We’ve resisted even acknowledging the widespread reports that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was spotted (drum roll, please) walking up steps on Sunday night, after he was unable to finish the Bears-Packers game due to a knee injury.
But since we’ve gotten over 100 e-mails about the story and will get more than 100 more if we don’t address it, we’ve decided it’s time to mention the most notorious incident of NFL stairclimbing since Plaxico Burress brought his Glock to a Manhattan nightclub.
Cutler reportedly didn’t use crutches and “limped a tiny bit” as he scaled the stairs at Mastro’s Steakhouse. Which of course means to some that he must not have been too injured to continue playing.
Is this really what it’s come to? We realize that the process developing a firm opinion based on limited information and then searching for any shred of proof to support that quickly-adopted belief while dismissing or ignoring anything that undermines it has risen to the level of inalienable right for many Americans. But there’s no connection at all between Cutler walking up stairs and having an MCL injury that prevented him from playing.
As we’ve said many times this week, Cutler’s toughness can’t be questioned. He played with undiagnosed Type I diabetes in 2007, going about his business while losing 30-plus pounds. As Jason Whitlock of FOXSports.com told PFT Live on Wednesday, most of those who have opted to question Cutler’s lack of toughness actually intended to question his passion, but can’t process and then articulate their thoughts as something other than an attack on Cutler’s toughness.
Regardless, Cutler’s ability to climb a flight of stairs has no bearing on whether and to what extent he was too injured to play NFL football. But since the fact that he didn’t require an elevator or one of those lifts on which Polly Holliday once took a wild ride (and on which, thanks to a reminder from a commenter, Costanza took a slow one), those who have concluded that Cutler is a cupcake are blindly clinging to his decision to walk up some steps as proof that he could have played some more football.