Bears

FOX Apologizes For Cutler Headlines

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears takes a moment after being taken down after throwing a pass from the end zone by Lawrence Sidbury of the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears takes a moment after being taken down after throwing a pass from the end zone by Lawrence Sidbury of the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.

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(WSCR) A FOX Sports spokesperson apologized Thursday on 670 The Score for the erroneous headlines they ran during their Sept. 11 broadcast of the Bears-Falcons game.

During the Bears’ 30-12 win over the Falcons, FOX aired graphics of three headlines that said “Cutler leaves with injury”, “Cutler lacks courage” and “Cutler’s no leader”. While the graphics were shown, analyst Darryl Johnson said they were “actual headlines from local newspapers in Chicago” after last season’s NFC Championship game against the Packers.

Turns out, they weren’t.

LISTEN: Dan Bell on The McNeil and Spiegel Show

FOX has since been under fire for running the headlines as many believe the network is fueling the criticism Jay Cutler constantly faces.

“What we were trying to do, ironically, was — it was later in the game — actually portray how far Jay has come since the last time he played in Soldier Field against the Packers,” FOX Sports Vice President of Communications Dan Bell said on The McNeil and Spiegel Show Thursday.

“We were just trying to capture the sentiment of what everyone was saying following that game and we didn’t,” Bell said. “We just used the wrong word.”

Bell went on to official apologize on behalf of the network.

“Nobody tries to be more perfect than we do at Fox Sports,” he said. “And we are (embarrassed). We understand the mistake. We understand that we were wrong. And it’s that simple. We take responsibility for it and I can assure everybody in Chicago and all football fans that it won’t happen again.”

Bell made it clear that Johnson was given the information in a meeting before the game so it wasn’t as if he misspoke while saying they were “actual headlines”.

After the Week 1 mistake, some went on to criticize FOX for constantly showing Cutler standing alone on the sidelines during Sunday’s loss to the Saints, but Bell said “there is no conspiracy with Jay.”

“It’s a quarterback league,” he said. “And if this was Eli Manning, or if this is Tom Brady, or Jay Cutler or Aaron Rodgers — guys if the Packers don’t play well on Sunday, it basically would probably come down to the play of Aaron Rodgers. They just become the focal part of the league.”

Bell wasn’t sure if FOX would officially apologize for the mistake during this weekend’s coverage, but said it is something they will consider.

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