By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) When the news leaked that New York Jets head coach and podophile Rex Ryan was benching quarterback Mark Sanchez in favor of Greg McElroy, the national reaction had little to do with speculation over whether or not Sanchez is capable of leading an NFL team in the future or begging the question of what exactly is a Greg McElroy. Nope. It was all about the besmirching of the Tim Tebow.
And the immediate reaction of awful schadenfreudistic jerks like me was to point and laugh and point out that Tebow got passed up for a Ginger and laugh. Laugh not so much at him but at his die-hard fans who just cannot fathom that he is not a competent NFL quarterback. See, while mildly annoyed at the whole “Tebow thing” when he was actually starting games and the Broncos were winning despite him, the whole media treatment of him as a Jet has demanded a byproduct of snark and sarcasm from bad guys like me because that’s what we do when we see something so screamingly stupid.
It’s to the point now where it becomes difficult to see where the well-placed hate for Tebowmania ends and the irrational hate for Tebow the actual guy begins. I don’t want to hate Tim Tebow the person—he seems like a nice enough guy who can’t control how the media treats him for just being himself, and I don’t believe he should conform to something “cooler” or wear a mask just because I think he’s a massive dork. But, as long as he exists on an NFL depth chart under “Quarterback,” the “Tebow thing” exists. And for the rational fan who understands that being nice guy doesn’t win football games nor merit the opportunity to do so, that just cannot be.
And I’d forgotten this at the time I was relishing in him not being named Jets starter. Then a bit of panic set in. By Ryan choosing McElroy he is giving credence to those who, rather than acknowledge the obvious, demand that Tebow be given the opportunity to prove his worthiness. Without concrete proof that he sucks at quarterback, these voices will never stop crying out into the ether.
So I’m with these insane people. I want Tebow to start for the Jets the final two games of the season. Because it’s the only way to kill the beast, the only way to silence the cries. He needs to be exposed with a defense that may not win games for him in spite of his poor play the way the 2011 Broncos did. I want people to pay attention to the man behind the curtain of perceived football goodness.
Ryan could possibly be fired at the end of this season. It would be quite noble of him to fall on the Tebow grenade before then by putting him on the field rather than allow the ambiguity of Tebow’s capability to fester further. NFL teams are not in the business of being haters or dismissive—despite what many a Tebow backer will say—and Ryan certainly wants to win these last two games. But if he’s aware that he’s not long for coaching the Jets (and GM Mike Tannenbaum could do him and us a solid by making that clearer, or if Tannenbaum is on the chopping block, too, owner Woody Johnson and/or President Neil Glat could help us instead), give the rabid fools their Tebow. And give me peace of mind.
But if Tebow doesn’t get significant snaps the next two Sundays—and even though Ryan has named McElroy the starter, McElroy certainly has the ability to add to the tire fire that is the Jets season and merit a midgame benching—he will go into the offseason requesting New York allow him an opportunity elsewhere. And Bristol will fan the flames all over again. And we’ll have to endure another offseason of The Tebow Love Connection, where last offseason we saw Tebow choose—choose, remember—to go to the Jets where he had less of a chance to play despite the shakiness of Sanchez than had he picked the Jacksonville Jaguars as a destination. The Jags will then be the most likely suitor for him again due to their pathetic QB situation and need for butts in seats, and if he lands there, he’ll fail miserably.
While you might think I’d be all for that, I know that his supporters will just make excuses for him in Jacksonville, saying mostly that it’s not his fault the Jags are a bad team. If not Jacksonville, at the very least some team will put him on its roster. He will exist as an NFL player in 2013. And the “Tebow thing” will go on.
No, he needs to be proven a false idol ASAP. He needs to solidify distaste in every league GM. He needs to be exiled abroad if he refuses to accept that his future is not behind center in the NFL. Go be Henry Burris. I’m totally cool with that. Or make gobs of cash having books ghostwritten for you and giving motivational speeches to others who are inspired by Quote of the Day calendars and make terrible social media profiles.
But that only happens if Tebow plays. This is the crossroads someone who hates the “Tebow thing” is at. I’ve accepted that.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.