Believe it or not, Jay Cutler does an hour of radio every week on Chicago’s ESPN 1000 with local hosts Waddle and Silvy. I’ve listened to every episode (some of them twice, thanks to ESPN’s podcenter), but this week, Jay was sidelined with a concussion. I missed him.
If you think of the NFL as one big, complicated television drama with dozens of interwoven characters (like LOST, or DOWNTON ABBEY), you’ll start to see what I mean. So many athletes become interchangeable that you start to appreciate the ones who stand out, who give you a little different flavor. When you get tired of that ‘Brett Favre’ or ‘Donovan McNabb’ character, you start rooting for them to get written off – and I used to feel that way about Jay. Believe me, no one enjoyed hate-watching Jay Cutler more than me – but that was before I realized he was sneaky-funny.
I do believe that’s the only commercial Jay’s ever done. He’s just got that aura about him. Some have accused him of being soft (science has since proven that false). They say he has a pouty-sour-lemon face and negative attitude, his teammates don’t like him, that he doesn’t care, etc. I don’t know if any of that’s true, but the more I see of him, the more I doubt it. Jay may not be a Brady/Romo/Brees Captain America-type, but he adds something to the league that I think would be sorely miss if it were gone.
The Jay Cutler Show is broadcast live in front of an audience, always in a different Chicago bar. They take phone calls and questions from the crowd, usually pretty friendly, but fans get some jabs in as well. One dude called in to criticize Jay’s haircut (to which Jay replied, “What’s YOUR hair look like?” And then I laughed). Another caller wanted to know how Chicago fans compared to Denver fans (to which Jay replied, “We talked about this when I first got here… and the Denver fans were PISSED.” And then I laughed again).
Jay, Waddle, and Silvy discuss everything from Aaron Rodgers’ appearance on 60 Minutes, to the beer situation in Nashville, to whether or not you’re allowed to ‘bump’ your linemen. And each week, Jay threatens to trade Silvy to ESPN Milwaukee because he’s a closet a Packers fan (it reminds me of how Garfield was always mailing Nermal to Abu Dhabi). It’s quick-paced, smart and consistently makes me laugh. My highlight from last week: someone in the crowd (who identified as juvenile diabetic) asked Jay about how being diagnosed with diabetes has changed the way he prepares for games, leading to a discussion that I personally found fascinating (in a serious way, not a funny way).
Here are some links to past episodes:
* Nov 5: Jay discusses the win over the Texans and how he adjusted to living with Diabetes
* Oct 29: Jay discusses the win against the Panthers and whether or not he gets angry with fans who boo their own team
* Oct 24: Jay discusses nearly getting killed by Ndamukong Suh on Monday Night Football
Since Jay was out this week, I re-listened to last week’s podcast again to stave off withdrawals. They discussed his fiancee K-Cav’s appearance on the FX show THE LEAGUE, along with a tiny actor playing their baby boy. They asked Jay whether or not the show would result in his son being forever known as “The Cutlet” – and it seemed to me like he was kind of digging it.
My point is this: I’ve really enjoyed hate-watching Jay Cutler over the years. It’s one of the few perks of living in Chicago as a non-Bears fan. But the league is better and more interesting with him in it. I missed him last season after he broke his thumb, and I’ll miss him this week while he (hopefully) stays on the sidelines and recovers from his latest concussion. Get well soon, Jay. Meanwhile, I hope America enjoys the glorified pre-season game between the Bears and 49ers this week staring Jason Campbell and Colin Kaepernick. What a shame.