Adam Gold

The Tim Tebow Circus

Posted May 3, 2013

When I was a kid, I used to love it when the circus came to town. The clowns, the white tigers, the cotton candy, the high-wire daredevils and the Flying Wallendas were all a part of my youth. Then I grew up and the smell hit me.

I mean, that is one aggressive, beastly odor, and it sticks with you long after you leave the arena. Later in life I discovered that the proprietors weren't always the nicest to the elephants, and it soured me even more.

Somewhere in there, there has to be a euphemism for what Tim Tebow brings to a football team, and even if they take the elephant out of the room, I'm not sure an NFL team is going to bite on giving him a third crack at making it in the league.

College and professional football look a lot alike to the untrained eye. They're both played on fields with identical dimensions (120 x 53.33 yards). Well, not in Canada. Their field is longer and wider, maybe because of all the wide open tundra. They're both beautifully green. Well, not in Boise, ID and Cheney, WA, where those universities have chosen blue and offensively bright red as the field color of choice.

But what I'm really getting at is that the games look the same. They both have 11 players on either side of the ball, both allow four downs to gain 10 yards and both use the same system of scoring – again, save for our friends to the north who favor one fewer down, one more player and include a "single," or "rouge," officially, when a ball is kicked or punted into the end zone without being brought out successfully. Seriously, it's confusing.

Maybe for the duration of this, we should just agree that all references to professional football will exclude thoughts of the Canadian Football League, where for several years two franchises used the nickname "Roughriders" in spite of the fact that the CFL contained fewer than half as many franchises as the National Football League.

Now, where were we before the distractions set in….? Oh, yeah, football. The college and pro games appear to be identical, but nothing could be further from the truth. Similarly to how much Trigonometry differs from Geometry. They're both maths, they're both "ometry" but the former is vastly more difficult than the latter much like the professional game is so much harder than college football.

That brings us to Tim Tebow. A great college football player. A winner. A leader. Everything you could ask for in a college quarterback of a national championship program. What Tebow did at the University of Florida was incredible. He led the Gators to the 2008 National Championship, won a Heisman Trophy and compiled a 35-6 record as a starting quarterback.

However, let's not act like Tebow invented the art of winning. Tommie Frazier did the same thing at Nebraska a decade earlier. Frazier led the Cornhuskers to a 33-3 record while their starting quarterback, overcoming injuries and illness to win a pair of national titles and four Big 8 championships. Along the way, Frazier was also chosen the bowl MVP three times and was named one of the Top Ten college players of the 20th century by Sport Magazine.

Before Tebow, Ohio State's Craig Krenzel was a great leader, bringing a national championship back to Columbus in one of his two years as a starting quarterback. He piloted the Buckeyes to a 25-2 record as a starter with the highlight being the BCS Title game upset of Miami – with the help of some friendly referees.

However, unlike Tebow, Frazier and Krenzel weren't first round draft picks. In fact, Frazier wasn't drafted at all. And though Frazier's professional career was derailed very early by Crohn's disease, his skills didn't necessarily translate to the style of football played in the NFL. Krenzel, drafted in the 5th round by the Bears, simply wasn't good enough.  Maybe they just didn't have enough of a fan following.  Even Andre Ware, who threw for 4,700 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior at Houston in the 1990s, was an NFL bust as a quarterback.

The games are just too different.

The coaching is better, the players are better and the schemes are far more sophisticated to simply assume that what you did on Saturday is going to automatically translate to Sunday. So when considering Tebow a "winner," understand that he didn't invent the concept.

It will forever remain a mystery that Tebow was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos. But it really was a testament to his character as a person and his confidence in himself that he was able to convince otherwise smart people that those qualities were more important than the ability to read NFL defenses and deliver the football accurately, and consistently enough, to be a successful starting quarterback.

Tebow has started 17 games in his NFL career. In those 17 games, he has a record of 10-7. While "winning" in nature, that is hardly eye-popping. In those 17 games, Tebow has completed more than 50 percent of his passes exactly three times.

Three.

Twenty five years ago, 50 percent was sort of an acceptable number. Today, even Mark Sanchez completes passes at a higher rate. Tebow just isn't good enough to be a quarterback in the NFL. It's also open for debate as to whether or not he can play another position effectively enough to help a team, but that's a discussion for another time.

Now, we finally get back to the circus which, to date, for Tim, has been both a blessing and a curse. So, much of Tebow's legend was due to the way he represented and shared his strong, Christian faith. He played hard, competed with intensity, represented his family and his university with class on and off the field and with an evangelical tint. He had followers that went way beyond the normal college football fans. Tebow was a movement more so than a mover of the chains.

All you need to know is that in spite of at least a dozen teams not being completely settled at the quarterback position heading into last season, none were willing to give Tebow a legitimate chance to compete for the starting job. Even the team Tebow took to the playoffs and led to a dramatic overtime win, the Broncos, were so aggressive in their pursuit of Peyton Manning you wonder what would have happened had Eli's brother chosen the 49ers instead.

Back under the big top, inside the three rings. The rabid fan following. The media crush. The ESPN-created, cottage industry of Te-bating, thanks to Skip Bayless, that struck a chord with his legion of followers. In the beginning, that was an asset to Tim.

Now Tebow is a distraction. In fact, he's treading in punchline waters in the wake of his release from the Jets last month when teams in the CFL and the Indoor Football League each offered him the chance to compete for a back-up position. In the case of the IFL's Omaha Beef, T-Bone clearly was not interested in "steaking" a claim to one of their "Grade A" roster spots.

