Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Timmeh! And the Lord of the Underworld

Sometimes the jokes write themselves:

"You hear the Patriots signed Tim Tebow?"
"I thought they needed a running back."
"They just signed one."


On the surface, this looks like hilarity waiting to happen. God's Own Chosen Single-Wing QB under the tutelage of Satan Incarnate, the Hoodied Father Of Sex, Lies and Videotape. It's going to be a miracle if one or the other of them doesn't burst into flame the second they step on the practice field together.

The Patriots are masters of buying low and picking up devalued talent. Think T.O., think Wes Welker, you get the idea. It doesn't always work - see Albert Haynesworth - but that's the nice thing about buying on the cheap: mistakes are easy to walk away from. And make no mistake, Tebow came cheap. Nobody else wanted him, and the reason was brutally clear: Your third string QB should not be the center of attention in the locker room. Your third string QB should be shutting up and desperately trying to get good enough to someday be a second string QB, which Tebow wasn't doing, and whatever he could bring on the field wasn't worth the shenanigans off it. It's not because he's a Christian - any objective observer of the NFL will quickly get overwhelmed by the number of on-field prayer circles and post-touchdown gestures to Heaven and players calling themselves "blessed" and thanking God for the fact that the other team's nickel back tripped over his shoelaces when he should have been covering the slot receiver on a crossing route. Believe me, the last thing that's going to get anyone shut out of the NFL is being a Christian. Tebow got shuffled out of Denver and New York because, as a QB with a rotten throwing motion and bad recognition of coverages and play calls, he wasn't going to be able to produce enough to be worth the hassle.

But Belichick is the master of shutting down media circuses. And for all that he's a terrible QB, Tebow does have some football skills - he's big, athletic, and a good runner. So it makes sense for the Patriots to spend a couple of shekels to see if Brother Bill can deflect the sideshow long enough to extract some use from that talent. If he can, it'll be fascinating to watch. If he can't, then Timmy goes back on the scrap heap and Bill grabs a Trent Edwards or a Tony Pike off freebie table and plugs them into the experiment next.

And the people screaming that Timmy never got a chance to show what he can do, well, here's your litmus test. Bill Belichick would keep a trained seal on the roster if he thought it would help him win games. If he cuts Tebow, there's only one reason: Timmy couldn't hack it.

So buckle in and enjoy the ride. My gut feeling is that it's going to be a short one, but you never know. All we do know with this one is that it's going to be about the football.
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