10:27 AM CST, February 7, 2013
This Forbes list continues to be all the talk, but I still don’t get the hating on Jay Cutler nationally.
No, wait, it’s not "hating." It’s "disliked." Same thing to me, but it’s officially the Forbes list of "America’s Most Disliked Athletes," and Cutler ranked fourth.
Seriously, America? Cutler is disliked more than every active athlete except Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o and Tiger Woods? Cutler is bunched with a fake cyclist, a guy with a fake dead girlfriend and a fake athlete who’s really good at the hobby we call golf?
Seriously, America? Tell you what, there's no way Nate Silver would've nailed this one.
I mean, Cutler is not facing prison time, he plays a real sport, and he has a real girlfriend, even if some people might think she’s a fake actress. But America dislikes Cutler almost as much as those guys? Geez, how many family members does J’Marcus Webb have?
If this were a Chicago survey, then yeah, I would expect the Bears starting quarterback with the pouty face and endless interceptions against Green Bay to be disliked in a big way. But nationally? Sorry, I don’t get it. And to rank as the most disliked NFL player? Have people ever heard of Ray Lewis? Hel-lo.
Sure, Cutler pushed a teammate, but he doesn’t have a conviction for obstructing the pursuit of justice in a double murder. Cutler might not be a media darling, but he doesn’t cheapen God and faith by yammering on so much that it sounds like a shield from responsibility.
I understand Armstrong topping this list. I’m all for it, in fact. He’s a liar, a cheat, a bullying scumball. I wasn’t sure Armstrong still was a current athlete, but I don’t suspect he will be much longer. Armstrong’s admissions of fraud and other crimes will cost him a lot of money and, if the human race is lucky, his freedom.
Te’o is surprising as the second most disliked athelte. But America hates fake dead girlfriend stories. America wants a real girlfriend to have died, so get it right next time, kid. Te’o lied about his story and continued to lie. I think he’s still lying and I think he’ll continue to lie. Look, he has a history of lying and he has been enabled by a band of sanctimonious frauds from the banana republic of South Bend.
That’s another part of it: I think the vote against Te’o also is a vote against Notre Dame, whose high-ranking wonks abdicated responsibility for telling the truth because there was a football game to play. Oh, and don’t forget that exhaustive two-day investigation that Notre Dame is so proud of. Notre Dame seems to treat the idea of doing the right thing as if Alabama is blocking for it.
Woods at No. 3 is a bit of a surprise, too. Televised golf died without him, so he must be loved by a big group of people beyond Jim Nantz’s family. I guess Woods is hated because he cheated on his wife, which is not a tradition unlike any other. Or maybe it’s because Woods cheated on THAT wife, who makes the GoDaddy.com spokeswenches look like Cabbage Patch Kids.
And then there’s Cutler, placing ahead of Metta World Peace and Alex Rodriguez, among others. Stop and think about that. Cutler is more disliked than the nutbag formerly known as Ron Artest, who ran into the stands to punch fans. Cutler also is more disliked than the lying, cheating fraud who always will be known as A-Roid.
When it comes to the likes of Armstrong, World Peace and A-Roid, it’s more appropriate to use the word hate. Disliked is too soft, like Devin Hester’s mind.
The fallout from this list might be more interesting if Cutler cared about his image and reputation. But he seems to dislike America right back, and when you think about it, that’s probably a more efficient way to go. Devote your time and energy to things that matter.
Craving public adoration is soulless. It also can be exhausting, first seeking out that kind of love, and then working to maintain it. Hate, though, means never having to say you’re sorry.
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