Chicago, IL – Since this is a sports opinion blog I will lay out mine as to why the Chicago Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler fits the Bears perfectly and epitomizes everything a Chicago Bear should be. First to see if Cutler fits the mold we need to understand what does it mean to be a Chicago Bear and what does it symbolize to others. The Chicago Bears are one of the oldest franchises in the league and the founding organization on which this billion dollar industry known as the NFL was born from. Every team and their owners owe a huge thank you to the sweat and labors of love of one man Mr. Halas. The Bears founding father George S. Halas was a pioneer and a renaissance man- a true visionary but more importantly a hardworking, honest, generous, a principled man who encapsulates his Midwest roots. Mr. Halas love of sports is witnessed by the fact he played not only football but baseball and basketball as well making him a true athlete and competitor. The Chicago Bears are not only a storied franchise that symbolizes tradition, determination, honesty, ingenuity, equality, toughness and a grittiness to leave everything on a football field but; the Chicago Bears have also had their fair share of players that brought all of these attributes to life in living, breathing, sweating, bloodied flesh throughout the decades names like Red Grange, George Halas, Mike Ditka, Bronko Nagurski, Sid Luckman, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Doug Baffone, Walter Payton & Dan Hampton. Now besides the fact all of these are Hall of Fame players they all share those qualities that typifies being a Chicago Bear.
While Jay Cutler is not even close to being a Hall of Famer or in the same category as those great names so far by his accomplishments on the field, what he does share with them are some of those same characteristics of being a true Chicago Bear. I think Cutler does have a sense of the tradition of the Bears and respects what the C on the side of the helmet stand for and would never do anything to disparage this team, teammates, coaches, city or fans. Being a Midwest boy himself and having been a Bears fan as a child Cutler fully understands what the Bears tradition is all about and what it represents, it’s no surprise when Denver traded him that he was on board with becoming a Bear. Think about it Bears fans we have to be honest here the Bears are not exactly a team a budding, young quarterback would want to go to if he was selfish and looking to only improve his personal gains or was only concerned with his own stats. The Chicago Bears have never been known for the Offensive prowess and great aerial attacks so I doubt Cutler came to Chicago thinking his stats would skyrocket and launch him to the pro bowl. Yes he was in a bad situation in Denver but my point is he could have went to a team more known to be QB and passing offence friendly other than the Bears.
No one can ever accuse Cutler of not being honest. He has always been forthright when posed with tough questions and uncomfortable situations. Now he is not a media darling that’s for sure but the one thing the media can count on from Cutler is either an honest answer or he will tell you I don’t want to answer that question but you know what you’re getting with him. Cutler has taken a lot of grief because of his body language but I think it just goes to show the guy doesn’t know how to conceal or filter his feelings or emotions on the field and why should he? The factor I believe that drives us as humans to do our best regardless of en-devour is our passions. The injection of feelings or emotions being demonstrated on the field only makes Cutler more human and thus relatable it shows he cares about the game and his team and isn’t that what we want from our athletes is to care about what they are doing?
I don’t think there is any player that makes an NFL teams’ roster without determination, skill and hard work. The skills are obvious. To reach this level a tremendous amount of hard work was put in more than most people can ever imagine and the fortitude to endour even when you think you can’t go on. Cutler has a good work ethic, he was the first one to training camp this year and I’m sure he is tied at the hip with OC Martz studying films why because being locked in a windowless, dark, small film room is fun? Well yes to him and Martz it is because they love football and because they have a paramount desire to be the best. This ardor for improvement is innate so he has not been coached into this he’s always had it and it is as much a fiber of his being as his freckles.
Now the last characteristic I will talk about is something that has come into question with Cutler – Toughness/grittiness. This perhaps more than any of the other qualities embodies what a Chicago Bear is or should possess. One just needs to recall Dick Butkus flying over opposing O-lines to make bone crushing tackles or the stiff arm determination of a Walter Payton run or a fiery temper outburst of Mike Ditka on the Bears sidelines or the physically punishing relentless 46 Bears defense that destroyed offences to visualize what being a Bear and “Bearingdown” means. If adversity builds character and toughness then Cutler has had his share recently of character building moments. His peers questioning him on his toughness and personally questioning and attacking his grit level but through all of this you never heard Cutler complain or say anything negative about his detractors or really even flinch too much about the whole incident. I submit this not only exemplifies toughness but maybe Cutler possess a mental fortress that is truly impenetrable from the outside. Physically our bodies can only withstand so much physical abuse and when they give out there is really nothing one can do to control this so when injuries happen it really says nothing about a persons toughness what does is the persons resolve and ability to deal with adversity. Not only has Cutler handled this whole knee injury fiasco with great resolve but a lot of class as well which exemplifies Chicago Bear behavior and probably has Poppa Bear Halas smiling somewhere. “Adversity cause some men to break; others to break records.” -William A. Ward. Here’s hoping Cutler breaks a lot of records and can join that list of Bears with on field accomplishments that will one day put him in that elite classification of Chicago Bears.