I think it’s pretty funny that the coach I said was overrated is the one who finally took my advice and signed the quarterback I thought was underrated.  With Kelly’s experience using the spread-option, this is definitely a good fit for Tebow.  Sam Bradford is constantly getting injured, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Tebow gets to play if he can make it through training camp.

The Eagles appear to be morphing into some kind of power-running spread offense.  But I do think they are making a lot of good moves this offseason.  Still, Kelly needs to win a playoff game before we can start anointing him as the next great gridiron genius. And that defense is still suspect.

Ok, this really is getting ridiculous.  I thought Tebow was an odd signing for New England.  He doesn’t really fit their system.  But, when a team is as loaded as they are, they can afford to experiment.

But what if there were a team that had signed a running quarterback, and was all geared up to run a read-option offense, but he was injured for week one?  And their backup was also injured for the rest of the season? And they were in a position where they were being forced to start an undrafted free-agent?

Wouldn’t it be worth it to give a quarterback with a playoff win and a 75.3 career rating a try?

(To be sung to the tune of the English sea song “Brave Benbow“)

Come all you football fans, and draw near, and draw near,

 Come all you football fans and draw near.

 It’s of a QB’s fame,

 O brave Tebow was his name,

 Why he will not start again,

 you shall hear, you shall hear.

Brave  Tebow he dropped back

 For to pass, for to pass

 Brave Tebow he dropped back for to pass.

 Brave Tebow he dropped back

 For to throw a speedy slant

 But, as you well know, he can’t

 Miss the grass, miss the grass.

 Said John Fox to his men:

 We will run, we will run

 Said John Fox to his men, we will run.

 For I value no disgrace,

 nor the losing of my place,

 But if we can get McGahee out in space,

 We’ll have won, we’ll have won.

 The marvelous Tebow  took the snap, took the snap

The marvelous Tebow  took the snap.

And when he did, he’d try to throw

To somebody on a “go”,

 To somebody on a “go”,

 Incomplete, incomplete!

 Brave Tebow to the Jets

 By a trade, by a trade

 Brave Tebow to the Jets by a trade.

 Brave Tebow to the Jets,

 And all his fans give Sermonettes:

 “Tebow by Elway’s camp

Was betrayed, was betrayed!”

Rex Ryan welcom’d him,

 Cries Tebow, cries Tebow

Rex Ryan welcom’d him, cries Tebow.

But they got him out of haste,

 And the Quarterback was placed

(While Mark Sanchez was disgraced)

On the bench, on the bench.

(more…)

To Whom It May Concern:

Well, here we are again. No playoffs, yet again.  Not even a winning record, yet again. Rebuilding, yet again.

I believed in 2010 that you ought to draft Tim Tebow. I also believed you should trade for him last year when Denver was trying to get rid of him.

It’s not like it can get any worse with him on the team, and his value will never be lower than it is right now.  Sure, he can’t throw a ball correctly.  But he has won a postseason game in the last decade, which is way more than can be said for our side.

Image via Wikipedia

“Gentlemen, this is a football.”  Thus did the famous coach Vince Lombardi supposedly begin every first team meeting of the season, while holding up same.   The point being, you always start off with the basics. However, I don’t know about the AIFA; some of their players might be seeing a football for the first time.

The other day, somebody got to this blog by searching for the terms “how would max weber view american football”. I don’t know if he was even thinking of the same Max Weber I’m so fond of, but regardless, I thought to myself: “Heck, I would like to read that article.”  So, here is a cursory attempt at writing it.

Of course, it’s hard to figure out the answer without a Ouija board and some arcane black magic.  And even then, it would probably only be something simplistic like “the competitiveness reflects the Protestant ethic” or “the Browns are 6 and 10 this year, best case.”

I’m not too familiar with his most famous writings about religion; I’ve mostly studied Weber’s contributions to political thought. Long-time readers probably remember his three types of authority:

  1. Charismatic authority
  2. Traditional authority
  3. Legal authority

Well, I suppose he’d think that coaches like Rex Ryan and players like Tim Tebow have charismatic authority, whereas coaches like Belichick and players like Ray Lewis rely on a sort of traditional authority–they have enjoyed a lot of success, so people are supposed to automatically respect them.  The equivalent to Legal authority is, well, the referees and the commissioner. (As the Saints are discovering.)

