Wisch: Jay Cutler, The Punk QB – Does Chicago Deserve Better?

By Dave Wischnowsky–

Jay Cutler has a football game to play this weekend.

And considering the guy’s being paid a king’s ransom to fire the pigskin around Soldier Field, I know what Chicago fans deserve from their star quarterback on the field – excellence.

Especially in the playoffs.

But, this week, a different question has emerged about Cutler as the QB’s bad attitude, bad public image and his complete indifference about both have taken a beating from local and national media.

And that question is: Exactly what does Chicago deserve from a star quarterback off the field?

It’s something the city has hardly had to consider before, considering that Chicago hasn’t had anything resembling a star signal-caller since Jim McMahon (the Punky QB) left town in 1988. But it’s something Chicagoans are considering now.

On Thursday morning, both the Tribune and Sun-Times mildly took Cutler (the Punk QB) to task for his nonchalance and non-answers during Wednesday’s weekly news conference. On Thursday afternoon, ESPN’s Rick Reilly then completely eviscerated Cutler’s personality non grata in his column, “Jay Cutler is no teddy bear.”

In the scathing piece, Reilly writes, “If he’s not The Most Hated Man in the NFL, he’s in the running. His expression is usually that of a man wearing sandpaper underwear. He looks everywhere but into your eyes. It’s a tie as to which he enjoys more – smirking or shrugging. It’s hard to say what interests Cutler, but it’s definitely not you.”

Reilly was writing about a figurative “you,” but I think he just as easily could have been referring to all of Chicago and its passionate football fans.

Jay Cutler isn’t interested in you.

And on some basic level, shouldn’t he be?

Now, as long as he throws TDs and not picks, I personally don’t care if Cutler smiles on the field, nor do I care if he snarls like Ditka. I have absolutely no interest in Jay Cutler being my best pal, no desire to see his face plastered everywhere through endorsement deals and no expectation that he be an expert in PR.

I also don’t think Jay Cutler has to be all buddy-buddy with every single person who asks him a question or says hello to him in public. I respect that Cutler apparently wants to be private. But I don’t respect that the guy doesn’t even try to be decent in public.

Fact is, in Chicago, Cutler’s position as star quarterback of the city’s beloved football franchise is not a private one. Whether he likes it or not, Jay Cutler is the face of the Chicago Bears, and he’s being paid – very, very handsomely – to fill that role.
Certainly, Cutler’s on-field performance as quarterback is the most important part of his duties with the Bears. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only duty. Part of the responsibility of being paid millions of dollars to play sports is to provide more than curt answers to questions from the media – especially when they’re not antagonistic ones – and to do your professional duty by being respectful toward the fans who foot the bill for your fat salary (I hear stories otherwise from people I know who have encountered Cutler in Chicago).

As much as throwing touchdowns and producing wins are part of Jay Cutler’s job description with the Bears, being a respectful and classy face of the franchise should be, too.

It’s really not asking that much. At all.

Not when you’re being paid millions.

Do you agree with Dave? Post your comments below.

davewisch Wisch: Jay Cutler, The Punk QB   Does Chicago Deserve Better?

Dave Wischnowsky

If nothing else, Dave Wischnowsky is an Illinois boy. Raised in Bourbonnais, educated at the University of Illinois and bred on sports in the Land of Lincoln, he now resides on Chicago’s North Side, just blocks from Wrigley Field. Formerly a reporter and blogger for the Chicago Tribune, Dave currently writes a syndicated column, The Wisch List, which you can check out via his blog at http://www.wischlist.com.

