Tim Tebow and the Jets: What could possibly go wrong?
By Tracee Hamilton,
So the Denver Broncos have sent quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets, which is akin to dropping the Christian among the lions. It would have been more merciful to send this particular Christian to those other Lions. Tebow in New York? There’s just something . . . off about that.
Tebow is already saying all the right things — he’s Tebowing, if you will — but I’m sure that somewhere deep down inside he’d like to send an Inedible Arrangement to Peyton Manning for putting this particular plan in motion. After listening to more hopefuls than “The Voice,” the quarterback without a team chose Denver, and John Elway, who never really bought into Tebowmania even after last season’s playoff win, saw his chance to jettison the fan favorite.
So Tebowmania becomes Timsanity, right, Jeremy Lin? Who better to ask? Lin is the former Flavor of the Month. (And future roomie? What a reality show that would be. I’m seeing a funky Soho loft, with Lin still on the couch, because he’s a couch guy. You’re welcome, “Hard Knocks”!)
“I’m just excited for him and to see what he does,” Lin said. “We’ll see what happens next year.”
We certainly will. What a wonderful way to put it.
After the Jets’ promising 2011 season ended without a playoff berth, some teammates criticized starter Mark Sanchez, off the record, saying he was lazy. Other teammates rushed to his defense, but clearly there was a rift in the locker room. Then the team made eyes at Manning before giving Sanchez a $40 million extension. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum said Wednesday night that “Mark Sanchez is, has been and will be our starting quarterback.” Those ringing endorsements are often anything but.
So it would hardly be surprising if Sanchez is confused about the signing of Tebow, who certainly would be more of a threat for the job than would be former backup Drew Stanton, who was signed to an extension last week and is now asking for a trade or release.
The Jets intend to use Tebow’s more mobile game to complement Sanchez’s less mobile game. That’s an interesting plan even if it stops right there, because rotating quarterbacks is not the usual route to the Super Bowl. (Sure, the Dolphins made it with that whole “Wood-strock” thing, but I’m not seeing Te-Chez working out so well.)
But it won’t stop there. Some New York fans have been impatient with Sanchez’s development, and it might not take many mistakes by the incumbent before Jets fans begin the “Te-bow, Te-bow” chants. After all, Tebow was basically foisted on Denver management by angry Broncos fans, and he took them to the playoffs. Sanchez and angry Jets fans watched the playoffs on TV, all the way to the Super Bowl, when that other New York team won the Lombardi Trophy.
People wonder if New York will change Tebow. I’d be surprised. Maybe Tebow will change New York. I’d be equally surprised. But it’ll be fun to watch each work on the other. New York isn’t used to the kind of trash talk Tebow laid on Sanchez after the deal went through: “I think we’ll have a great working relationship. We’ll have a great relationship off the field, and we’ve had that the last few years. He’s such a classy guy and handles himself so well, and I’ll be very honored to call him my teammate.”
That’s gotta smart.
The thing is, Tebow really means this stuff. Meantime, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and Jets legend Joe Namath — who relied on a little of that Tebow-style zazzle back in the day — couldn’t wait to criticize the move, although they were careful not to get personal. That was smart. They saw what happened in Denver.
Both sides should listen to NFL insider Elton John, the Ron Jaworski of his day, who says:
Hey, kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight’s hitting something
That’s been known to change the weather
The spotlight’s hitting something, all right, and it’s pointed directly at Ti-Ti-Ti-Timmy and the Jets. This should be all kinds of fun.
For Tracee Hamilton’s latest columns, go to washingtonpost.com/hamilton.