We can argue about when Tim Tebow’s reign as the supreme overlord of all things NFL in New York officially became official. Maybe (and most likely) it was the moment his trade from Denver was confirmed. Maybe it was when he said “excited” or “exciting” 44 times during his first press conference as a Jet. Or maybe he was crowned Gotham’s king when the fine ladies of New York were offered $1 million to take his virginity. By 2012 standards, that’s Joan Harris money.
But you can have your more generic, mainstream New York Tebow moments as your peak. I’ll take the quite predictable yet still ridiculously absurd media coverage of his first OTA sessions with his new team.
Both the newly Tebowed Jets and the defending champions held OTA practices last Thursday. Since it was the first opportunity for the Jets media to form a deep pool of saliva around Tebow’s feet and watch him during an official practice, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tracked and compared the amount of black and white real estate given to New York’s other team (you know, the defending NFL champs) and Tebow in Friday’s paper.
The results? We thought it was impossible for Tebow coverage to surprise us. We were wrong. Very, very wrong.
I charted the coverage given the two events in the five major local papers Friday — the New York Times, Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and the (Bergen, N.J.) Record. You can predict the outcome.
Words devoted by the five major dailies to the Super Bowl champions losing their number one receiver, possibly for all of the offseason training and training camp, and perhaps threatening the start of his season: 2,104.
Words devoted by the five major dailies to Tebow’s first practice visible to the media: 6,971.
To review, the Giants (again, the defending champs, as if you need to be reminded) lost Hakeem Nicks during their first practice, and he’s a crucial piece of their offense and a possession safety value for Eli Manning. It didn’t matter, and the coverage of Tebow easily doubled up on the Giants.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Tebow has held a sports section captive. In the middle of last season Tebow’s name appeared on the Denver Post’s sports section 22 times.
We have no idea what it’s like to use Tebow’s name solely and blatantly to whore for pageviews and increase traffic. None at all.