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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Suppose it Was Inevitable

There was never a chance we were going to make it through an entire season without this happening. There's just too much butthurt over grumpy interviews and short responses and unreasonable expectations for a Sun-Times reporter not to write at least one article comparing Johnny Manziel and Jay Cutler.

But I thought we'd make it farther than this. I thought we'd make it past literally Johnny's first appearance.

And of course it had to be Telander. He just can't figure out how to be nice to Jay. He tries so hard, but he only manages to sound condescending and bitter. Which, in a way, describes Rick Telander perfectly. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

And so the 2014 Fisking Season begins, as I lovingly open the box that contains my italics.

‘Do you have someone in particular you want to talk about?’’ our good buddy Jay Cutler said.

I actually think Telander has softened his stance on Jay, but he talks about him in this way that makes it impossible to tell if he's sincere or just being a dick in a more roundabout way than usual. "Our good buddy" is either an honest description the most passive-aggressive description of Rick's career. 

This was after he had been asked if he watched any quarterbacks in televised NFL preseason games.

That lead really did not merit flipping the order of events. You have to do something clever or open with something bold to make that work. But I digress. 

(‘‘Here and there,’’ was his response to that query.)

Okay. Where are we going with this? 

Well, OK, how about Johnny Football?

Oh theeere it is. You know what, Rick, I think we all already know where this is going and we'd love not to go there with you. But it's the 2014 preseason, so everybody put on your JOHNNY MANZIEL glasses and let's go for a ride. 

That would be Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel, the smart-ass, Alfred E. Neuman-looking kid...

That's actually pretty solid. I mean it's needlessly rude to Manziel, but honestly it's just nice to see you making heavy-handed insulting comments about a different quarterback for once. 

...who played pretty badly on Monday night against the Washington Redskins.

I don't think anybody can really argue with that. He was everything everyone complains about him being, and he was a dick about it the whole time. 

‘‘Yeah, I watched the first two series,’’ said Cutler, who knew this was coming. ‘‘His first two series, and that was it.’’

"That's enough for me to make a sweeping generalization!" - Rick Telander, journalist 

Two series was enough to see that Manziel has a long way to go to call himself even an average NFL quarterback — which he is not...

That's fair but... I mean "his first two series ever didn't go well" is hardly enough to earn this level of vitriol. I guess we shouldn't be surprised, Johnny Manziel is literally everything these guys have been pretending Jay Cutler is all along. 

— and that he will be taken from a stadium in a garbage pail if he doesn’t realize sacks hurt and this ain’t Ole Miss across the line.

"It's almost like he was in college six months ago, what a noob!" Seriously, I know the bar is ridiculously high for incoming rookie QBs now, and that MISTER FOOBAW has kind of brought this on himself by acting the way he does. I've gone on record saying I don't think Johnny's skillset will transfer well to the NFL, and that he'll be lucky to get in the top half of QBs in the league.

But Jesus, it's somehow even worse watching you do this to a quarterback I don't particularly like. He's been in the NFL for one game, I'd argue that he at least deserves a regular season appearance before we make "joke about college" the default response to Johnny getting sacked. 

Cutler admitted he couldn’t tell from TV whether mistakes were all on the QB or not:

But Rick knows. Every mistake anyone ever makes is the quarterback's fault, right? Guys? 

“It’s not only [not knowing] the defenses, I don’t know the offense — what they’re doing offensively. I don’t know who is supposed to block whom, what [the quarterback’s] progression is. It’s hard to tell.’’

Man, it's like Jay was half-watching one series of a rookie whose playbook he doesn't have.  

It wasn’t hard to tell that Mr. Football was inaccurate and seemingly confused and a wisenheimer.

You wrote this entire column as an excuse to say "wisenheimer," didn't you? For everyone who isn't just going to Google it and - like me and probably 99% of the people in the world - don't know what the fuck a wisenheimer is, apparently it's the way assholes say "arrogant." 

He stared down one large Redskin after a sack, and it looked like Pee-wee Herman trying to back down Dwayne Johnson.

Honestly, I don't know anyone who wouldn't be terrified of being stared down by Pee-Wee Herman. I don't care that the Rock can benchpress most cars, even he does not want any of whatever the hell this guy is cooking:

This left flashes in our mind of our formerly irascible and arrogant quarterback when he was in his early 20s or at the start of his Bears career almost six years ago.

Really? I'm guessing that only Sun-Times reporters saw Johnny Manziel acting like an asshole during a Browns preseason game and immediately thought "DAT'S JUST LIKE JAKE QUITLER." 

But Cutler’s 31 now, with a wife and two little kids, and — in case you haven’t heard — he’s the new Jay Cutler.

We have heard, because you've written that line like 214 times since Trestman came to town. If you are trying to turn over a new leaf and be nicer to Jay, you have to actually like... do that. You can't be writing a rambling comparison article every time somebody acts like a jerk and then say "But Jay's not like that anymore. But he was. Remember?" 

