Wisconsin's Sad Farewell to Jay Cutler
The devastating blow was dealt on Thursday, and a cold, somber weekend ensued statewide. Fresh air failed to revive. Beer didn’t taste as satisfying. The laughter of babies sounded hollow. It’s all because of one man. After leading his Bears to a 2-11 record against the Packers, Thursday, March 9 saw the release of quarterback Jay Cutler. Fans still need time to grieve in Green Bay.
Indeed, from Eagle River down to Lake Geneva, with Milwaukee mourning in between, parents are wondering, “How do we explain this to our kids?” True, the youngest generation of fans has been spoiled, led to believe that every leader of the Bears’ offense will pass for a flimsy 68.9 rating vs the Pack, provoke ire from those who want him to succeed, and garner a salary he doesn’t deserve. A lot of tykes simply don’t get the added benefit of Jay’s hefty contracts tying up money that could be used to improve other parts of the team—because have you ever tried to explain the salary cap to a kid?
Gift of futility, awe-inspiring stain on Chicago sports, mopey snob who married a vapid reality star, Jay has a face as maddening as a sliver—and you’d better believe we’re going to miss watching that smug mug pout as he stares up at the scoreboard with that classic blend of boredom and hopelessness. It’s hard to imagine Jay vanishing like a fart lost in the Windy City. I prefer to think his memory will linger to induce scowls outside of Soldier Field. And it’s so hard to say goodbye.
The grim truth is that all debacles must come to an end. The Jay debacle spanned eight seasons, but it still leaves us wanting more. It began in 2010, with Jay getting benched due to an injury that raised questions about his toughness in a home-loss to the Packers in the NFC championship game—and gloriously, things only got worse from there. It was like watching toxic gasoline rain into a dumpster fire. So beautiful.
A few regrets remain. For instance, do you know how many times Jay was intercepted by Pro Bowl safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix? Zero. He’ll never know the joy experienced by Nick Collins (3), Johnny Jolly, Tramon Williams (3), Al Harris, Charles Woodson (2), Derrick Martin, Charlie Peprah, Sam Shields (3), Morgan Burnett (2), Jerron McMillian, Casey Hayward (2), Clay Matthews (2) and Micah Hyde. Before watching that video of Jay’s plethora of picks against the Packers, it’s fun to quip, “Put on a pot of coffee!” But to Ha Ha, the gag is not as funny. Sad.
Stats aside, Packers fans will be lamenting the loss of Jay’s body language on the sidelines. Hands clutching at the collar of his jersey, he reminded us of the high school villain from an ’80s movie who got his comeuppance in the end, the cocky brat who stood like a sulky statue and choked the ascot around his neck as the heroes celebrated their triumph at the dojo, ski hill, carnival, or gymnasium where the victors were led by a kid who opted to not be a werewolf for the good of the team.
Football life goes on without Jay in Chicago. The Bears inked a deal with Tampa Bay castaway Mike Glennon on March 9. He has thrown 30 touchdowns to 15 interceptions in limited action since 2013. By many accounts, Glennon is pale, balding, capable yet humble, self-effaced, likable, and deserving of his opportunity. Packer Backers will have a harder time indulging in schadenfreude with Glennon under center, and he might even throw more scores than picks—unlike that overmatched sourpuss chucking wounded ducks late over the middle of the field.
Oh, well. Memories endure like the guaranteed money in a regrettable Jay Cutler contract. Number six was an awesome, fledgling nemesis for the Packers. Never forget.