One thing that mainstream media have a hard time with is separating the professional from the personal. Just because professionally you have a negative perception about someone that really has nothing to do with how they are personally.
Sometimes it is one in the same, but you just don’t know unless you are with that athlete 24/7.
I don’t think Jay Cutler is the type of quarterback who can lead a team to the Super Bowl and I think he quit during the NFC Championship game, but they work he did in Kenya is a beautiful thing.
Oftentimes, wrapped up in the busyness of one’s own life, a person’s perspective might need to be reset.
That happened constantly during Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s two-week trip last month to Kenya with the non-profit OneKid OneWorld, including on a visit to the small town of Wamba in the Rift Valley that had been without water for 2½ months. Locals are forced to travel long distances — often by walking — to get the precious resource, and many get sick from drinking contaminated water.
‘‘It cost us $300 to provide for water for a few months,’’ Cutler said before pausing for a moment.
‘‘After all the turmoil we go through here, everyone thinks we have so many problems. But to see what they have to deal with and to see how grateful they are to have water is just amazing.’’
Toward the end of the 2010 season, Cutler talked to his girlfriend, Kristin Cavallari, about the trip to Kenya with OneKid OneWorld. But he didn’t get serious until he headed to Los Angeles after the Bears’ season ended in the NFC title game at Soldier Field.
As they do with all their volunteers, OneKid OneWorld wanted to make sure Cutler knew what to expect.
‘‘We didn’t have a relationship with him, and we wanted him to know it wasn’t fancy,’’ said Tracy McCubbin, the co-executive director of OneKid OneWorld. ‘‘It’s negative fancy.’’
Leaders of OneKid OneWorld still were impressed with Cutler’s commitment to their cause. At an all-girls school and orphanage, Cutler was left alone in a classroom full of high school students. When other volunteers later returned, they discovered Cutler teaching the girls physics.
‘‘Jay was so into it,’’ McCubbin said. ‘‘He’s so amazing with kids.’’
One thing I do know about Cutler is that he does a lot of charity work, but doesn’t publicize it. He doesn’t try to buddy up with the media and that is one of the reason he is treated so harshly.
But things like this he should be applauded for and maybe it will give him a different perspective on life, how could it not?
Good for him and Cavllari, hopefully they have changed some lives.