The New York Jets' move for Tim Tebow has been met with skepticism and mockery across the football world. However, those who have expressed sarcasm at the situation fail to realize the incredible amount of good will the media darling can bring to a clubhouse.
It is no small secret that Tebow will not have the ease in his passing that his former boss John Elway displayed in his Hall of Fame career. There will not be consistent 300-yard passing games like Drew Brees. And he certainly does not possess the innate ability to make the players around him better, as we are told Peyton Manning does.
He approaches none of these players in terms of what they do on the field. But off the field, it is a whole different story.
Let’s face it—the Jets' collapse last season was one that happened in the locker room. Sure, Mark Sanchez was exposed as a 12-16 quarterback at best, but he always has been. He actually improved slightly in a majority of statistical categories. What changed is what none of us could see.
The meltdown during the last game of the regular season cap-stoned an entire season of turmoil. There is little doubt that what we all witnessed against the Dolphins was a culmination of events that had transpired over the course of the season, well hidden from the public eye.
Santonio Holmes taking a seat on the bench as the Jets drove in an attempt to win the game and salvage their season has become as an iconic an image for the franchise as Joe Namath running off the field, index finger raised after winning Super Bowl III. But it stood for all the wrong things.
Then came the fallout.
For nearly three weeks, the country was peppered with the endless melodrama unfolding at the Meadowlands about who said what about who and how that made who feel about what they said. It was childish, inane and overly redundant, furthering Dan Le Batard’s claim that sports are nothing more than soap operas for men.
Don’t take issue with the idea—it has been proven true time and time again, even at that moment. With one half of the New York football teams rapidly deteriorating, the other, the Giants, had made their own improbable run to the playoffs.
But rarely was that the lead on any major sports programming. It all revolved around what would keep us locked in most—or in other words, what would make them the most money.
With the most pressing issue concerning the Jets this offseason being about nothing on the field, it should not surprise anyone to see that the one big move they have made will provide little impact during play.
Yes, Tebow will be able to run some gadget plays here and there, and I am sure the ever-inventive Rex Ryan will have fun with his new toy, but when it comes down to it, Sanchez will still be the No. 1.
The Tim Tebow trade was purely to bring some sort of stability to the Jets locker room. To find some guy who can rationalize and break down barriers that exist between players. He is the only person that they could bring in to challenge Sanchez without threatening him directly.
But most of all, he will help change the image the team.
We as fans very much enjoyed the exceedingly opaque reporting that came out of the clubhouse, but the franchise itself saw it as shameful. There is such thing as bad publicity in sports, and owner Woody Johnson did not like seeing the name he built up over the past decade dragged though the muck.
Right now, the questions swirl and the “experts” have been weighing in, providing their analysis of what Tebow will be in New York. Most of it has been damning, but so it was when he was drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2010.
Those talking heads were forced to bite their tongue as he led Denver to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
But the Jets did not pick him up for this instant reaction. They are going to ride the storm of the incredulity and judgment until the season starts and Tebow’s magic begins to show.
What was once dirt will be turned to gold by the Tebow touch.
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