Jay Cutler's new, ESPN-approved nickname: Mr. Grumpy Pants

Chicago remains giddy at the thought that former Broncos QB Jay Cutler will return the Bears to the promised land. But fans might not be too thrilled to hang out with the petulant passer, as indicated by excerpts from a Cutler profile set to run in ESPN The Magazine's September 7 issue: "Mr. Grumpy Pants Comes to Chicago." A preview of the piece (only ESPN "insiders," who pay for subscriptions, can peruse the whole thing online) begins with a scene of Sweet Baby Jay balling out rookie receiver Juaquin Iglesias: "If you ever do that again I will never throw another f--ing pass to you. EVER!" That's followed by this prickly description of Cutler's time in Denver and beyond:

Now, it's not exactly a secret that Cutler can be a first-class a-hole. This is a guy who didn't let his under-.500 record as Broncos starter stop him from claiming to have a stronger arm than John Elway; who made a public show of dressing down rookie receiver Eddie Royal late last season, yet took little responsibility for the team's 0-3 finish that cost it a playoff spot; who threw a breath-holding grocery-store hissy fit to force his way out of Denver when new coach Josh McDaniels dared to dangle him as trade bait. Still, Iglesias wondered, was Cutler really going ballistic over a couple of lazy catches during OTAs -- in May?

Iglesias checked his shorts. Then the rookie looked at his teammates and back to the equally stunned coaches to see if Cutler was putting him on. He was not, and just to be clear, the quarterback shot Iglesias one more look. It was the raging, flushed visage of utter disdain. When Cutler gets this way, and he gets this way often, he looks a bit like an annoyed viper -- with a frat boy haircut and a slight double chin. Of course, it's also a look that gets results. "All I know is that receiver hasn't used anything less than two hands since," says Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner. "Look, Jay can be an intense person, a fierce competitor and a good guy, too. All the great ones have that mix. I see that in Jay, I really do. He better have it."

Damn straight. If Cutler can lead the Bears deep into the playoffs, his assholery will be seen as a competitive edge that's a key to his success. If not, he'll be dismissed as just another egomaniac whose talent didn't translate to W's. Betcha that would make him feel pretty grumpy....

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts