Pity Tim Tebow. Seriously

In the last month, Republican Presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann both bluntly invoked the name of Tim Tebow as a metaphor for their presidential aspirations. The argument was that, like Tebow, they are born-again warriors of Christ who will defy all expectations and achieve victory. Bachmann even cut an ad where a voice-over said,

“What do Tim Tebow and Michele Bachmann have in common? Well, at first glance, you might say nothing. But look a little deeper. The establishment sports guys just love to hate Tim Tebow. He's not smart enough, his mechanics are no good, he's not accurate enough. Still he just keeps winning. Maybe they're so invested in his failure because he makes them all feel guilty. He doesn't drink, smoke, cuss or even kick his opponents when they're on the ground. He has no baggage and, Oh Yeah, he's a Born again Christian. Well, the same could be said of Michele Bachmann. No baggage, Christian and, like Tebow, she just keeps fighting and she just keeps winning votes.”

Bachmann is now toast of course, dropping out of the primaries to the chagrin of comedians everywhere. As for Rick Perry, his campaign is over but no one seems to have informed him of this fact.

Bachmann and Perry couldn’t have picked a worse time to invoke the Tebow name. Coming off three straight losses, Tebow’s Broncos limp into the playoffs this weekend to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team with number one ranked defense in the country. The Steelers defensive front, to quote Jimi Hendrix, looks like they “stand up next to mountains and chop them down with the edge of their hands." They’re smart, brutal and ruthless. If Tim Tebow is Rick Perry, the Steelers are a combination of Occupy Wall Street, the Teamsters, and Brodus Clay. 

But the stakes are even higher than just a mere playoff game. If Tim Tebow doesn't play well, his quarterback career could be over. Seriously. Done. Finished. Over. This isn’t blind conjecture. It’s the discussion across the sports media landscape where there is open speculation that this weekend could be his last chance.

The reversal in fortune is simply stunning. The same Tim Tebow who led Denver to seven victories in eights games, revived a franchise, made the cover of Sports Illustratedwas mentioned as an MVP candidate, and inspired a nationally televised, hathos-drenched love-poem from NBC’s Bob Costas, is hanging onto his job by his fingernails, and for good reason.

In the last three weeks, Tebow has played the quarterback position about as poorly as it could be played.  He completed 30 passes in 73 attempts over three weeks for just 439 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions. As bad as those numbers are, they aren’t very different from the numbers Tebow put up all season. He ended the year with the 27th ranked quarterback in the NFL and an NFL worst completion percentage of 46.5%, only completing more than 52% of his passes once this season. In contrast, Drew Brees set an NFL record completing 71.2% of his passes and 18 starting quarterbacks completed at least 60% of their throws, In a pass-happy league, where every rule is bent to favor the quarterback, these numbers won’t work.

Broncos Team President, Hall of Fame quarterback, John Elway, long rumored to hate being saddled with Tebow, said on Wednesday, “The key thing for (Tebow) is to go out, put everything behind him, go through his progressions and pull the trigger.” That’s like saying, “The key for Dennis Rodman is to shoot three pointers.” It has to be read as Elway setting Tebow up for failure and frankly delighting in the prospect.

For Tebow’s own sake, fans need to stop thinking of him as an MVP mystic who “makes people believe.” The reality is different and honestly the reality isn’t that bad. He is a phenomenal athlete who can’t throw a football. Make him a running back. Make him a free safety. Put him on special teams. But put the Jesus/Tebow shirts away and be honest about his limitations.

It’s hard to not see a bit of Sarah Palin in Tebow. Both are physically attractive. Both have fervent supporters blind to their obvious shortcomings. Both, for a period, had the mainstream media cowed into treating them like they were in fact credible at their jobs. Both use a narrative of victimization to explain their success in the face of doubters. Both have inspired Internet trolls, on both sides, to new heights of evil creativity. One wore out her welcome. I hope Tebow doesn’t do the same and accepts that there is no shame in not being a quarterback.

This weekend Tebow is going to be fed to the Steelers, a unit that covets nothing less than his destruction. At long last he will be a victim, but not of “haters.” Instead he’ll be at the bottom of a pile of black and gold, victimized by the blind lust of his supporters and his own arrogant pride.

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The KEY Tebow Stat

Tebow's 7 victories during an 8 game stretch, can be explained by a single, revealing statistic. The combined records (at the end of this season) of the 7 teams he managed to beat, was a paltry 48-64. And none of the 7 qualified for the playoffs. The one loss came at the hands of the 10-6 Detroit Lions. In reality, all he did was beat a bunch of stiff clubs. Dave Z's right again, as a QB Tebow is mediocrity personified.

