Jay Cutler has been at the center of some high-profile storylines in his life as both an NFL quarterback and an occasional reality television star, but this, as he said, was the "big one."
The suspects for who could have killed his chickens, at first, covered a wide range. Cutler theorized the culprit could have been a coyote, a bobcat, a raccoon -- even his cat, Thelma, who he said was "a savage with loose morals." Thelma was later cleared of wrongdoing, as was the possibility of it being a cheetah, probably because of where Cutler lives.
But the quarterback ultimately determined his chickens' attacker -- the one who savagely ended multiple lives in Cutler's coop -- was in fact among the initial suspects. After a long night spent in a tree stand riding out a storm while wearing night-vision goggles -- yes, all of this really happened -- Cutler identified the chicken killer as a raccoon.
Cutler's war against the previously unknown assailant lasted roughly one week. The ex-quarterback posted his first Instagram story to inform his followers of the newfound conflict on his property, which evolved from the loss of one chicken to a few, and the outwitting of Cutler's traps, motion-trigger trail cameras and a rooster anointed as protector named Ole Blue. One morning, the former Bears and Dolphins quarterback awoke to a front yard littered with feathers from another lost chicken.
His battle continued with a basic trap set in front of the coop, which was knocked over by the mysterious predator. The next night, a more complex trap was avoided by the enemy. Could it be a fox, or even a Sasquatch? One follower guaranteed Cutler it was the mythical forest-dwelling creature. Only a section of the attacker could be seen in the sole photographic evidence of the creature.
Finally fed up, Cutler littered his yard with traps and took up his post in the tree stand. It was then that he identified the culprit, and though he didn't post photographic evidence, he did mention the clues that led him to his discovery, adding it was "gruesome stuff but reality of the situation." Cutler also acknowledged he won the battle, but the war will continue due to the likely presence of raccoon relatives.
Former Bears teammate Josh McCown summarized it best.
"I envision you in the top of that stand during the storm challenging the raccoon as Lieutenant Dan challenged our Creator at the top of that boat in Forrest Gump. Hero does not do it justice.
"From Ole Blue, Merle and the rest of the crew. Thank you Jay."