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Tebow: NFL’s Nowhere Man

Tebow: NFL’s Nowhere Man

I hope Tim Tebow finds a landing spot in the NFL, somewhere, anywhere, setting-up under center or testing out tight end, wearing Jacksonville teal or Green Bay green, it doesn’t matter.

Tim should be in the show.

Some folks look forward to the day when Tebow disappears altogether from the game.

Love the man or hate him (most find TT a curiosity), Tim moves the meter. He hasn’t been moving the chains for quite some time but when he does lace ‘em up and take the field there‘s always a storyline. And for someone who fancies himself a sportswriter, Tim’s food for thought, or as Martha Stewart used to purr, “a good thing (for scribblers).”

After being released (waived) by the Jets last Monday and going un-claimed for 24 hours, the former Heisman winner and 3-year NFL veteran turned vagabond is now free to fly wherever he chooses and gets clearance to land.

With no NFL team as yet publicly expressing interest in bringing the Gator great on board, the Canadian game with its wide-open play would seem the next best thing for an out-of-work gridiron man with Tim‘s credentials. But there’s a catch.

Only the Montreal Alouettes are empowered to contract with Tebow and have stated they have no interest presently in the NFL castoff (LA Times / “Tim” / 4-30 / Schilken). Maybe Timbo’s a “King of Queens“ fan (Canadian-born Doug Heffernan: “Nothing good ever happens in Montreal!”), because he’s expressed no desire to head north of the 49th and follow in the footsteps of NFL greats Joe Theismann, Warren Moon & Doug Flutie.  And Montreal’s a terrific town, should get another shot at MLB.

As expected, the lower tier circuits (Arena, Champions & Legends (Lingerie) leagues) wasted no time floating frivolous offers to Tim. Tebow still carries enough cachet to give booster shot to their respective spectacles but none has ponied-up more than chicken feed (Fox / “Report” / 5-2 / Whitmire).

So, it looks like the NFL has gotta’ find a place for Tim, otherwise it’s onto missionary work or the lucrative lecture circuit where LeRoy Butler found a second career. I see a $25,000 standard appearance fee in Tim‘s future, which figure will fluctuate, depending on the stand he opts for concerning openly-gay athletes.

An anonymous NFL Suit dropped the word “radioactive” recently in describing the effect Tebowmania would have on a ball-club. If true, it’s a bit hyperbolic but he might have a small point. Tim can be a spotlight-devouring black hole, his great popularity drawing-in any vibe that comes within range, like the gravitational pull of a collapsing star.

I feel kinda’ bad for the dude, as bad as you can feel for a Heisman winning, NCAA champion who’s spiritually centered and has a net worth somewhere around $25M.

I write that, even as I champion a different credo than Tim and reject his style of play.

In the spiritual realm, let‘s just say, allegorically speaking, I’m Spencer Tracy (Darrow) to Tim Tebow’s Frederick March (Bryan) (Inherit the Wind). Check it out.

Sportwise, the athleticism displayed by TT and other flash-QBs makes ‘em a big hit with kids & jersey-makers but its throwback style (single-wing tailback) also makes them aberrations. There are just too many bright minds with too many tools at their disposal today to allow single-pronged offensive attacks to succeed for long. That’s why you’ll likely never see another QB run wild like Col. Kaepernick did against Green Bay.

Rabbit at the first whiff of trouble, diss the art of defensive-read and refuse to weather the pocket storm, run-QB’s now the rage on campus where ‘Coach Don’t Teach,’ but is just another ball-hogging, oft-injured, playground star who’ll run out his string in the NFL.

General managers must bear equal blame with do-little college coaches who thrust the entire offensive playbook into the hands of one, run-around QB. This might’ve been a golden age for tight ends, d-backs and Percy Harvin-like wide-outs in the NFL. Instead, GMs & owners feed the fallacy that men like Tim Tebow and RG3 are NFL quarterbacks.

Be that as it may, ol’ Timbo got a raw deal in his brief NFL sojourn.

One of the biggest sport phenomena to ever come down the pike and the Jets pull a Newt, letting Tim “wither on the vine” in a ‘12 season which saw green & white go a pathetic 6-10 while desperately in need of a spark that never came. Mark Sanchez is a fine QB but when it didn’t happen by WK12 (blame to go around), it wasn’t GOING to happen.

Most observers peg Tim as passer-challenged. His pedestrian comp-% from Denver days bears out the assessment (47%). And it’s true, he had precious few suitors this time last year when cut lose by the Broncos and, if you believe John Elway, narrowed the field further in nixing a possible Jacksonville deal, apparently favoring the big-market & bright lights of the Big Apple. That‘s one Timbo might like back.

But it’s also fair to say that no (near) rookie QB, regardless of his stats, would’ve kept his job in Denver with a name like Manning on the open-market and a GM with a weakness for well-decorated field generals.

Once Tim hooked-up with the Jets, an organization that’s been drifting into disarray for two years now, his goose was pretty much cooked. What NYJ did to Tebow‘s momentum, a man with an 8-6, 1-1 (PS) record, was nothing short of shameful.

