I'm hardly the first person to write about this, and I'm certainly not the most qualified. There are veritable mounds of think-pieces rippling across the Internet with the exact same thesis statement. But I can only sit back with my mouth closed for so long. And make no mistake about it, the Tim Tebow era, more so than almost anything else, can be best described by the word long.
Or at least that's how it's felt. Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets on March 21, 2012—less than a year ago, if you're willing to believe it. He was coming off an unlikely run in Denver where, despite limited talent around him, and despite lacking many of the basic qualifications needed to play quarterback in the NFL, he led the Denver Broncos not just into the playoffs, but past the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card Game.
Still, like most people who—again—lack many of the basic qualifications needed to do their jobs, Tebow wasn't part of his organization's long-term plans. Denver made the extremely unpopular (at least at the time) decision to trade their young, sexy savior and bring in a rusty, battered veteran. The cost to acquire him was a pair of Day 3 draft picks.
And like most quarterbacks who warrant that little to acquire, Tebow was relegated to the bench in New York. They told us they had a plan on how to utilize him. They promised he would impact the game in innumerable ways. They assured us that they could fix his mechanics and hurt people with the pretense of his arm.
And then 2012 happened. The Jets were a historic soap opera of a farce of a football team. Incumbent Mark Sanchez was bad—really bad—and the Jets still wouldn't play Tim Tebow under center. Even when Sanchez was benched, and even with a healthy Tim Tebow on the sideline, they opted to go with Greg McElroy in the huddle.
All the while, Tebow was, through no fault of his own, making a mockery of sports reporting as an industry. Journalists were being instructed that they "can't talk enough Tebow" (per Deadspin). That is, they can't say enough about a third-stringer with no arm who spent more time in punt protection than he did under center. That's what they were instructed to discuss indiscriminately.
Which is all a long-winded way of getting us to here. The Jets, not just for the sake of themselves, but for the sake of restoring order to the media, need to cut Tim Tebow once and blissfully for all.
Seems simple enough, right? You would think. But that doesn't explain why, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Jets exec Woody Johnson still opted to play coy:
Manish Mehta @MMehtaNYDN
Woody Johnson on Tim Tebow: "We’re looking at all possibilities with him. We’ll see what the offseason (brings)." #nyj3/18/2013, 1:23:20 AM
Which begs a salient question: What do they have to gain? Why are they maintaining this masquerade? They can't still believe Tim Tebow has a future—you'd have to be crazy to do so—but they insist on making him feel wanted anyway?
And for what? Jersey sales? Do those even exist any more? The word Tebow—again, through no fault of the actual person—leaves a bitter taste in sports fans' mouths across the country. The people are sick of him—sick of hearing about him, sick of reading about him and sick of watching him sport a perfectly laundered uniform on the sideline. If that's all you plan to do with him, what is the draw of keeping that sideshow on the roster? More traffic on newyorkjets.com?
The fact that you even clicked on this article is the problem. I'm flattered that you'd want to read what I wrote—honestly, I am. But what exactly drew you here? Further discussion about a last-team quarterback with passing stats worse than Antwaan Randle El? Is that really what the people want to read? Is that really what writers want to serve? Is that really the state of media Tim Tebow has unwittingly helped contrive?
The word charade, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, means "an absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant and respectable appearance." The Jets can pretend to be OK with the status quo, and they can stubbornly refuse to admit the error they made last March. If that makes them happy, so be it.
But in almost every conceivable way we can judge it, those crocodile smiles are nothing but a charade. And it's time for it to stop.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!