Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Cutler under the media microscope

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Bears tight end Greg Olsen tried to be polite, answering a line of Jay Cutler questions during a press conference Wednesday.

He didn't know the reporter by face, although Rick Reilly of ESPN is one of the most prominent sports journalists in the country.

What's Cutler's personality like?

"I don't really think his goal is to have people to get a certain thing," Olsen diplomatically said. "He is what he is, and he's our leader, he's our quarterback, and guys on this team, we know him, and that's all that matters.

"It's not a popularity..."

But before Olsen could finish the thought, Reilly asked if Cutler was misunderstood.

"Yeah, I do. I think people form their opinions on people, based on a lot of misinformation and what not. But, again, no one on this team, including Jay, is too concerned with that," Olsen said. "He's our guy, he's our quarterback, we all believe in him. He's our leader. He's a great teammate. All that stuff is not even a question around here, with the players."

Later, Olsen noted that he's surprised to hear people draw conclusions about Cutler, without actually interacting with him.

"Everyone else on the outside forms their opinions based off nothing, pretty much," he said.

But when Reilly asked if Cutler is funny, Olsen was ready to move on.

"Can we move onto something else?" he said, clearly annoyed.

So Olsen was excited to answer the next non Cutler related, whether it was about taxes or his New Year's resolution.

Cutler, meanwhile, sidestepped and downplayed every question.

Asked if about his public image, Cutler said, "I don't worry about it.

"I don't know what my public image is."

Full disclosure: I've known Reilly for more than a decade, and I've read his work -- most in Sports Illustrated -- since I was a teenager. As always, I'll be interested to read his take.

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8 Comments

What Cutler does on the field and what Cutler says after the game is two different animals. Cutler loves the field of play but he isnt a media personality.
Cutler is mundain and answers media questions typical of what the coaches do. That doesnt bother me. That doesnt make me have a different outlook on him as a player. What he does on the field is his job. What he does after the game he likes to keep to himself. The Jay Cutler I worrie about is the one on the field!

Cutler is like a feisty animal. A furry liitle bear at times. I like bears but no not the team or the animal. I'm talking about BEARS if you know what I mean. Orton was a truebear. His beard tickled. I am mad Cutler shaved.

What? The media Love Jay, they just don't know it yet. Come on old "Jerk Face" right? Isn't that what the unbiased media called him after one game with the Bears? Then they get mad when players don't like them.

Urlacher is the same way, who ever remembers his yes, no period in which all he would say was yes or no. Except to Vaughn who's man crush goes even beyond Angelo and himself.

I dare say it is on the lovable level of Bumstead and Armstead, two peas looking for pod.

Why are journalists so intent on branding Cutler a jerk? He clearly isn't interested in being a media personality, so just leave him alone. He handles his biz on the field, which is all the fans care about. Is Reilly so hard up for stories that he needs to manufacture one? Is this what journalism has come to? Just another example of the clowns who work for ESPN.

I really liked Creighton's comment here. The media wants news and will make it up if there is not much out there. I can understand why media people get negative when things do not break their way. They hated Bob Knight, and now he is one of them. Ditka was surly most of the time, and the media panned him too, and now he is one of them as well. Basically we readers just consider the source and ignore silly comments trying to create controversy. Almost everyone in the media loved Favre because he craved attention and catered to them.I hope he is out of football entirely because I am sick to death of media worship of a has-been who did not want out of the limelight. Hooray for Cutler's reticence about pandering to people more interested in "image" than reality.

I think Cutler has the right to be reserved with the media because he is consistent. He doesn't stiff arm the media on one hand and then try to play the media the next day to cash in on an endorsement.

I thought one of the best sports stories of the year was Sean's on Cutler spending time with those diabetic kids at the hospital. That was real journalism. Cutler didn't have some public relations hack out there inviting the world for a photo op. Sean had to nose that story out on his own and even then Cutler didn't give him much. He had to get quotes from other people involved and actually watch what happened and objectively report what he saw.

In other words, Sean got to see something about who Cutler is, but he had to actually do journalism to make it happen. He didn't make the story, he went to the effort to find a story worth telling, went there to observe, and told us what he saw. It's called reporting.

For the most part the national sports media is not interested in observing and reporting. That takes too much time and effort. National sports reverts to a lot of tabloid type stuff during the week because it is too much work, and usually not enough glitz to just report on the weekly preparation for teams. They want to find something, anything, to cause enough controversy that they can ask someone like Cutler an uncomfortable question and hope for their daily sound byte. With any luck that sound byte leads to another easy story tomorrow. "Rex Ryan says it's personal" amounts to national news because it's too much trouble to dig and do the legwork necessary to find a true human interest angle to report on the game. Then tomorrow, "Brady doesn't care", is called "news".

In other words, it's a lot easier for the media to make the news instead of finding something to report. That is why a lot of the "news" during the playoffs is actually the media reporting about the media's reporting. You can find that story without leaving the press room. Tough day at the office, what time is happy hour?

Yes Cutler is in the entertainment industry and makes a very good living because he plays football on a national stage. That job requires him to show up several times a week and answer questions. He does that. He doesn't like playing the media game a la Brett Favre. This makes the media actually have to work for a story. Cutler says he doesn't know or care what they report. As a result they don't like him and it shows.

So Jay isn't a diva (Favre), criminal (Vick), or a cry baby (Leinart, Rothlisberger, A. Smith), etc.). He plays hard for his team, does his job, and like most people get's ticked off when he does something wrong and than has to explain it. He gives back to the community, supports children with diabetes with his money & time, and backs up his teammates. What is wrong with him not wanting everyone to know and not making what he does for others about him? He doesn't do endorsements because as he states "I haven't won anything here, I don't deserve it". Sounds like a pretty good person to me and I'm proud to have his as the QB of the Chicago Bears.

Stop ragging on a guy trying to do his job like everyone else because he doesn't create opportunities to make the media angle always fun and exciting for your stories.

Kudos and hats-off to every single one of you for your comments here. You guys all hit the nail right in the head. Media hacks are cancerous parasites, by and large. Cutler doesn't play into their game it annoys them. I say good for us and good for Cutler. He isn't here to give everyone warm fuzzies and be an attention whorish personality-puppet. He's a quarterback in one of the most brutal and exciting games on earth. So if he's rough around the edges and not interested in being a limelight diva, I count that a good thing. Many reporters want to sensationalize and over examine everything Cutler does and he meets that with a 'meh' and a shrug. And he RULES for doing so. Dear media: Cutler is under your skin instead of it being the other way around. I am glad that annoys you. :D
*big smile!* :D

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on January 12, 2011 4:47 PM.

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