Mature, considerate, businesslike, almost (not quite) playful in his senior years.


It seems the evolution has worked. The new Jay Cutler is also a pleasure in the locker room and in meetings (so we hear). And on the football field, he is just plain outstanding.

What the fuck are we even talking about now? I thought this article was about Johnny Manziel or something. I know it's the preseason, but I still feel like you could stay on one irrelevant space-filling topic per article. 

Are the personality change and game success linked?

"Did he get happier and calmer when his receiving corps drastically improved and he stopped getting sacked 50 times a year?"  

It’s the preseason, and nobody knows.

I know you don't mean that, Rick. I've been burned before.  

Except our great reformed buddy Brandon Marshall, of course.

Oh guys, he's about to do the thing! 

He has Cutler as league MVP already.

HE DID THE THIIIING. Seriously though, Brandon said Cutler could be the MVP if the team wins the Super Bowl. Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up now, Rick. I am not going to be able to handle an entire season of you Goddamn morons saying "WHO'S DA MVP NOW BRANDON" every single time Brandon doesn't have the most catches in a game. 

That could change, naturally, depending on Cutler passes directed Marshall’s way.

Oh you're already doing that. God dammit. 

But the stats in two games of very limited action for Cutler are stunning.

I am so confused about what is happening in this article. It's like David Lynch wrote a bad sports column. 

In the first game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Cutler completed 9 of 13 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown, no picks and a 112.7 passer rating.

In the second game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was 7-for-9 for 75 yards, a TD and a 138.4 rating.

But he trew a pick in dat Seahawks game, same old Jay. 

The rating tops out at 158.3, you know.

"Did you know that? I did. I know about sports." 

On top of all this, Cutler has not been injured or hit particularly hard. This is a great thing for a leader who has missed 12 games the last three seasons because of injury.

Don't praise the line for that, though. Quarterbacks are the only players on the field. 

Back in Washington, Manziel was caught by the ESPN cameras flipping off the Redskins, saying afterward he was tired of all the heckling from that side. 

Oh yeah, we were talking about Johnny. Why were we talking about Johnny?

But he totally did flip off a bunch of dudes in a building literally made of cameras and then act surprised when someone told him it was caught on film. 

This was dumb financially — we await Roger Goodell’s fining of J.  Football — and it wasn’t too bright for Manziel’s future.

Manziel called it a lapse of judgment.

Browns coach Mike Pettine called it disappointing.

Top-notch reporting, Rick. I seriously have no idea what to do with this information. It's not relevant to the Bears, it's not offered with any insight. He's just stating facts about a guy the Bears' starters will not see play any football at all this year because he's kind of a dick and Jay Cutler used to be kind of a dick. 

Cutler might have recognized some of that same juvenile behavior from his own past.

Yes, being taciturn in interviews is basically the same as terrible on-field conduct resulting in disciplinary measures. 

Though he never gave the finger to anybody afield, his snarky sideline face and disinterest in others was more like a big bird to the world.

Oh you actually are saying that. Holy shit, Rick. You cannot possibly be that dumb. 

“It’s tough for young guys nowadays,’’ Cutler said diplomatically, “because you are expected to come in and play immediately and play well, and it’s extremely hard — especially for some of these guys that get drafted really early. You are going to be on a team that wasn’t as good the year before, so it’s hard to make that drastic turn. … As a quarterback coming in as a young guy, it’s a tough scenario, a really tough scenario.’’

That is the most accurate summary of the situation I can imagine. Why did you not just write that, Rick? 

Call Cutler a man who has learned.

Learned... what? I mean I don't think that it's inaccurate to say Cutler has learned things, but what he said about rookies starting on bad teams has basically no bearing on this situation at all. 

“I think everyone in the building has noticed a difference in Jay,’’ offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said approvingly.

See this is why I'm confused by this shit. He said something mean about Cutler, and now it's like he's apologizing by saying nice things about him. But you're the one who said the thing, Rick! You are literally the only person whose default response to Johnny Manziel flipping off the sideline was to write an article about Jay Cutler. 

Why, the veteran dad even takes his elder son, Camden Jack, out for manly duties.

HEY DID YOU GUYS KNOW JAY CUTLER HAS KIDS. And also, if Camden Jack Cutler never commands a warship, the world will be less for it. 

“We’re trying to potty-train [Camden] right now, and it’s not going too well,’’ wife Kristin Cavallari told a fashion magazine recently. ‘‘So Jay has him peeing outside. He goes and pees in the bushes.’’

Problem appears. Problem solved.

That actually is the most Jay Cutler problem-solving technique I've ever heard. 

Maybe Jay could take Johnny Football into the bushes and teach him a thing or two.

Well this just got super uncomfortable. Does Rick not have an editor? 

Maybe with a tree branch.

Holy shit.

1 comment:

Erik said...

Credit to Twitter follower @John_Faker for this catch: Two series of Johnny Manziel was enough to say he'll be a bad NFL QB, but three quarters of Cutler and the jury's still out.

Thanks John!