I know a basketball reference in a football publication is kind of unorthodox, but hear me out. This past Monday we saw one of the greatest upsets in sports history come at the hand of “The King” of basketball LeBron James. The man who for years was the most scrutinized athlete, probably in all of sports history. The man who was deemed as “The King” before he played a minute of pro basketball and the man who is the closest player to threatening the legacy of Chicago’s very own Michael Jordan… LeBron James.
I don’t know how many of you saw the NBA Finals, but it was one of the greatest performances by a player I have ever seen. In my opinion, James catapulted his name into the top 3 / top 5 debate. The Hollywood-worthy story of this year’s finals win added to his legacy and all you can really do is hope the Bears find a way to do the same.
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So why reference “The King” on a Bears blog page? Well, it’s very complex, let me explain. There’s a man on our Chicago Bears team by the name of Jay Cutler. The cry baby quarterback, who has his share of fans and haters, the man who has all the physical talents and tools to be great but can’t just seem to get the job done. The man who was brought in to be the savior of the Bears poor QB history only to be average at best. The most scrutinized man in all of Chicago sports. He’s the LeBron James of football.
I know this comparison is a stretch. I’m not for one second trying to place Jay in the same realm of greatness of LeBron James. To be fair, the Lebron James of football was Peyton Manning, but he’s retired so his legacy is in the books. James is a 3X Champion, 4X MVP and 12X NBA all-star. Jay Cutler only has one Pro Bowl to his name.
It’s not the statistics or awards that I’m comparing Jay to Lebron, but the rhetoric that’s been painted of Cutler that makes me want to compare him to LeBron. The cry baby player, the player who apparently can’t perform in the clutch, the player that was given expectations to bring a championship and failed countless times. Jay Cutler fits that description.
Jay was traded for in 2009, as the greatest franchise quarterback the Bears had since Sid Luckman. I remember that offseason like it was yesterday, how fast the Bears franchise moved from being a pretender to a contender. All of that, just by having Jay on this team and it’s not just the Bears, Jay would have this effect on any team.
There are multiple teams in the NFL that would be instant contenders if they just had a talent like Jay on their team. Not many players have that LeBron James effect: the ability to take a franchise in the trash and actually make them competitive. Just look at the Bear’s last season, the only reason why the Bears were even in games was because of Trigger Jay.
Take this comparison however you’d like. Bottom line is, Jay needs to have his ’16 LeBron James season. It’s been 30 years since the Bears have last touched a Lombardi trophy. The Bears have been a starved franchise for multiple years and it’s now time for the most important player on this Bears team to deliver on his goals of making us world champions again.
Like LeBron, Jay is always given excuses, legitimate excuses. Injuries to his teammates, injuries to himself, bad coaching, bad play calling, etc. However, at one point you have to play the cards you are dealt and now it’s time for Cutler to show up.
I know the Bears are not a team filled with immense talent. I know the Bears don’t have an all-world athlete like LeBron leading this team and I know a championship run is a very optimistic and not a realistic expectation. But I wouldn’t be inclined to feel this way if the Bears didn’t have Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Long, and Kevin White.
I wouldn’t have these expectations if I didn’t think the defense will make strides this year behind Pernell McPhee. I wouldn’t have made such a far fetched comment if the Bears didn’t have the coaching staff that they do. I trust these Bears. I trust Jay Cutler.
It may take a miracle for the Bears to have a legitimate championship run, but it took a miracle for Cleveland to be the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit against the greatest (regular season ) basketball team of all time. When people counted LeBron out he finally found a way to prove them wrong, he finally developed that “Killer Instinct”.
The whole football world has counted Jay Cutler out year after year after year. It is now time to rise. It is now time for Jay to prove that he is the Most Valuable Player. That he is the King of the North. That Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears will be Super Bowl Champions.