By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) We get pretty used to our unusual sports personalities fairly quickly here in Chicago.
Jim McMahon was a rebel who eventually was just the quarterback here. Dennis Rodman looked weird and acted weird, but he was the best rebounder in the game. Ozzie Guillen is funny and crazy and angry and oddly wise at times but is demanded to win ballgames above all that by fans.
The national media, though, does not get used to colorful sports characters because the nation isn’t as exposed to them as the locals are. So get ready if you plan on taking in FOX’s coverage of Bears vs. Packers on Sunday, because the cameras will once again fall in love with Cutler’s sour puss.
FOX has been in some hot water of late after it was discovered that the “headlines” about Cutler they used in a graphic during the Week 1 win over the Falcons were not real headlines at all. Representatives for the network have since apologized, including FOX Sports Vice President of Communications Dan Bell who said on 670 The Score’s The McNeil and Spiegel Show on Thursday that the broadcast “just used the wrong word.”
With such embarrassment, it might be safe to expect that FOX would call off its dogs on Cutler for this game. But this is their primetime matchup and involves the game’s oldest and most famous rivalry. It will also feature the face of FOX Sports, Joe Buck, along with Troy Aikman.
Now, I don’t particularly like Buck as a broadcaster—he tends to take on the persona of hosting a bad cocktail party in the 1960s during games—but I don’t hate him like so many viewers do. Aikman does pretty solid work, in my opinion. What both Buck and Aikman are known for, though, is not being afraid to editorialize, especially when a game involves a controversial player.
So, while both will be wary of the perception that their network as been unfair to Cutler, I expect the broadcast team to still make plenty of mention of the last meeting between the Bears and Packers, the 2011 NFC Championship game, Cutler’s knee injury and public and media opinion of him. Heck, I’ll bet on a Kristin Cavallari reference or two.
And with such talk comes gratuitous camera shots of the subject at hand.
Don’t get me wrong—I understand there has to be back-story and that the Cutler operetta almost demands it, as well as the need to fill dead air between plays. But expect Buck and Aikman, a Hall of Fame quarterback expected to dissect all things passer, to not shy away from the superficial more than they would with a Tom Brady or even the guy across the field, Aaron Rodgers.
And since there is a really good chance Cutler will spend most of the day making full-body indents in the Soldier Field turf and that the Bears will be chasing the Packers on the scoreboard, the armchair Freudianism will be in overdrive as much as the FOX producers will allow. Lucky you if you happen to be in an establishment that will be too loud to hear the TV audio.
It makes the game a lot more watchable. And so does a nice cocktail or two. Joe Buck agrees.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.