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posted: 10/2/2012 8:00 PM

Yes, Jay, all this media attention is what NFL is

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  • Bears quarterback Jay Cutler doesn't seem to understand that being under the media microscope is all part of the NFL being what it is.

    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler doesn't seem to understand that being under the media microscope is all part of the NFL being what it is.
    Associated Press


Bears quarterback Jay Cutler sounded exasperated Tuesday on his weekly ESPN Chicago radio show.

Media this, media that, and them media against us players.

Cutler bemoaned that so much was made of a minor sideline episode involving him and Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice.

"They take a 10-second clip," Cutler said, "and blow it out of proportion."

Yeah, so what's the point?

Of course, that's what we do. That's what just about everybody in America does. We blow the NFL out of proportion. Hardly anybody would argue that we don't.

Has any annual event in history been overblown more than the Super Bowl?

"It's unfortunate these things get so much attention," Cutler said. "It happens on a weekly basis with teams and players I don't want to talk about it."

Pete Rozelle, perhaps the most successful commissioner ever in sports, planned it this way back in the early 1960s.

Rozelle was publicity conscious. He wanted his league to attract as much attention as possible to help it surpass baseball, boxing and horse racing.

The NFL back then lived by the enduring and endearing public-relations premise, "I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right."

A half-century later, Rozelle's dream is reality. If politics received as much attention as the NFL, voter turnout would be 100 percent.

Yet the idea that "any publicity is good publicity" has been replaced by "the media blow everything out of proportion."

Somebody needs to tell Cutler that he's lucky that freaking football is out of proportion. Because those dang media meanies blow out of proportion trivial topics like a quarterback's haircut, the sport has grown to epic proportions. The only things more out of whack here than perspective are priorities.

Any day now you're liable to see headlines like "BEARS WIN!!!" above "World War III begins" and "BEARS LOSE!!!" above "Cancer cure discovered."

That's the direction the NFL is soaring, and if players don't like it they should go live on a secluded island and try to make millions of dollars fashioning kilts out of coconuts.

If Cutler decides to remain on Planet NFL, he should be grateful that fans have a disproportionate appetite for football news and that the media are disproportionately eager to feed it to them.

Put it this way: If reporters reported only the meaningful about this league they'd report once every seven days instead of seven times every day.

"I think at the end of the day there's so much competition in the media," Cutler said before verbally throwing up his hands and adding, " it is what it is."

If followers of TMZ can't get enough of Lindsay Lohan, it isn't surprising that followers of ESPN can't get enough of Jay Cutler.

One rule of sports journalism is, when in doubt, write about the quarterback. Maybe Cutler should request a transfer to offensive guard.

In this environment a QB's body language is as important as his mechanics, his facial expressions as important as his accuracy and his overall personality as important as his pocket presence.

Cutler said of the media, "I know what they're trying to do. We've danced this dance before."

What he doesn't seem to understand is that when the media don't feel compelled to slam-dance with players, the signal will be that the NFL isn't the NFL anymore.

It'll be back in proportion.

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