Father and son

Father and son (August 8, 2012)

Jay Cutler, welcome to fatherhood. I'd like to tell you it's all teddy bears and precious smiles and that fresh-baby smell, but I'd be lying. And I don't want to do that to you, Jay.

You see, we have something in common, you and I. We are now both fathers--and we both started down this road at the ripe old age of 29.

My kids are past the diapers and pacifiers stages, though, which puts me in the unique position of being your fatherhood mentor.

It's a duty I do not take lightly. The advice I'm about to dish out is some of the most important--and honest--you'll hear.

Get used to being a zombie. I know this'll come as a shock, but newborns cannot feed themselves. And even though your son Camden is not much bigger than a regulation-size NFL football, he'll have to eat every two or three hours--around the clock. And he'll, ahem, expel that food around the clock too, which means you and Kristin will be getting little sleep.

Prepare for disgusting sights and smells. I don't need to explain this one, do I? You've hung around naked jocks and locker rooms all your life, but even that couldn't prepare you for the waste that your child will produce--continuously.

Leave the lullaby singing to Kristin. I don't want to be mean, but we've heard you sing, and your style isn't well-suited for singing a child to sleep. At least, a child with ears, that is.

Smile. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you've got that whole "I'm too cool to smile" thing going on, but that's not gonna be the face you want your son to see. All it takes is one half-hearted smile, and he'll smile back at you. It's glorious.

Enjoy it. Being a dad, if I must say so myself, is the coolest thing a man can do, full of endless rewards and unexpected joys.

Of course, you and Kristin are probably rich enough to hire a nanny to deal with your newborn, so most of this is probably all for naught.

But, if there's one thing you need to know, Jay, it's this: Just throw the damn ball.

Brian Moore is RedEye's web editor. He has three kids and no football experience whatsoever.