Tim Tebow just can’t stay out of the news.
Reports this week surfaced that Tebow declined to play in the wildcat offense the previous week because he had been passed over for the starting job in favor of Greg McElroy.
This was reported by ESPN-New York, commented on by Merrill Hoge at the mothership, then denied by Tebow. Oy.
Hoge reported on what was previously reported by ESPN-New York. So for him to take the word of other reporters employed by his network is thoroughly understandable.
As far as calling Tebow “phony as a 3 dollar bill,” well, Hoge is not the first one to say that.
While Tebow was in the midst of being traded last off-season, he claimed he was not involved in any of the trade talks. Broncos team president John Elway said that was patently false. Jacksonville had made a better trade offer to the Broncos than did the Jets.
However, Tebow did not want to go to Jacksonville but did want to go to the Jets. Elway thought he owed that much to Tebow and made the trade with the Jets, taking the worst of it.
Afterward, Tebow was silent on the whole issue and never commented as to why he wanted the Jets over the Jags.
Some speculated he thought the Jets would actually do what they said they would and give him an opportunity to run the wildcat and be a real part of their offense. Some had more nefarious suspicions. Like the fact that New York would do more to enhance the Tebow franchise.
Remember he had the top selling jersey in the NFL last year by quite a bit. Some also speculated he really didn’t want to go to Jacksonville because he would have been made “the man” and had the team built around him. They felt he didn’t want that kind of pressure in his home town.
I believe the truth is much closer to the first theory. I don’t see him backing down from a challenge, but also think he wanted to capitalize on his fame. New York would be much more liable to do that, as we have seen this year by the coverage the Jets get despite being awful.
In Tebow’s defense, how could the Jets make such a move to get him, stink as badly as they do and never give him a shot? They did about the greatest disservice to him and his football career as possible. If he is upset with the Jets and how they handled him, I couldn’t blame him a bit.
Who knows what the future hold for Tebow?
There is a legitimate chance he never gets another opportunity to have an offense built completely around him like he did last year in Denver. If that is the case, then he will have one of the most improbable careers in the history of football.
As a collegian, where some considered him the best player of all time, he wins multiple national championships and a Heisman Trophy. He was then a controversial first round pick by a head coach who never really had a chance to develop him.
When that coach gets fired, the new coach wants nothing to do with him. John Elway (who also is in the mix as one of the great quarterbacks of all time) also does not want him. However the team is so disappointing and the public outcry is so great, that the coach (with the blessing of the prez) decides to give him a chance.
In his first start he is historically bad for the first 58 minutes but incredibly rallies his team in the final 2 for a win in the state where he played collegiately (the Miami game).
Tebow loses the next game, then wins six straight in mostly miraculous fashion, then loses three in a row looking like the stiff many thought he would be. But he does take his team to playoffs. In the playoffs he beats Pittsburgh, one of the NFL’s iconic franchises, with a 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime. He loses the next game as most expected, but the legend has been legitimized.
In the off season, Elway gets rid of him in what has to be the only possible way to do so without incurring a mutiny among his team’s fans: he signs a certain Hall of Famer who is suddenly available.
Tebow is still loved and hated, glorified and pitied. He will always have that mythical season, his only real one so far with a starting job. But he might easily and understandably never get another shot.
If that is how this all ends, it will arguably be the greatest “what if” career of all time.
Chris Andrews has over 30 years of experience as a bookmaker in Nevada. You can follow him on Twitter@AndrewsSports. Chris has a dedicated thread in the Pregame.com forums, answering your questions and more. Contact Chris at [email protected].