Say It Like You Mean It

When I was growing up, passion was a religious/theological term for the final agonizing days of Jesus Christ. I didn’t know what it meant, but it didn’t seem to be something you would want happening to you unless you were thinking about becoming a Saint by throwing yourself under the bus for God.

Somewhere in my teenage years, I became acquainted with the more common meanings of this word. But due to my Christian upbringing, this new meaning still had some negative connotations to it and was something that needed to be repressed or controlled.

Then I got into college and was exposed to art and how these artso fartso guys had a passion for life. Suddenly, the word had turned 180 degrees in connotation and was now a good thing to have. Zesty, so to speak. Spunky, even.

As you can imagine, I then fully embraced this word and stretched it to cover all the hedonistic and bacchanalian extravaganzas I could muster in the pursuit of good times, baby. It became my alibi for aberrant, anti-social behavior. Like, I’m just a passionate sort of guy. Wink, wink.

At any rate, I eventually settled down and started paying taxes and the other dues that go with the drudgery of adulthood, and passion finally settled upon its current definition of emotional enthusiasm for whatever you’re focused on doing. More or less. Don’t quote me.

I bring this up because passion has been in the news this past week, vis a vis Jay Cutler. At first, Cutler was F-bombed for not being a tough guy and gutting out the game against the Packers last Sunday after he hurt his knee. As the news trickled out that the injury was a bit debilitating and his coaches, not he, had taken him out of the game, the wimp accusation throwers began to spin their initial comments as really meaning that Cutler lacked a “passion” for the game.

I’ve never been a Cutler fan, so this whole storm didn’t suck me in much. I had no passion for it. In fact, as all the comments poured in about Cutler’s facial expressions, his posture on the sidelines, and his seeming lack of any disappointment at not being able to finish the game, I could not help but think about Alex Smith.

The criticisms of Cutler are pretty much the same ones fans of the 49ers have been voicing about Smith for the past few years. Too day at the office sort of guy. His stats and those of Shaun Hill are pretty similar, yet Hill throws his helmet on the ground when he’s benched and Smith just takes a seat and picks his nose. Maybe he will frown a bit, but nothing more. Hill is popular, Smith is not.

It’s often said that you need a passion for the game to succeed in the NFL. Jim Brown got by without it, but not many others. If you don’t have passion, you better take a course in body language and learn how to fake it, or fans will never like you, even if you are the second string QB and the starter is stinking up the joint.

Being popular is not the same as being liked, mind you. Jay Cutler will never be liked. But if he wins the Super Bowl, he will most certainly be popular. After all, take it from Mr. Lombardi, winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

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12 comments on “Say It Like You Mean It
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I understand the vitriol for Cutler but I can’t join in. I have never been a Cutler fan but it seems what is happening to him this week is very unfair. His performance was terrible. Couple that with the injury and the coach pulled him. The fans are crying out it was some kind of jobbery. The the next QB, Collins, got hurt too. Imagine the story if Haynie brings them back to win? Anyway, I am not a Bear fan so it doesn’t matter much to me, except I read somewhere Haynie is a FA. I would not have known that, or who he is, if not for the QB injuries the Bears suffered.
    Anybody notice no QB had a good day last week and it was the D-lines that won the games? I continue to maintain that championships are won with D-lines.

  2. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    And great QBs don’t look so great when they are always getting pressured.

  3. BergerNo Gravatar says:


  4. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebers- It is hard for me to say who I want in the draft without having the tools the scouts have, but I am leaning heavy toward Marcel Dareus. The player I would compare him to is Richard Seymore. A 310lb DE who can get some pass rush but more importantly, he can seal the edge without using the OLBs as much for that. This would allow us to turn the outside pass rush on full throttle. Also, a better pass rush makes for better CBs and more turnovers.
    In a 3-4 scheme, the pass rush starts with controlling the line with the front three which creates space for the edge rusher to do his thing. If the edge rusher is getting too much attention then guys like Justin Smith and Richard Seymore get to work one on on to do their thing. The NT should just push forward from the front so the QB can’t step up, which creates sacks from the others.
    I repeat, defensive lines win championships. I’ve said this for years, I’ll probably always believe this.

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    I’m still partial to a lockdown corner at this point. But it’s early and I am easily swayed.

  6. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The thing I like about Dareus is Fangio likes to play a lot of 43 also. Dareus is very adept at 3-4 DE and 4-3 DT. He can both two and one gap and doesn’t like to come out of the game. he had a bit of a down year but I believe that was primarily because he was used a lot at NT this year with Mt Cody gone to the NFL. I like Nick Fairly even more, but he’ll be long gone. Good chance Dareus is gone too.
    I’ve got my eyes on Amukamara but I read he does not possess elite speed. I think any top 15 QB must have elite speed. I’m waiting for the combine to say whether I want Amukamara.
    For me, the wild card is Quinn. I keep reading what a monster pass rusher he is and if he played his senior year he would be overall #1. Unfortunately, I know nothing about him except that and he had brain cancer when younger, and it worries me he did not play last year. I’m sure the scouts are checking all angles on this guy.

  7. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Just 13 more weeks till we find out if it’ll be a DE, lockdown corner, OLB, QB or what’s behind curtain #3.
    Whichever we pick, it better be the right one. I’m tired of Monty Hall revealing nothing but a couple of donkeys and getting zonked.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Above I wrote “top 15 QB”, the should’ve read “top 15 CB”.

  9. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    What did Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa promise Ray Lewis at the beginning of their 2000 season and Super Bowl run? 

    “You will not be touched. Ever.” 

    I like your thinking Berger. Give PWillie more wiggle room and prolong his career health. I’ve been a big fan of Dareus since his sophomore campaign, and he’ll do the dirty work inside or bookend Justin Smith. 

    Tomsula will be doing cartwheels in the warroom if he drops to #7. 

  10. RTFireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Walterfootball now has Von Miller going 5 to AZ (Adam Schefter’s call, and VM and Whisenhunt talked yesterday), Dareus 6 to Cleveland, and the Prince to SF.
    How fun! Only 3 more months of this idle speculation…

  11. delmardennisNo Gravatar says:

    Chuck Long (OC at UK) really thinks highly of Von Miller. Said he was the one guy they had to game plan against in the Big-12. Prefers him over Prince.

  12. FranchiseNo Gravatar says:

    Hmmm, Jeff Fisher and Titans looking to part ways. Likely because Bud Adams is smitten with Cam “don’t call me another Vince Young” Newton?

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17