“Tebow or Not Tebow”
By Glen Kozemchak
Phenomenal? Enigmatic? Immaculate? Whatever term you may have used to describe last year’s Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s performance, you cannot deny it was electrifying. Willing his team into the playoffs with his divinely inspired late-game drives, he repeatedly defied the odds by carrying his team on his back from certain defeat time and time again. He brought talk of the supernatural to the National Football League. A devout follower of Jesus Christ, Tebow ‘believed’ his team would win every time, and his teammates jumped on that bandwagon along with millions of football fans throughout America. ‘Tebow-Mania’ spread across the land like wildfire and ‘Tebowing’, which depicted dropping to one knee in praylike thanks, became an overnight sensation.
After a simmering quarterback controversy boiled over last year midway through the 2011 season, Tebow finally replaced Kyle Orton and began week 7 as thestarting QB for Denver. Tebow, with his fiery leadership and winning personality, proceeded to orchestrate 6 fourth quarter and overtime drives for victories, leading the Bronco’s into the playoffs. I for one, became a Bronco’s fan mid-season, watching the Tebow heroics as I awaited each week with great anticipation to see what he would do next. When Tim Tebow had the ball, anything could happen; a play-action pass, or a quarterback draw up the middle for a big running gain. Watching him was exhilarating. Fans and players alike were eagerly swept into the hype as we watched for the seeming miracles to unfold week after week as Tim Tebow amazed and thrilled all who cared to take notice.
In spite of the constant criticism for his unorthodox passing abilities, Tebow continued to win games, leading his team, into the playoffs. Only after beating the perennial powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, did his reign come to an end, as the Bronco’s were finally defeated by the New England patriots in the Divisional round. Tebow seemed to have solidified his role as the future quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
But Peyton Manning, the prolific passer extraordinaire, was coming off neck surgery and would be available for the 2012 season. And John Elway, Executive Vice President of Football Operations with the Bronco’s, seemingly believed more strongly in the proven hall of fame talent of Manning than the supernatural divinity of Tebow. Denver signed Manning and immediately began shopping Tebow. The New York Jets picked him up and that was the end of Tebow’s career in Denver.
Now, I don’t know what Jets’ upper management was thinking when they signed Tim Tebow to a 4-year contract, but everyone else knew a quarterback controversy would be looming in the Big Apple even before the ink dried. Mark Sanchez, who had a stunning college career at USC, has been the Jets starting quarterback since 2009. He, along with coach, Rex Ryan, had led the Jets to two playoff appearances. This season, however, with a subpar 3-5 record, the Jets offense is 27th in the league and chants of ‘Tebow, Tebow, Tebow’ are beginning to rise up louder and louder from the stands with each passing week.
So what does the future hold for Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow? For Sanchez, it’s come down to ‘What have you done for me lately?’ New York fans can be unforgiving and once they latch on to a concept, they become tenaciously relentless until what they demand comes to pass.. But isn’t that pretty much the same for sports’ fans everywhere. Conversely, for Tebow, the sky’s the limit. After last year’s heroics, how can anyone blame New York fans for wanting some of their own ‘Tebow-mania’. Especially if he really is ordained of God?!
It seems almost inevitable that Tebow will ultimately get the nod to take over at the helm and replace Sanchez, despite Rex Ryan’s promises that Sanchez is their long-term quarterback. But if the NY Jets do trade Tebow, does anybody really think the fan base in New York City will be satisfied with more of the same with Mark Sanchez, who is a moderately decent quarterback at best, who just doesn’t show signs of upward potential beyond what we’ve seen thus far in his NFL career? In light of this past week’s 30-9 defeat to the Miami Dolphins, I regret to say that perhaps the only way for Sanchez to save face at this, the midway point of the 2012 season, is for him to suffer some undisclosed minor ‘injury’ so impending, inescapable matters may take their due course as Sanchez takes his new position warming the bench for the remainder of the season as Tebow takes over.
You just can’t get in the way of progress, and so the preordained, inevitable almost has no choice other than to occur. One thing I know for sure is this: Mark Sanchez does not bring to the quarterback position the enigmatic ‘that’ which Tebow brings to it; the option of the miraculous, the divine power from above, that inexplicable ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’, which by definition means “Something that cannot be adequately described or expressed.” That’s what everyone wants, and that by definition, is exactly what Tim Tebow embodies. Inexpressible. Indescribable. Indefinable. So, stay tuned for the rest of the story. How it all plays out is now only a matter of time… Tebow time.