Skip Bayless is a well-known attention hog. He is under the impression that his opinion on a story should be widely known, and in fact, he thinks his opinion should be the story. So Skip goes well out of his way to talk in the first person and insert himself into the story or narrative. He did it with Tim Tebow and LeBron James. It's less about his opinion of either player and more about everyone else's reaction to his opinion of each player. Feeling insecure and sad that he hasn't received as much attention as Stephen A. Smith lately, Skip writes a column saying he's changed his mind about Jay Cutler. As usual, Skip's opinion of a player needs to be the story. It's all about Skip Bayless. He is incapable of talking about Jay Cutler's performance in the past, present or future without mentioning his own opinion of Cutler during that time. When Cutler struggled at times, it isn't about Cutler struggling, but about how Skip stood by him. It's nauseating.
I'm sorry, Jay Cutler, I'm done defending you.
Right from the start, the reader knows this column isn't about Jay Cutler, it's about Skip Bayless.
No more being true to my school -- our school -- Vanderbilt. Time for some tough love.
It's good to hear that Skip Bayless allows his personal feelings to impact what he thinks about a player or school. Not that it should shock anyone of course. His job is to be a troll, so no person can troll by not having an obvious bias of some sort.
I'm calling you out, pal, just before you take the national stage again on "Monday Night Football."
Skip is calling you out, Jay Cutler! He's calling you out just in time for you to play in a nationally televised game on ESPN where Skip can get the most attention possible for calling you out. No really, pay attention to Skip. Look what he can do! Over here!
Cutler was 23-38 for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns for a 94.7 QB rating and 72.4 QBR in the "MNF" game. His ESPN Grade ranking for mixing athletics and academics was probably off the chart though. So I am sure Skip would argue that Cutler was motivated by getting called out. It's all about Skip.
I'm not buying what I saw from you a week ago Sunday, when you wrecked
San Francisco's housewarming with the best stretch of quarterback I've
ever seen you play. Four touchdown passes, zero "no, Jay, no" turnovers.
You took a helmet to the chest that would have brought the trainer and
doctor running for a lot of QBs.
This is the mind of Skip Bayless. Jay Cutler plays well and Skip decides that is the point at which he will jump off the Cutler bandwagon. Not that he would do this just for attention of course. Skip only obeys logic and the facts as they are presented. He would never have a crazy opinion just for the sake of gaining attention and trolling.
I've always praised and defended your physical toughness. But your
mental toughness ... I suspect you played so beautifully -- dare I say
so patiently -- against the 49ers because you felt little to no
pressure. Nobody expected you to win that game. Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery
(hamstring) weren't healthy enough to run an errand, let alone a route.
So for once you didn't try to live up to your "rocket arm" reputation.
Skip Bayless has always had your back, Jay, which I am sure was a huge comfort to you. But now that you are becoming the quarterback other NFL analysts wanted to see you become, Skip realizes he's not the contrarian anymore and must immediately hop off the bandwagon and become a Cutler hater. How can Skip get attention if his opinion isn't insane to the point of being indefensible?
Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick
went Jay Cutler. He launched misguided missiles into three bad-idea
interceptions and lost one careless fumble. You, Jay, from Santa Claus,
Indiana, are usually the one handing presents to opponents. You probably
were as surprised as anybody by the final score: Bears 28-20.
Yes, I am sure Jay Cutler was shocked that he played well and didn't commit any turnovers. Being a professional athlete, he probably lacks confidence in his ability.
Just after the past season ended with your Bears going 8-8 and your
missing the playoffs for the seventh time in your eight NFL seasons, you
were given three more seasons with guaranteed base salaries totaling
$54 million (plus four more years with club options). That's in the
ballpark of guaranteed money awarded to Drew Brees ($60 million), Matt Ryan ($59 million), Tony Romo ($55 million) and Aaron Rodgers ($54 million) in the past year and a half.
