That face, they say, is a resilient guy who during the past eight years, while playing quarterback for the Chicago Bears and being a media piñata, was battling Type 1 diabetes, pricking his finger several times a day, injecting himself in the stomach with insulin.
“Jay’s been getting blasted his whole career, people saying he needs to smile more, be more emotional, Twitter blew up with that dumb meme,” said Jovan Haye, a Fort Lauderdale Dillard grad who was Cutler’s teammate for four years at Vanderbilt and went on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Christmas-themed village 30 minutes from the Kentucky border has a population of 2,500, an amusement park called Holiday World, a Santa Claus Museum, and streets named Elf Way, Sled Run, and Blitzen Lane.
By the time he got to Heritage Hills High in 1997, everyone in town knew he was the kid with the rocket arm who could dunk a basketball, play every position on a football field and switch hit on the baseball diamond.
“Jay was one of the strongest players in the weight room, and when we played pickup basketball in the rec center, he dunked on guys, which we didn’t expect from a quarterback,” said Trey Holloway, a Vandy teammate who now works for AARP in Washington.
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