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Monday, October 29, 2012

Insults for the Hearing Impaired: The Jay Cutler Story

 Another week, another hack writer shitting out a pointless column about Cutler’s performance on the sideline. This week, it’s Newberry-award winning author Dan Bernstein of CBS Chicago, though there’s a pretty awful Morrissey article I might get to later this week if I’m not too busy.

You know how we do, he’s in italics.

The “f—ing fans” sure sound different when the scoreboard changes, don’t they, Jay?

Usually, yeah. That’s kind of the point of the game, to change the scoreboard. If they sounded the same whether it changed or not, there’d either be total silence for 60 minutes or they’d all shout their lungs out.

Amazing how that happens in an NFL stadium, right? They boo you and your sloppy teammates after an inexcusable half of uninspired slop against an over-matched opponent, then cheer when you actually perform as if you know what you’re doing.

Teenage-girl sarcasm and overuse of the word “slop” aside, is there a point to this rambling, Dan? We know they had a bad first half. Cutler not only said the team had a bad first half, but took the blame for it. “It starts with me,” was the exact phrase he used. They won the game, and Cutler looked pretty Goddamn impressive when it counted the most.

Are you new to this whole idea?

We’re now 67 words into this column, which in total runs just under 600 words. Which means that a full tenth of this article has been Dan Bernstein attacking Jay cutler with the savagery only a stalwart LiveJournal user can bring to bear.

After the game, you said “I’d boo us, too,” but the tape doesn’t lie. And PR people follow Twitter.

The tape doesn’t lie, but the hack writers who string together the story using only the parts they like sure do. And what about PR people? What part of this conversation involves PR people in any way? Jesus Dan, your eyes… you… you’re wasted, aren’t you?

On your way to the tunnel at the end of the second quarter, FOX cameras caught you responding to the booing by saying – to nobody in particular – “These f—ing fans, I swear to god.” As if the Bears deserved anything other than to be showered with praise and bouquets after allowing six sacks, countless pressures and too much Panthers offense in a game that should never have been close.

First off, here’s the video. I won’t say he didn’t say that, but it’s certainly debatable and two people walk between him and the camera. For all we know, he could’ve said “These fucking fans are right, I swear to God,” and the camera would never know the difference. But fine, we’ll assume those were his exact words in the interest of staying on topic.

He muttered under his breath as 60,000 people booed him and his teammates. I mutter, “Die, you fucking chode,” under my breath when somebody in front of me is driving the speed limit, I don’t think he’s wrong to express his frustration. Raise your hand if you never reacted to your sandwich having a little bit too much mayo on it with "that dumb bitch at Subway can't even make a sandwich right."

And extrapolating it to “he expects a standing ovation for his performance” is just a cheap way to make yourself reasonable by comparison. You’re the one acting like he should’ve tipped his hat to them and said “You’re right, dear fans! We apologize for our shoddy performance, and vow to rectify this situation when play recommences!”

It’s one thing to have unfairly high expectations, another entirely to expect a first-place team with championship aspirations to block the edge, stop the opponent on third and long, take advantage of gift-given starting field position, and catch the damn ball when it hits you in the hands or the chest. They weren’t just booing you.

“They weren’t just booing you, they were booing your whole team. So you don’t really have any right to be upset,” said the man who clearly doesn’t understand that there are levels of human emotion between “exultant joy” and “black despair.”

No reason to be so sensitive, either, especially after an effort last week that ended any lingering questions about your toughness. And aren’t you smart enough to know the camera will always find you, and that it looks for you particularly when you’re under stress, and more likely to lash out as you have so many times at so many different people?

As we all well know, the ability to get WWE-body-slammed into the ground face first translates directly to emotional fortitude.

What Dan should’ve said is this: “Don’t you know that we are a bunch of vindictive jerks who have it out for you, so a camera is always going to find you at your worst and then air that footage even though it is of no consequence?” Because that is something Jay should be aware of by now.

Football players get caught swearing all the time. It happens at least once a game. Would it be different if he had said, “These fans, I swear to God,” Dan? Same exact sentiment, but for some reason the “fucking” makes it worse even though Cutler is a grown fucking man and grown fucking men swear all the Goddamn time. I swear at my cat when he bothers me while I’m trying to watch TV, and that is a far less stressful circumstance than being booed by 60,000 drunk people.

It ended up being a good day, after all. Misery turns to ecstasy when Tim Jennings happens again, the two-minute drill does its job and Robbie Gould figures out how to play the wind. Wins like this were the reason the Bears traded for you, Jay – so a quarterback in full command could prove that the other team left him too much time on the clock.

Let’s do this point by point. Tim Jennings happens again, like the defense hasn’t been an integral part of this team’s dominance all year long. I don’t know how many turnovers and defensive touchdowns it will take to teach people that this shit doesn’t happen by accident, but it’s getting really tiring.

The two-minute drill does its job. Yes, it does. That’s what it’s for. If you can’t even write a full article criticizing Jay Cutler without praising his performance, you might be writing a bunch of hackneyed tripe with no purpose.

Robbie Gould figures out how to play the wind. Fuck you, Dan Bernstein. Robbie Gould is the third-most-accurate kicker in NFL history. You can keep up your snarky tone as long as you like, but if you think you’re going to convince people that Robbie Gould sucks and needs to learn to kick, you’re going to be fighting (and losing) that battle until the end of time.

And then again, he praises Cutler for doing what good quarterbacks do, according to EPSN: orchestrating a comeback. This always happens with articles about Cutler. “He really sucked it up both as a passer and a leader, except for all those excellent passes and good leadership.”

