DENVER - FILE: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts and quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos meet at midfield after the game at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. It was reported that Peyton Manning will sign as quarterback with the Denver Broncos, barring a snag during intensified contract negotiations according to sources March 19, 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
He was all the rage. Despite several other good story lines, he was the only one anyone wanted to talk about. It got so bad you could hardly turn on a sports show on the TV or radio without hearing his name mentioned ad nauseam. You know who I'm talking about. No, not Peyton Manning, I'm talking about Tim Tebow.
He was so popular Saturday Night Live wanted him to host a show even after they had just made fun of him. Tebowing became a bigger internet sensation than planking. His jersey became the number one selling jersey in the NFL even before he ever took a snap. But there was one problem. John Elway didn't like him. Maybe a better internet fad would be Elwaying.
Elwaying - The look of complete disgust John Elway gets every time he watches Tim Tebow throw the football. Best way to accomplish the look is to imagine you're watching someone eat their own feces or you're looking at Roseanne Bar naked.
You know you're in trouble when you take over a team that had managed only 4 wins in their previous 21 games, lead them to the second round of the playoffs, and the only guarantee you get is that you've earned the right to be named the starter at the beginning of training camp. That's like telling a fireman who just saved a family of 4 from a burning home that he's earned the right to keep his job for at least another week.
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I imagine Elway told Tebow after their season ended, "Hey, I really appreciate everything you've done for us. You got us to the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and for only the second time since..., well, since I was the QB of this team. You're definitely going to be named our starter at the beginning of training camp while I search high and low for a replacement that quite honestly doesn't make me throw up my in my mouth."
Of course it really wasn't that simple for Elway. The fans in Denver LOVE Tebow! He couldn't bench Tebow in favor of Brady Quinn. He couldn't bring in David Garrard, or Matt Hasselbeck, or Alex Smith and say they're going to be our new starter. The Broncos fans would crucify (pun intended) Elway if he did that.
But Peyton Manning, well that's a whole different story. You can't blame Elway for benching Tebow even if he did resurrect (again pun intended) the Broncos franchise if it's for Manning. In fact, it's really not fair to Tebow to make him sit three years or more behind Manning. In gratitude for what he's done the only fair thing to do would be to trade him to a team that would give Tebow a chance to start. It might mean the Broncos will be in need of a new QB again in a few years but it would be the only right thing to do.
All of a sudden, in one fell swoop, the Broncos have become the clear favorites in the AFC West, a Super Bowl contender, and Tebow is gone. Of course Tebow's not actually gone yet but you know it's only a matter of time. Elway couldn't have asked for a better excuse to get rid of Tebow without incurring the ire of Broncos nation.
So where will Tebow land? I'm sure there will be at least some tepid interest from several teams but the one place that seems to make the most sense is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tebow's from Jacksonville. He played his college ball just down the road and it might be the one NFL city were he's more beloved (again, pun intended) than Denver.
Blaine Gabbert looked downright horrible as a rookie last season. It's way too early to label him a bust but he didn't show very many flashes of brilliance. The Jaguars also have a hard time selling out their stadium. They got a new owner last year and rumors are rampant that they'll eventually relocate to Los Angeles. Bringing in Tebow would generate new interest and help sell tickets. He might be just what the city needs to save them from leaving.
"For Elway so loved Jacksonville that he sent them Tebow, so that everyone who bought tickets and watched him play would not be bored but would have everlasting football entertainment," or at least entertainment for as long as the game lasted. Once the game is over they'll have to find something else entertaining to do, which I'm told in Jacksonville is not that easy to find.
It's easy to be critical of Elway for showing such little faith (I can keep going all day with these) in Tebow after he kept finding ways to win last season, but in the long run this might be a blessing in disguise for Tebow assuming, of course, he ends up in Jacksonville. But you know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of Elway and Tebow.
But assuming Tebow does end up in Jacksonville, it could be the best thing for him. The fan base will be just as ardent supporters of him and he'll be playing for a team that actually wants him. For that matter, even if he goes somewhere else he'll still be playing for a team that wants him. Elway didn't draft Tebow and you got the feeling he viewed Tebow as an albatross around his neck.
In the end this might be the proverbial win-win situation for both the Broncos and Tebow. The Broncos are clearly winners by getting a huge upgrade at the QB position, and Tebow will win by going to a team that will support him. That is unless no one trades for him, he gets cut, and has to wander the earth like Cain. But something tells me his number one fan won't let that happen. After all, his number one fan Roger Goodell probably sees too much marketing potential in Tebow to allow that to happen.