Jay Cutler is an overrated, coach-killing diva who never has been a winner at any significant level.
And you know what else he is? A victim.
Think what you want about Cutler -- I already have shared my thoughts in the first paragraph -- but he doesn't deserve to be the target of abuse by couch-potato doctor-wannabes who are questioning his pain tolerance and manhood.
Cutler has taken a beating for two years behind the horrid offensive line his GM and coach put in front of him. He has gotten up nearly every time, never once publicly questioning his bosses or teammates. And yet when he left Sunday's playoff loss to a superior Packers team with a knee problem, thousands -- maybe even millions -- of people immediately questioned his toughness and his willingness to fight through adversity.
Fellow NFL players (such as Darnell Dockett, an admitted criminal during his Florida State days) and ex-jocks (such as Deion Sanders, who for his entire career was afraid to tackle anybody bigger than he was) quickly tweeted their thoughts.
Their theme: Jay Cutler is a wimp who has no heart.
Ten years ago, big-league blowhard David Wells accused White Sox teammate Frank Thomas of jaking it ... only to learn shortly thereafter that Thomas had suffered a season-ending shoulder injury requiring major surgery. Karma was a bitch; Wells had a brutally bad season full of physical woes.
Five years ago, folks within and outside the Cubs organization accused Mark Prior of giving in to small aches and pains ... only to learn that Prior was suffering from injuries that might have been misdiagnosed and very possibly were caused by the Cubs over-using him.
And now we have NFL players -- who should know better -- not to mention many idiot fans accusing Cutler of being a pussy and a quitter.
In the regular-season finale three weeks ago, Lovie Smith chose to play Cutler the entire game even though it was completely meaningless to the Bears. It wasn't meaningless to the Packers, however, who used the occasion to beat the QB's alleged protectors over and over again en route to beating Cutler to a pulp.
Instead of quitting that day, Cutler kept getting up. Later, he defended Lovie's decision and his offensive line's ability.
But now, on Sunday, in a game he desperately wanted to win to prove he could be an impact player at the highest level, Cutler simply took a pass?
Were I a Bears fan, I'd be upset that Cutler played like doo-doo before he got hurt, missing an open Devin Hester three times on what could have been huge plays. I'd be livid that the team's braintrust thought Todd Collins was a viable NFL backup. I'd be spittin' mad that Mike Martz called that ridiculous end-around to kill a potential tying drive in a game the Bears had no business winning.
Oh, and I'd temper my enthusiasm about third-stringer Caleb Hanie, who did his darnedest to rally the troops but also threw two interceptions, including one that was taken in for a TD by a 400-pound lineman.
What I wouldn't be doing is questioning the toughness of Jay Cutler or any other player without knowing some facts.
I know, I know: In this Internet age, "fact" is the ultimate four-letter f-word, to be avoided at all costs.
Why worry about facts when we can be instant, brainless twits, right Neon Deion?