Or maybe he just didn't need the $75 per game they were offering. Then came the latest insult, courtesy a Florida-based company that produces a protective covering for home windows in the path of severe storms. They offered Tebow $30,000 to spend an afternoon throwing footballs at their protective window covers so as to vouch for their security.

Tim Tebow's career as an NFL quarterback is almost certainly over. Even though he has now said publicly that he's willing to sit and learn behind an established star, you wonder if any team is going to run the risk of bringing Tebow into their locker room and willingly invite the potential chaos that is sure to follow.

It might not be Tim's fault, but it's hard to imagine any team inviting the circus to come to their house when there are probably a dozen players who have a better chance to play the single toughest position in sports.

And most of them were winners, too.

54 Comments

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  • unclegrits May 10, 12:21 p.m.

    The number of posts defending a 10-7 starter just proves why no NFL wants him. Why would any team want a QB that can't throw but brings a fanbase of irrational people that would want him to start regardless just because they like his values? The NFL is a business, and in business the best performing get rewarded, not the nicest.

  • quadrathlete May 6, 2:49 p.m.

    John Elway shipped Tim Tebow off because Tim was beginning to be more popular in Denver than Elway is now. Babadan

    Correct. Elway loves himself. He was an arrogant brat as a collage QB, Threatened to play for Yankees because he could not get on the NFL team he wanted, and certainly in his position now, with his new deep raspy voice that I can not stand to listen to, his head is bigger than ever. I guess to hold them choppers its gotta be big. I remember he could hardly leave the microphone to let Manning talk when they announced him coming to Denver.

    Talk all ya want, Tims 10-7 record , if it was it represented a regular season, would get his team in the playoffs. He has already won a playoff game. Fans were thrilled with him, folks buying his number and all. So, winning record, leader, exciting the fan base, winning, great in the locker room, bruiser on the field...oh yeah, did I mention winner?

  • sburks1906 May 6, 10:59 a.m.

    Please make the Tim Tebow circus stop. By the way, he should go to Jacksonville. Blaine Gabbert as the starter there? Really?
    http://theklowntimes.net/2013/04/29/tebow-should-take-his-talents-to-jacksonville/

  • JACKSONSAWYER IS SUPREME May 6, 9:59 a.m.

    He's done well for himself with the tools he was given. He hasn't embarassed himself or his... View More

    — Posted by Sarge

    I give the morning show a couple of minutes every morning, but it's usually pretty bad. Today's... View More

    — Posted by Hammerhead

    sometimes in the morning I Will watch while im getting dressed like it better when Mark is on. those 2 clowns in the afternoon have nothing of value that I want to listen to, David Glenn is such a all about me kind of twit

  • Hammerhead May 6, 8:40 a.m.

    He's done well for himself with the tools he was given. He hasn't embarassed himself or his... View More

    — Posted by Sarge

    I give the morning show a couple of minutes every morning, but it's usually pretty bad. Today's topic when I tuned in? Justin Timberlake.

  • JACKSONSAWYER IS SUPREME May 5, 6:58 p.m.

    This "Circus" is only the product and creation of the media, which includes Adam and... View More

    — Posted by PackFan1983

    you are so right, adam and joe are clowns they clown around hardly ever make a good sports point, too busy making jokes, they say there are other christian athletes but they play choir music when talking about Tebow mocking his religion, joe has a bad habit of mumbling under his breath, I mainly listen to Taylor Z in the afternoon,

  • PackFan1983 May 5, 6:43 p.m.

    This "Circus" is only the product and creation of the media, which includes Adam and Joe. Tim Tebow is a fine example of integrity, and Christian character. I doubt ANYONE else, including you omniscient ones in the media, would have handled the intense scrutiny, abuse, and baloney he has endured in several locker rooms across the NFL. He is a great person, far beyond what he does on the field, which is a rarity in the NFL today.

  • BattlingBishop 5 May 5, 9:10 a.m.

    "At the end of his college career, Tebow held 5 NCAA, 14 Southeastern Conference, and 28... View More

    — Posted by BattlingBishop 5

    I agree that he was a great college player. If he had any eligibility left, he would still be... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    SEC is far > than the Southern Conference....no comparison. Tebow did it against the best college football had to offer. Besides, the only part of his game that needs improving is his comp %.....the only way he can improve that & find his comfort zone is if he gets a legit. chance to play & adjust. He's a student of the game & I'm sure he'll figure things out if he plays without having to look over his shoulder. Armanti Edwards is no Tebow......

  • Ken D. May 5, 8:07 a.m.

    "At the end of his college career, Tebow held 5 NCAA, 14 Southeastern Conference, and 28... View More

    — Posted by BattlingBishop 5

    I agree that he was a great college player. If he had any eligibility left, he would still be racking up TD's. Amanti Edwards was a pretty good college QB as well. Just not suited to be a pro QB.

  • BattlingBishop 5 May 4, 9:52 p.m.

    "At the end of his college career, Tebow held 5 NCAA, 14 Southeastern Conference, and 28 University of Florida statistical records.[71] He was the SEC's all-time leader in career passing efficiency (170.8), completion percentage (67.1%), passing touchdown to interception ratio (5.5 to 1), rushing yards by a quarterback (2947), rushing touchdowns (any position) (57), and total touchdowns responsible for (145).[2][72] Among many mentions in the NCAA Division-I record book, Tebow is ranked second in career passing efficiency, third in career yards per attempt (9.33), 8th in career rushing touchdowns, and also owns the record for most consecutive games in which he both threw at least one touchdown pass and scored at least one rushing touchdown (14)." wiki

    I know he had a lousy career, played in a lousy conference (SEC), won a lousy Heisman, won a lousy NT, & won a lousy AFC West title in his only season as a starter....................but can he play? LOL

    Survey says......you bet!!!!

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