  • brett


    Since when does the personality of the player determine his worth to a team. I realize his personality isn’t friendly towards the media, but in reality WHO CARES ? The onslaught of bashing Cutler’s personality is not only another example of the chicago media more resembling Lemmings than leaders, but it is something that clearly puts them (the media) ahead of the bears as the only result that can come from these character assassination pieces is a distraction to the team and Jay Cutler himself…

    I suppose the end result could be a poor performance and a loss, which would give you something else to write about…

    You claim you don’t care about Jay’s personality, than why write this article ? Than why does he owe you, the city or its fans anything more than a great performance on the field ? Maybe instead of tearing the guy down, you could be the guy who points out that Jay doesn’t need to like the press, he doesn’t need to be a Tim Tebow like cheerleader, nor does he owe anyone an explanation as to why he feels that way…

    Does Bill Belichick get a rough ride in Boston for not saying anything to the press ?? I know the meatballs don’t like Lovie because he doesn’t have the fire that Ditka had, but really what matters ? Winning games or screaming on the sideline like some high school coach from the 70’s ???

    Would you prefer Ben Roethlisberger ? A good QB who gives a sound bite, but is an absolute PIG off the field… How about Michael Vick ?? Maybe Donovan McNabb… but with McNabb you get a worse player on the field…

    You seem to be confusing the fact that the Bears have had a number of good guys playing quarterback over the past 30 years, but few have been good quarterbacks…. It would seem the latest firestorm is a desire to have a nicer guy to interview, rather than a better player to win games…

    Get your priorities straight and quit feeling sorry for yourself. You need an interview ? Stick a microphone in front of Lance Briggs, he won’t shut up… You want a team leader, look to Peppers and Urlacher…they seem to have it together.

    • Media Again!!!!!

      Love it. Dave – you’re an idiot!!!

    • Renee

      Hi Dave….I’m a true blue Chicagoan/Bears/Cubs fan writing from Dallas, Texas…you know, home of the loser Cowboys and their loser owner. I would kill to have a QB liike Jay Cutler! The guy knows how to be a quarterback. So what if he won’t win the Personality of the Year award? Who cares? As long as he and the other great guys on the team know how to beat the Packer this Sunday, that’s all that matters! By the way…..when did you become an expert on personalities?

  • WillKill

    Jay is who he is!! I’m so sick of tierd of the media looking for something negative to talk about!! Hell we all know he’s private and your not going to get much out of him.. This is not a freakin reality tv show if thats wht your looking for go to the JETS for that bs.. This is Bears football..Jay knows his postion, Jay knows he have things he need to work on such as his foot work!! Trust me this kid is going to be a great quarterback for us get the right people around him and you will see!!! Its hard to be a star and have everyone in your damn business, but Jay must understand its a different beast here with the media of Chicago. This is wayyyyy different from Vandy or Denver. So give the kid a break.. He has no damn personality so ask him what you want to ask him and keep it moving!!!

  • Dave Wischnowsky

    Brett, how did you get from what I wrote that I don’t care about Cutler’s personality?

    I do care about the way he carries himself (which is why I wrote this blog). And it’s also what much of Chicago is talking about today (which is also why I wrote this blog). My whole point is that I think Cutler could stop having such a bad personality and simply try to have a decent one.

    Again, that’s not too much to ask.

    I’m analyzing the reality of the situation and not “assassinating” Cutler’s character. (Jeez, if anyone’s doing that it’s Jay himself). Like everything I write about, I’m calling it like I see it. So, why would I write a piece sticking up for Cutler’s behavior, when I don’t see one good thing at all about his behavior? I don’t write things to be a contrarian or a windsock, I write what I believe.

    And I believe that if you want to play QB for the Bears or any NFL team, such type of analysis and criticism comes with the turf — and the paycheck — when you don’t play well (which Cutler often has not) and when you act like a jerk (which Cutler often has). Just like praise and accolades come when you do things well (and Jay gets deserved credit when he plays commensurate with his salary).

    I personally like my favorite teams to win with players I like. And if I can’t have that, I at least want them to feature players I respect. With Jay Cutler, right now, we’re getting neither. Since when did it become a sin to expect someone to be a class act?

    Again, it’s not asking that much. At all. So why is it wrong to ask for that in addition to wins?

    • WillKill

      I understand what your saying Dave, but again can we really blame Jay fully!!! Lets get on the organization heads about how they need to have PRs working hand to hand with the players on the team!!! Some people like Jay just dnt know how to handle a big media market such as Chicago! So again these organization need to prepare the rookies as well as the vets on their PR skilss!!!

