You may wonder why. The guy seems to be so likable after all to the rest of the nation, appearing in commercials, winning a Super Bowl and being arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. You probably insist that I am either jealous or allowing my love of the Bears to influence my hatred of a rival, nay, the rival team's quarterback. While I have nothing against his commercials and certainly recognize his stellar play, my dislike of the Packers' #12 is based on a fairly simple, fairly solid sports principle that I adhere to: act like you've been there before.
I am no fan of celebration. Strike that, I love to celebrate and do so as often as I can and expect a team that just scored a touchdown to celebrate as well. What I dislike is choreographed celebrations. Getting together with your teammates and jumping around and high-fiving as you make your way back to the bench is great. Spontaneous joy over an achievement is perfectly acceptable. Such celebrations can even take the form of recurring traditions and still hold their charm in my mind. Just to show I have no ill will (on this subject matter, at least) against the Packers, I will use their Lambeau Leap as an example. When one of their players scores a touchdown, they jump up into the waiting arms of the fans in the end zone to celebrate. That is a fantastic tradition. That I can abide.
This I cannot:
|Behold the Discount Double Check|
But the offenses against subtlety by the Packers' QB do not end there. He has been spotted by yours truly celebrating a few other on-field accomplishments as of late that manage to somehow be even more annoying.
No position in the NFL is more irritating across the board than the wide receiver. Though talented, they tend to be divas looking to get noticed. The majority of the over the top, gaudy TD celebrations are from this position, whether it be Joe Horn on a pre-planted (and probably pre-paid) cellphone, Chad Johnson (who has a real name again) "River-Dancing" or Terrell Owen's famous Sharpie incident. But the most egregious WR celebration is the exaggerated first down sign. I have news for you, guys. You get the ball maybe ten times a game if you are one of the league's best. On those occasions, if your reception does not result in a first down, you have probably gained fewer yards than the play was designed to generate. Don't be so eager to celebrate mediocrity.
But while the overzealous recognition of a first down has become something expected from a WR, the attention starved children of the NFL, it tastes different coming from what is supposed to be a respected QB. So it was with particular disgust that I noticed Aaron (a girl's name no matter how you spell it) Rodgers (thank God the -d- is in there or Steve would have a limb to cut off the family tree) point his fingers like a gun downfield and wink slyly after running for a first down last week against the Seahawks. I then came to understand that he does this sort of thing regularly and often in not as subdued a manner:
I have disliked the Green Bay Packers since childhood, and I hated how good Brett Favre was, but I respected him. I never had the level of disdain for him that I have for Rodgers. In fact, I thought I would like Rodgers once he took over under center. I thought it was classy how he silently waited behind the Hall of Famer for his chance. But now I hate the new guy more than I ever did the old Bears' nemesis.
But I have to stop hating on Rodgers and look at myself and my own team. My recent frustration over this eager to celebrate Packers QB has resulted in some introspection. I realize now that the emergence of an incredibly gifted QB who over-celebrates and happens to play for my rival team is what we as Bears fans deserve. There is a long standing violation that we have yet to reconcile and the collected karma of the football gods has decided to punish us with Aaron Rodgers. And so I must be the first Bears fan that I know of to try and set things right.
Mistakes were made. Feelings were hurt. The Christians had the Crusades, the United States had slavery and the Bears had the Super Bowl Shuffle.
Yes, I am officially apologizing to the rest of the football world for the Super Bowl Shuffle. Twenty-seven years removed from that amazing season (and the third grade) I can finally see it for what it was, a lame, audacious, pseudo-rap monstrosity that has obviously invoked the ever-lasting wrath of the football gods. I encourage all other Bears fans to just come out and apologize for what our team did prior to the '85 season, before they had even won the championship. By all rights, we should have lost that season. Our dominant defense should have been offset by the crime of having created such a ridiculous video proclaiming that we expected to win it all. In fact, succeeding after such a display of crass bravado should have resulted in an unprecedented number of freak, career-ending injuries that left us looking more like the 2008 Lions than the 1972 Dolphins. Instead, somebody sold their soul to win the Lombardi Trophy and we were cursed with the following two seasons of the Washington Redskins (against whom I still hold a major grudge) and now Aaron Rodgers.
And so my lone voice stands as a sacrifice, a plea to the heavens to lift the curse of our vanity from the city of big shoulders. I hope that my coming clean over this matter might make a difference for my beloved Bears this season. With tonight's game against the Cowboys having major significance, potentially giving us the early lead in the NFC North, I hope that I may have singlehandedly shifted the karma in our favor.
May the Monday Night Football gods have mercy on Jay Cutler.