As 2009 mercifully comes to an end, we reflect back on the highs and mostly lows of the year in Chicago sports.

Rather than trust its foolish readers or moronic editors with the Herculean task of determining the 2009 Sportsman of the Year, The Heckler let the athletes and team staff do the talking. There were many noteworthy nominees, but one stood head and shoulders above the others.

That distinction belongs to Jay Cutler, first-year QB of the Chicago Bears. He and his strong arm entered town positioned to save the team from its generation-long offensive production drought. Even Cutler’s other-worldly talent wasn’t enough to overcome his poor leadership skills, severe bad attitude and geriatric offensive line.

Now that Cutler’s locked into a huge long-term deal and the Bears depleted top draft picks by trading for him, fans fear the Bears’ amenic offense is headed toward another decade of the same. Luckily, Jay Cutler is just the man to take them there.

Here’s what the nominators said
Greg Olsen: “Say what you will about Jay and the trade, but at least I have a QB who doesn’t spill drinks over himself when we hit the town.”

Jerry Angelo: “After we traded for Cutler, our fan base was as excited as they’ve been since we almost won the Super Bowl a few years ago. Sure, it only lasted until halfway through our first game of the season, but for a couple months there, people thought I was actually good at my job.”

Kyle Orton: “It’s nice to be replaced by someone who protects my legacy …  on the River North club scene”

Erik Kramer: “Thanks to Jay’s 2009 performance I’m still remembered as the last decent Bears QB since Sid Luckman.”

Devin Hester: “Jay’s inability to hit me in stride gets me one more year before the front office figures out that I’m not a No. 1 WR.”

From the December 2009 issue by Rich Fruin and Brad Zibung