And just like that, the Broncos’ Tim Tebow experiment is over. For the middling price of a fourth-and a sixth-round draft pick—the Broncos also gave up a seventh-rounder—the saintly QB goes from the NFL franchise that sits closest to heaven to one that can occasionally be pro football’s version of hell.
The New York Jets reside in the most unrepentantly brash and unforgiving market in the universe. The fans, the media, even the players and their foul-mouthed coach, simply won’t shut up. For the past several years, after decades of pathetic play, a favorite topic has been how great and tough and mean and unafraid the Jets are.
Then last year happened. While the Jets gloated and feuded their way through a colossally disappointing season, their home stadium co-tenants, the Giants, proved what great and tough and mean and unafraid really is by winning this little year-end game called the Super Bowl.
Now the Jets have traded for Tebow, a move that’s already being touted more for its PR savvy than for its on-field promise. Their plan, it seems, is to use Tebow in limited “wildcat” packages. But anyone who knows football, or New York sports fans, knows that it won’t take more than a bad series or two from the Jets’ beleaguered starting QB, Mark Sanchez, before the even more beleaguered green-and-white faithful begin chanting Tebow’s name. Whatever media circus surrounded Tebow in Denver will look like tee-ball compared to what’s about to happen in the Big Apple.
And if anyone can handle it, number 15 can. The non-football part of this trade is the Jets’ wish to have this popular, strait-laced, humble model citizen in its locker room in the hopes that his leadership and all-around class might influence this band of braggarts, bandits, and malcontents. I have no idea if Tim Tebow will ever become the player his most ardent fans believe him to be, but if he can turn one of pro sports’ most unlikeable franchises into one that almost everyone can root for, well, maybe he does walk on water. We in Denver wouldn’t mind that one bit.
At least, not until the AFC Championship game.
—Image courtesy of the Denver Broncos Football Club