Tim Tebow’s career defies logic, rational explanation

David Steele Sporting News

So, Tim Tebow is out in New England and, for now, out of the NFL.

A first-round pick all of three years ago … the second quarterback taken in 2010, after Sam Bradford … owner of the same number of playoff wins as Matt Ryan … winner of a postseason game more recently than Peyton Manning and just as recently as Drew Brees.

No matter what the future holds for Tim Tebow, he will go down as one of the most polarizing figures in NFL history. (AP Photo)

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But also … a former starter unable to take playing time away from Mark Sanchez with the Jets … unable to move past Ryan Mallett for a backup job in New England … unable to get on the field for the “dress rehearsal” exhibition game by the team that just signed him … and now, released twice in four months.

That’s his legacy. That’s the footprint “Tebowmania” leaves in the NFL if he never again plays in a game that matters.

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The legacy, in a nutshell, is of a player who did great things for a short time, did nothing for a short time, got too much credit for the former and too much abuse for the latter. And, of course, too much attention for all of it.

Yet even when all the hype is set aside—when all the action, reaction and overreaction to everything Tebow is taken out of the equation, when the nation is briefly taken off of Tebow Time—his career defies logic and rational explanation.

How can a player that has seemed so bad at his position for so long, pull off what he did in Denver for 12 weeks in 2011?

And how can a player capable of pulling off what he pulled off in Denver, play his position so badly all those other times?

Tebow was never the greatest player or life force to hit the football world, the sports world or the planet in general, as his supporters had claimed with little exaggeration since at least his days at Florida. For just one small example, it’s now accepted as common knowledge that he “led” the Gators to two BCS titles, as if Chris Leak had never existed.

This became a theme in the uplift of the Tebow fable. His exploits as a college quarterback, outstanding as they were, were elevated as if, say, Charlie Ward had never existed. Also, the depth of his outspoken faith and the power of his influence on those within his sphere were extolled as if Reggie White had never existed.

The backlash since then has become equally outlandish, as those beaten down by the outsized worship of Tebow branded him as not just an overmatched NFL quarterback but as the worst anyone had ever laid eyes upon, who literally didn’t belong in the league.

Unless another miracle (pun intended) happens and he finds another NFL home, Tebow proves the doubters’ point.

Except that it actually doesn’t.

Because even with the ugly throwing motion, scattershot accuracy and unpredictable pocket awareness, Tebow can claim a division title and a playoff victory, using the exact same criteria applied to every quarterback from Sammy Baugh to Johnny Unitas to Joe Montana to Tom Brady.

He was the quarterback of record when the Broncos went 7-4, took the AFC West and beat the Steelers in overtime. That happened to also be the only team in his four years since leaving college to design an offense to fit his strengths and minimize his weaknesses, which is all a coach is required to do and all a quarterback could ever ask for.

If Tebow never plays again, it’s fair to ask why no other team ever thought enough to try that again. Oh, teams have since then, with other quarterbacks (hello, RGIII; greetings, Colin Kaepernick). Their arms don’t compare to whatever one should call Tebow’s. But once upon a time, Tebow Time was the right time for the coach with the right idea.

It clearly wasn’t an idea that interested either the Jets, who stink at evaluating quarterbacks, or the Patriots, who don’t.

Then again, it would have been just as fair to ask this of any team thinking of taking that on: Are you ready to take on the rest of the Tebow package? The drama, the idolatry, the extremes, the emotions that rule every word spoken and action taken?

Including, of course, by Tebow himself, who never seemed terribly interested in steering clear of the madness or deflating any of it, for his own good and that of his employers and teammates.

With Tebow, there is always both too much and too little happening, everywhere he goes.

Or, there was. Past tense.

For now.

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12 Responses to “Tim Tebow’s career defies logic, rational explanation”

  1. Brandi says:

    It has stunned the NFL and some hangers-on to the League that Tim Tebow continues to be so Popular. Why he’s still the Most Influential Athlete in the Country. Why Fans still clamor for him. Why he still polls so wildly high among the Fans when all the Fans hear over and over is he’s Not Ready for Prime Time and maybe never will be.

    Because those self-procliamed experts can’t get one simple thing through their heads. In huge mass, the fans are telling the NFL’s Inteligentsia…”You have far too high an opinion of your opinion.”

    • lex says:

      amen to that opinion, brandi!

    • Sage says:

      Well said, including the “inteligentsia.” It’s a silly word in the context of football, but there is nonetheless a group who fancies itself just that.

      What amuses me is the sports “journalists” who want to expand their mission to ethics, cosmology, etc., to make themselves feel more intellectual and important.

      • Brandi says:

        The For Entertainment Purposes Only unit of Sports Media. We hear over and over how the NFL is the King when the High Rating Games (those topping 25 Million Viewers) are barely a tick over what the AVERAGE number of Viewers for Monday Night Football was 15 years ago when the Country had 40 Million fewer people. And MNF didn’t even have the luxury of Flexing to the “Good” Games. They had to eat what the schedule gave them. Now MNF has 10 Million fewer Viewers a Game. But “people can’t get enough of the NFL”.

        Really? Seems to me the numbers say they already have.

    • ck says:

      Well, Brandi, it just proves what you have stated as correct and I might add THEY ARE THE ONES BRAIN DEAD PERIOD!!!

  2. Jack says:

    Ditto !!!

  3. ck says:

    Buzzy: Here is an idea for an article that I saw on The 700 Club: Trevor Bayne who is the winner of the Indy 500 was giving a lot of credit to Tim Tebow for being a HUGE ROLE MODEL AND HAD NOTHING BUT POSITIVES FOR HIM!!!

  4. Sue Lehde says:

    Tim Tebow is the positive role model our pro athlete adoring youth need. Whether he is ever center again — doesn’t matter. His moral, ethical life and good works will do more for all of us than winning football games.
    That being said — Da Coach – Mike Ditika – has had nothing but positives to say about Tim Tebow — and he is an excellent judge of talent. TGT belongs under center on an NFL team with an offense built around him — with that — he will lead both on and off the field and he will win games. The team that believes in him and can accept that perhaps Tim will be bigger than that team will never have to worry about an embarrassing moment from him —- and Tim and Tim’s team will win games for them.

    • Brandi says:

      You’re completely correct. Jon Gruden also still says some team should sign Tebow, stop messing with his game and just build around him and they’ll Win. Gruden has said he believes some Team will Win a Super Bowl with him. A couple head Coaches wanted to bring Tim in and were over-ruled by the GMs. The ACTUAL Football people of the NFL are high on Tebow’s ability. But GMs are what Brian Billick calls “paranoid”.

      He’s still got A11FL courting him. The Off-Season is approaching and the Coach/GM Firing Season has just started. MAYBE this will remind a few Owners they fire these guys every couple years anyway. Why let them make Business Decisions for them that very few are around long enough to have to live with. It’ll be an Owner’s decision. I just don’t see many NFL Teams where it could ever be anything else. For one thing, for all but a handful of Teams you can only bring Tim in as the Franchise QB. That’s almost always an Owner’s decision. (That’s why it’s called “Franchise” QB)

      • ck says:

        Brandi: Excellent points and did you see ordinary Orton…good grief!!! For all those spirals that mean nothing without a WIN!!! GO TEBOW!!!
        Also, agree with Sue above too!:D Though I still want to seem him play and bring back all of that excitement/passion that shows whenever he is under center and WINNING I MIGHT ADD!!!

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