Thursday, January 02, 2014

Wouldn't It Be Great If...

Skip Bayless: The Early Years
Sometimes Christmas comes a little late.

In this case, shortly after the holiday, ESPN announced they were hiring noted ex-fullback Tim Tebow as a football analyst. Tebow was available largely because A)ESPN, through the efforts of braying Mad Hatter lookalike Skip Bayless, turned him into a Name and B)he can't actually play quarterback in the NFL. Seriously, in a year when the Browns are mourning the loss of Brian Hoyer, the Bills start a guy from Duke, and John Kitna is on a roster for week 17, if your phone doesn't ring, it's probably never going to. 

How Tebow is going to be as an analyst, I have no idea. He comes across in interviews as a more religious Ryan Lochte. Not terrifically insightful, generally affable, and unlikely to provide anything that strays too far from the conventional cliches. I expect his contribution to the viewing experience to be minimal and anodyne.


There exists the tiniest possibility for delicious irony.

Before that last Cowboys game of the year, Bayless - who basically has been riding Tebow's back like he's Hodor the last couple of years - trolled Twitter by suggesting that it would be great if Dallas signed Tebow for that last game, emergency starter Kyle Orton got hurt and the 'pokes rode Tebow to a stunning victory. Never mind that the odds of this happening were smaller than that of a full-lineup Styx reunion or that prior to that, nobody had mentioned "Dallas" and "Tebow" in the same sentence except perhaps to say "Tim Tebow may end up flipping burgers in Dallas". The Cowboys, as noted previously, went with 57-year-old former 'poke John Kitna instead, Kyle Orton stayed on the field the entire game, and someone besides Tony Romo threw the game-sealing pick - all without any Tebow.

But in the interim, Twitter, predictably, went bananas because it is full of people who Have To Be Right About All Things At All Time and who don't understand the concept of "deadpan". Bayless got the attention he needed, Tebow popped back up on the country's radar right before ESPN signed him, and everyone was happy, except maybe Kitna. 

Wouldn't it be great, though, if Bayless suffered a sudden, crippling attack of laryngitis that made him unable to speak on camera. What if ESPN assigned Tebow to understudy his replacement? And what if his replacement got injured, possibly by having the soda machine Megatron turns into in that ESPN commercial fall on him, and Tebow came on the air and rescued Bayless' show such that next season, Tebow was made Bayless' replacement?

It could happen. And like Skip Bayless, we can dream.
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