But this doesn’t tell us anything about the broader social phenomenon of football. Maybe Weber would note the similarity of the sport to religion.  After all, some fans follow it with the same zeal that people follow religions. They even collect artifacts and relics relating to the heroes of the sport.  And then, of course, there’s the ubiquitous Mr. Tebow. (I know I’m breaking my vow here. I’m sorry. But I promise you one thing: you will never see another blogger try as hard not to mention him as I will try the rest of the off-season.)

I once saw an NFL Films show about the Pittsburgh Steelers championship run in 2005.  It started off with this quasi-hymn or chant-like music that sounded religious and very eerie all at once. Imagine “Duel of the Fates“, only way creepier.  It seemed pretty serious for a bunch of football highlights.  But there are people who definitely see football as nearly as important. (Another Lombardi line, of which there are some variations: “All that matters is your God, your family and the Green Bay Packers”.)

Still, Weber studied religions as a way of highlighting differences in cultures and people’s philosophies.  The superficial resemblance of sports fanatics to religious fanatics is obviously more about the features of fanaticism than religion.  So we’re still at a dead end.

Let’s approach this from a different direction: we know that American football, though wildly popular in the United States, is not the number one sport in any other country. Perhaps the reasons for this are tied to “American exceptionalism”.  But this is more Tocqueville than it is Weber. (Where is that Ouija board?) And unfortunately, I cannot find much that Weber had to say about America.

So once again, I am frustrated.  I leave it to you, blogosphere and distinguished commenters, to sort this problem out.  What would Max Weber think of American football?

I, Mysterious Man, do solemnly swear that I will not write another post about Tim Tebow after this one until he does something of note on the gridiron. After the conclusion of this post, the name of this ridiculously over-hyped athlete shall not appear in these pages again until he performs some feat of either remarkable skill or ineptitude at the sport he is paid to play. I have already spent too much time writing about him, but I just had to say this.

While reading about the Tebow to New York trade, I have observed that people seem to feel one of two ways about him. Either they think he is a sanctimonious jerk with a cult of insane followers who is not fit to play professional football, or else they think he is a Great American and an inspiration to children everywhere whom John Elway and the liberal media have cruelly mistreated–dare I say “martyred”.

The anti-Tebow forces believe his fans will destroy the Jets by clamoring for him to play. The pro-Tebow people think he will win the starting job and go on to win 15 championships.

These views are both wrong. First, let me deal with the anti-Tebow group.

Yes, I think Tebow is sanctimonious. Yes, I think Tebow loves being a celebrity. He is not so different from guys like Chad Ochocinco or, to use a Jets example, “Broadway Joe” Namath, although he goes about building his brand in a different way. That’s my assessment of him, although I can’t be sure. I’ve never met the man.

But it doesn’t matter; I don’t want him to be my friend, I wanted him to play quarterback for my team. His personality isn’t that relevant.

People keep saying that his rabid fans demanding he play now will make Sanchez uncomfortable. So what? If Sanchez can’t play well enough to shut those people up, that’s his problem. And like I thought when my fellow Buffalo fans said Tebow’s apostles would put pressure on Fitzpatrick: the coaches make the decision; not the fans. Coaches are supposed to be smart enough to make decisions based on a calculation of what’s good for the team, not emotional stuff. The fans always want the backup quarterback to go in unless the starter is already an all-star. Coaches know to ignore that.

On the face of it, it looks like madness on Denver’s part to trade a second-year quarterback who turned a team around, won the division, and won a playoff game. The only reason people can excuse it is because Tebow has the most abysmally bad throwing motion that has been seen in the pro game in years. In terms of almost all other factors, he looks like a good prospect.

Personally, I would have rather had Tebow than Manning at quarterback. Obviously, Manning was once great, but he’s getting old and injury-prone. Tebow has a lot of potential and is still young.

As for you Tebow fans: quit acting like your hero has been punished and humiliated by the Denver organization. He’s being paid millions of dollars to play a sport and live in New York City. That’s not really a terribly bad situation for a young man starting out in his career. I am not feeling sorry for him. If anything, the Denver fans are who you should feel sorry for.

Furthermore, there is not a media conspiracy against him. I know many of you somehow believe he is being persecuted for his religion, but the fact is that he was endlessly hyped coming out of college. And if he is perhaps being unfairly criticized for his lousy throwing mechanics now, it’s only because nobody dared criticize him for it in college. I remember in the SEC title game in 2009, he threw one of his dreadful passes into the endzone, where a defender intercepted it. And his receiver was open on the play; it was entirely due to his inability to throw properly. But no one at the time said, “that was an awful pass”.

