Mariotti wrote a column about the Bears and Jay Cutler
You know what that means: FJM time!
It's a timeless tradition, really.
How can this not be awesome?
Note: As tradition dictates, we don't link to Jay's work here. You're just going to have to trust us on this one. He doesn't deserve your pageviews. Remember that.
Upon hearing that Jay Cutler was engaging in trash-tweeting with one Chad Ochocinco, my first impulse was obvious.
I'll take "make a super lame joke" for 500, please.
Given his inaccuracy in the red zone, Cutler surely would hit the wrong letters on his cell-phone keyboard and require spell check.
Boom. Nailed it.
And, by the way, I've read that sentence eight times and I'm still not sure if it even makes sense.
It wasn't wise for the Bears quarterback to answer Ochocinco's cybertaunts, not when he's being soundly embarrassed by Kyle Orton -- Kyle Orton, ladies and gentlemen! -- in first-half returns on the NFL's biggest offseason trade.
Stealing a better writer's joke: Jay Mariotti, ladies and gentlemen!
Now, for the good stuff...
Yet there was Cutler, firing back
Did Cutler really even fire back? Here's the whole thing again if you're unfamiliar.
If anything, Cutler just played along. His responses hardly constituted a "firing back". There was zero venom here. He didn't say "We're gonna whoop y'all on Sunday" or "Only one db will be kissing the baby next weekend, and that's Leon Hall!" or anything like that. Cutler just sort of, I don't know, toyed with Ochocinco. Because Ochocinco is an idiot, and that's what you do with idiots.
This is a classic example of Mariotti blowing something astronomically out of proportion - even by his own lofty standards - just so he can write something negative about Chicago sports.
Might I remind you that this man is national now. He doesn't work for the Sun-Times anymore. Hasn't in quite some time. He can literally write about whatever he wants to as long as it sort of pertains to sports. Write about an uplifting story in the world of high school athletics. Write about how terrible the umpires have been in these baseball playoffs. Why not just dedicate the entire column to the brilliance of Orton's Broncos?
But no. This has to be all about the Bears and Cutler and Twitter. Ugh. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him.
In summation: this column already sucks and we're only one and a half paragraphs in. No small feat, even for Mariotti.
when he should have been (a) working on his flawed passing mechanics, (b) pleading with management to find better weapons and (c) studying game film to determine why he went 2-of-9 with a bad interception inside the Atlanta 20-yard-line in Sunday night's loss.
I adore this argument.
"How can Barack Obama possibly throw out the first pitch of the All-Star Game! Shouldn't he be more worried about fixing the economy!?"
Right. Because people have to spend exactly 100% of their time trying to become better at their job. Anything less than that and you're not committed. Leisure is for the weak.
If you have ever used this argument, die. All of you. But especially you, Jay.
This while Orton has been the model of efficiency and near-perfection for a Broncos team that is 6-0 under coach Josh McDaniels, the first-year revelation who dared to unload Cutler and misses him now about as much as an unflushable toilet.
You know, I really wasn't sure how much Josh McDaniels did or did not miss Jay Cutler until Marotti contextualized the relationship for me. An unflushable toilet. God, those are the worst. I get it now. I think.
Considering the mounting evidence against him, didn't Cutler have something better to do than play Twitter tag with a troublemaker?
This exercise in silliness struck me as everything that's wrong with Cutler. For all his strong-armed gifts, he has an immature, reckless streak that isn't conducive to consistently excellent performances and leadership at the sport's most important position. When Cutler is on, he's as dangerous as any passer in the league, which is why the Bears signed him to a two-year extension Tuesday that will guarantee him an additional $20 million as the NFL enters troubled labor waters. When he's off, he's capable of self-destructing and doing his team no favors with pouty, mopey body language.
He played at Vanderbilt, which suggests he must have some brains. Yet he also reminds me of Frank (Cush) Cushman, the guitar-playing doofus/QB prospect in Jerry Maguire.
Trust me, this is only the second worst pop culture analogy in this column.
I was among the many who thought McDaniels was clinically insane when he traded Cutler, who threw for 4,526 yards last season and is only 26, for Orton, a journeyman best known for a bushy neckbeard. But now people in Chicago are beginning to grasp why McDaniels was so eager to cast Cutler loose. The two would have gotten along like Jon and Kate Gosselin.
