I've been at a loss this football season.
I've got my favorite college team... but I haven't been able to find a pro team to root for.
Our "hometown" team is the Bengals. Otherwise known as the worst team in football. I'd LIKE to root for them... but I just can't. They are terrible. And frankly, I've got enough to deal with that I just can't add supporting a team like that to the list.
I USED to be a Steeler fan. I became a Steeler fan when Big Ben was drafted and went to play there. We are Miami people. J and I both graduated from Miami along with MANY other relatives. My cousin played football at Miami with Ben. I was there for his first collegiate game. And I was a fan... until all that trash came out about him and how he treats women. I gave him the benefit of the doubt the first time. But the second... and the third... and... well, sorry. I'm done. How can wear my #7 jersey? What example would that set for my daughter? Just can't do it...
There's always the Colts. I DO like Peyton Manning. But... eh. I used to like the Bucs since I LOVE Tampa Bay. But I haven't been sold on any of them.
What about the Bears? They have quarterback that has Type 1?!? SOLD!
J said I should re-think that decision because "A lot of people think Cutler is a jerk".
Ugh. So I can't like the Bears, either?
But I kept going back to the Bears. J kept finding articles for me to read about how .... unfriendly Cutler is.
Finally it was playoff time. And look who was there... The Bears!
I'd read about Cutler's "demeanor". But I'd also watched him on D-Life talking to kids with Type 1. I'd read about him doing good in the community. I figured, "He can't be ALL bad." So I became a fan.
They way I look at it... The guy has Type 1. And he's an NFL quarterback! Even if he isn't the nicest guy in the world, I'm impressed by him. And his ability to compete at such a high level with this disease I know all too well.
And then.... He got hurt. BUMMER.
The next day, J told me that people were calling him a wimp, etc.
"You've got be kidding me?!?" I said.
"The man may be many things.... but he is NOT a wimp. NO ONE with Type 1 is a wimp."
And then came along John Madden.....
I know there's no crying in football.... but when I listened to the audio of John Madden on Madden Football defending Cutler.... There were a few tears.
Listen for yourself...
He GOT IT. Madden GOT IT. And he got it RIGHT. He understands Type 1. He's got the facts straight.
Listening to him made me feel.... vindicated. Because although he was talking about a 27 year old NFL quarterback, he was also talking about my 4 year old daughter.
He spoke with such PASSION.... that I KNEW he HAD to be speaking from experience. A quick google search later and I learned that Madden's Grandson, Sam, has Type 1.
Ah, yes... He DOES know. He knows first hand.
So, Thank you Jay Cutler. Thank you for not quitting when Type 1 entered your life. Thank you for battling Type 1 every day while still competing at the highest level of football. Thank you for showing our kids that Type 1 doesn't have to stop you from ANYTHING.
And... Thank you John Madden. Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for educating a entire population that may never have heard anything about Type 1 before. Thank you for reaching people that I can't reach. Thank you for advocating for our kids... and adults with Type 1. Thank you for getting it.
** To read another post about this subject... go visit Nicole at The We Cara Lot Blog! She, too, was a big fan of this interview! **