      • Dave Wischnowsky

        I think Jay understands everything just fine. He’s not a dummy. He has a Vanderbilt degree. I just don’t think he cares. And that’s what I don’t like.

        When Cutler arrived in Chicago two years ago, he was completely embraced — the the point of ridiculousness — by both fans and media. The guy was hailed as a freakin’ Messiah before he had even played a down. So, he has no reason at all to be surly toward anyone. At all. Yet he is. Why? Again, I don’t know.

        But he needs to grow up and be a professional — both off the field, as well as on.

        Be an adult. Act like an adult. And play quarterback.

        For the umpteenth time, that’s not too much to ask.

  • Dave Wischnowsky

    I also think that has nothing to do with the media — I don’t cover the Bears as a beat reporter, I blog about them as a fan (who’s also a journalist). As I wrote in my blog, I think Cutler’s actions have everything to do with his respect (or lack thereof) toward people, in general,

    I don’t think he has particular disdain for just media, I think he has disdain for people. Why? I don’t know. But when you’re paid to be the face of your franchise, man up and be the face of it. Give fans some insight into your thoughts about the game and just be a decent guy.

    It’s not that hard.

    • Willkill

      Put in that way Dave I agree with you!!

    • brett

      Sorry, but if you consider this journalism, you are only kidding yourself. It’s a vendetta piece written on a blog that is on the front page of the largest sports radio station in the city…

      Funny, I’ve seen Jay out in public a handful of times in both Chicago and Indianapolis… He keeps a tight inner circle. What would you do if I was the 10th person to walk up to you in the night and interrupt what you were doing to act like an idiot ???

      He’s not paid to be the face of the franchise exclusively. That burden also goes with Urlacher, Briggs, Peppers, Hester and Kreutz…

      I realize the majority of your audience only knows the quarterback because they hear that position’s name the most during a broadcast…but that doesn’t obligate him to being a nice guy to you… In fact it’s comical you would think that someone is obligated to be nice, simply because they are paid a lot of money.

      The disconnect or assumption is that you people in the blog world / media are partners or facilitate the success of a player…YOU DON’T… and more times than not (this piece clearly an example) you try to tear them down only to grab viewers…

      So yes, you are someone who would be reasonably described as a detractor or leach… To which you are owed no such courtesy.

      • Dave Wischnowsky

        Don’t agree with you, Brett. But everyone’s entitled to their opinion (even me), and appreciate you sharing yours. That’s the point of this whole blogging deal.

      • brett

        Thanks dave… that’s why I write my own blog… However, someone should be the voice of opposition on this issue, because calling someone a punk in the title of a column/thread is not professional, nor is it representative of your audience’s opinion.

  • Andy

    This column, and you Dave, suck beyond comparison. I couldn’t agree more with the previous post suggesting sticking the mic in Briggs face. All of you half-assed so-called sportswriters can’t dig any harder to find a story during the bye week, than going over the fact that Cutler is shy and somewhat abrasiveat times???!!! Get over it. No Bears fan gives a good s$&# about Cutler’s personality, we care ONLY about winning a Super Bowl with a quarterback, that has more talent in his pinky finger, than you do in your entire body.

    • Dave Wischnowsky

      Ha. Good day to you today, Andy. :) Appreciate you weighing in, and I doubt there’s much I can write to change your opinion of me, nor your opinion of Cutler. So, I hope you have a nice weekend and enjoy the game.

  • John G

    Some people have the “gift of gab”, and some don’t. Cutler happens to be someone who does not. He is more introverted than most people and doen’t like to give interviews. Let’s just hope he continues doing his talking on the field.

  • Truckerman45



  • beastmeister

    He’s paid to be a quarterback. If you want him to be a “decent guy,” that is your opinion. That being said, I’d take Jay any day over the likes of Michael Vick and Big Ben. Since they both talk to the media, that must make them “decent guys.”

    Jay is just fine the way he is. He cares about the game. He gets angry. He shows emotion where he should; on the field.