And yet, the other option was to dump Cutler, letting Josh McCown start, or wait until the offseason to allow Cutler to become a restricted free agent. Neither option seems terribly fun to think about for a Bears team that has struggled to find a quarterback in the past 20 years.
Santa Claus has always been very good to you, Jay, even when you've been bad.
You are the worst and make me question the existence of a higher power with sentences like this.
In your career, you've played in all of two playoff games. You won one
at home and played little more than a half of that 2010 season's NFC
Championship Game at home against archrival Green Bay. That was the
turning point moment in which you asked out of the game because you said
you could no longer plant and throw on an injured knee (later reported
to be a sprained ligament), even though you pedaled an exercise bike on
Pedaling a bike and throwing a football require two different motions of the leg.
On "First Take," I angrily defended you for days, months,
even years after that game and said no QB is tougher than you.
Skip angrily defended Jay Cutler. With passion. With vigor. That sprained ligament isn't about Jay Cutler or about how Cutler asked out of a playoff game, it's about Skip Bayless and what people thought about his hot sports take regarding Jay Cutler's sprained ligament.
But maybe I missed the point.
Skip, there are so many points you have missed that there isn't enough time to go back and discuss them.
Maybe you didn't trust yourself enough to lead your team back against
Aaron Rodgers and a 14-0 halftime deficit you helped create with an
interception. Maybe you hid behind a knee that no doubt was hurt ... but
so much so it kept you from the greatest opportunity of your career and
a moment you might never again know?
This isn't the point you missed, Skip. This is what those who were critical of Cutler after the 2010 NFC Championship Game were stating while you defended Cutler. It's not the point you missed, it's that you took the opposite of point of view and are now trying to entirely change your position on Cutler to the position others took regarding him previously.
I thought you could soon own a city whose heart beats strongest for its
Bears; I know because I was once a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
Well, then YOU KNOW, don't you Skip. You once worked for the Chicago Tribune for three years.
I thought you would soon change that. Heck, win a couple of Super Bowls,
and your football legend might even start to threaten Michael Jordan's
basketball legacy in Chicago.
You may want to calm down a little bit. I know you worked for the Chicago Tribune for three whole years, but I'm pretty sure Michael Jordan's legacy is secure. Both players could have great legacies in Chicago. There doesn't have to be a winner.
Somewhere, Michael Jordan is rolling his eyes.
Everyone is rolling their eyes. You are a joke, Skip.
The more I watched you in Chicago, Jay, the more I thought of Phil
Up next on First Take: Forced analogies comparing athletes who play different sports.
Yep, remember the many years Mickelson failed over and over
to break through and win a major championship? That didn't happen until
Mickelson was 33 at the 2004 Masters. Until then, Mickelson (like you)
was known for always going for broke, damn the consequences.
He hid behind his gambling "nature,"
Interesting turn of phrase considering Mickelson's supposed affinity for gambling and the accusations of insider trading from earlier in this year.
I'm now convinced you sometimes gunsling passes just to enhance your
big-arm, big-guts mystique. Your excuse: You have such a competitive
cannon that you just can't keep yourself from trying to pull off the
Skip Bayless thinks that Jay Cutler has too much confidence in his throwing arm to not try and pull off the near-impossible throw. Except, he just stated he thought Cutler didn't have enough confidence in his ability just a few paragraphs ago:
Maybe this had nothing to do with pain threshold and everything to do
with self-belief. Maybe you didn't trust yourself enough to lead your
team back against Aaron Rodgers and a 14-0 halftime deficit you helped
create with an interception. Maybe you hid behind a knee that no doubt
was hurt ...
It sounds like ol' Skip is having some difficulty keeping his story straight.
Many times you have completed "Wow Factor" throws that have made you a
ton of money. Too many times, you have thrown it to the wrong team or
waited too long for a deep route to develop and gotten the ball swatted
from your careless grip.
This is literally what everyone said about Jay Cutler while Skip Bayless was defending Cutler. It seems nothing has changed, Skip Bayless has just decided it's in his best trolling interest to change his mind about Jay Cutler to represent the point of view he once derided.
