Notable Dudes That Been Here and Still Here: Jay Cutler, Jimmy Clausen, David Fales
New Dude of Note: Shane Carden (Rookie from East Carolina)
25 Year Legacy Top 5: (EXPLANATION: 25 years is a nice, round number, and I’m pretty sure my football mind came online enough to really know what was going on in like 1989, so starting the time-frame here in 1990 is damn near a perfect “lifetime” list, plus 1990 is another nice, round number. And who doesn’t like nice, round things? Anyway, here are the five best dudes according to me since 1990.)
Jay Cutler (2009-now), Erik Kramer (94-98), Kyle Orton (05-08), Jim Harbaugh (87-93), Jim Miller (99-02)
25 Year Anti-Legacy Bottom 5: (EXPLANATION: same as above, but bad.)
Henry Burris (2002), Jonathan Quinn (2004), Rick Mirer (1997), Caleb Hanie (09-11), Todd Collins (2010) – Really, I could have done a top 35 here if I wanted to suffer.
Best Football Card I Currently Own: (CLARIFICATION: Card can be of any player from history, but only if they’re depicted as a Bear. Even in anarchy, you gotta have rules.) 1992 Pro Line Profiles Autographs Jim Harbaugh
Fantasy Bootleg Jersey: (EXPLANATION : This is an idea blatantly stolen from Raven Mack, dating back to the Confederate Mack zine days, because anciently-scholastic is a good way through which things are often kicked. But if I had $35, plus whatever shipping from China would be, this is an NFL jersey I’d get from a shady-ass bootleg site, sticking mainly to ideas that wouldn’t be allowed by NFL.com on a real, legit, legalized jersey. This assumes I wouldn’t need the $35 for electricity or something, but work with me here.)
It would take some doing and perhaps some ingenuity and seamstressmanship, because even before the NFL started cracking down on bootleg jersey sites, none of them were SO bootleg that they’d let you have a three-digit number, but basically, this:
And since this is a fantasy we’re talking about, maybe have it in the way 90s store-bought jerseys were, where you’d have alternate black versions for teams that didn’t have black anywhere in their normal colors. (Y’all did know that’s navy blue and not black, right?) Hey hey, worship Satan everyday, kids.
Preebok Ebay Jersey: (EXPLANATION: Back in the day, before Roger Goodell ruined football with exclusive contracts for everything and said that only Reebok (and now only Nike) could make official stuff, (and starting next year, only Panini can make NFL trading cards, meaning more more Topps shits that go back to 1955, meaning I haven’t bought a pack of cards since 2013) more than one company could make NFL jerseys, meaning they literally cost about a third of what they’ll run you now. So the 1990s were a decade awash from sea to shining sea in replica jerseys, because they were only 35-50 bucks, depending on whether you got a fancy Starter jersey or a Logo Athletic one, where the numbers would disintegrate after one washing. Now, a fancy new Nike replica will run you something like $120-170, meaning that pro jerseys are the sole domain of uppity white people who ruin the whole thing by exclusively getting jerseys of the white tight end or a white offensive lineman, because I guess getting the QB makes you a poser, and they don’t be reppin’ no thugs. Then, they ruin it further by tucking their jerseys in pants pulled up to their nipples to look like a goddamn giant toddler, huddled in the stupid “man caves” they had to build, because they married women they don’t even like. The funny part though, is that now thanks to the artificially-inflated prices of the real things, you can’t watch an NFL game without the official NFL cameras panning over a crowd full of obvious bootleg jerseys. But yeah, anyway, these are old replica jerseys of a bygone time that I’d buy off Ebay today if I had the money.)
My first choice here would be an old Erik Kramer jersey, but I actually still have one of those that would still be in good enough condition to wear if I hadn’t got it a size smaller than what would be ideal, followed by gaining like 40 pounds in the 20 years since. Life is hard. Anyway, Tecmo Super Bowl III remains the greatest football video game of all time, so I’d complete the set on 1995 Tecmo Bear QBs and go with a Steve Walsh #4.
EXPERT ANALYSIS I CAME UP WITH JUST NOW:
Jay Cutler is a weird thing to think about in an historical context. Because currently, as things stand right now and motherfucking today, he’s not good, and he never will be. He’s been a Bear since 2009 and an NFL starting QB since Bronco times in 2007, and we’re STILL asking whether or not this will finally be the year he “gets it” and delivers on the promise that rat-faced anus-mouthed slave-driver Mike Shanahan saw in him back in ’06. And it’s never gonna happen, you guys. He will never be completely horrible, but he’ll never get much (if any) better than he is right now. He’s an uncoachable, above-it-all prick that teammates just sort of have to endure, because he’s the quarterback. Like as soon as any Bear joins another team, even if it’s his Denver football brother Brandon Marshall, they’re like “hoo boy, lemme tell ya about THAT guy,” and sports writers get another solid two days of tabloidy headlines. And since him and his vapid, useless, reality show wife are anti-vaxxers, he’s not even allowed to attend family-type team functions anymore, because the other 52 players don’t want their shitty little kid spreading parvo to everybody.