Tebow is a pretty good runner and a lousy passer who has the potential to become a pretty good starter. There have actually been lots of guys like that throughout the sport; it’s not that unusual. The rest is just kind of a proxy battle in the alleged culture war.

To whom it may concern:

I have followed this team for years, and I will continue to do so. In all my years of following, I have never seen you make even one playoff appearance. I remember all the attempts at rebuilding, the subsequent tearing down and rebuilding again.

I believed in 2010 that you ought to draft Tim Tebow. Instead, you drafted a running back who you almost never use. Whatever. But rejoice, for Fate has granted you a second chance! For some reason, John Elway doesn’t like Tebow, and is trying to get Peyton Manning or Brandon Weeden.

While I have long thought that Tebow is highly overrated as a quarterback, and the phony religious war that the press tries to create around him is quite tiresome, I nonetheless think he is exactly who the team needs.

This is because he has an indefinable quality–charisma, you might call it–that attracts attention. And attention is what you desperately need as a ball club. Nobody even talks about Buffalo, or if they do, it’s to talk about how lacking it is, both as a city and a place of sporting success.

So, that’s why you ought to trade for Tebow. Trade them the first-round pick if they want it. You probably were planning to use it on yet another running back, anyway. Or, even worse, some overrated wide-receiver. And if they still won’t make with the Chosen One, give them C.J. Spiller. He was effective at warming the bench behind Jackson, so he’s more than qualified to warm it behind Moreno.

It is true that Tim Tebow cannot throw a football correctly. (Personally, I have long suspected that he isn’t really left-handed.) But he has some sort of miraculous ability to excite people beyond reason, and besides that, he has a knack for winning in the 4th quarter, which is something that this team hasn’t had since Frank Reich left.

If Denver signs Manning, get Tebow. If they don’t sign Manning, get Tebow anyway, since they’ve demonstrated they don’t have faith in him. You say you’re committed to Fitzpatrick, but a little competition never hurt anyone. Well, except the loser, but do you really want to be a haven for losers?

Get Tebow. I don’t know if he’ll continue his habit of pulling out miraculous victories, but at least he’s theoretically capable of it. And even if he doesn’t, people will at least pay attention to the team again.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are the most admired man and woman, according to a Gallup poll. The “big news” to come out of this poll, however, was that Tim Tebow finished higher in the poll than the Dalai Lama did. (Is it even fair to choose the Dalai Lama? After all, my understanding is that, if what he believes is true, he has to behave the way he does, that “there ain’t no other way, baby, he was born that way”.)

Personally, while I think Obama is doing a great job as President, I can think of lots of people I admire more than him. I have trouble really admiring any politician, because all politicians must present a likeable facade, and so it’s hard to really know what the actual person is like. Basically, a politician’s job is to be admired, or else his or her career will flounder. In other words, they have an incentive to make themselves seem admirable. Maybe I’m just being foolish, but in my mind that sort of cheapens it.

That’s where charisma comes in, of course; making people feel like they really know someone even when they don’t. And Obama is a tremendously charismatic man.

As for Tebow’s ranking, well, to me that’s just inexplicable. He’s not a great quarterback, and it’s not like his story is that remarkable. I suppose he must have charisma, as well.

Me and a friend of mine were arguing about whether it was disrespectful of the Detroit player to imitate Tim Tebow’s “praying” gesture. (If you haven’t heard about it, you can read the details here.) I took the position that it was as legitimate a thing to do as any such celebration is. She argued it was disrespectful and rude.

Personally, with this sort of light-hearted taunting, I don’t think it’s wrong in the context of a football game. Obviously, you wouldn’t mock somebody’s religious practices in the course of daily life. But then, you wouldn’t run up and tackle someone in the course of daily life, either.

As you are all aware, Tim Tebow is in an anti-abortion ad that is set to air during the Super Bowl. This has sparked a vigorous debate over whether he has the right to be in this ad, or whether CBS should air ads with political messages at all, or if they should air other ones to be fair. Which debate you ought to have depends on who you talk to. 

It’s funny how people argue over things like “principles” and “rights”. I suspect both sides don’t give a damn about such abstract concepts except as they relate to helping them win the debate. Conservatives wouldn’t defend a pro-choice commercial on the grounds of “Free Speech”, and liberals wouldn’t oppose it on the grounds of “Bias”.

I don’t think the strategists for either side have principles–they just want to win. Framing the debate based on “principles” and “rights” is fine and dandy. But the important thing, to the people running the show, is who wins.