Fans respond to ESPN and blame Cutler…for everything.

Dear ESPN,

Congratulations! One show. One segment. One ridiculous graphic. That’s all it took to accomplish what no one else in sports has been able to…unite the entire NFL fan base behind one unlikable player.

ESPN Sports Nation (DEADSPIN)

ESPN Sports Nation (DEADSPIN)

Sports Nation had no idea the favor it was doing for the Chicago Bears quarterback when it aired a graphic asking viewers: “How much do you blame Jay Cutler for RGIII’s injury?”

Fans reacted on Twitter with the hashtag #BlameJayCutler, pinning everything from global warming to bad grades on the notorious sourpuss quarterback.

Here are a few of my favorites:

So, just so there’s no misunderstanding…No. We do not. Blame Jay Cutler. For RGIII’s injury.

At all.

P.S. Cutty says, “Thanks!”

XO

 

Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 10: Livin On A Prayer…

Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck and Offensive Tackle Anthony Castonzo

Whooah…we’re half way there…

Give or take a week.  Or two.

Yes, I was inspired by the music coming from Soldier Field during Sunday Night Football.  And, it just happens to be my personal anthem.  Lucas Oil Stadium (or whoever controls the music at our pad)…take note.

We gotta hold on to what we got…

The Atlanta Falcons that it is.  Trying to hold on to their unbeaten record, the only one left in the NFL this season.  The Falcons played the Saints, who Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith is 2-7 against.  The Falcons fall to 8-1.  The 1972 Dolphins pop the champagne.  And then there were none…

It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not…

Or so it would seem between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.  Or…does it?  Tony Romo is living up to his nickname, Mr. November (no he was not in Playgirl), as he rallies his team to beat the Michael Vick-less Eagles (who left with a concussion in the second quarter).  And there doesn’t look to be a looming quarterback controversy with rookie Nick Foles at the helm.

Also helping the Cowboys, the Giants lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.  If Eli Manning’s arm was tired, it’s rested now.  He’s had two games in a row with no touchdowns.  You know what does look tired?  The Giants offensive line, which allowed four sacks on Manning.  And the Giants defense, which was holier than Tim Tebow.

We’ve got each other and that’s a lot…
For love…we’ll give it a shot…

That would be the Indianapolis Colts.  United by love for their sick coach, Chuck Pagano, the players shaved their heads for him this week.  Then went down to defeat their division rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Colts, at 6-3, have a two game lead over the other AFC teams in the hunt for a wildcard playoff spot.  Yes, the Colts are the darlings of the NFL…and were also the darlings of the refs on Thursday night.  Still…the Colts are quickly becoming the team that no one wants to play.  Because, they are just that…a team.  And my team, so I may be a little biased.

We’ve got to hold on ready or not…

And the San Diego Chargers were not.  Ready.  At.  All.  For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But, they were cleared of any wrong doing in the Stickygate scandal.  So there’s that…

You live for the fight when that’s all that you’ve got…

Only the New York Jets don’t appear to have any fight left in them.  Or if they do, it is on the bench…praying.  The Jets were beat by the Seattle Seahawks 28-7.  Even Seahawks Wide Receiver Golden Tate had a chance to throw…and he did.  For a touchdown to Sidney Rice.

A few side notes…

The NFL may want to look into this concussion thing, *insert sarcasm* as three starting quarterbacks went out with them on Sunday: Jay Cutler (Bears), Alex Smith (49ers), and Michel Vick (Eagles).  Two of which had something to lose…

And for the first time since 2008, we had a tie game in the NFL.  And just like last time…one of the players was not aware of the rules.  *Insert Donovan McNabb joke.*

Do they not cover this at rookie camp?  Brush up on it during training camp?  If I’m an NFL coach (and I don’t aspire to be), the first thing I do when my team goes into overtime is…REMIND THEM OF HOW IT WORKS!  And maybe have a pop quiz on the NFL Rule Book.  Sorry.  Didn’t mean to yell…

So, here we are.  At the turning point of the season.  Some things are becoming more obvious…others, more puzzling.  The one thing we can be sure of…a wild ride from here.

Take my hand…we’ll make it, I swear…

XO

This post brought to you by Bon Jovi.

I Want to Like Jay Cutler…

I like everyone.  Or, at least most people.  But Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler is just not one of them.  I want to like him.  I do.  He just makes it so damn hard for me.  The Bears are a team I have a lot of respect for.  I lived in Chicago for a while.  Jay Cutler is a Hoosier (even though he was born in Georgia).  While I am not a born and bred Indiana native myself, after living here for eight years it is now my adopted home state.  So yes, Jay Cutler and I are both Hoosiers, so to speak.  I pull for him, but I just can’t get myself to…like him.

Jay Cutler grew up in Santa Claus, Indiana.  Yes, seriously.  And no, there has never been a more dour person to come out of Santa Claus, Indiana.  He played quarterback for Heritage Hills High School and during his senior year, he led his team to a perfect season and the school’s first Class 3A State Championship.  I’m assuming he smiled.  At least a little.

Cutler went on to play quarterback at Vanderbilt before he was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the 11th overall pick in 2006.  Many considered him the best quarterback in the draft.  For the record, he was taken after Vince Young (#3) and Matt Leinart (#10) and is the only starting quarterback left in that group.  Cutler’s ride with the Broncos was up and down through the 2008 season.  In 2009, there was trade talk.  While it never materialized, Cutler was hurt by the rumors and later demanded a trade.  He eventually went to the Bears and Kyle Orton to the Broncos.  The rest is history…Tebow…Manning…you know the story.

Cutler was made out to be a whiner over the trade.  And unfortunately, once he got to the Bears that reputation never died.  What really did him in was the NFC Championship game in 2010 against the Packers.  Cutler hurt his knee in the third quarter, but was riding the bike on the sideline.  The Bears ended up losing by a touchdown.  The Packers went on to win the Superbowl.  Speculation was that Cutler could have finished the game.  An MRI later revealed a sprain.

If it’s not his body that’s letting him down, it’s his demeanor.  Cutler was invited to do the seventh inning stretch at the Cubs game at Wrigley Field this summer.  Singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game is part of the gig.  While his singing was dreadful, it was his lack of personality that really offended.  He was booed badly by the crowd, which one would assume was mostly Bears fans.

Week one of the 2012 NFL season was a great start for Cutler, week two…not so much.  He was sacked seven times by the Green Bay Packers and was caught on camera chewing out his offensive line.  Cutler isn’t the first quarterback to take his frustration out on his linemen.  Tom Brady has done it.  So has Peyton Manning.  But they don’t have a likability problem.  Fair or not…

Over the years, everything about Jay Cutler has been subject to question: his character, his toughness, his dedication, his drive, even his diabetes.  But there’s only one question I have: Why is he so unhappy?  Charm doesn’t make you a better quarterback, but it sure makes people more forgiving of you (see Tim Tebow).  One of the joys of football is watching the players you love having fun playing the game they love.  Say what you will about Brett Favre, but the guy loves football and loved nothing more than playing it.  Well, almost nothing.

Cutler is engaged to Hollywood It-Girl Kristin Cavallari, with whom he has a brand new baby boy named Camden.  I thought fatherhood might soften him and make him more personable.  Guess that remains to be seen.  If nothing else, the reality TV starlet should be able to give him some pointers on dealing with the public.  She had to remake her image after The Hills and did a pretty good job of it.  You know what would be really good for Cutler’s image?  Dancing With The Stars.  On second thought…maybe not.

Jay Cutler.  Much maligned or misunderstood?  I’ll keep pulling for him.  But someday, I’d really like to like him too.

XO

Bold Predictions for 2012 NFL Season: Cutler Cracks a Smile, Brady Attempts the Impossible, and Eli Loses Some Weight…

Here we are…the preseason is behind us.  The regular season is before us.  And I have a few bold predictions (ten to be exact) for the 2012 NFL season:

10.  Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler will be more likable as a dad.  I didn’t say he’d be a better quarterback, but I do think fatherhood will soften his edges and make him a little more personable, or at least a little more human.  Hey, that commercial he did for The NFL Store was almost funny.  See?  It’s already working.

9.  On the other hand, fatherhood WILL make Tony Romo a better quarterback for the Cowboys.  He put a lot of pressure on himself (some deservedly) the last few seasons, but now seems happy and settled.  That will translate to the field in confidence, that he has someone to come home to…and it’s not Jessica Simpson.

8.  We will discover that Rex Ryan is a better coach when he’s overweight.  Maybe it’s the diet.  It’s possible he’s a little light-headed these days.  I mean, claiming this is the best Jets team he’s ever coached?  That may be more bold than his pre-preseason Superbowl predictions.  He must be seeing something in practice that we’re not.  Namely…touchdowns.

7.  We will learn why no one wants to coach (or play) in Miami.  If you watched Hard Knocks, you’re already half way there.

6.  We will discover that there was indeed something magical about Peyton Manning’s hands under Jeff Saturday’s butt.  Both will have decent seasons, but neither will be able to replicate what they had together in Indianapolis.  Seeing as they’re both playing in outside stadiums now, that’s mostly warm hands and a warm butt.

5.  Tim Tebow will become the starter for the New York Jets.  I don’t know when, but it will happen.  And when it does, the skies will part, the angels will sing, and Skip Bayless will crown him MVP…all before he completes his first pass (just before halftime).

4.  With the Patriots light on receivers, Tom Brady, upon suffering two Superbowl defeats to Eli Manning, will attempt to do the very thing wife Gisele Bundchen claimed he could not…throw the ball and catch it himself.

