Merril Hoge Is Right to Call Tim Tebow Phony After Latest Antics

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2012

Merril Hoge has been on and off the Tim Tebow bandwagon over the last couple of years, but his latest statement is absolutely true.

After the popular quarterback was passed over for a starting job in favor of Greg McElroy, he reportedly told New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan that he did not want to play in any Wildcat packages, according to Rich Cimini and Jane McManus of ESPN.

This angered many people, including Hoge, an analyst for ESPN. In a round table discussion on the network, he argued against this action.

His biggest points came after a few minutes when he said:

To me, it smells like three-day-old fish. I think he's as phony as a three-dollar bill. Because at the end of the day, what have I heard? That he will do anything at any time: "You ask me to do to it and I'll do it." And all of a sudden, now that is unacceptable. All of a sudden, now it's, "I'm going to play quarterback or I'm not going to play Wildcat"...This shows really what he is about.

In the past, Hoge was hard on Tebow, explaining that he did not have the ability to be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL. He then changed his opinion toward the end of last season, according to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports:

The lessons that (the Broncos) are showing (are) what sports are about. ... I've been obviously very hard on Tim Tebow, very critical of him as a quarterback and his skill set... I've been wrong on a lot of levels with (Tebow).

However, it does not matter if you think Tebow is a great quarterback or should be out of the league. The truth is that his latest action was unacceptable.

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It is true that the quarterback has been portrayed as the ultimate team player since his days at college. He has always said the right things to the media, even when he likely wanted to go on an angry rant.

The problem is that by saying that he did not want to play in the Wildcat, he showed that he actually is selfish.

If he really wanted to do anything to help the team, coming in on packages designed for him would be no problem. A true selfless player does anything the coaching staff asks of him. Instead, Tebow was angry and decided that he would show this frustration to his coaches. 

Being angry at not playing is a normal reaction for anyone in sports. The passion for playing is something that every athlete should have at all times. However, there are only 22 starters for an NFL team. Not everyone can start, so the rest have to do everything in their power to get onto the field.

A player on the kickoff team would not refuse to play unless they get a bigger role, or else they would be out of a job. The same would go for most occupations after this type of selfish act. 

New York does not owe anything to Tebow. He is an athlete trying to prove that he should have a bigger role on the team, and so far the coaching staff does not believe he has earned that. Sometimes, this is just how life works. 

Merril Hoge hit the nail on the head when he called the popular player a "phony." We have thought for years that Tebow does not care about glory and simply wants to help those around him. It is apparent that this is no longer the case.

Although Tim Tebow should be with a new team next season, he has already shown that he is not the type of person that we thought he was.