We’re crushing: on Brandon Marshall

Bears stylemaster Brandon Marshall. (Photo: @cjzero)

Bears stylemaster Brandon Marshall
(Photo: @cjzero)

The evening belonged to Coach Ditka. But Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall certainly stole the spotlight when he showed up for the Bears’ Monday Night Football game at Soldier Field.

Known for his swag, both on the field and off, Marshall has already established himself as an NFL style icon. But on Monday night…he broke the swag meter.

(Photo: @BuzzFeedSports)

(Photo: @BuzzFeedSports)

Marshall was absolutely styling in a red double-breasted coat with a “turnt up” collar, complete with dress shirt, bow tie, matching gloves, and specs.

And he didn’t disappoint on the field either. Marshall had with six catches for 100 yards in the Bears’ 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

With game time temperatures hovering around 15 degrees (and below zero with windchill), Marshall proved no match for the Cowboys or the elements.

The colder it is…the hotter he gets.

Brandon Marshall. Swagmaster.


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!”



Monday Bloody Monday

Former NFL Coaches: Crennel (Chiefs), Reid (Eagles), Shurmur (Browns)

Former NFL Coaches: Crennel (Chiefs), Reid (Eagles), Shurmur (Browns)

We knew it was coming. We knew heads would roll. But who knew Black Monday would be this bloody?

By New Year’s Eve day, seven NFL head coaches and five general managers were unemployed. Dozens of coordinators and assistants followed. A post-regular-season house cleaning like we’ve never seen. More head coaches lost their jobs Monday than in the previous three seasons combined.

Some teams chose to start over completely, removing both the general manager and head coach. The Arizona Cardinals did so with Coach Ken Whisenhunt and General Manager Rod Graves. The Cleveland Browns with Coach Pat Shurmur and Manager Tom Heckert. And the Chargers followed suit with Coach Norv Turner and Manager A.J. Smith.

New Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shad Khan chose to fire General Manager Gene Smith. And the New York Jets turned General Manager Mike Tannenbaum loose after a season that proved to be interesting, yet disappointing. No word yet on Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan’s future. In fact, we’re still waiting for his end of the season press conference.

Four other teams chose to part ways with their coaches: The Buffalo Bills with Chan Gailey, the Kansas City Chiefs with Romeo Crennel, the Eagles with Andy Reid, and the only real surprise…the Chicago Bears with Lovie Smith.

Smith’s firing created a backlash in the Bears locker room as well as the national sports media. Because…well, everybody loves Lovie. Both Tony Dungy (a close friend of Smith’s) and former Bears Coach Mike Ditka referred to the decision as “ridiculous.” Bears star Wide Receiver Devin Hester is reportedly so distraught by the news that he is pondering retirement.

One person who won’t be retiring…Lovie Smith. He is a hot commodity in the now busy market for NFL head coach shopping season.

So, what happens now? Does a game of musical coaches ensue…cut your guy and pick up the one to your right? It’s already started, with Andy Reid reportedly interviewing with the Chiefs today and Cardinals tomorrow.

And the bloodshed may not be over.

In the meantime, we’re still waiting…




Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 4: The One With the Real Refs

Week 4 of the NFL season welcomed back the regular officials to standing ovations in every stadium.  It was a honeymoon of sorts…into about the second quarter of every game.  Then they were the same old refs we love to hate.  The games went faster though and I’ll take bad or missed calls by someone who knows the rules any day.

There are a few lingering questions this season and week 4 certainly didn’t put them to rest.

The first, “What’s wrong with the New York Jets?”  Or better yet, “What isn’t wrong with the New York Jets?”  They lost their best defensive player, Cornerback Darrelle Revis last week.  This week they lost Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes, arguably their best offensive player.

And they lost Tim Tebow.  He’s not hurt, they just can’t find him.  On the bench.  Seriously, though…what happened to Tebow Time?  You’re losing 34-0 at home.  And getting booed.  That is the secret recipe for Tim Tebow.  That’s where the magic of Tebow Time happens.  Did Rex Ryan not watch the Broncos last year?

It was speculated that with Sanchez’s confidence at an all time low (how is that even possible when you’re dating Eva Longoria?), Jets Coach Rex Ryan doesn’t want to add to the pressure and create a quarterback controversy.  But he does want to win, right?  During the post game press conference on Sunday, Ryan was asked about the Jets’ quarterback situation and replied, “I think Mark’s the answer.”  Alrighty then.  Think is not know though.  And if you’re worried about Sanchez’s feelings, maybe you should have thought about that before you pursued Peyton Manning, then brought in Tim Tebow in the offseason.  Just saying…

Let’s move on to Dallas.  The Cowboys are another team no one can figure out and they also lost badly at home this week.  Yes, five turnovers will do it.  But I’m only putting half of those on Tony Romo.  Dez Bryant gets two.  And they can share one.  Romo is a very good quarterback who needs some more weapons.  But don’t say that word around Dez Bryant.  And don’t even start with the quarterback controversy.  Kyle Orton?  Please.

I am going to go out on a limb here and call a coaching controversy in the Cowboys’ near future.  I like Jason Garrett, but it doesn’t appear to me that he has the control or confidence of his team right now.  You know who does?  Rob Ryan.  In fact, towards the end of the game on Monday night, Ryan had to tell Garrett to challenge a call he wasn’t aware he could challenge.  The only complaint I have about Ryan is he cut his hair and looks a little less badass now.  Anyway, keep an eye on this one.  You heard it here first.

And for depressed Cowboys fans, there is this…

Speaking of quarterbacks on Monday Night Football, who saw Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler blow off his offensive coordinator, Mike Tice on the sideline?  Cutler was on the bench after one of few unsuccessful possessions against the Cowboys and Tice sat down next to him with his clipboard.  Cutler got up and left.  Then walked away from him on the sideline.  I am no Mike Tice fan.  But I am no Jay Cutler fan either.  And don’t give me the whole, he’s just a competitive guy thing.  Being respectful costs nothing.  But being an ass can cost a lot.  I’m not talking about how great Jay Cutler’s arm looked, am I?  See…

So there you have it, week 4.  A coiffed Rob Ryan and a skinny Rex Ryan?  Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the Cowboys and Jets…


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.