ESPN’s Rick Reilly hates the Chicago Bears. There’s no better explanation I can give after he popped his Jay Cutler story on Thursday. Here’s a sampling:
If he’s [Cutler] not The Most Hated Man in the NFL, he’s in the running. His expression is usually that of a man wearing sandpaper underwear. He looks everywhere but into your eyes. It’s a tie as to which he enjoys more — smirking or shrugging.
It’s hard to say what interests Cutler, but it’s definitely not you.
Why would you stir that up a couple of days before, as Reilly puts it, “a huge moment for Cutler,” his first postseason action since high school? I can only explain that he is trying to serve as a distraction, a double agent for Pete Carroll or the ghost of Vince Lombardi.
Reilly is in town covering Cutler and Chicago Bull Derrick Rose. Rose gave Reilly all the time in the world; Cutler could barely muster a fart. Does Reilly have any sense about the timing of his visit? He’s asking Rose for access during the middle of an 82-game season; he’s asking Cutler for precious moments in a win-or-go-home sudden-death scenario with a chance at the NFC Championship within reach.
Besides, Cutler doesn’t owe anyone outside of Halas Hall anything. All Jay owes the Bears and fans is a solid performance. What he does after hours is up to him. This isn’t a popularity contest, so boo-freaking-woo if Cutler doesn’t want to hang out and make nice with a member of the media. You know the media, right? The guys that have villified Cutler and micro-analyze every expression, smirk, sigh and groan. The guy just wants to keep to himself. What’s wrong with that?
It’s up to Jay to block out Reilly and all the other distractions and deliver a playoff performance for the ages.