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The Nature of the Game: Tim Tebow


By Mark Freie

I remember watching Tim Tebow win the Heisman Trophy in 2007 as a sophomore for the Florida Gators. At that time, like many, I thought that Tebow would be one of the best stories to ever make it into the NFL. With his persistent work ethic, open faith, and personable attitude, it seemed that Tim Tebow had it all.

When Tebow was selected in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos many, including myself, were waiting to see just what this gunslinger from Florida could do amongst the most elite football players in the world. Although I am in no way a Denver Broncos fan, while watching the Broncos struggle with Kyle Orton throughout the 2010-2011 season, I hoped that eventually Tebow would be given the chance to show what he was made of.

Tebow finally got the call in 2011 when he started under center for Denver against the Miami Dolphins and rallied from a 15-0 deficit to win 18-15 in overtime. Throughout that 2011 season, Tebowmania had emerged across the United States. Through thrilling games and his on field fire to win, Tebow lead the Broncose to what many called a playoff upset in the playoffs over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the next week they would lose the following week the New England Patriots.

As the 2012 offseason began, the big news of that offseason was about Peyton Manning. When Manning was signed by the Broncos, many knew that in fact Tebow’s reign in Denver was over.

As the offseason unfolded, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets with the thought that he would be used in the famed wildcat formation and on special teams. However, it seemed that as soon as Tebow stepped foot into The Big Apple that the circus had entered town. As Mark Sanchez, the starting quarterback for the Jets, continued to struggle throughout the season, the Jets organization felt that Sanchez could turn his terrible play around, only to find out that it could only get worse (Google butt fumble for proof). Tim Tebow experienced little playing time in the 2012 season with the New York Jets as he only attempted 8 passes and rushed 32 times.

With the conclusion of the Jets season the question remained as to who would be the quarterback at the start of the 2013 season. On April 26, 2013 the Jets drafted Geno Smith from West Virginia putting the quarterback count to six on the Jets roster. Three days later, Tim Tebow was cut from the team, ending his tenure with the Jets.

The criticism of Tim Tebow is fairly obvious to people who have seen him play in the NFL. Tebows release is one of, if not, the slowest in the National Football League. With multiple attempts to fix throwing mechanics and suggested position changes, Tebow seems to remain a quarterback at heart. Another complaint about Tebow is inconsistency. In 2011 Tebow started 14 games and compiled a 72.9 quarterback rating, but at times looked hesitant in his decision making.

What the New York Jets did to Tim Tebow is downright sickening. The Jets seemed to use Tebow as a marketing ploy and not as a NFL player. If the Jets truly had no use for Tim Tebow to begin with, why did they even sign him? That question may never be answered, but NFL fans across the country should realize, the Jets had no regard for Tebow as a person, or a player. The timing of the Jets decision makes it almost impossible for Tebow to find a spot on a NFL roster.

Is this the nature of the game? Although Tebow may be inconsistent, his will to better himself and give 100% on and off the field to improve his game makes him a player worth having on your team. As a football fan, I hope that a team that a team with a little more class than the New York Jets can sign Tebow and mold him into the quarterback he knows he can be. Until then, I hope Tebow continues to strive in his faith and continues to pursue the game he loves.