  • Truckerman45


    • tom

      truckerman – the person who complained about the field was Urlacher… get your facts straight and if you are so confidant in seattle, I will make a bet with you…

      seattle wins, i never post here again…

      bears win, you never post here again either…

  • Nick Gio

    Why does Jay Cutler have a “bad” personality? Because he doesn’t enjoy answering dumb questions the Chicago media pose (I listen to his press conferences and there are some really dumb questions). A disdain for people? I’m curious how you could deduce something like that based on forced interactions with the media. It’s time to face the facts Chicago Bears fans, we have a boring QB who doesn’t enjoy talking to the media and doesn’t seem to care much for any of the extra stuff that goes along with being a QB. Why do we have to be enamored with whether or not our QB has playful interaction with the media? Why do we have to know about his personal life or what’s going on in his head? We don’t have a Tom Brady or a Brett Favre in Chicago, we have a Joe Montana. Someone who comes off as arrogant but is really probably just boring. As long as his on the field performance continues to improve, I could really care less what he’s like off the field (barring criminal activity). All that matters is winning football games, not winning press conferences. And one more thing, who gives a hoot about what anyone around the league on the big networks think? At this point they’re almost trying to promote an agenda of making Jay out to be a villain because he isn’t a ho-hum guy.

  • Nobody Special

    I think many in the media who can’t get what they want create a story so you have readership/listeners.

    So what if he is what he is or does what he does (according to you) he’s playing a game and is getting paid to do that – not to make you happy or be satisfied with his responses. Did it ever occur to you that he just isn’t that type of player personalty? Does any of what you think about him have an affect on his play?

    Try and squeeze some ‘story blood’ out of another turnip.

  • Andy

    I didn’t mean to come off as abrasive. Behind closed doors I’m a pretty swell guy. I just tend to not like stupid questions/blogs/reporting.

    Point being, me suggesting that you suck, reflects only on your blog. You may be awesome as a guy, but I only care about the product you put on the “field”, if you will.

    • Dave Wischnowsky

      Fair enough :)

      I can take the heat. Having formerly blogged for the Trib from 2005-2007, I’m no rookie to this stuff, and I hardly expect everyone to agree with me or everything I write. I’m not afraid of some heated debate, comments or disagreements, either. Writing about the Bears tends to evoke more of that than most sports topics.

  • Media Again!!!!!

    Go Bears, Go Cutler, and please continue whatever it is that you are doing that aggravates the media sooooo much – media deserves the short, sarcastic, rude and shruggish comments to the stupid questions that they receive at the press conferences. As fans, just win. That’s how a true fan accepts a player that we pay to see. And smart fans – we love it when they come across in a way that a reporter does not like – because they deserve it.

  • Willkill

    Dumbs ass questions do deserve dumb ass answers!! So I feel Jay for not answering dumb questions!!! Jay is all good, and who is this truckerman dude please gooo find some business homey!! This is Bear country I wouldnt want yo ass to get ate up out here!!! Drive thru fast!! WORLD CHAMPIONS CHICAGO BEARS!!!

  • brett

    …and why have three of my responses been filtered ?? they did not contain inappropriate language or violate any terms of use… censorship is a dangerous sword to swing…especially when promoting the value/importance or respect owed towards the media…

  • Baby Maddux

    Put me in the category of people who don’t much care if Cutler ever answers a question with any degree of caring, unless he ends up dating my sister or something. If he’s holding the Lombardi trophy in Dallas, he can smirk or do whatever he wants.

  • Wischnowsky is a PUNK

    Hey Dave – you’re a PUNK – and Chicago deserves better Chicago Bears coverage……………..

    • Dave Wischnowsky

      Hey, as I’ve told others, everyone’s entitled to his or her opinion.

      I do, by the way, appreciate you spelling my name correctly :)

  • Dave Wischnowsky

    Write a blog for Chicago, and feel the love. Haha.. :)

    Again, appreciate everyone’s passion and, hey, if putting me on blast makes everyone feel better about the behavior and demeanor of Jay Cutler — who, fans don’t seem to get, is ignoring them by providing non-answers to the media — then I’m your Friendly Neighborhood Punching Bag.

