Why do people still believe in Tim Tebow?
The modern day conundrum that seems to peek its head out of the ground at least once a year like Punxsutawney Phil the ground hog, has decided to show its face again. I am talking about Tim Tebow. The former Denver Broncos quarterback is in the news again because of his recent decision to play baseball.
Unsurprisingly enough, the New York Mets signed him to a minor league contract. When this happened, my initial thought wasn’t ‘what,’ but rather a ‘why.’ Why do people still give Tim Tebow chances? It’s because they can’t accept the fact he can fail given his talent, and that he is a media goldmine.
To start, Tim Tebow is one of the greatest athletes and the greatest college football players I have ever seen. Don’t believe me? Look at the stats.
Throughout his four years at the University of Florida, Tebow threw for 9,286 yards, 85 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, adding 2,947 rushing yards and 57 rushing touchdowns. He holds five NCAA records, 14 SEC records and 28 University of Florida records. Wait, I am not done yet.
He also was a three time All-American, won two national championships, a two-time Heisman finalist and won the Heisman trophy as a sophomore in 2007: the youngest ever before Johnny Manziel won it in 2012.
The guy could literally do it all as a player; run like a running back while passing like a quarterback. No quarterback has had the complete package like he had. Yes, Cam Newton is skilled, but could you line him up at running back? Not really.
Yes, Michael Vick could run like a running back/wide receiver, but give him a 10 yard out route and he’ll sling the ball into the stands. At the time, Tebow looked like he could do both, and right there is where the problem lies.
People, including myself, wanted him to succeed because we never saw a guy like him before or since. We wanted him to dominate the pro game like he did the college game, and for a short time, he did.
We saw glimpses of what he could be and were disappointed when it didn’t last. A guy that talented and that skilled, how could he not succeed? However, there were teams and coaches out there that wanted to reverse that trend.
When I think of Tebow and the media, I compare it to fast food. Tebow is the burger to the public relations fast food restaurant.
He brings an exposure boost that is fast, easy and will nauseate you in a couple of hours. Look at the teams that attempted to turn him around. Josh McDaniels and the Broncos drafted him in the first round thinking they could correct Tebow’s faults. He was out of Denver and replaced by Peyton Manning in two years.
Rex Ryan and the Jets thought they could do it. Tebow would be gone by the end of the year. Next it was the Patriots and finally the Eagles. All of whom had their fair share of media hype and coverage.
Everywhere he went they ended up cutting him after finding he couldn’t play at the NFL level, and that the media circus wasn’t worth it. I would say the one aspect that made Tebow a success was whenever his face showed up, the team’s logo was right next to him.
Both would be plastered on the front page of every sports website and the headline on every sports networks’ T.V. feed. How much media exposure can a team get? Plenty as it turned out. If that’s what a team is looking for, then Tebow is worth the second chances.
Maybe the Mets organization thinks they can turn him into a baseball player or maybe the next Michael Jordan of baseball. I would guess the latter.
Daniel is a senior majoring in journalism. You can find all of Daniel’s columns at TNH’s website, tnhdigital.com. Daniel is a guest on the weekly sports radio show “Wildchats,” on 91.3 FM WUNH Durham. Follow Dan on Twitter @DanielEliasNH.