In short, this is a story about public/fan support. But really it is more than that. It is a story about expectations, performance, and in the end, whether performance meets expectations. Rarely in professional sports to you see a straight up trade – this guy for that guy in the same position. That’s what we have with the Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton trade between the Chicago Bears and the Denver Broncos in the off season.
Rewind back to the start of the season, the conventional wisdom was that Jay Cutler turned the Chicago Bears into an immediate Super Bowl contender while the knock on the Broncos is that they would be lucky to win 4 games this year. The preseason head to head match-up between the Bears and the Broncos only reinforced those views. Cutler entered the 2009 NFL campaign as the golden boy with lofty expectations and even loftier support levels. Orton on the other hand entered the 2009 campaign with the lowest of expectations. Below is a time study on sentiment between the two starting just after the preseason head to head matchup through last night (11/12/09). I’ve used weekly trending to reduce the noise level in the graph to see the overall trends.
Orton is in yellow while Cutler is in green. Read more »