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Are you concerned with who Jay Cutler really is?

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cutler-magazine-cover.jpgOur own Rick Telander penned a column today that explored the perceived lack of information we have about who Jay Cutler really is.

In it, he points to the fact that the gunslinger has been here over six months and all there is to judge him on are seven football games, eight-second soundbites and a plethora of blank stares. His point, at least it seems to me, is that Cutler should be more transparent. That the most important Chicago sports figure since Jordan should have a personality that fans can latch on to.

At this point, I'll ask a few questions of my own.


Do we really care about the people inside the jerseys anymore?

It sounds callous, but in an era of free agency when players switch teams constantly, aren't fans more concerned with on-field results more than ever before?

Look around. In baseball, many of those guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs have been welcomed back into the fold. Some are celebrating a World Series win (looking at you, A-Rod).

Michael Vick's return to the NFL shows that second chances are -- and always will be -- afforded to those with the talent to make an impact on the field.

It's my contention that if society is willing to look the other way on matters of ethics and morals, then why would they take such umbrage with an athlete being reserved -- or even boring?

Personally, if a quarterback can go out and throw for 300 yards every Sunday, I could care less what he does and says the rest of the week. As long as he's not breaking the law or embarrassing the team, he can weird it up anyway he wants if the results stay the same

Answer questions in Pig Latin?

Fine, just lead a fourth-quarter comeback.

Quote Monty Python to the point of annoyance in the post-game interview?

It's cool, just make the Pro Bowl.

Just sit there like a bump on a log?

No problem with that, as long as you fly all over the field on gameday.

Perhaps, I'm wrong. Maybe the lion's share of people out there want a gregarious, transparent superstar. They want the face of the franchise to have some character.

The question for me, though, isn't who Jay Cutler is. It's if we care. 

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I work at Vanderbilt and know Jay very well. He is a great guy. Once he gets to know you he really opens up. Are you journalists really concerned about this stuff? It just seems silly to me!

I've followed Jay for years, going back to his college days. He's a very blue-collar player, very bright and no-nonsense. He just wants to play hard and win games, pick up his check and go home.

In an age of T.O.'s and Ocho Cincos, can we just appreciate a QB who plays hard, is competitive, and not hogging every second of camera time he can get? He plays the game because he loves it, not because he wants to be a celebrity. It's refreshing!

If he's aloof with the media, it's because many seem bent on building the drama when it comes to him - and for that reason, he's learned not to trust them. And writers like Telander get pissed off because he's not helping them further their careers on his coattails.

I have to second VandyCutler's question and comment. News must be pretty scarce for this topic to emerge, and it is not surprising that Telander brought it up. He usually has no clue about anything important. Good observations on your part, Kyle. I do not think Cutler has a very good presence on film clips I've watched, and he does pretty much say little or nothing in interviews while he is scratching his neck or chest under his shirts, but the guy is a great football player who is tough as nails on the field. For a pro team, I do not think much else matters. Ceratainly it may be pleasant and heart-warming to have a charismatic character from Santa Claus making nice-nice for the camera, but if he throws interceptions and cannot lead a team to victories, he'll still be booed rather than cheered.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on November 6, 2009 9:37 AM.

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