If you were a bodybuilding fan in 1999, you probably do not remember where Jay Cutler placed at that years Olympia. Reason being, in 17 year old Will Smith fashion, he was out of the money. When looking back at photos, or talking to experts who may have been there, the common theme is that Jay looked very good and should have fared much better at that show. Little did the man of many nicknames (The Ultimate Beef, Big Jay, Cuts) know, his career was beginning just as it would end, with him being substantially underrated. Jay Cutler may not have had the greatest physique of all time, however his consistency early in his career, and total competitive record are in classes of their own.
Many fans fail to realize the significance of Jay’s career placings. Ask yourself this. What if the son of Zeus himself, Ronnie Coleman, had made it into the NFL, preventing him from ever becoming the greatest bodybuilder of all time? How many Sandow trophies would Jay have on his mantle? We can be certain that he would have a minimum of eight, which would be excluding 2002 when he took the year off, allowing Kevin Levrone to play the part of 2nd place Jay Cutler. It is a safe bet to say that had Jay competed in 2002 with the absence of Ronnie, he would have won the show. Through the eyes of a skilled mathematician, that means Cutler would have possession of nine Sandow trophies currently, had Ronnie made it to the NFL.
Not only would the blonde haired golden boy have nine Sandows, but he would remain the only bodybuilder to ever lose the Olympia title then win it back again. Now a person could certainly make the argument that all these “ifs” and “buts” do not mean anything. However, even with plenty of “ifs” and “buts” you cannot build a resume quite like Jay Cutlers with any other bodybuilder’s career. With a few more in depth calculations, one comes to the realization that if Jay were to make a 2nd comeback this year in 2014, he could in fact be competing for his tenth Sandow trophy (again, assuming Ronnie had been busy ending careers in the NFL).
The chance of Jay defeating Phil Health at this point is about as good as convincing a reality TV fan that all their favorite shows are just as scripted as sesame street. That said, would it really be a failed comeback if Jay were to show up close to his all time best, while Kai and Dennis are off, have another battle royal with Phil Heath, and once again take 2nd place? This would put Jay in the top two in the world for a record-demolishing twelfth time! You may be hard pressed to find many fans who would be of the opinion that Jay still has a top two finish in him. However, which Jay was better, the one who lost to Dexter in 2008, or the one that placed 6th in 2013? The answer may be the 2008 rendition, but most would agree it is a close call. But who had Jay winning going into the 2009 Olympia, which he did in fact win with straights ones? Jay Cutler did, Hany Rambod did, Lonnie Teper was on the fence, and that’s about it.
Had Ronnie chosen a different endeavor as mentioned above, Jay’s professional record would stand alone in history with some of sports’ all time greats in regards to domination. This hypothetical situation would see Jay Cutlers name spoken amongst true icons such as Tiger Woods, Shaun White, John Brzenk, and Floyd Mayweather. With this in mind, it becomes ironic to consider the lack of respect Jay receives in discussions of the greatest IFBB athletes of all time. The Big Nasty being just a bit better at football many years ago, may have been the flap of the butterfly’s wings that made the bodybuilding industry revere Jay Cutler as the greatest bodybuilder of all time today.
By Geoff Roberts