What Tim Tebow's Big Apple Arrival Means for the Giants

Steven GoldsteinContributor IMarch 21, 2012

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos scrambles with the ball as Orlando Franklin #74 of the Denver Broncos blocks against Calvin Pace #97 of the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Jets 17-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's only fitting that the league's most polarizing figure has been acquired by one of the sporting world's most controversial teams.

Doing their best Felix and Oscar impressions, the mild-mannered, religiously pious Tim Tebow and the ostentatious New York Jets were coupled together Wednesday afternoon, following a trade with the Denver Broncos that saw Gang Green lose a fourth and sixth-round draft pick.

The on-field implications of this move are endless: what will Tebow's presence mean for Mark Sanchez? Will Tebow successfully employ Tony Sparano's Wildcat offense? And just how much playtime does the former Bronco deserve? Yet, it's the third-year pro's influence away from the gridiron that's sending shockwaves through the NFL.

With Jets fans and loquacious head coach Rex Ryan alike harboring a restless, gung-ho attitude, how quickly will Sanchez' number be called in favor of Tebow-Mania? With cornerback Antonio Cromartie vocally disillusioned with the acquisition, what will Tebow mean for an already-volatile Jets locker room?

Woody Johnson and company have truly outdone themselves. The Jets, perpetually in the limelight last year despite a mere 8-8 record, will only continue to draw the attention of national media outlets.

What does this mean for their crosstown rivals, the Super Bowl champion New York Giants? Big Blue nation is collectively flashing a wide-eyed smile, as the Jets in the Big Apple's center stage is surprisingly just what they want.

The Rex Ryan era has been epitomized by controversial press conference tirades and up-and-down performance. The Tom Coughlin era, in contrast, has been one of stability, relative modesty and immense success. Escaping the Empire State spotlight allows this success to continue.

For years now, the Jets have captured local headlines over their quieter counterparts. As those who study sports journalism know all too well, failure, noise and contention sell.

Following the conclusion of the 2011 regular season, it was the Jets and their Week 17 loss to the Dolphins that was the talk of the town, not the Giants or their division-clinching victory over longtime rival Dallas.

Even as the G-Men progressed through the NFL playoffs, they still fought for the front pages. In short, Gang Green has always flaunted a larger readership than Big Blue, with the latter not seeming to care much, trading headlines for victories.

What better way to avoid a Super Bowl hangover than to cede all attention and hype to Tebow-Mania?

Tebow's feel-good story swept through the nation with the utmost fervency last year, fueling each Broncos opponent with a chip on its shoulder. The Giants have been playing with a chip on their shoulder for years now, and who's to say that the augmented attention on the Jets won't inspire the Giants to come out stronger than ever?

The Tebow trade will draw the "city that never sleeps" eyes away from the loss of fan-favorites Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham. The Tebow trade will divert the tri-state area from the Giants' still-unaddressed gaping holes along the offensive line. The Tebow trade will keep the Giants exactly where they want to be: away from the pressure and controversy that encompasses New York.

If it's at all possible, Big Blue will remain under the radar as defending NFL champions. Now, that's a dangerous thought.