Jay Cutler: my earliest career inspiration?

This is just an anecdote from my life that just seems timely to bring it up….

Jay Cutler, currently known as being the whiny yet extremely talented NFL quarterback, is now a Bear after the Broncos traded him for current Bears QB Kyle Orton and a bunch of draft picks. But some of us still remember him as that young college kid who played ball for our alma mater.

And before he was this much sought-after QB, Jay Cutler was a bit of a mischievous…delinquent. In his freshman year, he was suspended from the football team because he tried to escape from the campus police after ripping the phone off of the campus emergency phone pole while intoxicated. I remembered that incident so well because it happened during my senior year.

My senior year in college was also the very first time I decided to give drawing political cartoons a shot, or do anything for any publication. I joined the progressive & multicultural viewpoint student publication Orbis and drew my first political cartoon. Because the paper was  read by students, my editor thought that for the second toon, I should also come up with a more “editorial” toon geared specifically for the campus students. As I mulled over what to draw, freshman Jay Cutler decided to get drunk and try to walk away with that Emergency Light Post. And hence, my very first editorial (and sports) cartoon.

Since that start at Orbis, I eventually drew editorial cartoons for the campus newspaper as well for the next few years, which often included sports-themed toons. (Drawing toons also led to my dabbling in writing editorial columns.)

Thank you, Jay Cutler, for being one of my earliest inspirations. Seriously, you and the rest of the football team gave me many, many ideas. And your youthful indiscretion may have been one of the springboards that opened up my own career options.

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