McDaniels wants to run his New England-style pass system, which places a premium on accuracy, maximizing yardage on the scoreboard and avoiding mistakes.
"Maximizing yardage on the scoreboard"
That makes little to zero sense.
Cutler has a maddening way of amassing yardage
Is this yardage on the scoreboard or off the scoreboard? Color me confused.
and having nothing to show for it,
So "off"? Or what?
exhibited by the Broncos' rank in the yards-per-point category the last two seasons: 28th and 25th.
I'm all for stats - sports + math = fun for the whole family! - but "yards-per-point" might be the most retarded stat ever. Ever heard of, um, "circumstance"?
As national TV audiences have seen on two Sunday nights, in Atlanta and Green Bay, the Bears can drive downfield smoothly enough but are vulnerable to Cutler interceptions -- six total.
Right. Let's not talk about how great Cutler was in the Bears' other three games, all wins. How he rallied them back from fourth quarter deficits. How he threw passes Orton could only throw in his dreams. How, when unchained from the ultra conservative offensive game plan the Bears force upon him, he carves up defenses left and right.
Look, Cutler hasn't been perfect this year. Far from it. He was terrible in the first half against the Packers. You can't give him any higher than a C or C- for his performance in Atlanta.
But, man, you have to be blind - or, I suppose, a professional contrarian - if you don't think he's still the best quarterback the Bears have had since, like, the French and Indian War.
Listen: Cutler is new. Most of his fellow starters on offense are also new. These things, generally, don't happen overnight. Let this offense breathe, please. Everything is going to be alright. I can say with 100 percent certainty that Jay Cutler isn't like every other Bears quarterback of my lifetime. He does not suck. In the end, that's all that should matter.
Granted, his offensive line isn't nearly as good as the one he left in Denver, and the 27th-ranked running game is underachieving thanks largely to Matt Forte's fumbles and lack of power around the goal line. He also could use a legitimate No. 1 receiver, with Devin Hester falling far short of the standard while an explosive weapon such as Steve Smith goes to waste in Carolina.
Still, Cutler looks skittish.
YOU LOOK SKITTISH.
Three of his seven picks this season have come inside the 20. After his latest red-zone interception, coach Lovie Smith had words with the so-called franchise savior.
Who ever called Jay Cutler the savior? Oh yeah, you.
"Don't do it,'' Smith said. "It's really kind of as simple as that. We can't have those interceptions down there. Jay realizes that, but he was trying to make a play.''
It's kind of meaningless to bash Jay for stealing other people's quotes at this point, but seriously: every negative stereotype about bloggers you can think of, that's Jay Mariotti.
Contrast that with the careful, impeccable play of Orton, who was magnificent again Monday night in San Diego and has compiled these blurry numbers: 1,465 yards, nine touchdown passes, one interception (on a Hail Mary attempt) and a 100.1 passer rating. In the second half against the Chargers, he went 11 of 15 for 146 yards, two touchdowns and a 143.3 rating.
You know I love Orton, so I'd like to point out that his only interception this year was caught by Randy Moss. That's just cool.
"Thank goodness we have him. He has been just superb,'' said receiver Brandon Stokley....
More quote stealing.
It's not a matter of which team is getting the better end of the deal. No, the lopsided results go far deeper,
Because we can judge a trade that involved four draft picks and two 26-year old quarterbacks after six games. Right.
Then we have a bunch more Bronco-blowing and lifted quotes. And, of course, a patented kick ass Mariotti ending...
The Bears, meanwhile, are 3-2 in a division in which Brett Favre and the Vikings have started 6-0. If Orton, McDaniels are the Broncos are the NFL's best story, Cutler is a prime-time disappointment so far. Why do you think Ochocinco was tweeting him so early in the week, six days before the Bears and Bengals play in Cincinnati?
Because Ochocinco is a delightful moron who likes to bend the rules and have tons of fun?
Because he wants to get inside Cutler's head, of course. Seems it's very cluttered right now.
A stretch of a conclusion, even for Mariotti.