Is Tom Jackson serious? I need to know what Jay Cutler did to him because Jackson is taking serious unprovoked shots at the Bears QB. There is no way that innocuous pregame video of Cutler walking into the locker room can set someone off like that unless there’s a back story.
First of all, the video itself is B-roll meaning it is to be spoken over. Therefore, there is no audio of Cutler and we can not hear if he acknowledges the locker room employees or not. It’s extremely unfair for Jackson to lambaste Cutler after watching that clip from a studio, 800 miles away.
Secondly, what does this matter? Does Tom Jackson stop and chat with everyone he runs into while arriving at work? I don’t know but if he doesn’t on any given day, I don’t think he would appreciate having his character called into question over it.
It’s no secret that Cutler isn’t the most friendly athlete to take the field, but it’s possible that the negative opinions of him are being unfairly perpetuated by people in the media, like in this case Tom Jackson. For my money, I think he acknowledges the locker room attendants on his way in. Either way, Jackson was out of line.
Aaron Rodgers experienced a similar situation after he was called out by ProFootballTalk for not stopping to sign an autograph for a young cancer patient. He was painted as self-absorbed and out of touch but the reality was that Rodgers had signed hundreds of hats, jersey and footballs for that same girl. In fact, she saw and spoke to Rodgers often, usually in the airport after the team plane arrived. On that particular day Rodgers was in a hurry and could not stop. That one aberration suddenly defined who Rodgers’ was and that sentiment was immediately published on ProFootballTalk, a major football media source. The real story eventually came out and ProFootballTalk apologized, admitting that they reacted too quickly and harshly.
The NFL is a high-profile league and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean we have to jump to irrational conclusions about its stars to fit our own pre-conceived notions. When I watch NFL Countdown next week, I hope that there will be more game breakdowns and insider analysis and fewer character attacks for what might be an athlete not saying hello to someone. The media is the liaison between the players and the public and I hope it takes that responsibility seriously. On Sunday, Tom Jackson did not.