As long as any Bears fan can remember, they have someone to hate. Whether it be Rick Mirer, Cedric Benson, Rex Grossman, Lovie Smith, Jerry Angelo, the entire McCaskey family, etc. The new target is non other than their upcoming star, Jay Cutler.
I have been a Bears fan my entire 28 year life, and I have never seen a fan base hate players as much as Chicago Bears fans do. Being from Chicago, I also am a White Sox fan, whose fans can also be rough, but not like this.
The word I can best describe Bears fans is brutal. In 2009 the Bears acquired QB Jay Cutler and a 5th round pick(turned out to be Jhonny Knox) in exchange for 2 first rd draft picks, a third rd pick, and QB Kyle Orton. The reason this trade happened is because Cutler and Broncos new head coach Josh McDaniels were not compatible. McDaniels wanted Matt Cassel to run his short, but heavy passing offense. Jay's skills do not really fit that bill. Cutler felt unwanted and wanted out of Denver. What Jay didnt know is that where he was headed could get alot worse.
In the acquistion of Cutler, Bears fans were questioning giving up 3 draft picks and Orton in exchange for him, but most accepted it because they said that GM Angelo would have blown those picks anyway. Cutler played the 09-10 season in Chicago ending up with 27 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. Not what you would expect from a 4th year QB? Don't take this the wrong way, but Peyton Manning finished his first 5 seasons with 130 TD's and 104 INT's. Cutler's first five seasons, he's had 104 TD's and 79 INT's. Now, while I am not comparing Cutler to Manning, I am simply showing a numbers comparison. This also includes Jay having three different offensive systems in 5 years, and Manning one. Not to mention going from one of the best offensive lines in football, to one of the worse with the aging Bears lineman. The Bears finished the 09-10 season at 7-9, disappointing.
Starting the 2010 season, Bears fans were already on edge with Cutler, saying he was a mistake to trade for. On top of that, they brought in a new offensive coordinator, new QB coach, and a new O-line coach. The perception of the Bears around town was they they would be 3rd or 4th in the division. After starting the season with wins over the Lions, Cowboys, and Packers, the fans started to believe in Cutler and his abilities as a franchise quarterback. In week 4, the Bears and Cutler went down hard(literally) to the Giants with Cutler getting sacked 9 times in the first half and sustaining a concussion. What a difference one week can make.... Cutler began to get pounded by Chicago fans and media, saying that he just wanted out of the game and that he staged a concussion. In his 5 year career, he had never missed a game due to injury, but still Bears fans questioned his will. He missed week 5 after failing his post-concussion tests. Once he returned in week 6, the Bears lost to Seattle, and again next week to Washington. The roller coaster of Jay love-hate continues.
In week 8, the Bears have their bye week and move offensive lineman to different spots after seeing Cutler sacked 27 times in the 6 games he had played in. They came out after the bye and won 5 straight games, including one against the Eagles who was said around the NFL to be the team to beat. The Cutler love was in full effect, as the Bears were now 9-3. The love even continued through the 36-7 loss to the Patriots, because the Bears went on after that to beat the Vikings and Jets where Jay threw 6 TD passes and ran for another. They had clinched a first round bye. Cutler finsished the 2010 season with 23 TD's and 16 INT's. Now, their defense was good, but would not have won 11 games without Jay at quarterback.
Entering the playoffs, Bears fans were saying that Cutler was their guy, and with the defense the Bears were playing, they could be unstoppable. After the bye, the Bears played the Seahawks, and beat them with their unstoppable offense, and devastating defense. Cutler passed for 2 TD's and ran for 2 TD's in his first ever postseason game. It really is hard to explain the buzz around Cutler and the Bears at this point, because the hated rival Green Bay was up next. Leading up to this game, Bears fans were saying that this was their Super Bowl, not the game played on Feb. 6... All they wanted to do was beat the hated Packers in Soldier Field. The next turn of events can change not only opinions, but someones life. The Packers came out and executed their gameplan to perfection, and taking a 14-0 lead. There is no question that Cutler was a little off in the first half of this game completing just 6 of 14 passes for 80 yards and one interception. Just before halftime, Jay was seen walking to the locker room with a limp. Oh no.... Starting the second half down 14-0, Cutler came out for the first series, and was immediately pulled by the medical staff. They said he could not return. Jay stood on the sideline and watched his Bears go down 21-14 to the Packers. What happens next can not be re-done. A navy blue #6 Bears jersey is being burned in the soldier field parking lot, mass tweets, and texts go out calling Cutler expletives saying he has no heart, and that he is no leader. Not to mention the players around the league saying similar things on Twitter. Embarrasing.
Within 2 hours of the end of the game, I had recieved countless calls and texts asking ''How you can back this guy?''. Bears fans had already forgotten that without him, we wouldn't have been there. They had already forgot their predictions of a third or fourth place in the division. They had already forgot that he helped us win the NFC North Division. They had forgotten everything. Jay Cutler is now the man that they hate as Bears fans. This is the reason that I do not go to bars or friends houses to watch Bears games. I am embarrased to be associated with people that sway so much from week to week, rather than backing up their quarterback, our quarterback.
When asked about the criticism of his injury, Jay responded "I have no comment", turned around, bit his lip, as tears started to fall. I am one of the biggest sports fans that I know, but I can actually seperate my emotions and still see things clearly despite the fact that my favorite team just lost. Who is anyone to question Cutler's toughness or the severity of his injury? Its not you, and it's not me. It is the doctors who are paid alot of money to make sure the players we love to watch stay healthy. And after finding out that he has a Stage II tear of his MCL, maybe some will be more forgiving. But knowing Bears fans like I do, most will not forgive because he lost a single game to the Packers(who are honestly, a better team). I have already wondered what next year will bring for Jay when he returns to Soldier Field, and have concluded that it is all about how Bears fans are feeling that particular day, or week.