REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
We all remember when Tebow got the chance to start and he won games. It was huge for the NFL and all reporters, analyst, talk show hosts, and even people who weren’t fans of the game were interested in the story. It was great public relations (PR) for the sport. But next year Tebow will be a Jet and he will not be the starting quarterback. No more front page stories for Tebow. The NBA got started late and forced into a condensed schedule and because of this injuries and players taking time off became the norm. What did we get to witness because of it? The involvement of Jeremy Lin. The Harvard graduate turned starting point guard that helped turn the New York Knicks season around when they were suffering from injuries to their star players. They needed a spark and it became Linsanity! It was great for the game and for the NBA. Trust me for any sports fan that basically leaves their TV on Sportcenter we enjoyed “Tebow Time” and “Linsanity” when it first started but soon enough it was the most over analyzed and most publicized pieces of work. It became annoying. I had to stop watching TV for awhile to get away from it. Now I see that Bryce Harper, a touted baseball prospect since he was 17, getting called up to the big leagues for the Washington Nationals. I know this is going to be the huge PR story for baseball for quite some time now.
A little background on Bryce Harper: Discovered his junior year in high school by the national audience when he showed amazing power and arm strength at a baseball camp. Scouts said he would be the #1 draft pick if he was eligible but he hadn’t graduated school yet. So what did he do? He dropped out of high school and got his GED and started taking classes at a community college in Las Vegas. After having a good year there he was eligible for the MLB draft and the Washington Nationals organization were happy to take him with the first pick. Harper has had only one year in the minors and the general manager believes in progressing players from single A to double A to the Triple A level before moving them up to the majors. The Nationals are struggling with injuries this year on their pro level teams and they wanted a power left handed bat. Enter Bryce Harper, who at the time was in double A, as he now is a 19 year old guy in the majors. It is so incredibly rare that a player ever makes it to the majors in his teenage years. Its impressive if a player at 21, 22, or 23 is playing and producing. Scouts believe players should be in the professional level by the time they’re 25. Their prime is between 27-32. Just to name a few players who did enter the majors in their teenage years: Ken Griffey Jr. Adrian Beltre, Jose Reyes, and I believe Alex Rodriguez as well. That is pretty damn good company! All have been all-stars and at least two of them will be hall of famers at this point in their careers. To say this won’t be a continued story over even the smallest moments is ludicrous. I’ve enjoyed following him and will continue to as well, but how long will it be until he’s being interviewed after ever game and every time he makes what the media considers a mistake? There is a 162 games in baseball. They better not ruin this for me by making him the next PR darling.
BY REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
The Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow need to win now. They need to find another unique way to beat the Patriots and advance. The fact that they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers is not that surprising. The Steelers did not have their starting running back for the regular season. They had a hobbled quarterback and the field general on defense, Ryan Clark ,was not available to play with a sickle cell trait that would leave him susceptible at such a high altitude of pressure. Was it not ironic that a blown coverage by the safety and corner back is the reason the Steelers lost?
Tim Tebow has been a great story for the National Football League (NFL). He has brought people who were not fans into the sport. He drew more attention for the semi-interested sports fans, and he gave even the hardcore fans something to critique and judge. NFL public relations personnel love Tebow. He has the wholesome package of a what the ideal person should be. Good natured church goer who says all the right things and thanks God in his interviews. He helps the image of the NFL player and not everyone being a steroid popping womanizer. The football analyst are split about 50/50 on him. Tebow is different. He does not have the normal size of a quarterback. He does not have quarterback mechanics either, but somehow he does enough to win games. Analyst love the stories but those who are not on the Tebow bandwagon often get their foot placed in their mouths about Tebow. Fans are often the same way with Tebow and are split right down the middle.
Now who deserves credit for the significance of Tebow? How do the Broncos win games? The Broncos win games by solid defense and running the ball. John Fox, the coach, has not received enough credit for all the work he has done. He has created an offense where Tebow can succeed. He has basically created a half college offense with a half pro style offense that keeps defenses guessing. He uses options and allows him to throw out of the shotgun. The pass plays they use are often middle to deep routes and with the size of Tebow if there are no receivers that are open he has enough space to run for yards. Tebow is the size of a linebacker. Arm tackles that normally can take down a quarterback do not work on Tebow. But the reason Tebow needs to win now is simple. An off-season of film and study of Tebow is going to hurt his game significantly. Remember the wildcat offense? It was great and unstoppable for about a season and a half. Then the teams figured it out and even those that didn’t copied those who had and now the wildcat offense is extinct.
Tebow needs to win now because the NFL has become the league of passing. With passing records being broken by quarterbacks this season and past most valuable player (MVP) awards who were quarterbacks wouldn’t be in the top three this season when it comes to quarterback numbers. The elite teams in the playoffs all have elite quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and even to a lesser Eli Manning are all the favorite team in the playoffs because even when their defenses struggle they are such good passers and game callers that they can score on every play they touch the ball. They all have won a championship as well. Tebow completes about half of his throws if he’s lucky. He is not an elite quarterback by any means. He is an athlete playing quarterback. If Tebow doesn’t get to the Superbowl this season the front office and John Elway have no problems drafting a new possible franchise quarterback. Tebow has done his best to get into the playoffs and advance so far but if he does not perform well or get his team to the Superbowl I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s holding a clipboard by 2013.