It’s been two and a half weeks and Tim Tebow is still without a job. He played in three of four New England preseason games, completing 11 of 30 passes for 145 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Below ordinary numbers. The Patriots released him on August 31, no other team made an offer, and Timmy is left adrift.
I’ve never figured out why so many people hate the Timster. I know for some it’s his football clumsiness. His throwing mechanics suck, therefore his accuracy sucks, and his footwork sucks. He doesn’t see the field as well as the other quarterback fellas.
And yet the guy was a Heisman Trophy winner at Florida, a first-round draft pick who led the 2011 Broncos on an incredible run to an AFC West title, and then beat the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild-card round. He won 8 of 13 starts. Before receiving his battlefield commission as starting quarterback, the Broncos were 1-4.
It’s undeniable he’s ugly to watch. Some would say painful. It’s also undeniable that he wins games. If not that, at least he played in the same game his team did when they won games. Some observers assume Tebow had something to do with the outcome.
And yet people hate him. Maybe it was the media-overkill-unto-disco-death. An avalanche of Tebow stories, way past wretched excess, well into mindless wretched excess. But, Tebow didn’t write those stories. Yes, he was a willing co-conspirator. When Tebow was with the Jets he was the only piñata backup QB in the NFL with his own media session. But, that’s what the media wanted.
And still, he rules. Last May — and this is after Tebow was booted out of Denver and then cut by the Jets — Forbes put out a list of America’s Most Influential Athletes. Tebow was Number 1.
Wearing his religion on his sleeve, face, and skull is off-putting to me. Football is a public game, selling tickets to the public, televised to the public, which means televised to Tebow Christians and also to Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, Jews, Episcopalians, Shiites, Zoroastrians, Wiccans, Scientologists, Taoists, Druids, Atheists, Agnostics, Sikhs, and Haven’t-Made-Up-My-Mind-Yets. It’s rude, I would say arrogant, to lay one’s religious beliefs onto strangers who have paid their money, not for religious instruction, but to watch a football game.
Saying that, in general, I have positive feelings about Tebow. I was pleased to read in Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) that Mr. Tebow has been offered a job as a starting quarterback on a playoff team, a team that’s going into the playoffs right now, to wit: the Moscow Black Storm. The Storm is set to play in the semifinal round of the American Football Championship of Russia. September 28 is the date. If Tebow can get himself to Moscow by game day, he’s in. Black Storm team owner Mikhail Zaltsman told RBTH, “We have offered him $1 million for two games [the semifinal game against the Moscow Patriots and then the championship game]. I talked with him personally, and he wanted to go.”
Certainly I believe Zaltsman will pony up the million bucks, even though the Russian league is still, shall we say, evolving. The league’s record crowd stands at 2000. No matter, those 2000 were rabid fans!
And make no mistake, this is American football. Team names include: Nizhny Novgorod Raiders, Nizhny Novgorod Broncos, Moscow Patriots, and, for old time’s sake, Izhevsk Steelworkers.
It won’t be easy. If Tebow signs on, he’ll be going against the above-mentioned Moscow Patriots, starring University of North Carolina’s legendary Bobby Rome as quarterback. Rome played fullback in college, but that was due to the blinding incompetence of his college coaches, time-serving athletic functionaries who could not grasp his natural quarterbackness.
RBTH asked the Patriots QB why the Moscow Black Storm needed Tim Tebow. Mr. Rome replied, “To stop Bobby Rome.”
Deal with it, Tebow.
According to RBTH, “Today, there are 19 teams from 13 cities participating in the Russian American Football Championships, and they actually come from all over Russia. Besides teams from Moscow and St. Petersburg, there are also teams from the Urals, where Russians first played American football, as well as clubs from the Volga region: Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Samara. The matches are held between April and August. Russia’s strongest teams are the Moscow Patrioty [Patriots] and the Black Storm...”
Tim, if you’re reading this, remember you’ve been through three NFL teams in three years. You’ve been offered employment in the CFL, Arena Football League, several rugby teams, even the Lingerie League. And now comes the Moscow Black Storm. You need to step back and consider what you’re doing. September is such a lovely month in Moscow.