Rick Reilly is the Dave Barry of sportswriting and Dave Barry is to comedy what Antonio Cromartie is to not fathering nine children with eight different women. In Reilly’s anti-Cutler column currently running on the ESPN home page, he levels charges against Cutler as severe as texting while ignoring John Lynch, watching TV while ignoring John Elway and not wanting to answer the questions of reporters at a press conference. I say we string him up!
Here is Reilly’s final condemnation:
Reporter: When you were a kid, which quarterback did you look up to?
Reporter: Nobody? You didn’t look up to anybody?
If he’s lying, it makes him a miscreant. If he’s telling the truth, it makes him a miscreant.
“Deep, deep down, I think he’s a really good guy,” Waddle says.
Maybe. But why do we have to look that deep?
Reilly’s hypothesis, of course, ignores the other obvious conclusion to be drawn from Cutler’s answer: he doesn’t like reporters. You know reporters, right? The ones who vilified him publicly and canonized Josh McDaniels in the aftermath of the Denver scandal? (How’d that work out for Denver?) The ones who have been quick to criticize every interception he’s thrown while ignoring his franchise record-setting productivity? The ones who have written every week that Denver actually won the trade with the Bears by acquiring Kyle Orton, a player that has been benched for a quarterback who doesn’t possess the ability to throw the football accurately?
Rick Reilly has made his career writing about crippled ex-cops stealing home in the Bayonne Tavern Softball Tournament and blind guys winning gold medals at Binghamton Discus Championships. He wants his athletes to be lovable because he, like a lot of sports journalists, crave a relationship with the athlete. If they don’t let him in, don’t have a beer with him on the weekend, don’t talk about their personal lives, then he’s just a journalist. A reporter covering others. And if he wanted to remain a journalist, he would never have signed with ESPN.
Jay Cutler plays football Sunday. And if he wins Sunday, he’ll be sixty minutes from the Super Bowl. And being that I’ve never learned anything from a player interview and never cared about a player’s personal life, Mr. Cutler can stand in front of the microphone and flip the bird at the press for all I care. I wanna buy a shitload of World Champion merchandise. If he helps with that, I’m good.