Sitting alongside Chris Berman as he has for so long, Tom Jackson has escaped criticism because the easy target gets hit the most. But Tom Jackson is just as awful and this is but one example. Jay Cutler was concussed two weeks ago and was just named the starter for the Bears today. Rather than a gritty player returning to play an important divisional game narrative we have Tom Jackson going on some insane tangent about how Jay Cutler doesn't say hello to anyone walking into the stadium. "It doesn't mean anything, it's just something."
What is the point of this half-baked, passive aggressive attack? Jackson was a Broncos lifer so maybe Cutler's time in Denver rubbed Jackson the wrong way and he just doesn't like Jay Cutler. It certainly seems like the intent was to paint Cutler as a bad guy—"I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'"—but who knows, it comes out of nowhere and is admittedly without meaning. We edited the actual segment to make it digestible since Jackson's non sequitur happened some five minutes after the actual footage of Cutler aired. It should be noted, too, that if Jackson's point was not already stupid, it also appears to be factually inaccurate. At about the :08 mark in the video, you can clearly see Cutler acknowledging at least one of the guys Cutler walked by during the random six seconds ESPN filmed him.
This is where we are in our sports pop psychology. Jay Cutler is an aloof weirdo with the media and is therefore an asshole to people walking into the stadium and that may or may not have an impact on the game. He is not, say, a focused professional with his game face on. But really, either one of those takes would be stupid. Tom Jackson—an authoritative voice presented by ESPN—is no different than one of those body language experts in US Weekly talking about how Brad Pitt is getting divorced because some paparazzo caught him slouching. This kind of stuff is going on all the time and it becomes, like, a real storyline. It gets discussed on sports radio, broken down on message boards and referenced by columnists and beat writers alike. It is absolutely dumbing down sports discourse and it's coming from the top down.