‘In for a penny, in for a pound’ must be a Midwestern thing as Jets’ owner Wood Johnson and Rex Ryan gave Tebow just under 30 plays in 16 games. Lin-sanity did better in one week on Houston time than Tebowmania did in a whole season with gang green.

Now Tebow is yesterday‘s newspaper: over-analyzed, pushed to the margin and a dated resume. He’s still got game and can enhance marketability if he’d stop clutching so tight to the ego-trip that is quarterback and go back to his original HS spot, tight-end. He’s built for the job, has receiver hands, a nose for the zone and enjoys contact. It’s a cinch.

But like all fleet-of-foot college signal-callers, Tim has the mistaken belief he’s a natural under center because…he likes to run (go figure) and any other spot is beneath his dignity: “with humility comes wisdom (Prov 11:2).”

It doesn’t take a giant leap of faith to see that Vick – RG3 would’ve excelled in the DB / WR / return-man slots and Tebow – Kaepernick (who needed a flare to find the end-zone in SB46 pre-blackout) are made in the TE mold. Stubborn is as stubborn does.

If this marks the end of Tebow’s NFL odyssey it’s gonna’ be an awful strange way to go out. Strange for a guy who performed admirably off the bench as a nay rookie, won a playoff game on a nice toss, got moved out less than a month later by a legend and then got buried on the sideline of team that was in full funk from the firing gun.

Ironically, it may’ve been the conservative NFL business agenda that did in religious conservative Tim Tebow‘s football career. It’s an agenda that knows exactly where the money’s coming from and then favors predictability over chance. Tim’s a tremendous curiosity for fans and media but has now been tagged, too chancy.

He is currently the NFL‘s biggest “Nowhere Man,” but Tim’s strong faith in himself and his deity will get him safely to the next competition, whatever and wherever that may be.

If you just remember this Beatles’ line, Tim, you‘ll be okay: “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!…la la how the life goes on. And if you want some fun, sing ob-la-di-bla-da.”

Steven Keys

NFL Hunch Line

Photo Credit:  Starlito, Tebow & L. Garrett / 11-1-2012 / / LG

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A native of the old Northwest Territory (IL), my wife and I have lived in four Midwestern states and Arizona. Today we live in Duluth, Georgia. I have a history / legal background.

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In response to “Tebow: NFL’s Nowhere Man”

  1. Steve Massey May 23 201311:27 am


    I completely agree that this would be a tragic end if Tim indeed has purchased a ticket to ride off into the NFL sunset. He did get a raw deal in Denver (understandably so) and in the Big Apple (inexplicably so).
    A distraction to say the least if he signs with a team that has QB issues, but a definitive asset at the gate as an H-back/wildcat project.
    Everyone loves the guy; I love him because of the passion he shows in everything he does, Christians, in general, love him because he stands for his faith and offers no apologies, atheists love to hate him. What’s not to love? I know J,P, G&R asserted that money can’t buy it, but right now it can be purchased for a song.
    San Diego could groom him to replace an aging and slowing Antonio Gates, KC is still looking to replace Gonzo after four seasons, and the Raiduhs haven’t had a legitimate star at tight-end since Todd Christianson (a converted fullback). The Broncos…well the Broncos had their shot. But that’s just one division.
    Although he’s qualified to explain the finer points of Gideon’s Bible to Rocky Raccoon and other less studied theologians, I would love to see him get another shot at the show.
    Do you want to know a secret? A day in the life of Tim Tebow can make you glad all over. While his agent frantically tells G.M.’s “We can work it out”, there’s a place for this boy (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
    As far as Canada goes, Montreal deserves another shot at MLB the way Jarry Park deserves a publicly funded upgrade, with all due respect to Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, the incomparable Bob Baily, and several other great players who did time there.
    Great piece, as always, from one of my favorite sportswriters…fancy or otherwise. (I’m glad you didn’t choose to be a paperback writer.)

    1. Steven Keys May 23 201310:07 pm


      “Todd Christianson?” That’s good. I had, at one point, considered listing him in my piece as example for Tim at tight-end. TC was terrific, maybe the best. If not in the HOF, should be. But I liked Todd best as color commentator alongside the great Charlie Jones, back when NBC was doing the AFC. Those were the days. I’ll bet they did a few Chargers’ games.

      You dropped in at the right time, Steve. I’ve been taking a lot of hits (most below the belt) in the Comment Wars. Oh brother. As Jimmy says: “(Steven) and (saberheads), kinda’ clash.”

      As for Tebow, life is a “Long and Winding Road.” But he’ll be fine, as long as he remains “The Happy Wanderer.” “Val-deri, val-dera, val-deri, val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.” I love that song.

      As for you, Mr. Massey, we need you back at PSB. Plenty of NFL news to delve into. Here, it’s becoming like, how shall I say, “Mario’s Pizza (Seinfeld / “We’re tankin’ here!”), but without “Frogger.” “Slippery Pete” would be a good blogger, right? Ribbit.

      Thanks for checking in, Steve. Hope all’s well. Liked the Beatles’ stuff. Did you know they had a song titled, “Sour Milk Sea?” What could George have been thinking?

  2. Dec 13 20151:44 pm


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