Being in the spotlight isn’t for everyone; As an athlete you’re shoved in to it. You’re told to smile, shake hands, be available to fans when called upon, lose like a winner, and sometimes, be the face of a NFL franchise. At what point do we treat athletes for who they are, or is this the life they sign up for? The life of an athlete in a constant media frenzy. Of course, some athletes don’t have this problem and they just fade into the background, but what about your “figure heads” or QB’s as they are commonly called; What about their forced role in to the public eye?
Jay Cutler and Matt Forte were the prime duo in Chicago. For the last seven seasons we have seen the two interchangeable as the face of the Bears franchise, but now Forte gets to take the head of his own team in New York, the Jets. While Forte is getting accustomed, he got the chance to speak on his former teammate’s dealings with the media and how sometimes, its misconstrued.
“I feel bad for him because the cameras are constantly on him,” Forte told Pro Football Weekly. “They show his body language, and I mean, if you look on the sideline and something goes bad, everybody’s body language is that way. He’s the quarterback. He’s the one in the spotlight.”
“In the media, that’s the thing to pick on,” Forte said, referring to Cutler’s body language. “That’s the thing that sells papers, so that’s what they’re gonna pick on. That’s what they’re gonna write about no matter what he says. I’ve seen him grow from when he came in, it was my second year, all the way till now. He has kids, family, married — all that stuff, so he’s grown a lot. And, his personality has changed a lot over the years.”
To some extent, shouldn’t players be weary of their language when in public? We’ve discussed early about us throwing them in the spotlight unwarranted, but how much is this the media versus simply not being aware of the smallest things like your body language? Either way, Cutler and Forte have a tough task ahead of them for the upcoming season. They are both dealing with teams on the search for identity and wins. I don’t think the media has anything to do with that part.