It’s been a while since the Bears have had a good quarterback. And it’s a shame, considering they’ve had some pretty good teams that were ultimately sabotaged by guys like Jim Miller and Rex Grossman. So we all know what a huge relief it was for the people of Chicago that they finally would have a real, legitimate star under center.
So, anyone missing Orton yet? In what is always a monumental game for the Bears, Jay Cutler was Brian Griese-esque as he threw four interceptions in a 21-15 loss to Green Bay at Lambeau Field. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s David Haugh says that Cutler wasn’t exactly keeping a cool head while everything crumbled around him:
There was Cutler yelling at the back judge to throw a flag, screaming at tight end Desmond Clark to adjust his route, running his mouth constantly at teammates running their pass routes.
Clearly, Cutler’s teammates and coaches will get plenty of advice this season — and earplugs too, if they’re smart.
Just curious: Who’s going to get in Cutler’s face?
A couple of weeks ago, it seemed inconceivable that Cutler would be the one crapping the bed while Kyle Orton and his four good fingers would be “managing the game” as only Orton can in Denver’s miracle 12-7 win in Cincinnati. It sure looks like Cutler is acutely aware of his expectations from the fans in Chicago, as well as the wishes of many around the country that he fail miserably. The frustrating thing for Bears fans is that this game was winnable. In fact, despite Cutler’s misery, Chicago had a lead with less than two minutes left. And still had one last chance to drive for a winning score, but Cutler’s final mistake — a ball thrown right to Packers corner Al Harris — sealed their fate.
Maybe all that weight finally got to Cutler. Or maybe the Packers are really good. It’s probably a little bit of both, but with Favre looking competent in handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson and Aaron Rodgers coming into his own as a franchise quarterback, things aren’t going to get any easier for Cutler.
Lost in all the shuffle with the NFL season starting and Serena Williams lobbing f-bombs at a line judge is what may be the most unlikely major sports story of 2009. Yeah, Tom Watson and Lance Armstrong captured our attention with their valiant efforts, but Kim Clijsters did the one thing they couldn’t pull off — she actually won.
Clijsters ran over Caroline Wozniacki, 7-5, 6-3, to win the US Open title last night. She’s alone as the only unseeded wildcard to win a women’s Grand Slam event (Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon as a wildcard). She’s also the first mother to win a major since 1980, which is largely a function of the top players mostly being very young. And she has won 14 matches in a row at the US Open, where she won her only other major in her most recent appearance in 2005.
Now, Clijsters is only 26, and it’s not like she came back from a debilitating illness or anything. But it’s pretty remarkable that someone who just started playing competitive tennis again a month ago could actually steamroll everyone and win the US Open. Her goal was to just get the experience of playing big-time tennis again so she could better prepare for a full season next year. Perhaps all this says more about the relative quality of women’s tennis than anything else. The way things are going, Navratilova’s going to be running around out there next year, and nobody needs to see that.
As for Wozniacki, what was up with her huge earrings? Isn’t that distracting? She was wearing a big necklace, too. I have no idea how someone plays a major tennis match with all of that stuff clanging around. My wedding ring bothers me while I’m bowling. But it’s OK, Caroline. We’ll let it slide, as long as you can find your way into more Grand Slam finals in the future, giving us even more reasons to run photos like these:
And, if you didn’t see perhaps the best passing shot in the history of the sport, here’s Roger Federer’s fancy between-the-legs shot past a stunned Novak Djokovic:
I couldn’t make that shot facing forward if my life depended on it. Even Djokovic could do nothing but flash a wry smile on that one.
• Bryon Russell is honored to be a part of Michael Jordan’s legacy…but says he’s still itching to play him one-on-one.
• 41-year-old Theo Fleury, who was basically booted from the NHL six years ago because of substance abuse, wants to end his career on better terms. So he’s trying out with the Calgary Flames in hopes of getting one more shot with the team he helped win a Stanley Cup 20 years ago.
• Jim Carroll, a former teenage basketball star who chronicled his hoops exploits and descent into heroin addiction in “The Basketball Diaries,” has died at the age of 60.
• Remember when the Nuggets had a playoff game scheduled for the same night the WWE was in town? Well, a similar situation has happened in Atlanta, where Philips Arena is double-booked with a WNBA playoff game and “Sesame Street Live.” The difference? Sesame Street won this battle.
• Pedro Martinez is so washed-up, he threw 130 pitches in a 1-0 victory over the Mets last night.
• The Lenny Dykstra saga, which was hilarious a few weeks ago, is now just sad. He’s completely broke and is putting his ‘86 championship ring up for auction.
• Alicia Sacramone is hanging out in New York for fashion week, and looking a little bit like Sloppy Smurf (at least she isn’t wearing the medal around):
• OK, let’s get this straight: You go 3-9 last year, you blow out a crappy team in your first game this year, and then you then eke one out at home over a team that was probably ranked artificially high. Your reward for this? #25 in the nation! Look, I know the Michigan-Notre Dame game was good, but let’s not get carried away here.
• The 49ers won in Arizona yesterday without him, but Michael Crabtree is still threatening to sit out the season and re-enter the draft next year.
• Ichiro reached 200 hits for the ninth consecutive season with an infield single (of course) in last night’s 5-0 win over the Rangers.
• The closest thing the Florida Gators got to an epic fight on Saturday was these two guys standing next to each other. Photo courtesy of the ORLANDO SENTINEL: