What’s the best way to say you don’t like somebody? A bumper sticker? Everybody may not know the person you are dissing. Facebook? People post so many things on Facebook, your diss would disappear in two seconds, and you’d have to scroll ten miles down Facebook to find it.
Elizabeth Porter Bowman of Chicago, a retired school teacher, had the answer—her obituary. Here’s a portion of her obit from the Chicago Tribune, “A lifelong fan of the Cubs, Blackhawks, and Bears (except Jay Cutler)”. She’d had since 2009 when Jay joined the Bears to think about it. She passed away in January at the age of 78.
Now that obit is permanent, in the archives of obituaries forever. Something for Jay Cutler’s grandchildren to read. His great grandchildren. His great-great grandchildren.
Exactly how Elizabeth formed her opinion may only be known by her relatives. Or Elizabeth might have decided to take the secret with her.
Maybe she became disenchanted when Jay signed a $126.7 million deal with the Bears in January, 2014 after the Bears went 8-8 in 2013. Those are the basic facts. What is sometimes overlooked is that Jay and the Bears were 7-3 to start the 2013 season before he was injured. After that they went 1-5, relying on Jay’s backup.
Maybe it’s Jay’s interceptions and the Bears record since 2009. Here’s the won-lost-interceptions for that time. 2009 7-9-26. 2010 11-5-16. 2011 8-8-7. 2012 10-6-14. 2013 8-8-12. 2014 5-11-18. 2015 6-10-11.
That 2010 season of 11-5 included a win in the divisional playoff, but a loss in the conference championship.
The combined record during the Jay Cutler era is 55-57, with those 6 games in 2013 he should not be held accountable for.
Maybe Elizabeth knew where Jay was born and that raised her expectations beyond normal. As we age all of us become aware there is no Santa Claus, but a person born in Santa Claus, Indiana surely must possess powers beyond normal humans. Jay was born in Santa Claus, Indiana.
Elizabeth was old enough to have some fond memories of Bears’ football. Well maybe not 2006 when the Bears lost the Super Bowl to the Colts 29-17, finishing with a phenomenal 13-3 record.
But certainly back in the days of Richard Dent, Mike Singletary, and Mike Ditka. From 1985-1988 the Bears went 52-11, winning the 1985 Super Bowl, and finishing 15-1.
That was then, and this is now. It’s true Jay has had his share of interceptions, every one of which he wishes he could retrieve, but he has also been dumped in the backfield a number of times while trying to pass, maybe more than he should. Throw in there several times when he was running for his life, and eluded those intent on separating him from reason.
I’m not a rabid Bears’ fan, but I am sure some of them could recount every play of every game in excruciating detail since Jay came to the Bears. I just hope they include the number of times Jay has been dumped on his rear end. Most quarterbacks, even in the NFL, are not good at completing passes from a prone position.
In Jay’s last two years of high school the team went 26-1, with his senior season being 15-0 and a state championship. He played his college football at Vanderbilt, the perennial non-powerhouse of the Southeastern Conference.
The academic standards at Vanderbilt are quite high, and a degree from that esteemed university means when you graduate, you know something. That probably means when his agent told him to sign that $126.7 contract with the Bears in January, 2014, Jay may have said, “Let me read this thing first.”
Elizabeth dissing Jay is about like your grandmother telling you she doesn’t love you anymore. Jay has had so many hand grenades thrown at him during his Bears’ stay, he might not have noticed. This was like a 16” inch gun on a Navy battleship. In case you’ve never paid attention to naval ways that is a big, formidable weapon, and is a little difficult to ignore altogether.
Jay journeys on. There’s not much else he can do. He has to hope that the likes of Richard Dent and Mike Singletary and Mike Ditka will take the field when the Bears’ 2016 season begins. Of course they will have different names, but maybe they will act like them. I doubt it. I’ve seen nothing in the trade news that the Bears’ have brought about any significant change in their team. Jay can expect to be sacked as he has in the past. He will throw some interceptions.
Elizabeth has departed this world, and left her final words. Should by a stretch of the imagination the Bears have a good year for the 2016 season, Elizabeth cannot come back and add a codicil to her obit, one that says, “Good job Jay. I’ve changed my mind about you.”
I’m not sure that type of thing ever happens in any Chicago sports, regardless of what season it is. The guy who tried to catch that foul ball a few years ago in the divisional champion ship that would have sent the Cubs to the World Series, isn’t he still in hiding? Felipe Alou’s glove was right there for the catch. The Cubs lost the game when they should have won it. The Cubs’ fans blamed that guy for the loss and an appearance in the World Series.
I don’t think Jay has to hide, but I do have a few words of advice for him. After Elizabeth made you more famous than you were already famous, I’d wear a disguise to the stadium for all home games. It might not hurt if you wore that disguise out onto the field.