His explanation: "I was in Denver, not a huge market, came to Chicago and haven't really [sought out] a lot of marketing opportunities because we haven't accomplished what I want to on the field yet. Until we get to the Super Bowl, win Super Bowls and are successful there, then I don't think it's right for me to go out there and venture into those other markets."
Can we handle this? If sports have become an enormous entertainment vehicle for everybody involved, what do we make of a guy who won't participate?
We get Cutler only on Sunday afternoons, when he often looks like somebody stole his last bottle of ex-lax. "He doesn't help himself any [with] his facial expressions," Clayton says.
Americans embrace all kinds of quarterbacks: fiery, stoic, joyful, gritty. But can we love a guy who seems so ... glum? Cutler has never looked like a kid out there, even when he was a kid. The typical Cutler pose, in high school, college and the pros: helmet tilted back and cocked to the side, edges of his mouth instinctively pointed down, arms at his side.
That's all he gives us. Cutler grew up in Santa Claus, Ind., but he is not a ho-ho-ho fellow. Clayton says Cutler "is not a chatty guy. He's not ebullient, bubbling over... . Jay is not going to go up and scream and holler or tell them they're full of crap."
From the way he talks about Cutler, you might be thinking, Wow, Jay Cutler's high school coach really doesn't like him. And you would be wrong. Bob Clayton loves Jay Cutler.
Most coaches do. What we see as the entirety of Cutler's personality, they see as personality quirks. Clayton has seen Cutler pose for pictures with everybody who asked him for one at a charity function in Santa Claus, and then set aside his dinner to convince a boy he had never before met to stick with football. That is Cutler's kind of scene. As the honoree at a charity golf tournament in Chicago two months ago, he was supposed to bring his own foursome. He showed up by himself, with no clubs, then carted around the course all day, shaking hands and posing for pictures.
Cutler's friends occasionally try to spread word of his kindness, but they do it in whispers, lest he find out. Hints and snippets: A friend of a friend of Cutler's found out that his 12-year-old son had type 1 diabetes and sent Cutler an e-mail.
"He responded within 10 minutes," says Jake LeGrone, the boy's father. "The guy went out of his way for my son, and it's not like he knows me." Cutler now advises Tucker LeGrone on his diet and insulin intake.
Nice story. But this snippet is more amusing and just as revealing: On July 15, Cutler watched his fiancée, Kristin Cavallari, walk down a Miami fashion-show runway in a glass bikini that was both sexy and recyclable. He was photographed wearing the same old Cutler face—Ugh, I have to watch my gorgeous fiancée walk around in a glass bikini—and the blogosphere mocked him again. (Reportedly, Cutler and Cavallari, a reality-TV star, recently broke off their engagement.)