Well it’s been nearly 24 hours since the biggest news to grace ESPN’s airwaves since Erin Andrews left has been dropped on us, Tim Tebow has been signed by the Patriots. We’ve matched the most polarizing player with one of the media’s favorite teams, so why haven’t they cancelled school yet? Right, the whole summer vacation thing…
Kidding/sarcasm aside… We already had Tebow with one of the media’s favorite sporting franchises in the New York Jets, so why is this any different? It’s because the two franchises are media favorites for the exact opposite reasons.
The Jets get all the attention that you don’t really want them to get as a fan… like Rex Ryan saying too much, Mark Sanchez revealing that he isn’t quite Mark Sanchise, Darelle Revis’ holdout among so many other things. The Patriots on the other hand fit the “model of consistency” cliché in sports. They’ve won the AFC East Division (also the Jets’ division) ten of the last twelve years, 3 super bowls in that span (also lost a couple others) as well, they have a Hall of Fame Head Coach/QB combo and are known for their annoying ability to always spot the diamond in the rough when no one else could. Tebow’s situation will be different both because he’s lost leverage and because he’s left the team that does everything the wrong way and join the one that does it all the right way.
Tim Tebow has had a long, hard fall from grace. From one of the most decorated college players in history (also practically invented the "jump pass" I might add), to first round draft pick, to backup qb, to playoff winning qb, to jets backup, to jets punt protector, to jets bench warmer to jets big mistake. The Heisman Trophy winning/1st round draft pick Tebow could’ve had a lot more chips to bargain with in terms of what he wants or deserves from an NFL team, but now people don’t hear Tim Tebow and think of the guy who beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs, they think of the guy who couldn’t even beat out the “butt-fumble guy.” Besides, we’ve heard it before a hundred times, “If (insert controversial player name here) can’t work in New England, then he can’t work anywhere.” Annoying, but there is some truth to it.
The Patriots will handle this situation very well. They’ve signed him, that’s it. They aren’t going to have some gigantic Tim Tebow extravaganza of a press conference the next day, they’re not going to be saying how many snaps he’s going to get a game, and they’re not going to gloat about all the wrinkles that this is going to add to their playbook. They’re going to be doing everything they need to do by saying nothing. That way there will be no expectations whatsoever. If Tim Tebow doesn’t see the field one single time this season, will we really be surprised? No, cause we didn’t see a whole lot of him on a really bad team, let alone a good one. If Tebow becomes Mr. Versatile and catches a couple TD passes from brady, and runs and throws a few more from a goal line package we won’t be surprised either because he’d be about the 17th player (so it seems at least) that the Patriots have done this with. It’s the epitome of low-risk high reward. If it fails, no one blames them for trying to give the guy one more chance and it’s not a cap-hit or anything. If it works, it probably gets Rex Ryan fired (if he’s not doomed already) and makes what is probably already the league’s best offense just a little more lethal.
Sometimes striking while the iron’s been a little cool can work too.