This Sunday, Jay Cutler suits up against the man who turned him into a Pro Bowl QB.
Mike Shanahan took a scraggly-haired kid from Vanderbilt and turned him into a scraggly-haired man worth millions. But those were in the heady days before the stock market plummeted and both the mentor and protoge were sent packing from the Mile High City.
We've seen this before in "Star Wars."
Shanahan is Obi-Wan. He rode into Denver and racked up success, but he let his ego get the better of him. Two Super Bowls will do that to you. This is the guy who deployed a temporarily migraine-blind running back on the goal line as a decoy in Super Bowl XXXII. Pull that off and you think you can walk on water. So after Elway jumped ship, Obi-Shanawan chose a new apprentice.
Jay Cutler is Anakin. Young. Brash. Talented. Draft experts fawned over him. Was he the Chosen One to bring balance to the NFL? It looked possible.
But Cutler started drinking his own Kool-Aid. And when Shanahan was run out of Denver, Cutler tried to be the biggest of the Broncos. When Denver got sick of his hubris, they banished him to Chicago. The transformation was complete. Now, suffering from massive head trauma and clad in a dark uniform, Darth Cutler leaves a trail of destruction in his wake. Bears fans and opposing fans alike have felt his wrath. No one is safe.
This Sunday will be like the time Obi-Wan showed up in the Death Star. And we all remember how that turned out. It's time to root for the bad guy. Let's see the student become the master. Let's see Darth Cutler slice Obi-Shanawan down the middle.
For the purposes of this metaphor, Mike Martz is the Emperor, the Bears offensive line is comprised of useless Stormtroopers and the Redskins are all Ewoks.