DOWNTOWN — While chatting up a few of the ’85 Super Bowl champs last week about their cover band, The Chicago 6, I asked for their thoughts about their NFL alma mater — and the Bears quarterback so many people love to hate, Jay Cutler.
As you might expect, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and “Mama’s Boy” Otis Wilson didn’t hold back.
“They need a lot of help,” Wilson said. “They’re definitely starting from the bottom. They’ve got a few decent players at certain positions, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t stop teams from scoring. They’ve got to sew up a lot of holes to keep their ship from sinking.”
The guys who played with “Punky QB” Jim McMahon said Cutler, the Bears’ “Sulking QB,” had at least one thing in common with the ’85 Super Bowl winner.
“They both get hurt about as much,” McMichael said. “And that’s because you know you should have thrown the ball. You’ve got three seconds. When we were on defense you had less than that.”
Mark Konkol chats about his time backstage with some of the '85 team:
And Mongo didn’t stop there.
“Cutler has been paid, so he thinks he’s off the hook to do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants to,” he said. “When you’re out there trying to be a star for yourself, make a play for yourself, the team loses. Other guys look at you like you’re a selfish [expletive].”
Wilson put it this way: “If I had to pick a quarterback, he wouldn’t be on my team. In all honesty, when you’re the quarterback you’re the focal part of the team, you’re the leader whether you want to be or not,” he said. “He does everything the opposite of that, and his attitude is he doesn’t care.”
"Mama’s Boy Otis" said he even asked around the Bears' locker room to get a sense of what Cutler’s teammates think about their offensive field general.
“Some people, and I’m not gonna mention names, told me, ‘If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all,’” Wilson said. “When your peers don’t appreciate you, that says a lot. … I don’t think they’ll win a championship with him.”
McMichael and Wilson said today’s generation of NFL stars — the ones cashing in on big contracts — don’t work as hard as players from their era.
“Put it in this context. If you’ve got some work to do and you’re going to contract it out, do you pay half the money up front? … You better not, because it’s gonna be half-assed and when the contractor wants to get it done,” McMichael said.
“Ask yourself this, if you work for a living and buy a $50 million lottery ticket and it hits … are you going to work tomorrow? That’s what’s going on in the NFL right now. They show up, but they’re not working. Know what I’m saying?”
Wilson compared current NFL players to his spoiled kids.
“These guys now, it’s all about instant success. They don’t work at it like we did and put into it what we put into it,” he said. “It’s like when I raised my kids. You give, and give, and give, and they have this sense of entitlement. It’s a different mentality. It’s a different generation.”
McMichael, however, says there’s one reason to have a little sympathy for today’s Chicago sports stars — especially the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks — since prying camera phones and social media make it harder to party like it’s 1985.
“They’re a dynasty, brother. They’re young, having fun and learning. You haven’t seen [Patrick Kane] shirtless in a limo again,” he said. “If there were all these cameras on phones when I was young, you would have seen my naked ass all the time.”
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