Surprise to nobody: I have an unabashed, unapologetic love for Jay Cutler as quarterback. The thing is, none of us should have to justify our love of Jay Cutler; he's a legitimate superstar at the marquee position of the NFL. He stands as a monument to the idea that having a strong pocket passer matters, with an arm that turns the entire field into territory to be defended. That arm should make him beloved, certainly among those who think that a quarterback darting around outside the hashmarks is a mortal sin. And yet he's unloved because he has the audacity to frown. To which I say this: In the words of Jay Cutler himself, you can go f*$k yourself.
Seriously, I look at Jay Cutler and I see someone who gets it. I wake up every damn day and my job presents me obstacles I can't begin to manage in a pleasant fashion. So I have to figure out how to make it work, however unpleasant it’s going to be; most of us learn in our mid-20's that life isn't fun, it's a solemn duty to do well. My job is not Jay Cutler's job, which certainly entails less fame and fortune, but also entails me not trusting five individuals proven to be incompetent at their job to protect my present success and future well being.
I get Jay Cutler's sour face. I get his lack of enthusiasm talking about his job. I even get him being pushed to the point of yelling (and potentially embarrassing) his coworkers for failing to do their jobs. Because when you wake up to do something that isn't going to be fun, and is certainly going to cause you at least momentary misery, all you want to do is get through the day by doing your job, and Jay Cutler, whatever else you can say about him, does his job. And when you do your job, you understand that like is hard enough without other people making it more difficult, and when they do, sometimes you just want to scream as if it could fix anything.
The reality is that Jay Cutler being unhappy doesn't make him less sympathetic; given the circumstances, it makes him more sympathetic. Sports fans have been unfortunately trained to want our athletes to be ideals instead of us, which sucks, because I think we'd all enjoy the fun and games we're watching more if we could relate to any of the people playing them. Superstars in that world would look more like Jay Cutler. They'd all wake up, and they'd understand that there is work to be done, and that the measure of an individual is strongly tied to their ability to bow up beneath the weight of the world and not just get by, but excel. And sometimes, like we're still waiting for with Jay Cutler, talent and success would meet, and we'd get to see real joy because we'd know what it looked like, as opposed to the Thrill Of Victory ® we've had forced down our throats by the Kevin Garnetts of the world. And other times, in the face of failure, we'd be better people for understanding that these athletes are people, and failure hurts people. And still other times, when circumstances beyond our favorite athletes' control kept them from achieving the goals they so clearly deserved to achieve, we'd look at the people responsible and tell them to go f*$k themselves too.