Daily Herald
Expectations for Cutler just Super
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 8/14/2009 12:01 AM

On the seventh day, God rested - and Sid Luckman made his first NFL start.

Not suggesting it's been a long time since the best QB in the history of the Bears actually played a game.

But it's been a long time since the best QB in the history of the Bears actually played a game.

So you can understand the excitement over Jay Cutler.

If not the expectations.

Seems the global hype for Cutler has gone interplanetary.

While we've no doubt that Cutler is good, and possessing physical qualities not seen in these parts at that position, well, ever, he might have a tough time living up to the expectations being set for him by all who observe and worship him.

After all, if he doesn't win a Super Bowl this year, Cutler will be a disappointment.

And if he doesn't repeat next year, and three-peat the year after that, Jay Cutler will be a disappointment.

This is not my judgment.

I'd say if he can win more games than he loses, Cutler will have had his best season as a pro.

But based on what you see and hear, there is a Super Bowl level of expectation thrust upon Cutler by his galaxy of publicists.

Sorry, but it's insane.

Not because it's impossible. The NFC looks horrible and is getting worse by the day, injuries piling up in every city, so the Super Bowl isn't a ridiculous notion on the surface.

It's just unfair to Jay Cutler.

The man comes here with a losing record, a history of late season difficulty, a questionable receiving corps and offensive line, and a defense with a lot to prove.

To their credit, GM Jerry Angelo, offensive coordinator Ron Turner and Cutler have tried to temper enthusiasm and inject some reality into the discussion, but no one else has, especially not Lovie Smith.

And last time we looked, Smith doesn't have much credibility when it comes to evaluating NFL QBs.

Now, I'm not going to say Jay is our quarterback, but if you hear Smith say it this year in defense of Cutler, you'll know expectations have not been met.

Rest assured, however, that come postgame Saturday, you'll hear Smith praise Cutler for being something short of godlike, but certainly of Hall of Fame caliber.

So here comes Game 1 of many that should culminate in a Super Bowl appearance in Miami.

Anything less than a win in February in Florida will be a disappointment, if you believe the hype.

For what it's worth, however, we suggest you let Cutler play one exhibition game before you call for a 19-0 season.

On the Klauk?

Two words explain why the slow play issue with Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington was so incredibly foolish at the WGC last weekend: Jeff Klauk.

I follow golf and I've never heard of Jeff Klauk, but Klauk is No. 63 on the money list and just cracked the million-dollar mark for 2009, which can also be summed up in two words: Tiger Woods.

Without him, there's no PGA Tour, no Jeff Klauk, no million bucks.

The bottom line is the final Firestone pairing was close enough to the next group by No. 16, they were playing for the win, and not one person in attendance or watching on TV cared that they might have been a minute or two slow.

The fans sat there all day and waited for Woods to get there, and then the PGA Tour puts Harrington - who is admittedly slow - and Woods on the clock?

I don't blame the official for doing his job. I blame the Tour for not giving him discretion, which might be the dumb management moment of 2009.

The flip side

Looks like golf will be an Olympic sport by the time the Games arrive in Chicago in 2016.

So which local course would host?

Olympia Fields has made no secret of wanting it, and you have to think Medinah, which has the 2012 Ryder Cup, and a renovated Cog Hill, which is looking to secure a U.S. Open, would also have an excellent chance.

Others in contention might be Harborside, which is close to downtown, Rich Harvest Farms, which has the Solheim Cup next week, and Conway Farms, which just featured the Western Amateur.

Tiger Woods, who may have an opinion on this, has an affinity for Cog Hill, where he's won four times, and Medinah, where he's won twice.

Stocking stuffer

The White Sox (58-57) have lost on six of their last eight getaway days, and are 11-16 for the year, which may mean nothing, or it may show some mental fatigue.

Some of those defeats have been among the ugliest of the year because of blown saves or a complete failure to show up, including last Sunday vs. Cleveland (8-4), July 12 at Minnesota (13-7), July 9 vs. Cleveland (10-8), July 5 at K.C. (6-3), May 13 at Cleveland (4-0), May 10 vs. Texas (7-1), May 5 at K.C. (8-7), May 3 at Texas (5-1), April 23 at Baltimore (6-2), and April 15 at Detroit (9-0).

Sums it up

Ryan Howard, not exactly Lou Brock on the bases, steals second with two outs and scores on a clutch hit Thursday. That's winning baseball, something the Cubs' supposed best players don't know how to play.

The quote

The Reds' Bronson Arroyo: "If you ask any owner whether they would rather make $20 million and come in last place, or lose $20 million and win a World Series, there's only one guy who honestly would take that championship: George Steinbrenner. Nobody else.''

And finally-

Foxsports.com's Mark Kriegel: "Hey, if these LZR swimsuits are such-performance enhancers, then how come not a single major leaguer has tried one?''

brozner@dailyherald.com