Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Only In New York (Tebow Edition)

At least they let me keep my pants when they cut me.
In other cities, when the backup QB gets let go, there's a collective shrug.
In New York, it's "the Jets' worst move ever".
Safely removed from the possibility of actually playing in a game, Tim Tebow has once again acquired sainthood status as The Guy Who Never Got A Chance.
Never mind that his throwing motion looks like a T-rex trying to lay down a bunt.

Never mind that his winning streak in Denver was an illusion, a combination of terrible/wounded opponents and high altitude.
Never mind that when he did get opportunities, he generally blew them.
No, this has become an epic saga of horrors, the stuff generational nightmares are made of. Tebow's gone, and it's somehow the fault of coaches who failed to appreciate his brilliance or who had a vendetta against him or who didn't want to see him succeed because they loved Mark Sanchez so very, very much.
And that's why we're here: to remind everyone that they're releasing a little-used backup quarterback. Acquiring Tebow cost them some cash, along with 4th and 6th round picks. Looking at the Jets' draft history, they may in fact have been better off without those picks; otherwise, they might have spent them on another Bilal Powell or Marcus Henry. The money's about $5M over a couple of years; more than you or I have as pocket change, sure, but considering the Jets are about to take an $8+M cap hit this year by leaving Sanchez out with the curbside recyclables, it ain't that much, either. 
As for Tebow's performance, he was 6-8 passing, got sacked twice, and rushed for about 100 yards. He also wouldn't switch positions when asked to by the coaching staff, who recognized that a quarterback who can't throw isn't a quarterback. And while he may have created a back-page press frenzy that the typically hapless Jets could have used, by season's end the owner who said "You can never have too much Tebow" was claiming to job applicants that his previous GM had forced the guy on him. 
Other teams have cut minimally productive backup quarterbacks. Apart from Indianapolis, where Jim Sorgi had signed some sort of demonic blood pact to be Peyton Manning's clipboard holder in perpetuity, it happens all the time, without a lot of fuss. The Eagles have done it to Bobby Hoying, they've done it to Mike Kafka, hell, for a while it looked like they were releasing one Detmer brother per week. And the Jeff Blakes and Alex Van Pelts and so forths of the league pack up and move on because it's just what happens.
But the point is, it's no big deal. It happens everywhere, and it happens over and over again. And while it may be big news in the Sweet Valley High-like space that is the Jets media bubble that Tebow and the team have stopped following each other on Twitter (they also won't sit with each other at lunch in the cafeteria, and they're totally not inviting each other to their birthday parties), to the rest of the world - particularly on a day when Jason Collins makes some history - it's a blip on the radar, and that's all.
Tebow will go on to the CFL or the AFL or the motivational speaker circuit. The Jets will no doubt get other backup quarterbacks. They will make other mistakes bigger than this one - and anyone who thinks that this was the biggest blunder this franchise ever made needs a refresher course on the Rich Kotite era - and they will move on without the requirement for "O Fortuna" blaring in the background to emphasize how Very Important all this is.
So New York, relax. There will be other meaningless trades. There will be other lousy backup QBs. You will sign them, and you will moon over them when your starter sucks, and you will let them go.
And if you're really lucky, another one will go running shirtless in the rain.
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