I still haven't quite recovered from this season's opener at home
against Buffalo. Your two interceptions canceled your 349 yards passing
and two touchdown passes and helped cost your team a 23-20 loss to
It's not about Jay Cutler's performance, it's about how Jay Cutler's performance made Skip Bayless feel.
After a decade of bleeding Vanderbilt black and gold for you on "Cold Pizza"/"First Take," I'm now mostly bleeding guilt, Jay.
I can't imagine a society where anything Skip Bayless has written so far would be considered to be top-notch sportswriting. So far it's been the ramblings of a fickle Jay Cutler fan who is overly-emotional about his hero's failings.
It started your junior year at Vandy, when I boasted on air about how
you could be the next Brett Favre, and I pretty much got laughed off the
This is usually how I laugh at Skip Bayless when I would watch him on "Cold Pizza." There is nothing really funny about his trolling opinions. It's sad to see a grown man work so hard in order to get attention.
What amazed me most was you played SEC football with the arrogance of
the pre-med National Merit Scholars with whom I had to compete in
freshman biology. You did my heart proud, Jay.
But now you are becoming the kind of quarterback that Skip Bayless can't support, due to your success, so he's going to have to take the contrarian opinion. See, you aren't a gunslinger anymore who commits too many turnovers, except when you were a gunslinger in the first game of the season and committed too many turnovers, so how is Skip supposed to get attention by advocating for you?
But when Denver coach Mike Shanahan traded up four spots to take you
with the 11th overall pick in the draft, right behind Heisman winner
Matt Leinart, I looked pretty good.
And that's really what it is about, isn't it?
But once you got to Chicago, where I have lots of media friends,
No you don't. Don't lie. No one likes you.
the arrogance that mesmerized me at Vandy began to alienate reporters
and teammates alike. You often refused to accept any blame after
multi-interception losses. You sometimes showed up teammates by chewing
them out in plain sight during games.
Yes, and we all know no real leader ever shows up his teammates or coaches.
It's always interesting how some quarterbacks are uber-competitive and yell at their teammates, while other quarterbacks chew out teammates because they aren't accepting any blame. Players yell, it happens. Narratives don't have to be written.
Have you been using your arrogance as a shield to cover your insecurity?
You are not a psychologist. Don't try to be. Don't use Cutler's insecurity as a shield to cover up for the fact you are switching your position on Jay Cutler in order to gain attention.
In your ninth NFL season, the Bears have invested once again in your
prototypical potential, your perennial on-the-verge-ness, your 57 career
wins (!) and 49 career losses (?), your 161 career touchdown passes (!)
and 114 career interceptions (?).
But all of this arrogance and gunslinging is just a way to cover up for your massive insecurity. Skip Bayless has you all figured out, Jay Cutler! And as a result, Skip Bayless does not like competing with other insecure people, so he will now not like you anymore.
So Monday night against Rex Ryan's Jets defense, will we see the Buffalo
you or the San Francisco you, Jay? Did you finally "get it" against the
49ers? Or was it just another misleading tease, compliments of "Jay"
Go play in traffic, Skip. Really, please. Do it. Your arguments make no sense. When Cutler is careless with the football you like him, but once Cutler isn't as careless with the football you accuse him of being insecure because you need to manufacture a few more debates for "First Take." Cutler is overly-confident, unless he isn't, which means he's insecure and Skip Bayless can't ride that train.
I minored in history at Vandy, Jay. Yours tells me you will be what you've always been.
That is interesting, because I feel the same way about Skip Bayless. It's sad to see a 62 year old man want attention as badly as Skip Bayless does. Skip talks about Cutler being a "misleading tease," but this is the person he has defended over the past eight seasons. Why is it now a bad thing? Because Skip feels the tide turning and has to take a contrarian view on Cutler? It's that important for him to stay relevant that he will completely change his mind under the guise of Cutler being too insecure to succeed.