Tebow Fatigue

In a season where many a quarterbacking record has fallen, a bum like this simply has no business being a starter in this league, much less the topic of so much conversation.

Take the humiliation loss the Broncos suffered in the Lions game. Tebow was mauled and mocked on a mild sunny Denver day a couple months ago. Last Sunday, Matt Flynn stepped in for a benched Aaron Rodgers, and shredded that same Lions defense for 480 yards and 6TD. Flynn had an ailing offensive line to work with, no number one receiver Greg Jennings, and windy, snowy conditions to contend with.

If you're running the Broncos, you would be a fool to not pursue Flynn in a trade or if and when he becomes a free agent. I for one would like for my Seahawks to go after a gun slinger like this.

Sanchez sucks too!

As a long suffering Jets fan, I can say that Denver fans aren't the only ones with a lousy QB situation. Despite reaching the AFC title game in each of his 1st two seasons, Mark Sanchez, with a ton of help from an inept OC and increasingly incompetent head coach, has shown that he is not the "Franchize" Jet fans had hoped. I am one who has taken exception with those who said they reached those title games in spite of Sanchez, because he played exceptionally well in many of those games, including a brilliantly efficient game at New England last year. However, he has shown so little progress, and continues to make the same rookie mistakes time and time again. Making matters worse, they refuse to let him play to his strengths which, other than play action and throwing on the run, are sadly limited. Tim Tebow is clearly not a pro level QB and sadly I am not sure that Mark Sanchez is either.....That being said, Pittsburgh is going to throttle Tebow and the Broncos this weekend. Maybe next year Tebow can come to the Jets and be are new Brad Smith. We really missed him this year.

About time

David couldn't wait too write this article. I'm sure it was killing him that Tebow was winning. The Patriots haven't beaten a team above .500 all season. You can only beat the teams you play.

Tebow has been horrible these past few games but it's not like Elway is the backup. I think Denver needs to stick with him for one off season to see what they got. Supposedly he's very teachable and a quick learner. If he can't improve into next season they you can change him but you don't want to give up on his potential. He does show moments of brilliance it's just a matter of sustaining that over a whole game. Jamarcuss Russell got two seasons as a starter and never looked as good as Tebow. Alex Smith looked horrible until this season and now the 49ers are a top seed. You never know if a guy can pull through and improve over time.

Pure Creativity

To weave Palin, Tebow, and internet trolls into a web of "evil creativity" is pure genius on DZ's part. This clinches DZ as the most creative sportswriter in the USA if not the world. He's too good to be true(or correct for that matter).

Tebow....

Apparently Tebow gave greater meaning to "thats why they play the game" with his passing performance against the highly lauded Steelers D.

Excuses

So what's the reason sucks this week? What would a better QB had won the game without OT? He didn't pass for enough yards? It's not like the Steelers are division camps? Did the refs give him the calls because of...? What's the latest reason he should be benched?

I don't understand why he just doesn't go play safety? I mean he's such a good athlete. Am I right, Rush Zirin? I hope your last paragraph is satire based on the old prejudice of black QBs cause you sound as ridiculous as Limbaugh now.

I going to be betting against Tebow next week but I'm enjoying the ride while it lasts. Maybe if "haters" could get past their prejudices they'd enjoy the game that it is.

You let your politics get in the way of your judgement

Dave, there's more to football than hating players suspected of having republican sympathies. I'm sure if only Tebow spent his spare time spouting Black Pantherish slogans you'd be convinced that he was the 2nd coming of Joe Montana.

A little pity goes a long way

Since Dave mentioned "evil" in his column, I suggest that the only way to get rid of Tebowism is to have a exorcism performed on Dave. I'd pay to see that it's a win-win situation.

WOW!

All 2 is right on...."That is why they play the game." Give Tebow credit and don't take anything away from his accomplishments. Yes, Pittsburgh was all banged up, but injuries are part of the game. I still think Tebow is a long shot as far as making it as a successful pro QB, but long shot is a lot better than no shot which is what I was saying 3 months ago. His politics aside, of which I agree with DZ completely, Tebow has a lot of heart and is a fierce competitor who plays his best when the chips are down. I definitely didn't see them winning today as my earlier prediction of "Pittsburgh is going to throttle Tebow and the Broncos this weekend" was clearly a faulty one. Even if they lost, Tebow did enough to earn a shot as the starter next season. This may be a painful prospect for Elway, but winning is winning, and Tebow, for the most part, has done just that, and Elway has to love that. That being said I don't think I am exactly going out on a ledge when I say that the Patriots burst the pumpkin big time next week, but as ALL 2 said They still gotta play the game.

eatin' your words

Talk about "blind lust," look in the mirror sometime Dave.

Looks Like A One Week Stay Of Execution For Mr. Second Coming

So Second Coming of Jesus wasn't executed by the Evil Empire, much to the displeasure of its legion of Terrible Towel waiving followers.

Now onward to New England to take on the other Evil Empire of the NFL.

Tebow's flock obscures the real issues of discrimination in the NFL in the past and today. Nobody has ever been denied a position on a team because they were a devout Christian. Black quarterbacks are a different story, and it would take a hell of a lot more courage to come out as gay as a current NFL player than it would to "come out" as a Christian. I mean come on, every game ends with many players holding a prayer circle.

Dan, really, calm down

Dan, is that what it's about with you? The Black Panthers? Dude, they've been inactive for nearly a half century. (so called "New Black Panthers" are unaffiliated). So many different "isms" your right wing programmers have made you to be aware of since. Black athletes today pray after games and express about as many political views as the average slab of concrete. But if those afros and Black Pride of the '60s still have you shatting your pants every time a black player sounds remotely like John Carlos, suit yourself. I'm sure there's some medication for it. In the south I think it's moonshine.

@Rob Thomas

I'm not "shatting my pants" on account of the BPs who I know have been defunct since the early 70s. I was merely noting that DZ has demonstrated an extreme affinity for athletes who are tough talkin' bruthaz and a corresponding hatred for any sports figure that shows politically or religiously conservative inclinations, which clouds his ability to think rationally in his frequent hatchet jobs on Tim Tebow.

eatin' your words

Talk about "blind lust," look in the mirror sometime Dave.

And, Oh Yeah, By The Way Where Was The Cheap Holding Call Against Denver At The End?

Oh yeah, the Steelers weren't playing the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. So the league can give the opposing team here a fair chance at winning the game.

Timing

1. Putting this article together BEFORE the game took some stones. Love it.

2. Guess he pulled the trigger.

3. Tebow's had an amazing run (presumably it's over now that the Pats get a 2nd shot at him), and Fox ought to get more recognition for creating a game plan that plays to his strengths and gives the Broncos a chance.

I guess that article wouldn't be very interesting, but whatever his political views, he's MILES ahead of Bachman, Palin, Santorum, etc. in that he's actually accomplished objective things. Good for him - and at least (as far as we know) he isn't texting pictures of his junk to uninterested women just trying to do their jobs. I hoped we could be classier than the Fox folks.

Worst. Sports Prognosticator. Ever.

Rush Zirin, will you please break your "boycott" of college football and prognosticate LSU v. Alabama, so I can bet opposite?

Your opportunistic, political hackery is always wrong:

'Tim Tebow, Focus on the Family spokesperson, missionary, and anti-abortion crusader, found out yesterday that all the charisma, good looks, and athleticism in the world won't help you play quarterback in the NFL if you can't throw a football.' 'Tebow Exposed, 10/31/11'

-- Tebow promptly goes 4-1.

'You are what your record says you are, and Tim Tebow is 4-1.' 'Tebow Redeemed?, 11/22/11.'

--Tebow loses last 3 of the season.

'This weekend Tebow is going to be fed to the Steelers, a unit that covets nothing less than his destruction.' 'Pity Tim Tebow. Seriously., 1/6/12'

---Denver 29 - Pittsburgh 23.

Tim Tebow

Now, do you believe????

Dan, black people aren't going to hurt you

Dan, why shouldn't we have an affinity for tough talkin' brothas in sports? There's probably a total of 10 of them, in all American sports, where political speech is concerned. Most American black pro sports players keep duct tape around their mouth, and just shut up and play. And what's the thanks they get? They all get lumped in with T.O. and O.J. anyway. So they'd might as well speak up.

keep tebowing...

Tornado, you're going to learn the hard way next week that God loves Tom Brady, too.

Was Yesterday Easter Sunday?

It looks like Jesus has returned -- at least for a week.

Tebow

Once again the all mighty issue of race, class, white male dominance comes into play. Tim Tebow can't carry Vick's jockey strap, but once again the the jockey syndrome rules. For all those who haven't read $40 million dollar slaves. It could be GREAT BOOK TO START TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF RACE AND CLASS IN SPORTS. MUCH LOVE TO DAVE ZIRIN FOR KEEPING IT REAL... ON THE MOVE.... PEACE

To bess

And Vick couldn't hold Brady's jock strap. What's your point? Vick's been home for 2 weeks so he's irrelivant in these playoffs. The idea of athletes as slaves is ridiculous and really has nothing to do with whether Tebow should be playing QB or as a DB as DZ writes.

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Dave Zirin is the author of the book: "Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports" (Haymarket). You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by going to dave@edgeofsports.com.
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