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There is no denying that Cutler can be surly, antisocial and might seem like a jerk. Maybe he is … maybe he isn’t.

Either way, many football fans might be unaware of the bigger battle he bravely tackles 24/7. Jay lives with a chronic disease that’s dangerous and difficult for millions of Americans. Much like commanding an offense, the devil is in the details when it comes to managing insulin-dependent diabetes, (T1D).

Overall, it’s a relentless task that is tough enough for the average person to deal with on a daily basis. Now multiply the difficulty for a professional athlete who is subjected to intense rigors and pain of a sport like football …and simultaneously be able to always be in tune with his body enough to recognize fluctuating blood sugar levels despite pain and adrenaline.

As someone who also has T1D, I may be a bit biased. Still, I admire the fact that Jay keeps the trials and tribulations related to his disease private for the most part. I’ve never heard him mention it, let alone use it as a crutch or an excuse.

Like him or hate him … his fortitude and poise under pressure in the face of a tough challenge that never takes a day off, … is at least worthy of a bit more respect and street cred…even from the most fervent critics and haters in the sports world.