The Chicago Bears beleaguered quarterback Jay Cutler was quoted after his team was crushed by the Green Bay Packers 55-14 on Sunday, bizarrely appearing to blame the blowout loss suffered by the floundering 3-6 Bears on the team’s punter.
“It’s certainly not an easy thing to say, but at the end of the day, someone has to step up and accept that mistakes were made by our punter, Pat O’Donnell,” Cutler was quoted as saying. “Going forward, there will have to be some serious adjustments made to our punt unit — when individual players aren’t doing their part out there, we’re going to fall short as a team. Pat didn’t play well, and he needs to accept responsibility for that.”
While it was true that O’Donnell, a normally reliable punter currently averaging a solid 45.2 yards per punt, suffered a blocked punt near the start of the third quarter on Sunday, what was definitely not true was that Cutler blamed him for the loss — or said anything like the odd quote attributed to him.
That’s because the quote appeared in a story by the Onion, a satirical news site that has been publishing its mock newspaper first in print, then online only, since 1996.
But though the humorous, parody publication has been around for 18 years, apparently some Chicago Bears fans have yet to hear of it. Either that, or they’re so blinded by their hatred of Jay Cutler that they’re willing to believe just about any piece of derogatory news about him, real or not.
It should be noted that the Onion is not a “hoax” site — its articles are not intended to “fool” the readers. But sometimes the publication’s humor rings so true that some people can’t tell the difference between the Onion‘s satire and reality.
That was certainly the case with the anti-Cutler contingent among the Chicago Bears fans.
Cutler says “I’ll be the first to admit… We need a new punter” Really jay? Is that what the Bears need????
— Mirra (@mara_ann) November 12, 2014
Jay Cutler says the bears are in desperate need of a new punter. You sir are a special kind of stupid. — Spatticus Finch (@Donnie_rydz) November 12, 2014
Someone inform Jay Cutler that they wouldn’t need to use the punter if he could perform at his own position as quarterback @ChicagoBears
— Steven Mirizzi (@SJM_Rizz) November 12, 2014
Jay Cutler blamed his punter. I didn’t expect anything less — Tyler Serino (@TySerino) November 12, 2014
I can’t believe Jay Cutler seriously blamed the punter and long snapper for blocked punt in 3rd quarter! UH JAY, it was already 48-0??
— Logan Callahan (@CallahanLogan) November 12, 2014
Of course, there were fans who did, in fact, notice that the article was intended as a joke.
In a way, it is not too surprising that Bears fans would latch on to any article that makes Jay Cutler look foolish, even a false one. After Sunday’s loss, in which Cutler threw two interceptions that led directly to Green Bay touchdowns, some were calling for fans to burn Cutler’s jersey as as symbolic act of protest against the despised quarterback.
Of course, some fans might say that Jay Cutler’s actual, true quote after Sunday’s loss was nearly as inexcusable as anything in the Onion article.
How did the Bears get to this point? “If we knew, we probably wouldn’t be here,” Cutler said.
— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) November 13, 2014