Monday, January 24, 2011

Jay Cutler, The Anti-Hero

I spent part of my day yesterday watching the Chicago Bears play the Green Bay Packers. After about the first series in the second half Chicago's starting QB, Jay Cutler, all the sudden just sort of stopped playing in the game. He didn't seem too injured as cameras showed him on the sidelines walking around. My first thought is that he was benched. He had an awful first half. He has a history of; when playing bad... It's REALLY bad. He seemed to be having one of those games.

Jay Cutler has Type 1 diabetes. This is the worst type. It means you have to monitor your insulin multiple times a day, every day, for the rest of your life. I've known someone that he has this. If not monitored properly it can cause you to go into a scary/creepy zombie like state. If left un-monitored for longer, you will die. To say that someone who has Type 1 is subject to mood swings is an understatement. I've sort of attributed Cutler's up and down performance to his diabetes (right or wrong). I notice the heavy bags under his eyes, the lost / distant look he had last night. This isn't an excuse for him. It is very well known that he likes a bit of a drink. This is a major problem, ergo; his up and down games.

So old Jay has a couple things going for and against hime here.

A. He has Type 1 diabetes
B. He takes a liking to the drink. An elbow problem, so to speak.

But C. and D.? He has a golden arm and he is a professional football player. These guys are world class athletes. A and B normally don't mix with C and D. In fact, they never do.

I heard a lot of talk today about his toughness. I gotta admit it made me angry. You can count on one finger the number of NFL players that have Type 1.

So where does the anti-hero come in? It is in the way he he just just isn't likable. Not just to the press and fans, but to fellow players as well. He's grumpy, doesn't do good interviews and doesn't say (bull) the right things that we've heard a million times before.

It's very unusual that other players were out in force calling him out for quiting on his team last night. You never see that happen outwardly. It just shows high degree in which he isn't well liked. The same players, in the same league, that rally around rapists and murderers without batting an eyelash. Even NFL management protects its own (see: Brett Farve. See: Ben Roethlisberger. See: that one guy who was wasted but ran over and killed another wasted guy but playing a month later, that other dude who was busted with ... sigh, too many to count). But no protection for Jay? Only the same old falling for the fake hero thing because they dance around saying and acting in a way that would make the writers of pro-wrestling jealous.

But none of that for Jay. And for this? I like him.

An anti-sports star. An anti-hero for fans. We need more of them.

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