In the name of all that is good and right in the world, somebody needs to stand up for Jay Cutler.
Taking his wife’s unfortunate lead, critics are painting the former Bears quarterback as a slacker who’s spending his time doing — what’s that marvelous word? — nothing.
We’re now aware of Cutler’s newfound idleness because his wife, Kristin Cavallari, has pointed it out on her E! network reality show, “Very Cavallari.’’ The reality appears to be that Jay, floating in a post-football world of hanging out while keeping the door open for something that might involve work (no!), is in his smirking, frowning, uninterested glory.
“Honestly, what do you do all day?” she said to him during the first episode.
Well, nothing. If you can’t slack off when you’re worth millions and millions of dollars, what’s the point of being filthy rich? Isn’t the goal of life to be wealthy enough to be playing The Game of Life all day?
I can see how somebody might think it odd that I’m serving as Cutler’s defender, seeing as how I spent eight years rolling my eyes at his up-and-down play with the Bears. But fair is fair, and unfair is unfair. What’s going on now is unfair.
Cutler made a combined $127 million with the Broncos, Bears and Dolphins. And now he’s supposed to get busy? No. He’s supposed to golf, hunt, fish, play checkers, have bizarre naptime dreams or do whatever else he wants to do.
If that’s another year of playing for a team in desperate need of a quarterback, swell. If it were me, I’d count my lucky brain cells and retire.
If that’s a career in broadcasting, which was his plan last year until he signed with the Dolphins, wonderful.
If that’s hanging around his home, picking up his kids from school, deer watching or yawning in earnest, more power to him.
“I’m not really looking to do a lot of work right now,’’ he said when Cavallari asked on the show about his career plans. “I’m looking to do the exact opposite of that.”
Cutler is living life his way and making no apologies for it. He’s 35, he’s wealthy beyond belief, and he’s not going to pretend to be taking meetings with businessmen. He doesn’t feel like doing anything. We’ve all been there. Some of us want to live there. Slackers of the world, behold the embodiment of your American Dream!
You don’t see Cutler trying to be anything other than what he is: a rich guy taking advantage of being rich. The epitome of being wealthy is the ability to do nothing and to do it enthusiastically. I raise a glass of caffeine-free soda to you, Jay.
After Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Telander wrote last week about the $18 million home that Tom Ricketts has built on the Lake Michigan shoreline, the Cubs chairman’s public relations consultant penned a letter to the editor that, in part, extolled Ricketts’ humble upbringing. I’ve always been fascinated by rich people’s need to establish their proletarian street cred. Americans chase wealth, but when they get it, they want everyone to know they’re just like you and me. No, check that. They want you to know they had it worse: They cleaned bathroom floors with toothbrushes when they were in preschool! And they were happy just to have a toothbrush!
Then they go back to their Screaming Eagle Cabernet, which goes for $3,000 a bottle.
Cutler isn’t playing that game, or at least he’s not playing it on camera. He doesn’t have time to tell you about growing up in middle-class Santa Claus, Indiana, because he’s too busy loitering in his own home. Every day is Christmas now.
Cavallari is opening a store in Nashville, Tennessee, that will sell her designer jewelry, and the enterprise is the basis for her reality show. Cutler’s indifference, which we saw for years at Halas Hall news conferences, is on full display. Because he’s not employed, he’s around a lot — the nightmare of many a spouse. It’s very possible she’s tired of bumping into her husband, especially after so many years when he wasn’t around as much.
Once in a while, when I’m being particularly annoying, my wife will say to me, “Don’t you have a trip to go on?” I smile sweetly and say, “No.” My goal is to win the lottery and be a stay-at-home loafer. Like my buddy Jay. Why is my wife picking up that knife?
Cutler should be celebrated for having pulled this off. Of course, there’s the fear he might get bored and start pondering gainful employment. But let us not speak of that now. Let’s live the dream vicariously through his inertia. Stay strong, Jay, and lie down.
Sun-Times sports columnists Rick Morrissey and Rick Telander are co-hosts of a new podcast called “The Two Ricks: Unfiltered.” Don’t miss their candid, amusing takes on everything from professional teams tanking to overzealous sports parents and more. Download and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts and Google Play, or via RSS feed.