Tim Tebow is a media circus of the highest order, but his trade to the Jets is not a disastrous football move. Of course, it is not a great football move either. And Tim Tebow to the Jets is definitely not a move designed to push the Jets over the top in the AFC. But we already knew these things. So why is everyone freaking out about Tim Tebow to the Jets?
He will sell jerseys. He will sell season tickets, PSLs and luxury boxes. Again, nothing groundbreaking there. What is groundbreaking is that Tebow is a backup quarterback who can sell jerseys, PSLs and luxury boxes. He is a freak show without the primadonna baggage that generally accompanies the show. Any noise you hear about a quarterback controversy, however, is fiction of the worst kind: willfully ignorant. Mark Sanchez is the starting quarterback.
Try to find an article written by someone, anyone, that does not definitively point out that Tebow is nothing more than a backup quarterback, or some wildcat experiment. Obviously, we're still covering well-trod ground, here. So why the quarterback controversy? Why is adding depth to a position of need (What's up, Mark Brunell?) somehow a bad football move? Or more preposterously, when did adding a backup quarterback become a required move in achieving the ultimate goal—the Super Bowl? Not all roster moves will make a team drastically better, but they should not make it worse. From a football standpoint, this move fits the bill. For all the criticism of the trade, it's all done with a knowing wink: "none of this matters." These are media critiques masquerading as football analysis.
The same people (rightly, by the way) accusing the Jets of exploiting the lightning rod-ness of Tebowmania are guilty of just the same. No one, no one is trying to tell you that Tebow should be the Jets starting quarterback. But they will tell you there is a quarterback controversy, courtesy of the sportswriter's favorite stand-in for drummed up controversy: the fans. This, of course, ignores the larger (and potentially real) story that if the Jets replace Mark Sanchez with Tebow because fans are chanting his name, the Jets have bigger problems than trading a fourth and sixth round draft pick for Tim Tebow.
Trading for Tebow was a public relations move with huge upside and virtually no impact on the on-field performance of the New York Jets. It will be near impossible for Tim Tebow to make the Jets worse because he won't be the starting quarterback. Anything he gives them on the football field will be gravy. If he somehow makes Mark Sanchez a worse quarterback by his mere presence, then again, the Jets have bigger problems than Tim Tebow. Better to find out sooner than later.
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