America struggled through the Great Depression. Then it was attacked and World War II followed. And Buffalo Bob Smith gave us Howdy Doody. Well, sort of. Just a tease. Until 1947 and the Great Depression and Second Great War gave way to the Greatest Generation doing Great things. Factories that had been converted to making materials for War now turned to making something that would change the way people saw the World.
Through the eyes of a television screen.
And Buffalo Bob became one of the very first to walk onto the set at 30 Rock, bringing Howdy Doody with him. Followed by a cast of characters. And every kid in America knew what time it was every weekday afternoon at 5:30. A few years later NBC used Bob & Howdy to sell the new Color TVs right up until 1960.
It had been 50 years since America saw a “Time” that captivated the Country and beyond. We were due. And just like that POOF! There it was. It was a show that had to move to New York. TebowTime on Broadway. “He’s here” were all the texts and tweets said. It was “Wicked” and it was so wicked good that recipients of the little strings of characters didn’t even need to be told who “he” was. Like the 48 freckles on Howdy’s face for each of the states when he introduced television to millions, those bright smiling eyes represented the beacon of everything America saw good and great about itself.
America went through an attack and then a Great Recession. And it needed something that reminded it of a time that seemed simpler. Good guys always won. Bad guys always wore black hats. And being a hard workin’ man meant something. How much did it need it?
Mainstream Media, in trying to understand the Tebow Phenomenon thought it had to do with being “The Underdog”. Tim Tebow is a Heisman & Davey O’Brien Winning Quarterback with two National Championships, having Played for one of the Country’s premier Football Schools. And then he was drafted in the 1st Round in the NFL. That’s not exactly an underdog story. But they couldn’t think of anything other than that or he had a fervent “religious” following.
But the numbers always defied the rhetoric. As John Elway said, the NFL had never seen anything even close to the Tebow Phenomenon. It still hasn’t. No matter how many times the self-absorbed Sports Media world wants to try to dub the “next” Tebow. Even before TebowTime was TebowTime, Tim Tebow was the most Marketable Male, Athlete or otherwise, on Earth. Ranked next to Oprah, Adelle and the woman whose children bear the title “Royal Highness”, Kate Middleton.
But after the 2011 Broncos Season and the Two-Minute Drill was renamed TebowTime and all over the World people were Tebowing, Tim filled the hole in America’s heart and warmed its wounded soul.
Unfortunately, the NFL never figured that out, so full of its own fullness of pomp and circumstantial revenues. If it had there’s no telling how big the league would be right now. Instead of its Marketing Chief issuing dire warnings if somehow the NFL can’t break through in a London that still has Fans wearing Tebow jerseys to Games in a Wembley Stadium he’s never been to as a Player, it could have watched Tebow Take the circus to Piccadilly.
As Tim has sat out of the league, the desire to see the continuation of a good feel that was so dismissively snuffed by a Jets Organization that was so concerned with looking like it signed Tim just for publicity it convinced people that’s exactly what it had done by not Playing him has done nothing but grown. In the several weeks before the end of that Jets Season, local polls were upwards of 95% (and above) calling out for a look at their own possibility of some TebowTime. Tim always polls at 85% and above. Whereas that’s about the same numbers who consider the NFL to be untrustworthy.
Don’t believe in coincidences in this case if you’re the NFL.
Y’all have heard me say this before. The National Football League is NOT a Major Professional Sports League. It is a Pro League that is lucky enough to be representing a popular Sport. And it is representing that Sport worse than any professional League in recent history. That’s why it isn’t in the best of shape with Congress. I’ve said this before. Congress wants to see the NFL grow the hell up before it will treat them like big boys. A real Major Professional League would have known the affect Tim Tebow had on the Country when it needed that most. The NFL didn’t care. It may never be forgiven by America for that. It did not act like a league deserving anything but the distrust it receives. And the “sleazy” image so many feel.
Tim’s old Jets and new Eagles Teammate Mark Sanchez acted anything but like a Teammate. He acted sleazy. He’s in the right league. Mark was quick to say he was told Tim was brought in just to fill in some time getting the Receivers ready in Camp while Sam Bradford is healing. Basically, they just needed another arm. After Sanchez’s comments went deep into a second day, the NFL did something. Sending out this tweet.
“We needed [a] guy to throw while Sam’s recovering. That’s the reason [for the signing].” http://t.co/Oykt0tUplq pic.twitter.com/Ehpcb9zHVs
— NFL (@nfl) April 25, 2015
The NFL.com article linked in the tweet basically says Mark’s smoking something if he believes that. If the NFL’s timing is more than just coincidence, good on them. Maybe it means the league really understands what’s at stake. Or maybe it just doesn’t like Players getting this kind of cheesy at a Teammate’s expense. That’s good too. That’s a positive thing. The league needs positive things right now.
What they don’t need, is for Fans to be convinced this Eagles signing is all a sham and Tim was never going to walk away with anything more than a few days’ stipend and alot of embarrassment.
If that happens, America will never forgive the NFL and the NFL will never make it past the current CBA’s expiration. These comments will make some snicker. Or ROFLMAO These are the very same people who would ever believe an NFL Executive would utter the words “lose position as #1 Sport domestically (US)”. They are the 2% who say Tim has no business being an NFL Quarterback.
These are the same people I began writing years ago would be the reason the league would collapse if it catered to them and ignored the core Fans. It ignored the core Fans. And now they don’t trust it, placing it far behind the other Major Sports Leagues as being someone you can trust. When almost half the people call you “sleazy” even before your most humiliating and disgusting scandals in memory, the time for veneer is over. Nobody cares about new VPs and Committees. They just don’t. The NFL needs to be very demonstrative in how it changes its ways or it will implode.
A Season of Tim Tebow will help. It will take alot more than that. But that’s a start. But no TebowTime and the NFL is Not-For-Long.
It’s not that the people in this Country wanted someone to admire. They needed it. And they had it. And the NFL inexplicably took it away. And anyone in the NFL who makes excuses as to why needs to be told in no uncertain terms that America doesn’t believe him. And because not only was TebowTime cancelled for no reason America understands but we’ve been pumped with you silly stupid people wouldn’t understand. Americans don’t buy any reasons why he’s not Playing. And only a tiny sliver seems to be convinced everyone who doesn’t understand what they understand is simply proving why Fans don’t make personnel decisions.
And yet, America still says “We don’t buy it. We like him and we don’t like you.”
It’s hard to tell what’s more insulting. The attitude that what the Fans want doesn’t matter. The attitude that the Fans are ignorant and don’t know what’s best for them. The attitude that they should just shut up and accept it. Whichever it is or whichever combination, the last two years have been hard not on Tim Tebow. But on the NFL. The Fans are getting very close to the we’ve put up with all the shit we’re going to put up with point. And one more feeling of having the Player they like more than all others jerked around..again…will push it over the top.
America will never forgive them for it.
But hey, maybe the NFL can convince the Brits that Americans don’t trust them because we’re idiots.