By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) Perfect timing to remind us that Jay Cutler is always something. Make that some…thing.
We should be ready for it, after two seasons of feverish, overblown arguments over everything about him: his departure from Denver, his acquisition by the Bears, the meting out of blame or credit for each of his 42 interceptions and 50 touchdowns, his shoulder-shrugs, eye-rolls, party habits, concussions, diabetes, and his infamous sprained MCL in the NFC title game.
It’s been a nice half-year away from that, right?
Well that respite has ended, and it’s ended hard. In the same week that ratification of a new labor agreement is expected to occur, opening training camps across the league, the news came yesterday that Cutler’s high-profile engagement to reality-TV body Kristin Cavallari is over.
(Some free PR advice: while the long-held theory of releasing/leaking bad news on Friday evening may be starting to backfire due to a wary, well-connected public, the Sunday afternoon release still guarantees full-tilt-boogie treatment in the next complete news cycle. You’re welcome.)
We will soon be back to Jaywatch most of the time, both off the field and on. The tabloids will first feed on the carcass of the relationship, before moving on to the “He/she now spotted with” stories. For the rest of us, we’ll deal with the truth of covering the Bears – it’s really all about Jay, always, no matter how we may try to convince ourselves otherwise.
As last year ended, so this one will begin, with one of the most polarizing figures in Chicago sports history back where he’s always been.
You can make a fair point that any NFL team is disproportionately QB-focused, considering both the changes in the game that have made this a passers’ league, and the desire of the NFL’s TV partners to follow primarily the storylines of the most famous, recognizable faces.
What makes Cutler different, though, is that he is still a cipher. We project feelings and motivations upon him because of the vacuum that exists.
Fans and media overreach in their interpretations of gesture and body language, because there’s so little actual language from him to describe what’s happening and why.
We have no idea if he has cared about any of it. If his unjust vivisection-by-twitter at the hands of fellow players even bothered him for a second, we may never know. Win or lose, pretty much the same, blank slate – one on which we create our own designs.
Since last season ended, Cutler and his girl have been making a spectacle of themselves at fashion shows and sporting events, gallivanting from clubs to parties to clubs, finding enough spare time for a well-publicized charity trip to Kenya.
The wedding was big news, even their registries much-discussed, and now it’s pfffft.
He’ll be asked about the breakup when he reports to camp, believe me. The angry “Talk sports! What is this, TMZ? You sound like women!!” crowd will have to deal with it.
Then the regular process of Bears football will crank back up, the one in which every practice pass Cutler makes has some greater meaning, a sideways glance in a preseason game is a sign of possible conflict, and Mike Martz tells us how Cutler has just successfully replicated cold fusion and solved both the Hodge conjecture and the Riemann hypothesis.
The work-stoppage is about to end. All we really missed were pointless, forgettable run-throughs and fantasy magazines.
And after all the damage and outages around here from the biblically-turbulent recent weather, we can sure benefit from a proven lightning rod.
Here he comes.
Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM. Read more of Bernstein’s blogs here. Follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein.
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