This is the first time that I’ve written about Tim Tebow since the day after the Patriots signed him, and honestly, that’s because I hate writing about Tim Tebow. I hate talking about Tim Tebow. I hate the whole Tim Tebow conversation. And I hate that New England spent the entire summer having it repeatedly jammed into its skull.
But you know what? I don’t hate Tim Tebow. I actually like him. You might even call me a fan. I genuinely hope that he succeeds. I legitimately enjoy the insanity of watching him play football. I believe that if given the right opportunity that he can make it as an NFL quarterback.
I don’t care about Tebow’s religion. Even though religion is the No. 1 reason that he’s such a controversial figure, I don’t think Tebow’s trying to be controversial. I don’t think he’s asking for all this attention. I think he’s just honest and wants to play football. It’s the rest of the world (on both sides of the spectrum) that can’t handle it. I think the people who only hate him because of his faith and the people who only like him because of his faith are equally ridiculous.
“It’s a blessing. I just thank God for using me the way he has and blessing me the way he has. I’m just very humbled.”
Remember when Tebow said that one?
You don’t? Good. Because that was Matthew Slater last Tuesday after receiving the Patriots annual Ron Burton Award. What’s the difference between that and anything Tebow says? (OK, fine. There’s no “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Could that one phrase be the source of all of this?)
Either way, as a sports fan, I try my best to live with under a Separation of Church and Sports. Not on the playing field, but in my brain. If a guy believes in God and likes to talk about believing in God, then fine, whatever. If he chooses to believe quietly, that’s fine. I wouldn’t care if someone came out and said they don’t believe in God. Big deal. They can believe what they want. We can all believe what we want.
Point is that it should be (and is) possible to root for Tim Tebow without rooting for Christianity. It should be (and is) possible to think Tebow stinks as a player without thinking that he stinks as a person. It should be (and is) possible to share the same devout faith as Tebow, and recognized that his arm is made of silly string.
Oh, right. So he’s a miserable passer. Accuracy is not high on the list of his attributes. That said, Tim Tebow deserves another chance. When you look at all the horrible quarterback situations around the league, it’s crazy that not one would be willing to even roll the dice. Any other quarterback who achieved what Tebow did in 2011 would have already gotten that chance. At least one chance. And I mean a real chance. New York doesn’t count because Rex Ryan clearly had no intention of starting him. And this summer doesn’t count because he’s in camp with Tom Brady.
Now, it’s one thing if the Pats planned on using Tebow in some capacity other than quarterback. Back when he signed, and everyone scrambled to make sense of it, there were rumors that he might play tight end or full back or protect on punts. But none of that panned out. It’s clear that Tebow was brought in to compete as a QB. Well, it’s pretty clear. In retrospect, you wonder if he was maybe brought in in a last ditch effort to save Aaron Hernandez. Or maybe it was just a ploy to win attention and stay relevant in the offseason? Or maybe Belichick was doing Josh McDaniels a favor? Or maybe he was doing Tebow a favor? After all, Belichick obviously loves the kid. Why not bring him in to camp, reap the benefits of his positive attitude, and give him a chance to audition for the league? Or maybe Bill was just curious? Maybe he wanted to spend the summer working with a pistol style QB so that he could better understand the best way to defend against it?
I don’t know. I don’t think anyone outside of Belichick’s cabinet knows exactly why Tim Tebow spent the summer in Foxborough.
But I hope he’s gone by the end of the weekend.
I’m sure Tebow is thankful for the opportunity, but he didn’t make the best of it, and truthfully, he needs a much bigger opportunity than this if he’s going to succeed. Right now, he’s better off as a free agent. It makes more sense to wait around for the next situation like Buffalo to arise (wouldn’t they have turned to Tebow before Matt Leinart and an undrafted rookie?) than it does to wait around for Brady and Ryan Mallett to get hurt.
And as for the Patriots, they don’t need him. They don’t need a third string quarterback. Not when that roster spot can be otherwise occupied by another linebacker or defensive lineman.
And as for the rest of us, it was fun while it lasted. It was miserable while it lasted. At the very least, we can say that we experienced TebowMania, even if it’s just the watered down and depressing version that exists today. But there’s no reason for the Pats to carry that into the regular season. And I’m not sure what a third string job does for Tebow’s career, either.
Ultimately, the decision only lies with one person. And far be it for anyone to get inside his head. For all we know, Belichick will keep Tebow on the team and have him in coverage on the opening kick off. He WILL be the starting tight end.
I WILL sprint to my computer and delete this column from the Internet.
But, for the sake of both Tim Tebow and the Patriots, I hope I don’t have to.