It was billed as one of the most meaningful meaningless games in the NFL, as Bears quarterback Jay Cutler faced his former team for the first time Sunday since his dramatic departure from Denver in the Spring.
"Both parties felt it was best if we parted ways."
When Jay Cutler spoke those words during his first press conference as a Chicago Bear back in April, die hard Broncos fans say it was a moment they won't soon forget -- after skipping out on off-season workouts, a bitter and very public dispute with the Broncos organization, and a demand for a trade, their hero became public enemy number one.
"I think he handled it terribly," said Luke Hopper, a lifetime Broncos fan. "That's just poor sportsmanship in my opinion."
And the resentment showed when Cutler made is first trip back -- and only trip of the season -- to Invesco Field. In Golden, a popular sports bar held a party where fans had the chance to shred and destroy their Jay Cutler jerseys. A Colorado based t-shirt company began selling shirts that say "Cutler Sucks." And the Bronco faithful who watched Sunday night's game from the Endzone Sports Pub in Fruita were on the edge of their seats every time a player in orange got a hand on him.
"I would have liked to see him taken down," said Ryan McCall, a Broncos fan. "That would've been fun because of the crowd and everything else. It would have been electric."
"I just love that he's getting all kinds of pressure," said Hopper.
And while that pressure gave them something to smile about, a few fans couldn't help but admit that with their team off to a rough start in the preseason, watching Cutler in a different shade of blue and orange was bittersweet.
"He's a great talent and I'm sorry we lost him," said McCall.
The Broncos and Bears do not meet again during this year's regular season.
You can catch the Broncos final preseason game versus the Arizona Cardinals Thursday night right here on KKCO NBC 11.
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