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Jay Cutler’s thumb changes everything for the Bears

Updated: December 23, 2011 8:13AM

Just checked and the Bears don’t have a No. 4 on their roster.

Brett Favre time!

I kid. Favre is too old, too rusty, too beaten-up to make his 117th comeback, but for sheer entertainment, who’d you rather see at QB for the Bears the rest of the regular season — Caleb Hanie or Favre?

(When I asked Brian Urlacher about the possibility of Favre joining the Bears as a backup, it was 2:47 p.m. on Monday. I’m not sure if he has stopped laughing yet.)

Cutler’s broken thumb was a devastating injury for the 7-3 Bears, who were likely to make the playoffs with him and are likely to miss the playoffs without him.

Of course, whether it would be a returning Cutler, Hanie, Favre or the ghost of Johnny Unitas taking snaps, if the Bears end up playing at Green Bay for the NFC Championship, they’ll need a miracle and a kidnapping of Aaron Rodgers to win.

With Cutler’s injury, the Bears go from being one of the better teams in the league to a team looking at a 9-7 season. It’s further evidence that the position of quarterback is so crucial that there’s no longer even a debate about whether it’s the most important role in all of sports.

QB is Job No. 1

Last spring, the lines out of Vegas on the 2012 Super Bowl had the Indianapolis Colts anywhere from 10-1 to 18-1. Then it was announced Colts QB Peyton Manning was out. The Colts became an instant long shot and started losing game after game after game. At one sports book, the Colts went from 10-1 to 1,500-1 before they were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

That’s how important the position of quarterback has become. Football’s still a team game and the Bears are saying all the right things about how they have to carry on without Cutler and cliche, cliche, cliche, but the reality is that even when your guy is merely good and not in the top tier of QBs in the league, if he goes down to injury and your next choice is a rusty veteran plucked from the scrap heap or a green kid, your season is over.

Reading is fundamental

We’re one former porn actress away from a genuine trend here.

In the wake of the big kerfuffle over former porn actress Sasha Grey reading to elementary classes in California, Bree Olson, the ex-porn actress and Charlie Sheen ex-goddess, says she too would like to read to some kids.

“I agree with everything Sasha’s done for the cause,” said Olson. “She’s reading to school children. [They] didn’t know what porn was, [but] now they do because of their parents.”

Maybe I’m missing something here, but is there some sort of shortage of grownups who will read to kids in class? We’re not talking about a monumental commitment such as adopting a child, or a major investment of time and effort such as becoming a Big Brother or a Big Sister. We’re talking about showing up to school to read to kids for a few minutes.

The controversy over Grey’s appearance was ridiculous on multiple levels. Grey volunteered under her real name, Marina Hantzis, and by all accounts she conducted herself with the proper decorum and did a fine job reading to the kids.

But then someone recognized her from a photo (which most likely means that person was familiar with Grey’s adult-film work), and boom! Instant controversy.

A school official said they knew Grey was an actress — but only knew of her work on “Entourage.” Um, on “Entourage” she played porn star Sasha Grey — who paraded around naked and did copious amounts of drugs with Vinnie Chase.

Grey is the latest in a long line of porn actresses trying to make the transition to legit entertainment. She writes, she sings, she’s been in a Steven Soderbergh film. She’s terrific at self-promotion.

If they conduct themselves accordingly, I don’t see the problem with Ms. Grey or Ms. Olson or anyone else with a dubious past reading to kids.

As long as it’s not “Show and Tell” or “Career Day.”

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