And man, that’s a thing, right there. So a guy who’s supposed to be the default leader of the team pretty much got voted out of associating with the rest of the team, just because Jay and Kristen are a couple of dopes who can look a highly-trained medical specialist in the eye and say, “well, you raise some interesting arguments, but Jenny McCarthy was famous for having tig ol’ bitties back in 1993, so we’re gonna go with her ideas.” (And don’t even tell me that there’s some genuine medical concern and first-hand research going on with these two specific people, instead of the weird McCarthy celebrity-cult thing going on. It’s a lifetime-pampered football player and a professional game show contestant we’re (I’m) talking about. I doubt they even know how to use Google.) And while I can appreciate the courage of flaunting the tigness of one’s bitties back in a time when Hollywood was all about Callista Flockheart-styled 8 year old anorexic boy body types, it’s not grounds to consider her one of the leading minds of the new century, 20 years later. Of course, not that the situation there has gotten any better, where every review of a movie with her cousin Melissa McCarthy (where she can only get cast as a female Paul Blart stumble bum) has to mention what a “courageous performance” it was, because the movie industry literally considers it an act of bravery to leave the house weighing more than 130 pounds, and you can still probably find articles being written today referring to Scarlett “Scarjo” Johansson and Jennifer “J-Law” Lawrence as “big girls.” Which is bullshit, because they’re both skinny as hell in real life, and double bullshit, because “Jay Law” and “Scar Joe” were the names of the two main characters in the post-apocalyptic cop buddy action story I’ve been working on since I was nine, and now, I have to start over. Once again, Hollywood crushes the dreams of a husky young boy. But anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Jay Cutler is no good, and no one likes him.
But the thing is? He’s the best quarterback that the Bears have had in over half a century. Think about it. The last time the Chicago Football Bears had a full-fledged, sure thing, franchise quarterback was Sid Luckman, and he retired in 1950 and hasn’t been the opening-day starter since 1948. Think about how long ago that was, y’all. Neither of my parents were born yet, and as of last month, I round up to forty. Sid Luckman was born in 1916. That was during World War I. If he were alive today, he wouldn’t be alive, because he’d have to be a fucking vampire. The last Bear QB to make the Pro Bowl was Jim McMahon 30 years ago, (and he was really just an average QB on a team carried by Walter Payton and the 46 Defense, and who was hurt more than he was healthy) and the last one before him was Billy Wade in 1963. With an occasional blip here and there, like McMahon’s Pro Bowl year in ’85 and Erik Kramer’s completely magical ’95 season, the years between Luckman and Cutler have been a dark, depressing parade of scumbum garbagefuckers who have not done much more than hammer home the point that the Bears are one 1986 Super Bowl win shy of being lumped in with assholes like the Cleveland Browns for long-term hopelessnes. Jay Cutler is the best Bear QB of my lifetime, and hell, he could be the best I’ll ever see by the time I die. (preferably in a huge fireball, because I’d want to die quick and fireballs are awesome to look at) So we will endure another year or two of Smokin’ Cat Jay Shit Ogre Cutler, and know full well that whoever is up next will probably be way, way worse.
As for Jay’s backup, you got weird-lookin’ Jimmy Claussen. Fuck Jimmy Claussen. All he’s ever been good for is making Mel Kiper look bad. But I guess you could do somewhat worse for a backup. Behind him are rookie Shane Carden and David Fales, who’s a one year removed from being a rookie himself. Hopefully, Cutler and Claussen stay healthy enough that neither guy ends up mattering. But there’s no way the Bears keep four QBs on the roster, so one of them has to go by the time the Bears get down to the 53-man limit. So I’m guessing Fales is out, because he was the old coaching staff’s guy. Also, his name sounds like “fails,” and jon Fox’s new coaching staff might be like me and fear a world where Cutler and Claussen go down, and this leads to a bunch of stupid “Epic Fales” headlines on shitty sports blogs. And in a Shane Carden world, I wouldn’t have to listen to anyone groping around in the darkness for a “Carden-gan Sweater” pun or some shit like that, because I haven’t had cable TV in a long time, meaning that in my world, Chris Berman died in 2003.
NEXT TIME: Eh, who knows.