Nothing is seemingly ever simple in the pro football career of ESPN’s favorite boy, Tim Tebow.
After being released by the Jets a few weeks ago, Tebow still hasn’t found a new NFL home. For a guy with a 7-4 record and a playoff win (and as someone who has seen, in order, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick quarterback his favorite team, that record looks positively Unitas-ian), it is surprising that a team hasn’t at least taken a flyer on him as a back-up.
Of course, it’s Tim Tebow. Nothing’s simple with this guy. And Mike Silver at Yahoo! reports that team’s reluctance has as much to do with the Tim Tebow-ness of it all rather than just Tim Tebow himself:
As much as prospective employers are wary of Tebow’s flawed mechanics, much-maligned throwing motion or deficiencies when it comes to reading defenses, the incessant media and fan attention that accompanies his presence on the depth chart is an even bigger concern. “He seems like a great guy to have on a team, and I’d be tempted to bring him in as our backup,” one NFC head coach told me Wednesday. “But it’s just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it.” … Or, in the words of one AFC head coach to whom I spoke recently: “You don’t want to put up with the circus.”
Let’s be clear about one thing – when people talk about the “media circus” around Tim Tebow, they mean ESPN. Period, point blank. ESPN is the network that took Tim Tebow coverage and made it TIM TEBOW coverage. They’re the ones that held a birthday party for him on the air. They’re the ones that had Tebow’s release as the lead story on the day the first gay male athlete came out. They are the circus.
But it strikes me as a little odd, and a little bit of an excuse, to blame the media for this. Certainly, a strong organization could handle this. An organization with an established identity, a strong structure, a definitive plan, could deal with a popular backup quarterback who had 3/4 of a successful season. The Jets were a disaster all around. They are not a strong organization, they had no plan whatsoever, and they are in the most oversaturated media market in the country, one that lies within commuiting distance of Barnum and Bailey’s headquarters in Bristol. But some organization would be strong enough, sure enough of itself, to provide Tebow a shot.
To blame the media, even if there’s some accuracy involved, seems like the ultimate cop-out. The blame Tebow’s fans is just insulting to people who spend their hard-earned dough supporting a league that is more interested in ignoring the physical costs of its product.