Note to Gabe Carimi: It’s all about Jay Cutler
RICK TELANDER email@example.com April 29, 2011 12:12AM
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Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Hello, Gabe Carimi, and welcome to the fold!
As the 29th pick in the draft, from small town/Madison suburb Cottage Grove, Wis., you probably don’t know a whole lot about Chicago or the way things work on the Bears.
Here it is:
When you visit town, when you come to camp, when you find out that big body of water to the east is not Lake Monona, think only of this: How can I make Jay Cutler’s life better?
You being an offensive tackle and in the potential pathway to Jay’s destruction, hopefully you see a direct relationship to that task, so if you want peace in your young pro life, make Jay succeed.
His health and welfare are the Bears’ health and welfare. And through late summer, fall and early winter, they are Chicago’s.
If you’re there on the line in front of Cutler, sacrifice your knees for him. Your whatever.
You may be known as ‘‘The Jewish Hammer’’ — man, can that play in Chicago! — but first things first. Sacrifice yourself on the altar of turf.
The Bears gave up starting quarterback Kyle Orton and first- and third-round draft picks two years ago to get Cutler from the Denver Broncos, and thus the man is the key to the future of the Bears, as well as, quite possibly, the futures of general manager Jerry Angelo, head coach Lovie Smith and maybe even president Ted Phillips.
The Bears went out on a limb for you, young protector.
But they uprooted a tree and plowed a field for Cutler.
And though after two seasons he has the cumulative highest passer rating in Bears history — 80.9 — he’s not even in the top five for best single-season Bears rating. His 86.3 last year ranks behind Jim McMahon, Erik Kramer, Rudy Bukich and Bill Wade and way, way behind Sid Luckman (107.5).
That’s not why the Bears halfway-mortgaged a franchise, not for a guy who’s going to go up and down and all around and then basically implode.
Uncertainty in the air
We all agree this was one of the weirdest draft nights ever. You can be excused for not being clear about some things.
At Halas Hall, for instance, the doors were open to the media, but they haven’t been open to players since the NFL owners’ lockout, the players’ union decertification, court challenges and appeals and anti-trust forays, denied ‘‘stays’’ and more legal muck than sports people can handle.
It’s still not certain there will be an NFL season in 2011, and when all you college guys marched across the floor at Radio City Music Hall and hugged commissioner Roger Goodell, I wonder if you felt you were hugging your enemy or savior.
Already Goodell had been booed by the maniac fans in the crowd, who chanted ‘‘We want football!’’ over and over.
‘‘I hear you,’’ Goodell said, which didn’t stop the noise.
Craftily, Goodell brought up the old trusted-and-true way to quiet dissidents: Ask that thoughts be directed toward victims of tragedy somewhere else — this time Tuscaloosa, Ala., where a killer tornado recently hit.
No disrespect meant, but since when did a circus-tent, wildly hyped, gazillion-dollar, Times Square-made-for-TV event in which fat-necked, quasi-educated human cattle are dispersed into the various franchise chutes of their new ranches become about charity? Not sure.
Nor was it anything but the usual brilliance when Goodell brought out military members for various functions. Charity, war, football, money. Check!
The draft is also clouded, or should be, by the revelations of potential permanent head trauma for those who play this vicious game.
It’s telling, or should be, that for the first time, the U.S. military will give out Purple Heart honors to soldiers who receive concussions in battle but have not even been knocked out.
But back to Cutler. Your guy.
Talk of the town
We here in Chicago haven’t heard much from him since he vanished after that disastrous NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers.
If he hurt his knee badly, which is why he allegedly was taken from the game, he could have stuck around to talk to Chicago folks about it.
We kinda care.
Disappearing to Africa on a charity trip was nice, as was running in a local kids charity fund-raiser weeks later.
But it wasn’t so great that Cutler refused to talk to Chicago media after that kiddie thing. Why not? We don’t bite. Not unless you’re a jerk or a failure or a fraud.
Not to say Cutler is any of those things. But a non-communicator, he is.
And the Bears quarterback, in case you haven’t been listening, Hammer, is a big deal in Chicago, somebody we like to hear from.
It recently was announced that he is getting married to a reality-TV star. I hope the marriage lasts forever, but there are lots of young women out there — millions and millions, in fact — who did not ‘‘play’’ a ‘‘blond bombshell’’ (‘E! Online’s words) on the execrable ‘‘The Hills.’’
The press will be around, Gabe. For him and you.
There are lots of Jay-doubters out here. And remember, the biggest of all were his own brethren-tweeters from around the league.
So come on across the border, Gabe.
You’re in the soap opera now.