Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is polarizing. He has a huge personality that attracts both fans and critics. Numerous sources say Marshall yelled at his teammates today and called them out.
According to ESPN Chicago, Marshall called out QB Jay Cutler, with their source saying there “are some very selfish individuals in the locker room.”
It was rumored that B Marsha also called out placekicker Robbie Gould. Marshall declined to discuss the incident with the media today. Instead he said the word “unacceptable” about a dozen times. Bears OL Kyle Long ripped the fans, said they shouldn’t boo, and believed that they didn’t make enough noise when the Miami Dolphins were on offense trying to convert third down.
Over-exposure is the reason Marshall is so polarizing. He craves the spotlight, and the spotlight craves him. Brandon Marshall loves to talk and the media industry loves to consume his conversation. He’s become that Chicago Bears superstar that the league desperately needs. Since the Bears are one of the league’s biggest brands, playing in the third largest market, they will always be scheduled in prime time, multiple times a season. A star is needed to market those games, and the Bears have lacked a true “face of the franchise” since Brian Urlacher retired.
It’s very clear now who has stepped up and fulfilled that role.
And with it, the leadership role. Brandon Marshall has to be the team’s leader. Even if you don’t like him, you have to admit that he cares a lot about the team and that he’s extremely relevant. He’s very passionate about the game and his following is huge.
Marshall’s outburst has made his name a trending term on Twitter and Facebook Sunday night. And his Q rating is even bigger in mainstream media. Only a select handful of NFL players are chosen for the Carrie Underwood Sunday Night Football opening sequence on NBC. Likewise for the ESPN Monday Night Football commercial. Marshall is one of the few elite players selected to both. He’s been the focus of “A Football Life” on NFL Network will focus on Marshall; and just in case all of this isn’t Hollywood enough for you, Marshall this season became the first ever active player to work a weekly NFL studio show during the season. He’s now a special guest analyst on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”
A private jet shuttles him between Chicago and CBS/Showtime’s studios in New York City every Tuesday to tape the program. So is all of this a distraction for Marshall? Is all the publicity taking away from his on-the-field production?
Probably not. Marshall is used to this. It’s who he is. The Bears have major issues that go well beyond Brandon Marshall, and I don’t think that all the added media appearances are one of their main concerns.
What’s certain is that the Bears have to live and die with Marshall as he is indeed their leader. Usually the quarterback is the face of the franchise, but we all know that Cutler does not have the personality for that, and he never will. Also, it’s obvious that Cutler’s teammates don’t like him enough for him to be the leader. If not the QB, then it’s usually the Middle Linebacker, the QB of the defense who becomes the face of the franchise. However, Urlacher is long gone.
So no matter what your opinion of Brandon Marshall is, if you’re part of the Chicago Bears greater community, you need to ride with him.
Paul M. Banks owns, operates and very often writes The Sports Bank.net ,which is partners with Fox Sports. Read his features stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Listen to him on 1620 The Zone. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks). His work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The Washington Post and ESPN 2Follow paulmbanks