The polarizing and consistently, inconsistent career of former Chicago Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, came to an expected end this past March. Even as the quarterback - who has yet to find a new home - holds all relevant franchise passing records, it would’ve been easy to figure the Bears would eventually give his jersey number away.
But, while it’s not like Cutler was a player of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady’s caliber, obviously he did create some memories over his lengthy up-and-down eight-year career in Chicago. So, it shouldn’t have been so easy and quick in some people’s eyes.
The Bears themselves did not agree with that hearty, emotional sentiment and wasted no time in awarding their past franchise’s quarterback’s number six to new back-up, Mark Sanchez, as first reported by Bears website writer, Larry Mayer.
Some fans shrugged the decision away as the non-factor it was in the end. Some noted the inherently awkward move by Chicago even while it was inconsequential, too. And some, well, were not happy to say the least. Reasons around these emotions all not limited to Cutler as well.
Let’s take a look at Twitter for compiled reactions to the news of Sanchez “taking” Cutler’s former number six.
The angry and or disappointed
@MikeDBears34 @LarryMayer @ChicagoBears this is a new low,slap the best qb in your history by giving his number away too soon to a player who can't really play— robert maus (@robert1_maus) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @Suntimes way too soon...dude has every possible record for a Bears Qb....and you're gonna shot on him like that!? With lesser #6— Anthony Giordano (@Mr_TonyGio) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns Too soon— Tommy Dobbs (@Tommy_Dobbs) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @LarryMayer should not be allowed!— Walter Landrum III (@Walt_Landrum3) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @LarryMayer This shouldn't be allowed!!!— GOOSH (@goosh42) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @LarryMayer This is the dankest timeline— Cammaeus (@Cammaeus) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @MikeGarafolo @LarryMayer I'm devastated the Bears don't plan to retire Cutler's number.— Jan (@AirJani) April 10, 2017
The fans on the “other” side of Cutler’s time with Chicago
@adamjahns @LarryMayer YESSSSS!!!!!!!— Paptherockies (@Paptherockies) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @LarryMayer Seems fitting— Jason Strachman (@jstrachm) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @noFlyzone_1 @LarryMayer It doesn't get any better.— Domingo Pérez (@sundayperez) April 10, 2017
@adamjahns @LarryMayer Lucky him.— Pjdaisy (@Pjdaisy13) April 10, 2017
#bears give Jay Cutler's no.6 to Mark Sanchez. Chicago apparently has forgotten about Jay pic.twitter.com/b8Qq5TPL4I— Sports Daily 360 (@sportsdaily360) April 10, 2017
A noticeable unease across the Twitter platform was clear, but let’s be honest, regardless of whatever Bears’ records he holds: Cutler did not deserve to have his jersey number with the franchise retired. Considering Chicago as an organization has basically already retired what at least feels like half of every uniform number they can award, could and or should they really have retired a jersey because of an inherently average quarterback?
Given that those records Cutler possesses were Bears passing records i.e. nothing of real note in the modern pass-happy era, no chance.
The real travesty of not retiring the Bears’ number six here is no momentum surrounding former kicker, Kevin Butler. Chicago’s second all-time leading scorer also wore the vaunted six, come on now! Where has the conversation been around him, huh?
I ask this of all: Where is the outrage for Butler and what he contributed on this long-standing tragedy?
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for the Rock River Times and is a staff writer for Windy City Gridiron and Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.