When one discusses the biggest flops in the history of the NFL, several names consistently rise to the top: Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell, and Tim Couch. The common theme amongst this group, you ask? All three were highly touted quarterbacks with remarkable college careers and abysmal professional stints.
And, after being selected as the 25th pick in the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos and lasting only 3 seasons in the NFL, Tim Tebow's name may join that list anytime soon.
At the time of his selection, many thought Tebow would be the quarterback which would redefine offensive and defensive schemes of football. Known for his toughness and running ability, Tebow had specific packages built around his dynamism. As the old saying goes, though, the proof is in the pudding. Unfortunately, Tebow was tapioca at best.
Because of his poor performance versus the media sensation which surrounded his short professional career, many people still use Tebow as the brunt of their jokes. Case in point: New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
Ryan had the (mis)fortune of coaching Tebow during his 2012 campaign. From the beginning, it was obvious Ryan wanted nothing to do with Tebow, and the stats show. During his time with the Jets, Tebow played in 12 games but only attempted 8 passes for 39 yards. His running stats were a bit better, but nothing to laud over: 32 carries and 102 yards with 0 touchdowns.
It was these numbers and his personal experience with the former Florida Gator which led Rex Ryan to lambaste Tebow during his recent conversation concerning the Jets's newly-acquired wide receiver, Eric Decker.
When asked if Decker was worth the money the Jets paid for him and if he would be able to put up similar numbers playing with second-year quarterback Geno Smith, Ryan tried to put the situation into perspective:
"He did catch eight touchdown passes when [Tim] Tebow was the quarterback. Hey, that's pretty impressive."
Whether the statement is more of an attempt to put-down Tebow or boost Decker is still to be debated. However, Ryan is not the only one guilty of perpetuating the continuance of Tebow's legacy despite the fact that he no longer plays the game.
Much attention has been given to Tebow, lately, through the use of comparisons.
The Browns have taken a unique approach to their rookie camp this season due to the precedent set by Tebow during his rookie campaign. When Cleveland selected Johnny Manziel in this year's NFL draft, they knew they were embracing a media firestorm. Instead of letting the circus come to town, the Browns decided to take the bull by the horns and banned the media from the rookie camp - all in an attempt to avoid the Tebow phenomenon.
Browns PR director told me: "We don't want this to be a Tebow situation. It's not going to be Johnny Football Mania out there."
— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) May 13, 2014
Tebow's personal life also left its own impact on the NFL. The craze "Tewbowing" first started as a parody of Tebow's touchdown gesture, in which he would get down on one knee and recreate an act of prayer. Tebow's intense Christian beliefs led many to publicly criticize the quarterback, stating that he should not be using his platform by which to proselytize.
This year, the first openly-gay college football player was selected in the NFL draft - Missouri's Michael Sam. Since revealing his sexuality, many have come to the support of Sam, praising him for his courage. Tebow fans, however, like to point out the double-standard of free speech in the NFL, citing the fact that while Tebow was criticized for his outward Christian actions, Sam is being bolstered and supported.
— Outsports (@outsports) May 21, 2014
What people are seemingly failing to realize is this: As long as people keep talking about Tebow, Tebow will continue to exist. If one would rather not hear news about the man, or derive comparisons to his brief, lackluster career, perhaps the collective mind should just erase his entry by forgetting him.
And, if society cannot accomplish that one simple task on its own, Tebow's new stint with the already defunct SEC Network will do the trick just fine.
Image via Wikimedia Commons