Nice work over the last eight minutes or so. The offense just needs to execute like that earlier next time, and there won’t be any misunderstandings.

No. Fuck you. I don’t usually bring out numbers because I’m a words person, but Cutler was 14/16 for 141 yards and a TD during the last 17 minutes of the game (credit to Shoutbox regular Lee for those stats, I would’ve been way too lazy to look them up).  But “nice job in the fourth quarter” is, for some reason, reserved for Eli Manning. The Giants allowed 24 unanswered points until Eli ran a comeback drive yesterday, nobody is trashing his performance.

You can cut any performance that way, if you want, but as you so eloquently stated earlier, the tape doesn’t lie. Yes, the offense should have started off better, but should they just have played poorly the rest of the game to avoid confusing poor Dan here?

I’ll always agree with you about stupid Bears fans, believe me. Any of us who deals with some of these people can understand your pain and frustration. They can be under-informed and over-served, have problems stringing together the simplest of sentences, and many of them are also some combination of morbidly obese and hideously ugly.

“How dare Cutler call his fans, my readers, the f-word! I have to defend them! They may be stupid and needy, and fat, and ugly, and I hate them all.  What was I saying? Hi, my name’s Dan, and I’m a terrible journalist.”

But that doesn’t mean they were stupid today. They knew what they were seeing.

So did I. I was pissed off. I was shouting at my TV like a lunatic. That does not mean that Jay should just be happy that he’s getting booed. He admitted that they deserved it, and both he and his teammates confirmed that he used that as a tool to get them back on track. That’s called “leadership,” and it’s something that people have been saying he doesn’t do for a long time.

Nice to know that a victory (and, most likely, someone alerting you to what everybody saw so clearly at halftime) brought you around to understanding their feelings, and their right to express them lustily. They changed their tone, and so did you.

I’m sure that a member of the Bears staff was watching the broadcast and came up to Jay on the bench preparing for a critical comeback series to let him know some cameras saw him use one of his Bowling Words.

Cutler didn’t walk into the locker room saying “Why are they booing, I thought we played pretty well!” He was frustrated. He’s dealt with this city shitting on him for four years, first for not showing enough passion and now for getting fired up on the sideline. If the fans have a right to “express their feelings lustily,” Cutler certainly has a right to be upset by it.

It’s human nature to not want to hear such things, even if well deserved. Everybody on the Bears sideline was just as disappointed as those in the stands for most of the day, and just as relieved when you got out of there with the improbable win. Does an ass have room for two crowns?

You’ll notice that there comes a point in every single one of these stories where the writer does the accidental contradiction. You cannot come out and say, “Jay Cutler is wrong for being upset that they booed him” and then say, “I totally understand why Jay Cutler was upset that they booed him.”

Challenging moments bring out heated reactions from, umm…hot-heads, but winning changes the context for everything, as I’m sure you ultimately know. Ask Cam Newton.

One paragraph after calling Jay Cutler an ass, Dan feels the need to include a highly professional “ummmm” in his column and say “hot-heads” like he’s trying to be diplomatic. I won’t. You’re a piece of shit, Dan. See? That was way easier.

Evidently, winning does not change the context of everything, because you fucking vultures are still hovering around his every action looking for something to write an incensed and ultimately pointless column about whether he wins or not. You have to be careful about getting so excited about something like this, Dan, this is how fetishes start. In a couple years, you’ll be asking your wife to put on some shoulderpads and grouch at a fat person while you write about it just so you can get off.

You’ll find today’s comeback is a good lesson: the “f—ing fans” are a whole lot more palatable when you and the Bears give everybody a reason to be happy.

You know, because it’s not like a week ago Cutler himself said “winning is kind of a cure-all. Everything’s better when you’re winning.” And his line on the booing has pretty much been “I didn’t like it, but we deserved it, and we used it to motivate ourselves to a comeback victory that puts us 1 ½ games ahead in the division.”

As I pointed out in my debut article, the Jay Cutler Faux-Pas Watch isn’t going anywhere, but it’s just sad to see the home crowd doing it on a Bears victory day. And if you’re going to do it, at least do it well. Don’t resort to sarcasm, don’t treat your subject like a child, and don’t repeatedly shoot your argument in the foot by saying “you’re right to be upset.” You had one job. You’re writing a biased, factless column about your opinion; you don’t have to include those parts. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but at least Morrissey has the sense to throw out the parts of his argument that don’t make any fucking sense.

As usual, we go into another week after a Bears victory talking about Jay Cutler’s latest “sideline incident,” instead of the thing we should be talking about: the Chicago Bears being 11-1 in his last 12 starts and sitting on top of the division while the Vikings spiral downward and the Packers need a blocked punt to beat Blaine Gabbert. I don’t care what Cutler called us, it’s a good day to be a Bears fan.


Code Red said...

I think Cutler was saying "fucking fans" not because of the poor first half performance, but because he's 11-1 in his last 12 and 25 for his last 34, the team went to the NFC Title game the last time he was healthy, they were 5-1 and had the largest point differential and best defense in the NFL to that point, and yet fans were mercilessly ripping them because, as usual, the majority of Bears fans think they're a paper tiger that's inevitably going to collapse because "dey've seen it too many times!". Oh, and they were down by fucking six points. So yeah, I get it.

Iggins! said...

He said fucking fans because WHO GIVES A FUCK?

Also, every member of the Bears has said during the week that he drilled every member of the offense for under-performing in the locker room at half, most of all himself. This over-analysis of Cutler and his damn speech is TMZish. That's basically what these people are: TMZ for sports. There's no point to it.