The roller coaster ride that was the Tim Tebow era came to a quick end last week when he was traded to the New York Jets. The Denver Broncos decided to move on after they emerged as the winner from the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. After serious consideration from the Jets and Jaguars among others, and after some input from Tebow himself, the Broncos agreed to terms with the Jets on a deal that brought Denver 4th and 6th round draft picks.
The Tebow era will be remembered as a time of big ups and downs, a 2011 season where the football universe was focused on Denver, a contentious period when football fans everywhere endlessly debated the merits of Tebow, and last but not least, it will be remembered because of an AFC West championship and a thrilling playoff victory.
The part of the Tebow era that drove most people nuts was the polarizing effect he had on people. The constant arguments about Tebow’s skill and the daily analysis by the media really wore me out. It reminded me a whole lot of politics in this country. When dealing with Tebow, you can categorize most people into distinct categories on the “Tebow Spectrum”. There are the extremists on both sides (hard-line Tebow supporters and hard-line Tebow bashers), moderate fans who support the quarterback but think he’s not the long term solution, and moderate fans who think Tebow is the quarterback of the future but acknowledge he has a ways to go. The groups that made everything difficult were the extremists on both ends of the spectrum (as usual). Both sides had completely lost their objectivity when it came to Tebow and they dug their heels in deeper on a daily basis. Debates concerning the quarterback and the man became personal and nasty. As can be expected, this only served to make the situation worse for everyone.
I found myself squarely in the middle. I was always a Tebow fan and enjoyed cheering for him for two main reasons: First, he is a great guy and I like him as a person; and second, he won football games and took the Broncos to another level as a franchise. However, in my honest analysis of him as a player I had concerns over his long term viability as a quarterback. I am not convinced that he can become an elite QB in this league or win a Super Bowl. I am not a hard line supporter or basher; just a guy in the middle who isn’t sure. Furthermore, if someone claims they are completely sure when it comes to Tebow, then they aren’t being objective because no one really knows what is going to happen with him.
I think Denver was right for pursuing Peyton Manning. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would have done the same thing if the decision was up to me, and I think a majority of people are in that same boat. I commend John Elway for making a tough decision, and I respect the fact he had the conviction to follow through with what he believed. I have also come to agree with their decision to trade Tebow. Initially I wanted him to stay on the team and learn under Manning, but after consideration of the polarized fan base I believe that keeping both quarterbacks was unsustainable. It’s unfortunate that Tebow’s wild following makes that the case, but it is what it is.
Regardless of what you think about Tim Tebow and the Broncos, the fact is that it doesn’t matter much anymore. Tebow is a New York Jet. I hope he finds some success there, but I couldn’t imagine a much worse fit for him. The daily chaos that comes with Tebow has already completely overtaken New York and I think it’s just getting started. In the bright lights of the Big Apple, the Tebow circus is going to get real ugly real quick. The coaches are all saying the right things, but whether they choose to accept it or not they have a full-fledged quarterback controversy on their hands. Just wait and see what happens when Mark Sanchez has a single bad game. I would have liked to have seen Tebow go somewhere he can contribute behind an unquestioned starting quarterback or to a place where he could come in as the starter himself. Coming in as a backup behind a controversial quarterback for a team that has been a mess has the potential to be a complete disaster. I will hope for the best for Tim’s sake, but I am very relieved that the non-stop controversy is not Denver’s problem anymore.
With all that said I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Tebow take over as the starter in New York at some point and find some success. I’m just curious if the baggage that comes with him will eventually become too much there like it was in Denver. Only time will tell, but one thing for sure is that it will make for some great TV.
As for his time in Denver, I will remember the good times and will always consider him a great Bronco. Hopefully the 2011 season was the catalyst to a Broncos’ Super Bowl run in the near future, and if that’s the case we will have to give Tebow a lot of credit.
It was a good run Timmy; thanks for everything. I wish you the best in NYC.