Time to Tebow

I can’t understand the hatred spewed by many toward Tim Tebow. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact the guy is a winner. The religion thing also plays a role, but it shouldn’t. I believe the national media’s love-hate affair with Tebow – depending on the day – is to blame.

The alphabet sports networks constantly are overhyping anything to do with certain players (I’ll leave LeBron James out of this discussion), and Tebow always seems to be at the forefront.

Unless you’ve avoided the week’s rain by staying under that rock, anyone within earshot of a radio or television has heard the former Heisman Trophy-winning QB signed a free agent deal with the New England Patriots.

Then, the floodgates opened and “Tebowmania,” both good and bad, invaded our lives once again.

He made the front page, in some form, of newspapers across the land, but most notably in New York, Colorado, Florida and Massachusetts.

* The New York Post used the headline “Huh? Pats sign Tebow!!”

* (New York) Newsday used “Tebow the Patriot.”

* A headline from the The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, Col., read “Patriots’ Tebow: Real QB or still a mirage?”

* The Pueblo (Col.) Chieftain used a smiling headshot of Tebow with the headline “Patriot Games.”

* The Denver Post barely gave mention on its front, providing a teaser to a sports story with the header “Tebow’s chance” and mentioning him competing as a third-string QB. Bit of a dig, it seems.

* The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun played it straight with “Tim Tebow to sign with New England.” Not much love, it appears, from his college town.

* The News-Press out of Fort Myers, Fla., had “Tebow Time” along with a picture of him dropping back to pass.

* The Herald News of Fall River, Mass., used “Hello Tebow” with a subhead reading “Source says polarizing QB to sign with the Patriots.”

* The Metro out of Boston went with “Patriots stun NFL, reportedly sign Tebow.”

* “Patriots sign enigmatic Tebow” read The Boston Globe headline.

* And the Boston Herald made the announced signing its main news of the day with a “Tebowing” picture along with the headlines “It’s our Tebow Time” and “Good God!”

Sports radio, as well as those television “analysts,” also had their say. Some good. Some bad.

I heard the following during a sports update on 93-7 The Fan … Tebow “created more distractions than first downs” while with the New York Jets.

How is that?

(First let me use a sidebar: It annoys me to no end when those whose responsibility it is to supply a sports update on the radio interject opinion into the 30 seconds of radio that is purely supposed to be used to deliver facts. Give me the score and who did what and leave the opinion to those who are hired to provide it. Thanks readers for letting me spout off.)

I don’t mind Tebow as a QB, and I think he could win in the right scenario. Remember, though, I’m just some sports fan sitting behind a desk in ELO.

His numbers aren’t gaudy – 2,383 passing yards with 17 TDs passing while in Denver with another 887 yards and 12 scores rushing. But they aren’t horrible, either. Important thing is Tebow knows how to win.

Pittsburgh Stillers fans may remember Jan. 8, 2012, when Tebow led the Broncos to a surprising 29-23 overtime playoff victory against the Black and Gold. On that day, Tebow accounted for 316 passing yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and added another 50 yards and a score rushing the ball. The game ended when he hit some guy named Demaryius Thomas in stride for an 80-yard score.

Many Steelers this week said Tebow can play.

“He won some games, had some success,” veteran linebacker Larry Foote told (Pittsburgh) Tribune-Review. “We know it first-hand. I think he should be somewhere at least competing for a job. I think he’s earned that.”

Ike Taylor, the man Thomas and Tebow beat in that playoff game, told the newspaper “… As far as being a competitor, he’s one of the best competitors I’ve seen.”

Tebow, when called upon, attempted to perform his duties as quarterback for the New York Jets. He should be judged on that alone, But did he ever really get that chance? He only was given 8 opportunities to pass the ball, completing 6. And he ran the ball 32 times for 102 yards. No touchdowns. No turnovers.

Did the organization do itself any favors for bringing the circus to town? Of course not. The Jets knew what they were getting with Tebow, and perhaps they used him to take the New York media’s attention away from starter Mark Sanchez. But the Jets never really seemed to want to use Tebow, either.

It was the Jets who “created more distractions.” It wasn’t Tebow.

As far as the Patriots inking Tebow, it’s a far cry from anything resembling a publicity stunt. I hate to say it, but the Pats are good. Real good. They have no need for a QB. They have Tom Brady. And they don’t need the attention that a Tebow signing brings, so it tells me one thing – the New England brass sees something in Tebow it can utilize.

And as a Stillers’ fan and a New England hater, I don’t like that.

(Jim Mackey is managing editor of The Review. Reach him at jmackey@reviewonline.com)