Common sense and Tebowmania are two strangers who have never met, and never will. They were separated quite some time ago, and lost in the vast chasm that exists between what the NFL audience wants to hear, and the truth. Since networks must cater to the former and not the latter to get paid, we’ve witnessed the acceleration of Tebowmania over the past year.
And that’s fine. We’re just as guilty as every other network, blog, and mother’s basement publication of cramming Tim Tebow into a nice compact little package, and jamming him down your throat relentlessly. You click, we write, and we get paid. Everybody wins.
But there’s a line somewhere. Oh it’s faint, but it’s there, and it separates responsible and ethical trolling from common sense. Last night NFL Films saw that line, picked it up, and destroyed it in their wood chipper.
Tebow was featured in a list that ranked the top 10 Heisman winners in league history. The purpose was to rank the performance of Heisman winners in the pros, and when the apples and oranges of players at different positions were blended together, here’s the list that was spit out:
1. Barry Sanders
2. Roger Staubach
3. O.J. Simpson
4. Paul Hornung
5. Charles Woodson
6. Tony Dorsett
7. Tim Tebow
8. Earl Campbell
9. Marcus Allen
10. Cam Newton
Absorb that for a moment. Let it wash over you, and then answer this question: how does Tebow belong on a list–any list, any list at all–only a short distance behind Barry Sanders and Roger Staubach, and ahead of Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen, and Cam Newton?
Tebow has started just 14 games–not even a full season–and he has a career completion percentage of 47.3, and a passer rating of 72.9. But hey, all he does is win, right?
Sure, unique circumstances led to his departure from Denver, but as far as this list is concerned that point is pretty worthless. If you’re better than Earl Campbell, and on a list with the only three players who were first overall draft picks as well as members of the Pro Football and College Football halls of fame (Campbell is one, and Simpson and Hornung are the other two), you better be a megastar. Sorry, but superstars who are ranked among the all-time greats of anything don’t become backups in their third season, and they’re definitely not used in punt coverage.
The only players on that list who aren’t in the Hall of Fame are the three who are still active, meaning Tebow is ranked ahead of two enshrined legends, and a quarterback who just demolished rookie passing records and became the first to throw for over 400 yards in his first two games.
The gap we assume that’s separating Tebow and Newton is the former Gator’s eight wins including the playoffs which he arbitrarily gets full and complete credit for, while the contributions of his defense and running game in Denver are completely disregarded. Newton won six games on a far inferior team.
So please, NFL Films, the next time you want to go ratings and/or website traffic hunting through the use of Tebow the troll king, just do something far more blatant, like post a picture of him getting a pedicure.