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Home arrow Opinion arrow Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT arrow Men who swear at goats

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Men who swear at goats

Chicago is a city known for its fires and goats. Blame the O’Learys’ cow first off. And now Jay Cutler, the NFL Bears quarterback, is the latest goat.

The O’Learys’ cow is credited with kicking over a lantern in October 1871. The resulting fire ended up killing hundreds of people and destroying about 4 square miles of the “windy city.”

Cutler, meanwhile, is in the middle of the latest firestorm to hit Chicago. After Cutler suffered an MCL sprain (hurt knee to the rest of us) and sat out most of the second half in the Bears’ 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers for the National Conference championship Sunday, many fans were after blood.

Cutler, to be sure, had poor body language on the Bear bench. He was cold, miserable and alone — and wearing his trademark smirk.

Perhaps it was the smirk that put formerly loyal fans over the edge. Whatever is to blame, these diehards would not have given Cutler a break even if he would have dressed up in a cheerleading outfit with a bare midriff in the 17-degree weather and given his teammates a giant Hoo-Rah!

For many fans, it seemed, this loss was the worse thing to happen to Chicago since the Billy Goat curse of 1945.

Perhaps you remember the curse. That’s when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave a World Series game because his billy goat’s odor was bothering other fans.

Note to major venue sports attendees: Goats are no longer regularly seen during March Madness, the NBA playoffs, Wimbledon, NASCAR at Daytona, the World Wrestling Federation Armageddon Now event or the Super Bowl.

Sianis, as he and his goat were escorted to the exits, is credited with saying, “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.”

The Bears, of course, have had better luck than the Cubs. They even won a Super Bowl in 1985 over the New England Patriots. It is their one and only Super Bowl victory, led by their coach and former player, now impotence ad salesman Mike Ditka, who had it out for Cutler after the latest debacle.

To football players and their diehard fans, getting to the Super Bowl and getting a ring is the ultimate goal.

And as they will tell you, the game turns boys into men, and men into superheroes.

These guys say they would have played in the National Conference finals game through the injury suffered by Cutler.

To hear them tell it, they would have played through almost any injury or malady known to man, up to and possibly including arterial blockage.

They’d have played through festering abscesses, hemorrhoids, painful boils, parasitic infections, warts, toenail fungus, bouts of constipation, depression, sleep deprivation, hangnails, gingivitus even.

Cutler is also a diabetic. That’s no excuse for him not playing most of the second half. It just puts things into perspective.

My late wife, Tina, died of complications of diabetes at age 48, so I know something of the disease and its challenges.

Give Cutler a break. Jumping to conclusions about his ability to withstand pain is the sign of a lack of intelligence.

Just seeing him carry that kit for drawing blood from a fingertip and checking his blood sugars shows me that he most likely is stronger and tougher than all the naysayers out there.

Cutler plays through diabetes, week in and week out. Go find some other goat.


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