Jay Cutler got ripped to shreds by many media members and players for exiting the NFC Championship Game last season with a knee injury. Cutler’s Bears teammates defended him, as did many local newspapers. Cutler gained even more sympathy when tests revealed he had a serious knee injury. But that doesn’t change that most people dogged him for pulling out of a game with the Super Bowl on the line.
FOX’s television crew decided to take liberty with the Cutler criticism on Sunday. During their telecast of the Bears-Saints game, they flashed three headlines they said appeared in the newspaper following the NFC Championship Game:
- - Cutler Leaves With Injury
- Cutler Lacks Courage
- Cutler’s No Leader
Analyst Moose Johnston even said “these are the actual headlines from the local papers in Chicago.”
Turns out they weren’t. The Chicago Tribune staff thought those headlines didn’t sound right, so they looked it up and discovered they were fabricated.
FOX Sports spokesman Dan Bell admitted the headlines were misleading but that they were trying to “capture the overall sentiment nationwide following that game.”
Yes, that was the sentiment from many sources, but why create fake headlines to convey the point? All it would have taken was a few minutes of research to pull up the stories on the congressmen taking shots at Cutler, the fans burning his jersey, and the numerous athlete tweets about the subject. That’s sheer laziness at work, and it’s just wrong to completely mislead the audience. Jay Cutler already takes enough heat — he doesn’t need any more than he deserves.
Image via Pro Football Talk