does that enough times, the yards will come, no matter who is back there.

The assumption, apparently, is that Cutler is so good he's going to make all the receivers around him good too. That must have been general manager Jerry Angelo's thinking because he didn't land any veteran wide receivers in the off-season.

Sigh. We went over this last time, Rick:

"Like I pointed out in my Cutler article, there are plenty of precedents for team's that can make the playoffs without great wide receivers, so long as there are options like tight ends or runningbacks."

Unless Cutler cures cancer and gets "Jon & Kate Plus 8" canceled, I don't see how he possibly can live up to the hype.

Or gives the team a consistent and effective passing game for the first time since Truman was in office. Or takes the team deep into the playoffs. Or someday wins a Superbowl. I hate when guys like Morrissey act like Cutler's a one year acquisition and Bears fans will riot if they don't win the Superbowl THIS YEAR. What I'M excited about is the fact that he's 26 fucking years old and should be firing touchdowns for a decade.

Some of the gushing is because of the inevitable excitement that comes with change. We have seen it before with coaching changes. The new coach is the breath of fresh air who invigorates everything. The former coach could siphon the fun out of a grammar-school snow day. That's how it works. Thus, Cutler now is the embodiment of all that is good in the world, at least in Chicago.

And Rick Morrissey is the embodiment of everything wrong with sportswriting today.

And he has gotten into the comparison game, telling WMVP-AM last week that Bears fans are better than Broncos fans.

"It's a lot [different]," he said. "Denver's like a 6 and Chicago's like a 9. It's quite a bit different. Just the fans and how passionate they are, that's probably the biggest difference."

Somebody needs to put an arm around Cutler and tell him that, according to the Broncos' Web site, the waiting list for their season tickets has 28,000 names on it and that the estimated wait is 13 to 15 years.

I'm thinking Cutler was more referring to the fact that 11,000 fans have been showing up per day to Bears training camp, and the Broncos can't even accomodate more than 6,000. And yes, nice job, Broncos season ticket holders. You're a brilliant contrast to the vacant, empty Soldier Field we see on Sundays every year.

The Broncos struggled down the stretch last season, losing their last three games when all they needed was one victory to earn a playoff berth. Cutler did not play well in those games. But that was last year, and Da Coach said living in the past is for cowards, gang.

True, Cutler played fairly mediocre, albeit not awful, in those three games. Not that it mattered, however, when their defense gave up a whopping 37 ppg in those three contests. But way to leave that part out and try to heap all of the blame on Cutler, you disingenuous prick.

The present, at least here in Bourbonnais, is so shiny, it's hardly recognizable. Caught up as I am in Cutler Mania, I have the Bears improving by one victory to 10-6 this year. But wait a second. Some experts are picking them to go 8-8. Does this make me Mr. Positive? I think it does.

Yep. And the year the Bears went to the Superbowl in 2006, SI had them going 9-7 and finishing second while the Dolphins and the Panthers played in the Superbowl. My point? The national media's predictions about the Bears are usually pointless, but just to contradict Mr. Morrissey, Football Outsiders and Athlon Sports are just two of the more comprehensive, stat based groups that have predicted the Bears to win the North.

In any case, Bears players are excited too.

How dare they not quake in fear of Morrissey's prophecies of DOOM?!

"He's an amazing quarterback," center Olin Kreutz said. "He opens up the offense. ... The defense doesn't know where the ball is going. Sometimes we don't know where the ball is going."

Odd. He wasn't even set up by a giggly sports personality to say that.

We don't know where the hype is going either.

Wherever it goes, can you just go somewhere else? Somewhere far, far away?

Go to hell, Rick Morrissey.