Tim Tebow Should Not be a Jet, by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis is the most loyal Jets fan I know. A former journalist, here he tees off on his team’s decision to sign the Lord and Savior, Tim Tebow. You can find his excellent blog here

It’s totally irrational. I’m 36 years old, I have a great life, a loving girlfriend, a terrific family, and so many good things around me.

And yet I allow myself to get completely worked up and pissed off because my favorite professional football team continues to do the stupidest things possible.
Seriously, it’s like they TRY to anger every single fan they have.
Let me start to discuss  the Jets acquiring of Tim Tebow in a trade by saying this: In three decades of being a fan, I have never been more frustrated and angry at the Jets than I was today.
Wasn’t this mad during the Kotite years. Wasn’t this mad during the ’86 playoff game with Cleveland, or the many, many late-season swoons.

I’m going to try to keep this rant as concise as possible: This is a terrible, terrible, terrible move for the Jets. For so many reasons.

First of all, let’s start with this: TIM TEBOW IS NOT A GOOD NFL QUARTERBACK. Seems to me that if you’re going to acquire a player as controversial as Tebow, you might want him to be kind of good. Tebow has terrible accuracy, a not-very strong arm, and has trouble completing simple passes.
Next, how about this: You just gave Mark Sanchez, your franchise QB, a huge new contract extension, telling him how wonderful he is, how you’re committed to him, yada yada yada.
Now you bring in a guy who, to millions of football fans, is a cult hero, a messiah-like figure. And as soon as Sanchez throws a few interceptions next season, you’re going to hear the drumbeat from the stands of “Te-bow!,” Te-bow!”

It will go on all season, and it will be loud, and it will be an enormous distraction. It’s going to make Sanchez feel awful, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is Tebow IS NOT AN UPGRADE. So even if they do pull Sanchez, things won’t get better.

Then there are these reasons to hate the deal: You gave away two draft picks for a guy who will only play 8-10 plays per game in the Wildcat, if things are going well; nobody runs the Wildcat effectively in the NFL anymore so even Tebow’s effectiveness there is in doubt; you’re adding a highly polarizing figure to a locker room that already has plenty, and just let me throw this out there, in total seriousness:

There’s a huge contingent of Jets fans who are Jewish. Do you think they’ll feel all warm and fuzzy about a high-profile Jets player who believes that all of us Members of the Tribe are going to hell? (A great tweet today from Parks and Recreation writer Michael Schnur: “Well, if there’s one place a crusading Christian and decidedly mediocre athlete should mesh perfectly with the local culture, it’s New York.”)

Ugh. I just hate this so much. This reeks of the Jets wanting to make headlines, steal some of the Giants’ thunder (here’s a way to steal their thunder: Win a Super Bowl!!!) and get people talking about them.
I don’t know who this franchise is anymore. They’re the pro sports equivalent of a dope fiend hanging out on the corner, doing anything to get their next high. When that one fades, got to get another one. Peyton Manning doesn’t want to play here? We’ll go get God’s quarterback!

It’s the middle of March. I really shouldn’t get this worked up over the Jets.
But I hate them right now, and everything they’ve become.

6 thoughts on “Tim Tebow Should Not be a Jet, by Michael Lewis”

  1. I think he’s probably overreacting a bit. If you look at it objectively, you would see:

    Tebow doesn’t have the classic skillset.
    He plays well under pressure.
    Is coachable.
    Is humble.
    Will be one of the hardest working players on the team.
    Has a history of earning and keeping the respect of his teammates.

    If you complain about wanting that type of person on your team, I think you are underestimating how much coaches appreciate and desire those types of players.

    He is the type of player GOOD coaches love.

  2. I completely disagree. I think it’s a brilliant move. They’re getting a QB who carried a crappy Denver team on his back into the playoffs. For a fourth-round pick. I repeat: a FOURTH-ROUND pick (they’re also swapping a sixth-rounder for a seventh-rounder — not giving up two picks). Not exactly breaking the bank here. And for that, a QB who showed he knew how to win.
    And he’s not coming in to throw the ball 30 times a game. Ideally, he’ll be used to mix things up on offense like they did with Brad Smith. Hell, he might even be more effective in short-yardage situations than Shonn friggin Greene has been. An inaccurate passer, yes (although his receivers in Denver were crap). A guy who rushed for more than 5 yards a carry, yes as well. Who cares if the fans chant “Te-bow”?! It’s Sanchez’s job to not let that happen. And if he sucks as bad as he did last year — and let’s face it, Sanchez really seemed to regress last year — then ya know what, he should head to the bench. What, you’d feel much better if the only other option to put back there is Brunell?! If Sanchez gets to the point where he needs to be pulled as starter, then that says the season is in the tank. For a fourth-round pick, they have a guy who was in that exact situation last year and still took his team to the playoffs. Hell, in his first year of getting considerable playing time, Tebow’s QB rating was just tad below a guy who started his third full NFL season.
    This team is all about distractions (see Rex’s Super Bowl predictions, Sanchez-Santonio, signing Burress, etc, etc, etc). Giving away a fourth-round pick for someone who can do some good on that team is worth it to me.

  3. So it’s OK for liberals to re-post a Christian basher?

    There’s a huge contingent of Jets fans who are Jewish. Do you think they’ll feel all warm and fuzzy about a high-profile Jets player who believes that all of us Members of the Tribe are going to hell? TEBOW NEVER SAID THIS!!!!!!!

    The author is making things up to inspire hatred against an athlete who is PROUD of his faith.

  4. Tebow brings something so many lack – Heart.
    There is a reason Denver won – Leadership.
    Players don’t slack off when your QB – Works Hard
    He may not have the skill set but he has other talents that raises the bar for everyone else.
    I think Manning is a great QB. He has many of those same talents and more, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Denver lost more games.

  5. Scott, good points made by you. Clayton, certainly there are admirable qualities about Tebow; I don’t personally dislike him much at all. I think he WILL be a good influence in the locker room. And I should not have brought religion into this, because that’s really besides the point.
    I just don’t see how this guy, on the football field, is going to help the team. And I think he’ll be a big distraction to a team that already has plenty.

    1. It’s hard to disagree with him being a distraction on a team that already has too many. Time will tell if the coaching staff can find a way to make use of what he brings to the table.

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