    Here’s to hoping the Bears — and Cutler — play with as much emotion on Sunday as this blog is generating today.

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      Here’s the thing, Dave… You’ve said that you don’t see yourself as a member of the media, but there hasn’t been a single comment here saying, “Yeah, I’m mad that Cutler won’t answer Zach Zaidman’s question!” I’ve never heard anybody call the Score complaining about a player’s refusal to completely answer questions at a press conference, and I’ve never heard my friends complain about it. With that in mind, the only conclusion I can reach is that it’s the media, not the fans, who are upset. You can claim that by not being sufficiently responsive that they’re somehow ignoring the fans, but as you’re learning through these comments, most fans simply don’t care about the questions being asked at these press conferences. Unless it somehow correlates to on-the-field performance, I have zero interest in what Cutler’s teammates or opponents think about him. Unbeknownst to the media, that seems to be the majority opinion around here.

      • Dave Wischnowsky

        Beverly, I never said I’m not a member of the media. Only that I’m not a full-time member of the media these days, and I don’t cover the Bears as a beat reporter. I write about teams much more from a fan’s perspective, but I certainly do consider myself a journalist. My current role in that regard, however, is as a sports blogger weighing in with my opinion or insight on topics that are currently in the news in Chicago.

        I appreciate your thoughts, and it’s cool with me if we agree to disagree. I personally know a lot of (non-media) people who think similarly about Cutler’s demeanor as I do, and I know other people who, like you, don’t seem to care.

        Personally, I wouldn’t act the way that Jay does, and so I have a difficult time understanding why he can’t just be a little more classy in the way he handles his responsibilities off the field. Or also with how he interacts with people out in Chicago (I’ve heard from more than one person I know about unnecessarily rude encounters with the guy).

        As I’ve stated multiple times already today, I don’t think that just being a decent guy off the field in addition to winning on it is too much to ask for a guy pulling down millions of dollars to do his job. Apparently, many people commenting in this blog do think it’s too much to ask. That doesn’t really make any sense to me at all, but oh well … To each his or her own.

        I would enjoy watching Cutler a lot more if I actually found the guy likable, and I think it’s a shame that he seems to go out of his way to be the opposite of that. That’s my opinion, and I’m not ashamed to share it. You can be a good quarterback and also be a decent guy — just like I’d imagine you’d expect most of the people you know in real life to be.

      • tom

        Cutler should be more classy… like calling someone a “punk” in the title of the thread ???

        Kettle, Pot…

      • Spoon

        This… a million times this.

  • Larry Buckles

    Dude go back to Champagne and stay there and cover those awful programs. If you want to be with the big boys, right about SPORTS

    • Mitch Longley

      With such stellar spelling, grammar, and usage, thank God you don’t “right about SPORTS.”

  • Andy

    Well played, Mitch.

  • Adam McElwain

    This is a dumb article. Has anyone ever thought that maybe Jay is just not comfortable talking to the media? He seems a bit shy and nothing more to me during interviews. He just doesn’t seem comfortable. Bill Belichick acts the same way in his interviews.

    I am tired of all these idiots bashing Cutler for not being some fake, super positive cheerleader. I respect him for being real. Most of the questions the media asks are dumb and not worth getting a good response anyway. Cutler doesn’t have to be a total tool like Tebow or Favre in his interviews. I am glad he’s not!

    • Adam McElwain

      Oh, and by the way, most players give the same generic answers as Cutler does. It’s just that many of them don’t seem as nervous or shy as Cutler in these interviews. Hardly any players give good interviews. They just give us the same generic responses to the questions. Also, the media tends to ask questions that are either stupid or to try to get some headline-worthy response.

