I’ve been told that there are two topics gentlemen should not discuss: politics and sports.
Well, I’m obviously not a gentleman, and sometimes I’m a little too brash to be called a ‘lady’, but I can definitely tackle politics and sports at the same time. It’ll be easy this time because there is one clear winner the last few days: the city of Chicago.
pic via blacksportsonline.com
You could really say that all of Illinois won. But I don’t know, being a semi-Chicagoan — spending quite a lot of my time out there with my mom’s family — I am kind of a jerk and don’t think of an entire state existing outside of Chicagoland. It’s one thing that the suburbs are separate from the city, but the difference between the rest of Illinois and Chicagoland is far bigger. Therefore I am demonstrating my bias by declaring Chicago the winner here.
Why did Chicago win? And just what is it they won? Yesterday, Chicago witnessed two big developments in sports and politics: first, the Broncos happily traded quarterback Jay Cutler to da Bears (why are we so blessed?!) for the miserable Kyle Orton (but two first-round draft picks and a few fourth-rounders, I think), and Rod Blagojevich — the state-wide embarrassment of a former governor — received just what he deserves: an indictment for various federal charges boiling down to corruption.
As for the trade, Chicago seems pretty happy. Why not? It’s pretty obvious that, even though Jay is a big crybaby, we lost a really good quarterback. By obtaining Kyle Orton, we lost a ton of leverage. We’d better pray for a really good draft choice or two; if Josh McDaniels throws this one away, his first season with the Broncos will be extremely tainted, and it could even be his last (but it’s a little early to tackle that one). Denver lost a good one to Chicago; we were pretty much set with a great offense and Jay’s Amazing Arm, but this melodramatic battle between our young, inexperienced coach and his young, immature quarterback was handled incredibly poorly, arguably at the fault of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, and now Denver football fans have an uncertain season in the coming year. This is assuming that McDaniels & Co. get nothing out of the draft picks. Even if we do get some good picks, it’ll be a few years before Denver even starts to bring back the kind of offensive potential that was possible pre-McJaygate.
Although a lot of people seem to believe that getting rid of a crybaby like Cutler is a way of showing power, and that it’s like getting rid of a cancer, I almost feel that it was more a sign of weakness than it was strength. Cutler complained far too much and the drama continued, during the offseason, for something like a month before McDaniels gave in and traded him. That’s what he did, folks — McDaniels gave in. He didn’t exert his power. He gave Jay just what he wanted (or at least what he said he wanted in the first place, then backtracked on soon thereafter). Had we traded Jay to some horrendous team without a chance (I’m optimistic for the Bears, okay?) and stripped him of any dignity whatsoever, maybe the Broncos would’ve won the battle of egos right then and there. However, that didn’t happen, and McDaniels likely lost a lot of respect out of his players. Let’s just pretend that McDaniels knew that Jay didn’t want to be traded and just played along with all the media hoopla. Doesn’t that make the trade seem like a really extreme move? Couldn’t McDaniels have just held strong and used his supposed coaching skills to combat this problem? In my opinion, all McDaniels really did was demonstrate how easy he can be manipulated. This whiny attitude on behalf of Jay Cutler was not that big of a deal in the first place, and the media really took off and ran with it. McDaniels let the media circus overwhelm him.
picture by AP via Politico
In the political arena, Chicago is looking at vindication now that corrupt ex-governor Blagojevich may actually be facing jailtime for his corrupt practices. Sixteen counts of felony charges, oh my! Yes, I know what you’re wondering: since when has there been a clean Illinois governor? Right, good answer, because I don’t know, either. Perhaps Illinois deserves a break — and this would definitely be a break — but considering the fact that Blago has been a heck of a burden on the always-ailing political system of Chicago, just the fact that there are charges is a step forward.
With that said, although I’m glad that Chicago is rid of Rod’s horrible haircut, I don’t think they’ll really be rid of Blago for a while. He’s going to be all over the news, getting loads of the attention he has always craved. But at least he’ll be taking the well-deserved abuse from a brutal public; Chicago is a city that is just as harsh in criticizing its politicians as the politicians are with backstabbing one another. Furthermore, Chicago has Barack Obama for bragging purposes — who really cares about Blago when Chicago’s prodigal son is our current president?
And on an even more shallow note, I think Kyle Orton is, um, well — to say the least — far less attractive than Jay Cutler. (What, did you guys expect a completely serious post about politics and sports from me?!) Yes, his boyish looks and his dimpled chin were absolutely adorable atop his Broncos orange-and-blues. If trading Jay really was the best decision, and I could somehow weigh-in and get a compromise, I would’ve been much happier with Brady Quinn. Now that’s eye candy. First the Rockies with Matt Holliday, then a highly decreased likelyhood of seeing Peter Forsberg in an Avs jersey ever again, and now Jay Cutler? Do Denver’s sports teams want to lose their female audience forever?!!
So there you have it. Denver will be missing its franchise quarterback while Chicago gains The Arm Better than Elway’s, and hopefully nobody besides a federal prison will have to put up with having Rod Blagojevich around. This is to you, Chicago — you won out this time, but don’t expect to get this lucky again!