Sunday, January 23, 2011
Not Exactly Y.A. Tittle
If this wasn't the worst NFC Championship game ever, it was close.
At least blowout games of the 1980s - before the balancing force of free agency eroded super teams from within - featured highly competent football on ONE side of the ball.
The Packer's 21-14 win over the Bears was just 44.5 minutes of one team betting the other one they had no chance to score two touchdowns in 3 quarters.
Not unlike one drunk, betting the other drunk at a bar, he couldn't bounce a quarter off the bar and into a shot glass on top of the liqour cabinet. Even with unlimited quarters until closing time, it gets pretty boring, pretty quick.
This was a fight with the big guy getting in one good hard punch, followed by a headlock that lasts until the police show up.
This game will also be remembered as the "Game That Changed Jay Cutler's Career."
The full story is not yet written, and I suspect there will be some interesting chapters that come out in the following weeks.
Conflicting medical reports. A snarky comment from Cutler himself, in some off-season interview months from now. A teammate, likely off the record, who rips his QB for being a, well, let's just say it rhymes with "complete pussy."
Cutler certainly belongs in the unwanted pantheon of "Least Inspiring NFL Starters Ever." Right up there with Jeff George, and modern day non-greats like Matt Leinart, Vince Young, and Rex Grossman.
I'm slightly more sympathetic to Jay Cutler knowing his body better than anybody, and assuming, that he didn't climb to this level of athletic success by NOT wanting to be in big games.
But that assumption has been proven wrong before with certain quirky athletes. Guys like Kwame Brown, Michael Westbrook, and Ricky Williams come to mind. Guys who ended up pros, basically because they were just very good at playing their sport, not because they had any genuine ambition.
This doesn't diminish Green Bay as the clean and deserving winner on Sunday. They were, and are, a far better team, Cutler or not.
What was saved, is an embarrassing two weeks for Cutler and Lovie Smith. Can you imagine the questions? Do you coach up Hanie, and start him no matter how many shots of cortisone Culter gets?
Certainly, the Commissioner's office won't have to fluff up a -18.5 point spread game in Dallas. But Goodell's drumbeat of an 18 game season, along with the madness of this upcoming cold weather Super Bowl, will take a well deserved beating.