INDIANAPOLIS -- Matt Forte hasn’t spoken to Jay Cutler since it was revealed last month that Cutler and fiancee Kristin Cavallari are expecting, but Forte did make sure to congratulate his Bears teammate.
“I sent him a text congratulating him and all that stuff,” Forte told me at EA Sports' Madden Bowl XVIII in the Bud Light Hotel (aka The Hampton Inn hotel) in Indianapolis Thursday.
How will fatherhood change the 28-year-old Cutler?
“It’ll mature him a little more,” Forte said. “He’s already a mature guy, but I think it’ll mature him a little more. It matures everybody.”
Forte has attended every Super Bowl weekend since he was a rookie. He said it’s an opportunity to see friends from other teams and catch some good music acts (Nas and The Roots performed at the Madden Bowl). It doesn’t hurt from a business standpoint either.
“It’s an opportunity to make appearances and make a little money, so I come,” Forte said.
The four-year veteran, of course, would rather play in the big game instead of celebrating it. But due to season-ending injuries to Forte and Cutler, the Bears’ Super Bowl aspirations were put on hold this season.
Does Forte believe the Bears would be playing on Sunday if not for the injuries?
“I’m optimistic,” Forte said, “I believe in my team. I think if we wouldn’t have gotten hit by so many injuries, we would have been in the position we were in last year to make the Super Bowl.”
Forte is a huge video game fan – he and teammates Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Henry Melton play “Call of Duty" online together – but the Pro Bowler didn't take part in Thursday’s Madden video game tournament. The Denver Broncos Tim Tebow, New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham did participate, however, and walked away with the trophy.
Also in attendance Thursday was Mount Carmel High School alum Donovan McNabb and ex-Bear and current Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera.
Meanwhile, in another part of Indianapolis, former Bear Jim McMahon hosted his fourth annual Swang 'N' Super Bowl Bash at The Rathskeller. The $260-per-ticket event benfitted Hope For The Warriors and the Lynda McMahon Ferguson Foundation for Literacy.