I’ve always been a Peyton Manning fan, so I was happy when I heard he was coming to Denver. I was also happy when I heard that Tim Tebow was being traded away; and it’s not that I have some personal animus against Tebow or his expressions of faith. Hell, I even think he might be a decent quarterback some day (although it’s going to require a lot of work on his part).
No, I was happy that he was leaving town because being in the Tebow business is a miserable grind. It’s misplaced venom and anger, fans who think ten minutes of impressive football per game somehow makes a QB a winner, and flame wars in the comments section of local web sites.
Tebow’s biggest negative, aside from slow decision-making and poor accuracy, is a rabid fan base who truly managed to poison the well last year. Those fans, whose live in (I’m sorry, Steve) Tebow’s Reality Distortion Field, credit those wins to Tebow although to any honest fan the majority of the credit needed to go to a Broncos defense that kept games manageable through the first three quarters of inept Tebow play, a kicker that played beautifully in crunch time, and a running game that helped measurably in making up for the weakened passing game.
I watched every game, absorbing the good and the bad of the kid, and felt an intense frustration at the inconsistencies in his play. Yes, he is competitive, hardworking, and full of athletic promise; but it takes more to be a great NFL quarterback. Indeed, for most of the great QBs, the hallmark is consistency. They play consistently good football and sprinkle it with moments of greatness. Tebow plays consistently bad football and sprinkles it with occasional miracles and wonder.
And I don’t want to hear about how great last year was. Last year was another 8-8 year for the Broncos where they were lucky to make the playoffs. Their record wouldn’t have earned them the trip most years and is a tribute more to the weakness of the AFC West than to the skills and miracles of Mr. Tebow.
So, while I think Esiason may be wrong about Tebow in calling for the Jets to cut the young man, it’s the comment section of this article that reminds me of how annoying the universe of Tebow can be when you have to live with it week after week. Here are a few of the more special comments:
That’s quality commentary right there.
I’m pretty sure that there is a small army of Broncos fans out there thinking the same thing I am: please let there be something to this story that makes Elvis Dumervil not the bad guy. If not, then he’ll probably be spending quality time in jail.
Broncos star defensive end Elvis Dumervil has been arrested in Miami and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, according to court records in Miami-Dade County. The charge is a felony.
From Vic Lombardi, local CBS sportscaster on Twitter:
Just spoke to Harvey Steinberg. No charges filed. He says no assault took place.
The Pro Football Writers of America have awarded the 2012 Good Guy Award to Tim Tebow and precisely no one in the English speaking world is surprised. In fact, the only question is whether there will be room for other Good Guys in the NFL until Tim Tebow retires; he certainly seems to have cornered the market on that particular brand.
Don’t read that as being overly cynical or pointed. Tebow, as far as I can see, really does deserve the award. As a Denver fan, though, I’m in the middle of trying to make an adjustment. I’m conflicted over Tebow’s departure; I continue to believe that the Broncos are a better team with Manning behind center, but Tebow sure was fun to watch (for about five-fifteen minutes per game). And, honestly, for anyone wanting to write about the Broncos last year, he made finding story lines ridiculously easy.
The Good Guy Award is given to a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. The award was first given by the PFWA in 2005.
Tebow won it for the way he handled the media crush last season, when he led the Broncos to an improbable playoff run and became one of the biggest names in sports.
Anyway, congratulations to the young man and best wishes for his career. No matter how I might have felt about him as a quarterback (seriously conflicted, in case you were wondering), I never had doubts about his kindness, his drive to do good things, and the fact that he was one of the hardest working guys in the league.