TEBOWMANIA TO THE BIG APPLE
By K. Woods
Coming off one of the more unlikely runs in NFL history (due to his skill set), Tim Tebow is now a member of the New York Jets. Tebow, who last season led the Denver Broncos to their first post season birth & win since 2005, was traded along with a seventh round draft pick to the Jets for a fourth and sixth round draft pick.
The trade has been met with mixed reaction from athletes, analysts, media outlets, and fans across the country. On one hand, there is the drama in Denver. It has been reported on numerous occasions that John Elway, the executive vice president for the Denver Broncos, has wanted to replace Tim Tebow as starting quarterback on numerous occasions. Elway got his guy as the Broncos acquired the four-time NFL MVP quarterback Peyton Manning through free agency. Manning, whom the Indianapolis Colts released several weeks ago after 13 seasons, signed a five-year contract worth $96 million last Tuesday.
Many speculated that Tebow would serve as a backup to Manning, who is coming off one of several neck surgeries over his career. Almost instantly after Manning’s arrival, Tebow’s services were available with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets being potential destinations. The Jets to many seemed like an unlikely destination, after they recently signed quarterback Drew Stanton to back up Mark Sanchez, the same Sanchez that they gave a 3-year contract extension to several weeks ago. Stanton, whom turned down several offers from other teams, requested a trade due to the acquisition of Tebow, and was traded to the Indianapolis Colts.
Tebow, who last season took over as starting quarterback, led the Broncos to a 7-4 run to end the season and a AFC wildcard playoff win over the favored Pittsburgh Steelers. With Tebow being open about his Christian beliefs, his defying the odds to win games in clutch moments, and his kneeling on down to pray which is being labeled and “Tebowing” by media outlets worldwide, Tebow has become one of the most intriguing figures in sports. This became very evident with the Jets having a press conference for a backup quarterback, taking this crowned “Tebowmania” to another level.
While he was a beloved figure in Denver, Tebow was excited about his opportunity in the Big Apple. “I’m so excited about being a Jet. … I’m looking forward to my time here in New York. I’m so humbled that they wanted me. … I’m looking forward to my future as a Jet,” said Tebow. The arrival of Tebow also puts pressure on Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez, who has led his Jets to two AFC Championship games in two out of the past three years, has been criticized for his inability to deliver in big game moments. Also, he has had a highly publicized dispute with his wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Tebow, who is lamented for his lack of skill set to play at the quarterback position, is revered for his ability to deliver in clutch situations, having several fourth quarter comeback last season, including a miracle throw in the AFC wildcard playoffs against the Steelers.
While it is not known how soon “Tebowmania” will take the field to lead this Jets, the clock has officially started, and Sanchez is no longer playing to win. He is now playing for his job.