Bad news, guys: Jay Cutler, the NFL’s Duke of Don’t Give a Fuck, may have finally started caring. At least in the fourth quarter (that’s progress!)
After leading the Chicago Bears to comeback wins in his last two games, the eternally dour quarterback appears to have turned the corner. And all it took was six-plus seasons of football filled with picks and pouts, plus the odd injury thrown in for good measure. Since arriving in the Windy City in 2009, Cutler has shown occasional flashes of brilliance – though it’s been his aloof behavior that’s earned him a reputation as one of the most icy guys in the NFL.
Despite that, and the fact that he’s led the Bears to the playoffs just once, Jay still got paid, inking a seven-year, $126.7 million deal following an 8-8 campaign in 2013. At the time, his critics howled – and they’re still bellowing – but now that Cutler’s winning games, maybe all the hate will stop. And perhaps he’s truly become a kinder, gentler dude. But probably not; after all, this is Jay Cutler we’re talking about. So until he yells at another ball boy (or stares off vacantly during a game), let’s take a look back at his greatest DGAF moments.
Circa 2009: The Set Up
If there’s a story that perfectly sums up the paragon of passivity that is Jay Cutler, it’s this one. By now, you’re probably aware he’s married to former MTV reality star Kristin Cavallari, and the two have a pair of young sons and a daughter on the way. That’s all lovely, until you hear how their romance began – with Cutler blindly asking Cavallari out through her publicist. Yep, after seeing her on The Hills, Jay contacted Cavallari’s rep and offered to fly her out to Chicago (“I didn’t know who he was,” she said in 2013). She passed, but a year later they reconnected after a Bears preseason game, and the rest was history.
November 2011: The Mail In
Another page from the Cutler Guide to Romance came when Jay asked Kristin for her hand in marriage via text message, then sent her an engagement ring in the mail. To be fair, this was actually their re-engagement (they first agreed to tie the knot in April 2011, called things off in July, then had a change of heart in November), so we’re willing to cut Jay some slack. We’re also willing to bet he was too busy playing Skyrim or some shit to actually propose in person.
May 2012: The Flip Off
Picture this. Cutler and is wife are leisurely walking their dog down a street when some paparazzi approach. While Cavallari seems to be fine with it (she was on The Hills after all), how does Smokin’ Jay react? By giving the photographers the finger, of course! On one hand, maybe he was pissed because he was caught in his pajamas. On the other hand, when you’re engaged to a former reality star and are the face of an NFL franchise, maybe going out of the house in your PJ’s isn’t the best idea.
October 2012: The Walk Away
During a Monday Night Football showdown against the Dallas Cowboys – in which Tony Romo threw a Cutler-esque five interceptions (and an even more Cutler-esque pair of pick sixes) – a frustrated Jay was approached by offensive coordinator Mike Tice on the sideline, but rather than talking to him like a man (or a professional quarterback), he summoned his inner adolescent and literally walked away from him. It was later reported that Cutler and Tice only spoke through a liaison. Somehow, this team finished 10-6.
August 2013: The Outburst
Being a ball boy isn’t the most glamorous gig, but many still sign up for it, in the hopes of being close to the action. Unfortunately for the Bears’ crew, said action occasionally includes getting cursed at by Cutler, who was caught yelping at one lowly pigskin handler to give him “the fucking ball!” Cutler could be excused if there was a lot on the line, but considering it was during a preseason game, let’s just chalk this one up to him being an asshole.
July 2014: The Dad Van
Despite having two little ones, Cutler’s physique isn’t in full-on Dad-Bod mode just yet. His wheels, on the other hand, are another story. Looking like a cross between a Winnebago and an SUV, Cutler was spotted driving to Bears’ practice in a van last summer. He was quick to point out, however, “It’s not a minivan, it’s a conversion van.” As if that makes a difference.
November 2014: The Ref Run-In
It was classic Cutler. During a game last season, Cutler attempted to prevent the Minnesota Vikings from challenging a call on the previous play by hurrying the Bears to the line and spiking the ball. The referees blew the whistle anyway, allowing the Vikes to challenge and igniting an outburst from Jay that earned him a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Chicago kept the ball, but thanks to the flag, they were moved all the way back to the Minnesota 40-yard line – and their drive eventually ended with kicker Robbie Gould missing a 47-yard field goal.
December 2014: The Press Conference That Wasn’t
With reporters throwing around the words “dismal” and “barn fire,” it’s safe to say last season wasn’t a pretty one for Bears fans. That hopelessness was punctuated one cold December day when Cutler showed up for a postgame press conference after yet another loss. However, as most members of the local media were still interviewing players in the locker room, Cutler saw the empty seats as an opportunity to bounce. And after three perfunctory answers to questions, bounce he did.
January 2015: The S.O.S.
Considering he plays a high-pressure position in a high-pressure league, one would logically assume Cutler could handle the antics of two small children. But apparently, that is not the case, as evidenced by a frantic series of texts Jay fired off to Cavallari after having a particularly rough time with the tots one night. (Our favorite line? “All hell has broken loose.”) Thankfully for us, Cavallari posted his distress call for the entire world to see.
July 2015: The Teacup Ride
You can’t fault Cutler for looking a little bored while riding the teacups at an Indiana theme park with his kids. After all, those things probably max out at 5 mph. However, Cutler’s dour expression perfectly encapsulates what it must’ve felt like for Bears fans to have watched him play last season.
September 2015: The Pick-Six Injury
Remember back in the 2010 NFC Championship game, when Jay suffered a mysterious knee injury and spent almost the entire second half standing on the sideline wearing a beanie? Until this year, that was probably peak Cutler – but in a Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, he managed to hurt his hamstring after throwing a pick six, which is almost impossibly perfect, considering it was the 15th time one of his interceptions has been taken to the house.
October 2015: The Callous Comebacks
Cutler would miss the Bears’ next game while recovering from said hamstring injury, an unsightly 26-0 shellacking by the Seattle Seahawks that dropped Chicago to 0-3. However, he’d return in Week 4 and lead the Bears to a last-minute win over the Raiders, then followed that up by throwing for two fourth quarter touchdowns in a comeback win against the Chiefs on Sunday. Suddenly, Chicago is sitting at 2-3, though Jay is taking it all in stride: “I trust the guys around me,” he said following the Kansas City game. “A lot of it is on them.”