Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Countdown to the Super Bowl

Even though the Green Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers are on their way to Super Bowl LXV, there is still a lot of angst coming out of Chicago and elsewhere about Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler for his going out of the game Sunday at Soldier Field with a knee injury and not returning.
Some fans and members of the press criticized Cutler's passionless behavior on the sidelines while Chicago's second- and then third-string quarterbacks tried to rally the Bears in the second half. Radio commentator Randy Cross was especially vocal about Cutler's absence. Others, such as Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, defended Cutler's courage and the decision by team physicians and coaches not to let him play.
Cutler's exit from the NFC Championship reminds one of other quarterbacks who have had to leave a big game because of injury or hung in and continued playing after getting hurt. The most recent was Texas' Colt McCoy, who was injured in the first quarter of his team's BCS Championship encounter two years ago against Alabama at the Rose Bowl. McCoy did not return which all but sealed the Longhorns' fate in their loss to the Crimson Tide.
In the 1967 USC-UCLA game at the Coliseum, Bruins' quarterback Gary Beban suffered a rib injury in the second half after taking a hit by one of the Trojans' lineman. Beban played through the pain and had the Bruins ahead late in fourth quarter. In a thrilling finish, USC won, 21-20, on a 64-yard touchdown run by O.J. Simpson.

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