  • Christopher

    Cutler is real. He’s not gonna change. Do we deserve better? I wish we did, but I’m 23 and watched the Bears since birth…Nobody I’ve seen (with all his good and bad qualities) has been a better quarterback than Jay Cutler for the Bears in what has become a pass happy NFL. The kid can throw. One more MAJOR point you left out of this article…So you’ve heard Cutler isn’t that nice of a dude on the streets or on the town…Does he get in trouble with the law or the NFL? Does he do things that could hurt our team on the field while he’s not on the field? Has he been accused of or suspected of any illegal or downright childish and stupid activity such as, I don’t know…Shooting himself in the leg, raping a young woman, crashing a motorcycle, getting a DUI, killing animals, punching people, hanging around with felons? NO. When Patrick Kane does all that silly stuff he does, we think “hahaha young kid with lots of fame and money, BUT he did make the winning goal for the stanley cup.” Bottom line is, Cutler may not be nice to people who care like people who make a living off of how “interesting” a star player might be.

    He seems to be focused on what we pay for him for, and that’s not to sign autographs or be nice to people who want his opinion on his team or anything at all. That’s all I ask of him, and I feel Chicago deserves Jay Cutler as long as he continues to work on making better decisions, and the team continues to make the people on his side of the ball more reliable.

    • Adam McElwain

      You are so correct Chris. Cutler doesn’t go around raping people, shooting them or even hurting them. He is not by all accounts a bad guy at all. He just isn’t some cheerleading fake. Favre and Ben Ben The Rapist answer questions in a more “happy” manner. But, both of them truly seem like bad guys. Cutler seems like a normal guy to me who is not a bad one either.

  • brett

    Well… it seems the mission of getting a lot of attention to the article was successful…However at the potential cost of your credibility.

    • Dave Wischnowsky

      Brett, look, I didn’t write the columns in the Trib or Sun-Times about Cutler’s behavior during Wednesday’s press conference, and I didn’t write Rick Reilly’s column, either. But they were written, and they are in the news, and they are something people in Chicago are talking about. II weighed in with my thoughts about the entire situation. That’s what I do.

      And I appreciate you weighing in with yours, as well. It’s been interesting today, to say the least. Fact is, we’re not always going to agree. But I hope you have a great afternoon, regardless. And that you enjoy the game this weekend.

      I think we can agree that we’d all like to see the Bears win, even if we view different parts and players of the team differently.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    1. Excellent Blog Dave, really superb.
    2. Shows you we have passion for more topics than turf!!!
    3. Seriously, anyone consider that this might be a psychological issue?
    He might have avoidant personality disorder or anxiety or etc.
    Anyone remember Dave Kingman of the Cubs (1970s)?
    He came off as an @sshat but was mentally ill.
    I think Riley did a hatchet job, came to town loaded for Bear (pun intended).

    • Dave Wischnowsky

      Thanks, Larry. I think one thing a lot of people likely don’t know is that Reilly lives in the Denver area, so he no doubt followed Cutler’s career there quite closely — it’s also likely that because of his close connections in the region he was able to get those scathing comments from people to be on the record.

      I don’t think there’s any doubt Reilly came to Chicago armed with those quotes and a pretty good idea what he was going to write about beforehand. So, yes, he was loaded for “Bear.” And while he perhaps went a little over the top — as Reilly is often wont to do — he did also bring up some valid points. At least, I think so :)

      Anyways, if Cutler does have an avoidant disorder — and, who knows, maybe he does — then I sincerely would hope he’d get some help for that. It would probably be a good thing for him, and for everyone.

  • Clark W. Griswold

    Nice work Brett – It’s the media who pout, kick and scream when they can’t get answers that will put their name in the headlines i.e. Dave Wisdcslfksdnfgsky or however you spell it. “I would enjoy watching Cutler a lot more if I actually found the guy likable” Are you serious Dave? Maybe you should try pillow talking to Rex Ryan he’ll give you all that hot garbage that you leaches crave. It’s so refreshing to me to see Cutler snub the media. Ask a dumb-ass question, get a dumb ass answer – I love it.

    Go Jay and Go Bears

    • Dave Wischnowsky

      Ha. Jay Cutler is the yin and Rex Ryan is the yang. I prefer people — and not just the football players — to fall somewhere in the middle.

      Dave Wisdcslfksdnfgsky

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