Go away, Cutler haters

Anyone who still believes Bears quarterback is soft is pathetic

November 21, 2011|By Alex Quigley, For RedEye

Jay Cutler could kick your ass.

Let's just get that out of the way. He's an NFL quarterback, paid very well to stay in peak physical shape, and unless you're a war vet or cancer survivor, he's probably dealt with a hell of a lot more pain than you.

After watching the beating he's taken on gamedays recently (sacked 75 times since the start of 2010, more than anyone on Earth), you'd think every Bears fan would respect Cutler's ability to play through pain. The man did indeed tear his MCL in the NFC Championship game in January, even if you heard from a friend of a friend who works for the Bears that "he was totally faking it." Shut up.

On Sunday he broke his thumb attempting to tackle a Charger during an interception return--a pick that's far more the Soldier Field Turfmonster's fault than Johnny Knox's or Cutler's. He stayed in the game and went 2-2 for 24 yards on two third-down conversions. With a broken thumb on his throwing hand.

If you continue to question his toughness, you need to know you look stupid. Be honest with yourself: say you hate Cutler because you don't like his face or he's dating a girl from "The Hills" or you think he's using his diabetes as an excuse for bad games (yep, I've heard that one). But he's a tough mother and probably the best quarterback to ever line up for the NFL's oldest franchise. You hate for the sake of hating at this point, and it is pathetic.

As for the fortunes of the Jay-less Bears? They've still got that Matt Forte guy we all wanna pay, one of the league's top play-making defenses and the greatest kick return unit in history. And the schedule is quite favorable: five of the final six teams are on their second (or third!) quarterback of the season. The Bears should easily win four of six and would probably get in the playoffs with a mere 3-3 finish.

By then, Cutler will be able to thumb wrestle a horse. And someone will hate him for it. Don't be that someone.

Alex Quigley is a RedEye special contributor.

@alexquigley

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