A Guide to Handling Tebowmania
Florham Park, N.J.- Let’s face it, many of you are already sick of the all-Tebow everything extravaganza. You’re also probably sick and tired of the sensationalism that has taken over sports media in general, specifically the New York sports media. As with any disappointing truth, the best way to make peace with it is by simply accepting the reality of the situation. Tim Tebow and the New York media were made for each other, they are a perfect match. A relationship that is exactly what both sides need to reach their intended goal. Tebow wants to spread his faith and he wants his leadership to extend beyond football. In order to achieve this he needs the media to keep churning out stories about him. The editors and reporters just want hits/page views/sales/attention (good or bad, it doesn’t matter). And of course you already know that although Tebow and the New York media may be a perfect fit for each other, it is you, the disgruntled fan that suffers.
As with all things Tebow, before I continue I must put up the following disclaimer: Any knock of Tebow’s ability as a quarterback is a direct result of watching him play/practice as a quarterback, nothing else. Tebow is an impressive individual and an exceptional athletic talent, however that doesn’t necessarily translate to being a good quarterback. My honest opinion of him as a quarterback, based on watching him play quarterback, is I don’t see him developing into a quarterback that can reach a sustained level of success in this league, not without drastic changes in his game. I am however willing to admit that it’s possible I could be proven wrong and if I am, good for Tebow the person, but it’s going to have to be Tebow the quarterback that convinces me. Finally references to Tebowmania have nothing to do with him as much as they have to do with the obsessive non-stop coverage of him.
The reality of the situation is, it’s only May. Yesterday was the first day the Jets writers got to see Tebow in action on the practice field. All this means the coverage is only going to get worse, it’s best to just accept this and make peace with it now. Everyday of practice will be a battle for the starting job, played out only by the speculative media, there will be no actual battle for the starting job as far as the Jets are concerned. The only way Tebow gets the starting role is through injury or absolute failure from Sanchez during the season.
Why do I say this with such conviction? Logic, solid reasoning and deduction skills.
Logic would state that the Jets would like it very much if their fourth-year quarterback, that they drafted with the fifth overall pick, could bounce back from last year’s disappointing season and build off his first two seasons where he helped lead the team to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances. This doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to move on if they feel they should, but it does mean Sanchez will get every chance to hold on to his job. Contrary to what some members of the media are saying, Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum are not counting down the days until they can bench Sanchez for Tebow, if they were they’d just do it. No need to waste a quarter of a season or more, just get it over with. Also members of the Jets media are always quick to point out that Tannenbaum and Ryan won’t do certain things because they’d be admitting a mistake, wouldn’t they be admitting a rather large mistake by giving up on their franchise quarterback that they drafted? Or is that their reason for why they say the Jets won’t anoint Tebow the starter now?
Solid reasoning and deduction skills also leads me to say teams don’t generally groom quarterbacks in waiting by having them play other positions such as h-back and punt protector. If Tebow is going to one day be a starting quarterback, he needs to work solely at quarterback. If he’s only a backup, you can see why Ryan would want to use him in other ways to help this team.
The decision to trade for Tebow was fairly simple. Tebow gives them a back-up plan in case something goes wrong with Sanchez, it gives them a unique weapon that can be used in multiple ways other than quarterback and it solves the problem of the media saying Sanchez needed competition to push him. He won’t face much serious competition from Tebow on the practice field (more on this in the next paragraph), but he will face it everyday in the media and that will give the appearance of an actual battle.
Tebow can’t win this battle on the practice field, for the same reasons he was reportedly the fourth-best quarterback during Broncos camp last year (behind Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and Adam Weber). Obviously reports from last year’s training camp proved to have little significance in season, but it’s absolutely significant to this year’s training camp. Tebow isn’t a classic quarterback who is going to wow you in practice, even his most staunch supporters will tell you that.
All offseason we heard about how much work Tebow put into fixing his mechanics, but I saw the same awkward and slow throwing motion he has always had. Watching him in practice yesterday he was more accurate than I expected, but everything was floated. Between the slow developing delivery and the lack of velocity, his throws took too long to complete and gave too much time for the defense to make a play and Tony Sparano let him know it as he continually yelled at Tebow to play faster. Once he enters a game, he obviously picks up the pace on his delivery and velocity, but that explains why he loses the accuracy during games.
After “news” of his two interceptions in yesterday’s practice broke out many people were rightly saying don’t look into it too much because it’s only May. The more accurate statement would be don’t look into it at all, it’s only May and Sanchez is and will be the starting quarterback, regardless of how many debates rage on in the media.
Tebow is great for business so the media will continue to talk about him ad nauseam. If they don’t have a tailor made story handed to them, they will reach for one like Mr. Fantastic. Look at what the New York media did to Jeremy Lin, they tried to make him into their own Tim Tebow. Because an undrafted point guard from Harvard is somehow similar to a two-time Heisman trophy winner and first round draft pick from the University of Florida. The media went right for the religious connection, as if somehow Tebow and Lin are the only two athletes who believe in Jesus Christ. Well they don’t have to worry about making the next Tebow anymore, now they have the real thing and if you think they aren’t going to relentlessly pound us over the head with one sensationalized story after another, then you have been paying much attention to how the media cycles work.
Everything you hear about Tebow will be spun in one way or another, just like every time someone asks another player for their thoughts on Tebow. Teammates aren’t going to criticize each other in OTAs, of course they are going to say something complimentary, but somehow every compliment gets turned into a simultaneous shot at Sanchez. Every compliment of Tebow is not an inditement against Sanchez and vice versa and although that won’t stop reporters from saying it, it should stop you from getting caught up in such nonsense.
You may be sick of the Tebow coverage, but it’s not going to slow down. There’s a huge market for Tebow news, any Tebow news, you may not care and you may not even know anyone who cares, but they are out there and the bosses want those page hits. Accept this as the reality you live in and learn to laugh at the nonsense, learn to make a game out of it with your friends. Have fun with, because if you can’t you’re likely to drive yourself straight to the looney bin.
Maybe Tebow proves me and millions of others wrong, but that’s a story for another day, the day it actually happens. Pure speculation can only go so far without it just sounding silly and redundant. You’ll certainly hear mountains made from molehills, words twisted drastically out of context and wild proclamations with no basis in reality, but complaining about it won’t change anything. Only acceptance will.
In the meantime stick with Jetsinsider.com for our coverage of all things Tebow and Jets because we do our best to avoid the sensationalism and stick with what’s tangible. My biggest complaint with Tebowmania is so much of it has nothing to do with football. I became a football writer because I love to write and I love football above all else. Because of this I will happily report my honest assessment of Tebow the football player when it’s called for, we’ll leave the make believe and sensationalism for the rest of the media.
And for anyone out there that reads this and thinks I’m unfairly hating on Tebow, I give you the words of rapper Common, “If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hating.” And by “it” I don’t mean Tebow the person or even the athlete, I mean his quarterbacking abilities. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like it (for now at least, but I’m open to being proven wrong).