Why Can’t It Make Sense?

I need help. The first sentence should not send a pack of do-gooders into the apartment and remove belts, sharp objects, pills, and alcoholic beverages from the premises. I need football help. I’ve become one of the people I regularly deplore for their perspective on professional sports.

Before the couch session drifts towards some unsettling experience from youth, let me state that I can co-exist perfectly fine with people I don’t care for. In the professional setting tensions are eased by pretending to be on the telephone when you hear the wretched party on their way down the hallway. At large social gatherings, it’s about the quick hello to the individual before you ramble some version of “bathroom, help with the food, be right back.” The pettiness of each act is entirely juvenile, hardly justified, but they’re decent coping mechanisms instead of the terminal alternative of “go (expletive deleted) yourself.”

In terms of rooting interest it is near-impossible to like the entire team in a particular sport. Every time you want to pinch Ronnie Brewer’s cheeks, Joakim Noah emits some guttural scream that in a way loosens your desire to see the team win. Results matter, to hell with likeability. We root for the actions and the performance of the athletes on the field, not their ability to market batteries or tag less underwear.

So we’re all on the same page? Good.

Now it’s going to get a little sticky. My logic is flawed and delusional all at the same time.

Jay Cutler himself makes me hate the new contract he received from the Bears.

It’s not just him, Jay the person. It’s a confluence of things, but it’s mainly Jay the person.

First, the supplemental reasons, meaning the nagging injuries that follow him. Cutler has missed 13 games since he was traded. Most are bad-luck stuff, from the broken thumb to the ankle, but his inability to stay healthy unsettles me.

There’s the offensive inefficiency. Cutler, not to his fault, again, has worked with a number of offensive coordinators in Chicago, from the egoist to the clueless and every variation in between. He’s suffered from a lack of continuity.

So I understand that the benefit of the doubt needs to be directed towards him. I understand that he gives the Bears the best chance to win. Even with an old and creaky defense, a turnaround is not out of the question. I understand the athletic ability, the toughness, the stabilization he lends to a position that before his arrival served as a favorite graphic of Fox whenever they played the Packers is paramount to a team’s success. (Side note: did you know the Bears started the equivalent of the entire population of Rock Island at the quarterback position during Brett Favre’s tenure with the Packers?) I also understand the talent of the skill players that surround him on offense. Jay finally has buddies who can catch the ball. He has a coach who built a professional offense. He has all these things going for him, but I keep drifting back to the fact that I don’t like Cutler.

The hipster doofus routine is hackneyed and trite. He’s just too interested in life to answer questions he doesn’t deem worthy of an articulate response. I can’t endure any more of the entire Cutler experience and it goes against my better football judgment.

Maybe it’s Cutler fatigue, maybe he’s wrongfully linked to the inept offenses that he mucked his way through in the majority of his time in Chicago. Maybe I thought he was the long-awaited stability at a house-of-cards position for a franchise known for running backs and linebackers, which is a real recipe for success if only Amos Stagg patrolled the sidelines.

So I don’t get it, I don’t know how to explain it, I don’t like the Cutler deal primarily because I don’t like Cutler and don’t want to endure another year of him as a human being. No more press conferences, no more shots of him in the huddle, him speaking with a referee or him celebrating a touchdown or downtrodden after an interception.Jay Cutler the person has forced me to dislike Jay Cutler the football player.

It doesn’t make sense, but I see how sports are easier to digest when the interpreters fail to use logic. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to consume some Ditka All-American Red Wine and listen to “The Grabowski Shuffle” on repeat.


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