Listen closely, folks? Do you hear that?
Where there was once the deafening rumble of the hype machine cascading upon New York City, there is now simply silence. Where there was once the crackling of a thousand voices debating one man's every move, there is now only a few hushed whispers and the occasional sigh.
You see, when Tim Tebow came to the New York Jets the buzz surrounding him was at an all-time high. But as he's spent the majority of the season mired on the bench, barely even seeing the field to run the Wildcat, it seems Tebowmania is finally dying a much-needed death.
How do I know? Well, even ESPN—which has long been the biggest hype-monger of Tebowmania—has admitted it needs to dial back the Tebow coverage and made some errors in judgments in past coverage of the backup quarterback.
ESPN is devoting less coverage to Jets QB Tim Tebow because ESPN President John Skipper told producers to dial it back. In an interview last week at his N.Y. office, Skipper said, "I said, 'Guys, we didn't handle this very well.' Going to training camp wasn't a problem. We just stayed on it relentlessly and too long."
Skipper was particularly affected by an interview former ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb gave to "The Dan Patrick Show" in October, where he said, "I was told specifically, 'You can't talk enough Tebow.'"
Skipper: "The quote that I hated was from Doug Gottlieb... I didn't love that. I want people to think about what works for the next 10 minutes might not be the best thing for us for three years. That one hit home with me."
Somewhere, Skip Bayless is crying. Or, you know, thinking about something controversial he can say about LeBron James.
But losing ESPN to propagate Tebow hype is a major blow to Tebowmania. It would be like Mick actually ditching Rocky, or Fireman Ed ditching his beloved Jets.
Oh, wait, Fireman Ed did ditch the Jets. Sheesh.
Tebowmania could always rear its ugly head and consume another city, of course. It seems unlikely Tebow will remain in New York after this year, and Tebow could head to a another team with quarterback issues where he would be the beloved backup quarterback and put a huge amount of pressure on the incumbent.
Wherever Tebow goes, he will bring with him an unwarranted level of speculation and scrutiny. Tebowmania wasn't powerful enough to survive the Big Apple and Rex Ryan, but that doesn't mean it isn't capable of resurrecting itself.
But his stint with the Jets did teach us a few things. It taught us that, yes, Tebow actually could be irrelevant. It taught us that he wasn't good enough to unseat Mark Sanchez—at least not in the eyes of the Jets—who has been pretty terrible this year.
And it even taught us how quickly a coach can grow uninterested with his new and shiny Wildcat toy.
When Tebow finally departs New York, they should leave a gravestone for him in the Jets locker room.
Here lies Tebowmania in its final resting place. It came to New York strong in the hype force, but it could not survive the city that manufactures and packages hype like no other. Honestly, it won't be missed. Rest in peace, Tebowmania (2012-13).
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are glad to see Tebowmania go.
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