See Ya Later Tebow
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 18:09
Prior to last season, when Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets, he became the only backup quarterback in National Football League history to have his own introductory press conference. At that moment, when the Jets decided to utilize his star power for ticket sales rather than on-field contributions, his career was over, before he or anybody else knew it.
After getting cut by the New England Patriots last week, there’s not a team out there willing to take a flier on a player who just two seasons ago led his team to the playoffs. What perplexes me is that in a league where coaches and general managers are judged solely upon their ability to win games, Tebow will likely never play in the NFL again.
Personally, I can’t stand Tebow. I understand he’s a great person, a worthy role model and a breath of fresh air from the self-absorbed modern-day athletes who are clearly too immature to handle their own star power.
But I don’t watch football to hear about someone’s religious or moral beliefs. I watch football because it’s an entertaining American pastime that requires complex strategies, uncanny athleticism and a toughness that goes unparalleled throughout sports. And as much as I appreciate Tebow’s upstanding values, they haven’t helped him complete even half the passes he’s thrown throughout his NFL career.
And yet, I feel bad for the guy.
Although Tebow’s college successes have clearly been useless in his efforts to develop into a starting caliber NFL quarterback, he’s still good enough to play in this league as a backup. Has Chicago Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown ever won a playoff game? Has San Diego Chargers backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst ever thrown for 12 touchdowns and run for six more in a single season?
There are players in the NFL, right now, who cannot hold a candle to Tim Tebow. The Patriots were perhaps the only team in the NFL with a coach and a pedigree capable of handling Tebow’s off-field baggage, and now his career is in serious danger of either moving up north to the Canadian Football League or just ending completely.
In a world where round-the-clock news coverage puts celebrities under an unyielding spotlight, any team that signs Tebow would subject themselves to an unhealthy level of unnecessary publicity. For a player who would have a minimal on-field impact, it may not be worth the trouble.
Tebow himself deserves a portion of the blame for utilizing his public notoriety as a platform to spread his moral beliefs, and in turn subjecting himself to endless media attention. Not until recently has he shied away from the limelight and attempted to shield his teammates from the non-football related storylines that follow him everywhere he goes.
But at the end of the day, football is about winning. If a team’s starting quarterback goes down, there are very few backup quarterbacks out there with the athleticism and experience Tebow brings. He deserves another chance to make an NFL roster, but he’s going to have to wait. For now, the media is going to have to find somebody else’s career to tarnish (cough, Johnny Manziel, cough).
Paul Tierney is the managing sports editor at The Review. Please send any questions, comments and a job as an NFL general manager to email@example.com.