As a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, last Sunday's 21-14 victory over the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game was nothing short of euphoric, which makes the next sentence I'm about to write all the more difficult.

Lay off of Jay Cutler.

The Chicago Bears' quarterback has come under fire after exiting Sunday's contest with 13:40 to play in the 3rd quarter with what turned out to be a Grade II MCL sprain. Fans, media members, and even other NFL players questioned Cutler's toughness and desire.

I think it was a smart decision for both Cutler and the Bears to keep him out of the ballgame. Granted, the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl doesn't happen every day, but Cutler is only 27 years old and, given the amount of money the Bears have given him, a long term investment.

Imagine if the same situation had happened to Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. Nobody would question the toughness of either one of those guys, which brings to light the underlying problem with many sports fans.

It's easier for fans to cheer for likable players like Tony Romo or Brett Favre, because those quarterbacks are very vocal when it comes to leadership duties.

But a quarterback who is quieter and leads by example, like Cutler or David Garrard? Those guys are perceived as soft, and not caring about the game as much as the louder, rah-rah types.

I guess the old saying is true: athletes are simply entertainers.

Some just do a better acting job than others.