“Our area was hit pretty hard by a disaster of epic proportions this year. Governor Christie estimates the recovery will take years and cost upwards of 50 to 60 billion dollars. I’m talking of course about the New York Jets. What a mess!” – Alec Baldwin at the NFL Honors Awards
The Jets were a mess this year and if Tim Tebow was on another team’s roster, Mark Sanchez would have been replaced after the fourth game for just about anyone with a single digit jersey and a pulse. Sanchez was tolerated only because Tebow was despised.
Tim Tebow is the Sarah Palin of the National Football League: a huge draw, loved by many, hated by the establishment and constantly disrespected for nothing other than virtue. Polarizing only because we live in a post-Christian, narcissistic petri dish; Tebow has become the third rail of the National Football League. In the age of Lady Blah-Blah, the squeaky-clean Boy Scout is now a national pariah. Tebow has quickly become the perpetual blanket party of the “nattering nabobs.” But who ordered the Code Red?
Even before he was drafted by the Denver Broncos, we were told by the “experts” that he couldn’t make it in the NFL; and there were legitimate reasons for believing that. His throwing accuracy was not great, his mechanics and delivery were called into question by those who know these things; and all of this was both fuel and cover for the Hate Tebow bandwagon. His awkward mechanics and lousy release got him a football scholarship to the football factory that is the Florida Gators. Tebow compiled a Heisman trophy, a BCS National Championship, three team MVP’s and dozens of records, only to be followed by a first round pick in the NFL draft – in spite of those drawbacks.
He then took a 1-4 underperforming team to the playoffs and did something that the Hall of Fame bound Peyton Manning wouldn’t do for the Broncos in his first year there – win a playoff game. That’s right; Tim Tebow led the Broncos past the Pittsburgh Steelers just over a year ago. It’s been a long, hard year for Tebow and his fans but when the Broncos imploded against the Ravens in the playoffs, Tebow’s brother and thousands of others, myself included, registered some satisfaction. As I watched it unfold, I found myself hoping that Ray Rice would score a touchdown in overtime and drop to a “Tebow” pose in the end zone, facing the general direction of John Elway’s luxury suite. Alas a field goal won it and the only Tebowing that was done was off camera, in the living rooms and bar rooms of America. I can guarantee you that, wherever he resides, Al Davis was Tebowing.
The only place that Tebow hasn’t succeeded is in New York, where he couldn’t get off the bench. He may have seen the field more, if, dressed in a cheerleading outfit, he starred as the caveman in a GEICO commercial. The contempt toward all things Tebow was so over the top that it even had Alec Baldwin showing pity – “the only thing more imaginary than Manti Te’o's girlfriend is the Jets offensive package for Tebow.”
Whatever Tebow had been promised got shelved and the dissension on this team stood out as an aberration from Tim’s previous teams and team-mates. The venerable Rex Ryan no doubt, is the main reason.
A once respected coach in the NFL, Ryan now seems like he’s either bucking for a career in the WWE or auditioning to play the fat clown in the next SPAWN remake. Foot fetish aside, the portly coach was seen sporting a new tattoo this off-season. The ink shows the likeness of his wife donning a Sanchez jersey while Tebowing. Wonder how long it will take Rex to ditch the ink when he’s out of a job at the end of next season? Will the wife still be wearing a Sanchez jersey when #6 is holding extra points for Tampa Bay or piloting a JV squad, north of the border? Even the Jets “mascot”, Fireman Ed, resigned his post after he felt the wrath of Jets fans who called down a fatwa on the superfan, only for refusing to take off his Sanchez jersey.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against Mark Sanchez. My contempt is for the hacks in the press with an ax to grind. Amidst their disdain for Tebow they’ve agreed to be silent for the sake of unity on not one bad season from Sanchez, but three. There is however, one place in NFL history where Sanchez has made a name for himself; and that is, being forever associated with a memorable play.
While Dwight Clark is remembered for “THE CATCH,” John Elway for “THE DRIVE,” and Franco Harris for “THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION;” Sanchez will forever be associated with “THE BUTTFUMBLE.” A play in which he ran full speed – helmet into his offensive lineman’s butt pad and then fumbled and then watched as the Patriots returned his gift for a touchdown (view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxVa6V304f4).
There is, I kid you not, a budding industry right now in New York, selling the #6 Buttfumble jerseys. In the meantime, the backup quarterback for the Jets is still one of the highest selling jerseys and fatheads in the NFL. But for Tebow to be accepted by the media elites, he’d have to film an anti-gun PSA, start dating Lance Bass and leak a sex-tape.
In the end, the Jets limped through a 6-10 season with their leader, Captain Buttfumble, having his worst season ever. Even Sanchez’ greatest accomplishment – dating Kate Upton, ended in a fumble. Watching the Notre Dame Football team get decimated by the Crimson Tide during the National Championship; the pneumatic supermodel, Sanchez’ former girlfriend tweeted, “It’s okay Notre Dame, this happened to the Jets every week.” Ouch!
Among the critics, the observations of Tim Tebow are changing but the conclusion remains the same – he shouldn’t be in the NFL. We were told that Tebow wouldn’t make it because he runs a college system – the read option, and that scheme just wouldn’t work on the NFL level. Now that it has had success in Seattle, San Francisco and Washington – fomenting a new craze; we’re told that the real reason he can’t play QB is that he can’t throw.
Are you really trying to sell us on the idea that Tebow couldn’t beat out Brian Hoyer, Thaddeus Lewis, Christian Ponder, Chad Henne, Brady Quinn or Terrelle Pryor – the starting quarterbacks for Arizona, Cleveland, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Oakland? With the exception of Alex Smith, who is soon to be a starter somewhere, does anyone that hasn’t already sodomized their voo-doo Tebow doll with a knitting needle, really believe that Tebow can’t beat out even one backup quarterback in the league?
What drives these critics that seethe at the mention of “Tebow,” like a vampire facing a crucifix? A slow release does not create that kind of venom and if awkward mechanics were the reason, then Bobby Layne, Joe Kapp, Bernie Kosar and Jim Kelly would have been stoned as heretics.
The truth is that it is the best part of Tim Tebow that they can’t accept – his character. They hide behind the release and the mechanics, so they don’t appear small and pitiful. But why won’t anyone take a chance on him? Is it merely a question of skill or are certain members of the chattering class uncomfortable that he’s a virgin and a devout, unapologetic Christian? A backup who is more famous and more liked than they were, even as starters in the league?
I believe the best place for Tebow would be as a backup in Seattle, San Francisco or Washington. He’d be familiar with the scheme and those teams currently have traditional backup quarterbacks who may be on their way out. There would be no controversy in any of those cities because the starters there are solid and the coaches there have brass. Tebow would bring leadership and encouragement to the locker room and still be able to contribute.
Whether he remains in the NFL or ultimately chooses another career, Tim Tebow will not change. He will succeed in whatever endeavor he pursues, for he has already carved out the right priorities: God first, others second, self last. But I hate to see the lycans in the media get away with another drive by crucifixion.