By Tim Baffoe–
(CBS) What the hell, man? I thought we had a deal.
You, Jay Cutler, seamlessly would transition into the broadcasting booth, and I, sweaty online writer, would defend your Chicago Bears legacy against the local and national rabble married to images of your mopey face on the sidelines as indicative of effort or desire.
Then you go and ruin all that. Signing with the Miami Dolphins, dude, really? Don’t do this to yourself, man.
The people don’t like you as a football player. They never will. So few of us understand you, Jay.
And Miami sports fans don’t care enough. When you go out and get waxed by the New England Patriots, the reaction is going to be “Meh, it’s 75 and sunny in December.” How are you going to feed off the lack of angst and sheer desire by fans for you to fall into Lake Michigan? What idiocy is there to despise and to channel into a fourth-quarter comeback out spite?
Now you’re going to start all over with a fan base and local media that are already convinced you’re a moody tool, answering questions about your punch-me face and your sighs and your tic where you cock your head and your wife taking pictures of your naked butt.
“I guess I know a different guy than what everybody else portrays,” Dolphins coach and former Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase said of you in May. “I think a lot of things that have been said about him in the past have really been (BS).”
I get that you want to play with your buddy Gase. But they’re quoting Rick Telander about you down there, Jay. You’re not going to hear from people that get you — people like the Chicago Tribune’s Dan Wiederer, who said about you back in May when you hung up your cleats and all things Cutler were good for us all:
A few thoughts on Cutler. In my four seasons covering him, I found him to be insightful, engaging and open to good questions. Cutler hated — I mean HATED — lazy and bad questions. And he showed it. We saw eye to eye on that. Cutler’s dry wit was often under-appreciated and his insight on the game will be good on TV. As far as media rapport goes, Jay wasn’t even as close to accessible as most QBs in this league are. That was his m.o. Had a teammate who genuinely liked Jay tell me this once, “He thinks everybody else is an idiot. That’s the baseline he works off.”
Miami won’t love you for automatically thinking everyone there is an idiot like I love you, Jay.
Did you notice that the Dolphins have the sixth-most difficult schedule this season? How about Pro Football Focus ranking your new offensive line 26th in the league? They explain:
After (the Dolphins finished) with the league’s two lowest-graded guards in 2015, Laremy Tunsil brought some semblance of competency to the position last year. They could very well be back to that 2015 level again though, as Tunsil moves to left tackle, where he is an unknown. Right guard Jermon Bushrod finished as the fourth-lowest-graded tackle in the league last year, while projected left guard Anthony Steen wasn’t much better in 408 snaps last year.
Jermon Bushrod– you remember him from your days making out with the Soldier Field turf.
Five primetime Dolphins games this season for the world to make their tired, dead horse jokes about you. Oh, they photoshopped a cigarette in your mouth again. Couldn’t you think of those of us whose brains melt just a little bit with every rehashed meme, Jay?
And when your Dolphins get bounced in the wild-card round at best, it will just re-ignite all the national talking points about how you can’t win the big one. You could’ve buried all that talk by being in the booth. You were going to get paid to criticize and be brutally honest. It’s like the perfect gig for you.
“When we got done, I thought, ‘Wow, he can do this,’” said Kevin Burkhardt, the TV partner you cruelly ghosted, of your audition for the Fox Sports job. “I have only known him a short time, but I feel like we clicked. Something I look for is the conversational tone of the analyst, whether things feel natural, if they have a sense of when to talk, and it felt easy with Jay. For a guy who has never done this and probably never really thought about prior to the last two weeks, I was impressed.”
And they were going to have you analyze Bears games. You were going to get to sit in a machine-gun nest and pick apart an organization that you know has been Keystone Kops since trading for you. We were going to get to hear you insinuate that John Fox and Doyle — Darvell? — Loggains aren’t cut out for their jobs. You might have even slipped in a crack about Mike Glennon’s frightening head and neck. It was the perfect broadcasting storm for people like me who appreciate delicious schadenfreude, controlled chaos and bucking the trend of usual Sunday afternoon clichés and football-speak from my TV.
And I know you do, too. And you’re throwing it all away. You’re throwing us away, Jay. Remember to SPF your butt down on South Beach.
Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.