So Tim Tebow is finally a New York Jet. You could say it started off as a wild rumor, gradually built its way up to a remote possibility, finally steamrolling into a headline grabbing trade that almost wasn’t when the Jets , who offered their 4th and 6th round picks, had to decide just how much of Tebow’s salary advance they were willing to cough up to the Denver Broncos. The figure ended up being 2.53 million, in which the Jets will pay over two years to Denver.
Luckily for the Jets the Broncos didn’t succumb to the slightly higher offer of 3 million from the Jacksonville Jaguars. So the trade that seemingly came out of nowhere has landed firmly on “heavenly” ground in Florham Park, NJ. Let the games begin and I’m not referring to the one on the field.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in North Korea the past few years, you probably know who Tim Tebow is. You can’t check out a Youtube video without seeing everyone from a cop to a nun doing his signature move, the “Tebow”. The man wears his heart and his faith on his sleeve as he openly wept when he and his fellow Florida Gator teammates lost the SEC Championship to Alabama in 2009.
Tebow also freely expresses his deep Baptist faith. Often times, while in College, he would wear biblical references written on his eye black. The eye black messages were eventually banned by the NCAA in 2010 and since it’s already banned in the NFL, perhaps a tattoo of John 3:16 is in Tebow’s future at this point.
Tebow by every statistical account is mediocre at best. He’s hardly an upgrade from the disappointing season had by current Jet starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. So why trade for him? Was it for ratings? Was it for notoriety? Was it to put a fire under Sanchez? Was it to sell merch? Was it to win? Let me answer this succinctly – YES.
For all that he currently lacks as a NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow is still a diamond in the rough. I caught Chad Pennington on SNY being interviewed by Chris Carlin and to paraphrase Pennington, Tebow has what you can’t teach – he’s a natural leader. Now before you go rolling your eyes and dismiss that let me remind you that for the past year now, one of the biggest beef’s against Sanchez has been that he can barely lead a group of octogenarians on a bus trip to Atlantic City let alone the New York Jets.
According to Pennington, it's much easier to teach Tebow better arm mechanics which will in turn increase his field awareness and his passing abilities. It's a far easier task than trying to make someone be something they're not. His learning curve is still in its early apex while Sanchez’ may be stunted in part due to his lack of leadership and respect from a few of his teammates and former players – cue Kris Jenkins and Boomer Esiason who colorfully said:
“If you watched Mark Sanchez the last month of the season, he was like a chihuahua standing on Madison Avenue and 36th Street entering the Midtown Tunnel, eyes bigger than you-know-what, and just so shaky.”
Now with that said Tim Tebow is far from the second coming in spite of the hoopla that surrounds him – which by the way in my opinion is media generated and is so because the guy is religious and isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from being pious. In fact even I get a little uneasy to the point of wanting to puke when I see a friend of mine leave uber-religious Facebook posts. For me, religion is personal and isn’t something to use to convert. You should be able to come to it- or not- on your own and from what you read. I despise those that overtly love to convert as if it’s a game to them. And THEY are the ones who are supposedly religious.
However there’s something about Tebow’s brand of faith that honesty doesn’t piss me off. He comes across as the real deal. Maybe I’m wrong about him and now with being in the cauldron of debauchery that is Florham Park - I mean New York – perhaps his faith will be put to the test? But all of this reminds me of the same snickering and sneering that was aimed at another athlete who played in New York who was also a man of faith. I’m old enough to remember how Gary Carter was mocked mercilessly by fans and teammates alike – all which used the man’s religious beliefs as a rod to coalesce their dislike of the man. Yet here in 2012, Carter is now looked on as being a true hero. Even former teammate Darryl Strawberry, who was one of Carter’s more open and nasty critics said:
“Gary Carter lived the life I wish I could have lived.”
Pretty strong words, too bad it was said AFTER Carter died from brain Cancer in February.
I don’t know if Tim Tebow is ever going to be a great quarterback; I don’t even know if he’s going to be a good serviceable NFL quarterback. He may. I wish I had the gift of faith that he has. Even though I’m Catholic and went the whole Catholic school route, I admit my faith isn’t what it once was. But I can tell you this. I’ve had enough with those attacking him for what he believes and how he lives his life. If he were openly gay and attacked for it, his attackers would be rightfully vilified. But it’s ok to be bashed if you’re religious, especially if you’re a Christian. If Tebow ever amounts to anything with the Jets and if he wants to thank God for it – so be it. We have seen and heard worse from those in the spotlight haven’t we?
This is my first post here on the Spector Sector. Hopefully you’ll come back again and if I annoy, piss, entertain, educate, puzzle, or simply help you waste some time – then my job is complete.
Ok you can leave now…go.