ESPN has an agenda.
They're in the business of ratings and readership, as we all are, but they are the shining example of a media outlet sacrificing journalistic standards for ratings. ESPN wants to report on the story of their choosing, rather than the story that actually exists.
ESPN loves Tim Tebow, and with good reason. The man is a polarizing figure that a lot of people truly care about and are fascinated by. He's a sports station's dream, a guy who can draw in viewers outside of the realm of sports. He's a human interest story with the legion of followers that make him a phenomenon.
That's all well and good.
However, that is seemingly not enough to satisfy ESPN, who take every available opportunity to tell their audience that there is a QB controversy in New York.
According to ESPN, Rex Ryan is quoted as saying in a conference call, “Of course, Mark’s the starter. There’s no question about it. That’s how we look at it, but we know that Tim can help us, too. There’s no doubt Mark is our starting quarterback. We’ve said that. We understand Tim is a backup quarterback, but we also recognize the fact that this guy’s an excellent football player and we’re going to use his abilities.”
This has been the tune that Ryan, GM Mike Tannenbaum and the rest of the organization has reiterated time and time again, but when ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported from Jets camp on May 21, he said on the air that there is definitely a QB controversy with the Jets. What that report was based on, I'm not sure.
Paolantonio was reporting from the Jets' first OTAs, a practice where pads aren't worn, basically a walk-through.
On a July 10 broadcast of the AFC East SportsCenter Special, analysts Hugh Douglas and Antonio Pierce spoke of how highly Rex Ryan and the Jets organization think of Tebow, which is a true statement.
Douglas went on to proclaim that Tebow has the "inside track" on becoming the starting QB, because Tebow made it to the playoffs last year and Sanchez fell short, despite the fact that in his rookie season Sanchez went to the AFC Championship game, and then did so again in his sophomore season, while Tebow got throttled in the divisional round after starting half the season.
Pierce would comment that the Jets brought in Tebow because they wanted to get rid of Sanchez and make Tebow their starter.
What a joke.
Pierce's statement is a blatant lie, no one in the organization has hinted at or given any indication that Tebow was brought in to be the starter. ESPN wants a Tebow QB controversy, and they are lying and spreading misinformation to get it.
ESPN has a love affliction with Tim Tebow, and that's fine, but they're still supposed to be sports journalists, and with the title of a journalist comes a set of ethics, ethics that they will perpetually violate in order to create the story they want.
Follow Adam Ramirez @NYNJSportsGuy