3.  Eli Manning will finally prove that he is an elite quarterback after all, and is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the Manning family.  Wait, didn’t he do that last season?  Forget it then.  Eli will find new joy playing for the Giants, without carrying a 230-pound monkey on his back named Peyton.

2.  After two weeks of fumbled calls, Father Goodell will finally open his checkbook and sign the NFL officials to a new contract, just in time for week three.  The replacement refs will miss the call, report to work, and flag the league for too many men on the field.  They will try to reverse the call, but won’t remember what it was.

1.  And for my last bold prediction of the season…Terrell Owens and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson will fall in love (no, not with each other) and ride off into sunset, never to be heard from again.  I know.  I pushed it too far with that one.  Damn, it was a nice thought though…wasn’t it?

Here’s to the 2012 NFL season.  The clock is down to hours…and they’re ticking away.

XO

Dancing with the NFL Stars

Donald Driver finds himself in good company today.  He joins Dallas Cowboys Running Back Emmitt Smith and Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Hines Ward as NFL players who took home both the Lombardi Trophy and the mirror ball trophy.  “It took me 13 years to win the Super Bowl,” the 37 year old receiver for the Green Bay Packers said.  “I’m just glad it took me one season to win the mirrorball.”

And he won it out on the floor just like he does on the field, quietly and persistently.  There’s a lot to love about Donald Driver.  His life choices, his no drama, hard work attitude.  And he did it during what has been hailed the most competitive season ever on the popular dance reality show.

Now that Season 14 is over, who would we like to next represent the NFL on Dancing with the Stars?

Here is our Top 10 List:

10.  Rex Ryan (New York Jets Head Coach)

Pros: A chance to show off and add to his recent 90 pound weight loss.  Good recreational activity for him to share with his wife, who will certainly need some foot massages after all that dancing.

Cons: Ryan would likely crown himself the winner of the competition prior to the start of it, putting undo pressure on himself and his partner to live up to his bold prediction.

9.  Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears Quarterback)

Pros: Cutler’s fiancee and soon-to-be baby mama, Kristin Cavallari was a contestant on the show a few seasons ago.  Although she was cast off too early, she could give him some pointers.

Cons: Cutler is known for being “soft.”  A perceived fake knee injury during the finals could do him in for good.

8.  Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens Linebacker)

Pros: Known as one of the most intense, competitive players in the NFL.  That would surely translate to the ballroom.

Cons: It would be just too damn scary.

7.  Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver)

Pros: Another one of the good guys of the NFL, his work ethic and professionalism would make him an immediate contender on any season of DWTS.

Cons: A lot of potential mishaps with all that hair…jewelry, sequins, etc.  A wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.

6.  Brett Favre (Retired Green Bay Packers/Jets/Vikings Quarterback)

Pros: Maybe this is a stretch, but his competitive spirit could carry him.  If he can dance his way back into the hearts of America, maybe the Packers will consider retiring his jersey earlier rather than later.

Cons: No telling how Brett will behave himself amongst all those scantily clad women.

5.  Victor Cruz (New York Giants Wide Receiver)

Pros: The boy can dance!  Cruz’s trademark touchdown salsa dance has already earned him a DWTS offer, which he reportedly turned down.

Cons: Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin is known for his no nonsense style.  May not look fondly on the attention or missed training for purposes of entertainment.

4.  Terrell Owens (Retired Eagles/Cowboys/Bengals Wide Receiver)

Pros: He may not be signed with a team, but this guy is still in playing shape.  Why do I feel like we’ve seen this show before?  Maybe because Chad Ochocinco’s season was like T.O. Light.  Trust me, the drama would be bigger, better, and juicier with Owens.

Cons: The drama.

3.  Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys Quarterback)

Pros: Romo is not afraid to make a fashion statement.  Put him in a newsboy hat, a fedora, seersucker, leather…it’s all good.  Well, maybe not the leather, but he’s still a costume designer’s dream.

Cons: The mirrorball trophy will never replace the Lombardi Trophy in the hearts of Cowboys fans.  If he doesn’t win the Superbowl the following season, Romo’s DWTS appearance will look like just another distraction.

2.  Reggie Bush (Miami Dolphins Running Back)

Pros: Where do I start?  That face looks like it was carved out of milk chocolate.  And his smile?  He would have Bruno and Carrie Ann at hello.  And the obligatory shirtless dance?  We’ll give him a 10 right now!

Cons: The admittedly shy star is known to shun the spotlight and even broke up with Kim Kardashian because he couldn’t handle the media circus that accompanied her.  However, the attention could benefit the many causes he supports, including Make A Wish and the NFL’s Play 60.  Come on Reggie, do it for us.  And by us, I mean the kids.  Of course.

1.  Tim Tebow (New York Jets Quarterback)

Pros: A lamb with a lion’s heart.  And he knows how to win on the field, in life, and certainly would win on the dance floor.  Whether he starts this season for the Jets or not, Tim Tebow has already won America’s heart.

Cons: Please.

XO