It’s quickly becoming the “shove heard ’round the world.” Despite the fact that the Chicago Bears performed poorly in multiple aspects of their Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers, most of the focus has fallen on Jay Cutler and his sideline antics.
In the first half of last Thursday’s tilt, Cutler unloaded on left tackle J’Marcus Webb, following yet another Green Bay sack. After dishing out quite the tongue lashing, Cutler appeared to bump Webb on his way to the sideline, spurring a debate over Cutler’s personality.
That’s it. It was a bump, not a shove. It was even more of a grazing with his shoulder pad than anything. But to hear the media tell it, Cutler physically assaulted Web after chewing him out. The bump has exploded, somehow, into an actual controversy, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s Jay Cutler.
We’ve heard opinions of every possible NFL analyst and radio host, who feel it’s necessary to continually discuss the incident. Tedy Bruschi went as far as saying that Cutler owed Webb a public apology, which is comical by itself.
On Tuesday, Cutler spoke about the incident. He essentially said what needed to be said in the locker room was already taken care of, and that he had spoken with each of his linemen individually, including J’Marcus Webb. He did refuse to apologize or say that he regrets his sideline tirade, which is perfectly understandable given that he really has nothing to apologize for.
One fact that Cutler pointed to was the fact that the media had blown this all out of proportion. And with that sentiment, he is absolutely correct. If this is Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, both of whom had their own fits of rage in Week 2, we wouldn’t hear a word about it. And we haven’t.
There’s no doubt that Cutler brings a lot of this on himself. At the same time, he’s almost in sort of a no-win situation with the mainstream media. He gets criticized for a lack of emotion, or desire, and then when he shows it, gets blown up in the media for being too over the top.
I’ve already written at length about all the work Jay Cutler has to do to get rid of this negative view of him, which is on a national scale. But after last Thursday, that may never happen. Anything slightly resembling a character flaw will instantly spur a discussion that will manage to point out every single thing that is wrong with Jay Cutler’s personality, as we’ve seen in the past week.
Was Cutler’s rage warranted? To a certain extent, yes. He may have crossed the line a bit, but it was probably handled in the locker room shortly thereafter. That really should have been the end of it.
But the saga goes on. The discussion continues. And reporters continue to try and bait his teammates into saying something stupid (D.J. Moore). No matter which side of the Cutler debate you fall on, it’s certainly easy to point to the media (ESPN) for creating this great big frenzy over a little shoulder bump.
Ask yourself this question: if this is any quarterback not named Jay Cutler, are we even talking about this beyond Friday?