Trust me, Jacksonville – and everyone else who thinks this is bad idea, unfair or a waste of time.
It isn’t. Let it happen.
While far too many are up in arms about the possible return of Tim Tebow to the NFL, I say it’s a glorious thing. Perhaps it’s an understanding, from one aging athlete to another, that it’s hard to give up keeping score. Why should anyone tell Tim Tebow he needs to stop?
Sure, it’s a little hokey. A little gimmicky. A little ridiculous. To think a 33-year-old, former quarterback, who’s been out of football since 2015 – playing baseball all the while, no less – is making a comeback as a tight end? Smart money says it’s dumb. Won’t happen. Can’t happen.
Then again, it’s Tim Tebow.
I’m not sure why people are so angry about this. Is there some nepotism involved since Urban Meyer, Tebow’s coach while at Florida, is now in charge in Jacksonville? No doubt. There were 32 other teams who had no idea this was even an option while trying to fill out the depth chart at tight end. The argument that Tebow is potentially taking a spot from a young, aspiring, hard-working, still-in-his-prime undrafted free agent, isn’t necessarily inaccurate, but here’s a newsflash: If you think Tebow has no business, or not shot, making it in the NFL now, the kid he’s bumping really doesn’t have a shot. Besides, if there’s no nepotism or politics or backroom deals that take place all over the NFL, I’ll pick up 12 percent of Mike Boone’s new contract with the Denver Broncos.
Let’s be honest: If the same scenario played out with any other team and any other guy not named Tim Tebow, this would be a non-issue. You wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t be writing.
But when Tebow is involved, the story – and the man himself, to some extent – grow to mythical proportions.
In my entire life as a Broncos fan, which also happens to be my entire life, I’ve never been more instantly entertained by an athlete. I wasn’t a Tebow fan before, but it was impossible not to be wildly entertained while he occupied the job of signal caller for the Broncos. Notice I didn’t say “like” – although I did like him – I said “entertained.” The 2011 season was easily one of the most entertaining, magical, unpredictable rides any Broncos fan or beat writer has ever been on. Anyone who says otherwise wasn’t paying attention. Anyone who says the theatrics that played out during that season weren’t sustainable, well, they might be right.
But who cares?
Sometimes that gets lost in sports these days. Sports, especially the highest levels, are nothing more than entertainment. And Tim Tebow – love him or hate him – is entertaining (which is exactly why I’m writing this, as will be proven by the number of pageviews this article will ultimately generate). Sports are also a business. NFL owners are businessmen, and if you think for a moment that signing Tebow is a bad or unfair financial decision, remember, it’s the smart guys who own NFL franchises (not you). If you think Meyer just made this call willy-nillie, all on his own without consulting team owner Shad Khan, you’re wrong again. The Jaguars will make any money spent – if any is spent at all – on Tebow back tenfold. Every Tebow fan in the country owns a Broncos No. 15 jersey, and they’ll be first in line to grab a teal and black version as well.
I didn’t understand all the vitriol then, and I don’t understand it now. Tebow attempting a comeback, and Meyer allowing him – maybe even paying him – to do so hurts nobody. And don’t me give that “but the guy Jacksonville might have signed instead…” You don’t know him and certainly don’t care about him, then or now.
As Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel points out, the move might even help the Jaguars – even if Tebow never makes the roster. Meyer is a brand-new coach as far as the NFL is concerned, and Trevor Lawrence (the real story in J’Ville) enters the picture with the weight of the franchise on his shoulders. You don’t think the circus that follows Tebow can deflect some of the focus off of those two, perhaps allowing them to settle into the situation a little easier?
If Lawrence is the player everyone thinks he can be, there will be plenty of time and seasons to take football in Jacksonville very seriously. Now, the Jags are just a 1-15 team with a presumably brighter future. Still, they’re not headed to the next Super Bowl. Have some fun with this before the expectations are suffocating.
Also… What… If?
Tell me this wouldn’t be the story of all stories? Old Man Tebow completes the comeback, helping the ol’ ball coach and a young Trevor Lawrence along the way. Get it in your Netflix queue already.
From a lifelong follower of the Denver Broncos who witnessed Tebowmania firsthand, I’m telling you: The downside is minimal; the upside could be incredible.
The reality is that Tebow’s time has come and gone. The reality is that there are a good handful of tight ends, even the below-mediocre offering that already resides in Jacksonville, who are better than the bruising No. 15. The reality is that this will come and go long before the season starts. Doesn’t the NFL preseason need something worth watching anyway?
If Tebow’s time in Denver taught me anything, it’s that believing in a little magic now and then isn’t a bad thing. It most certainly can be a fun thing.
Sign Tim Tebow? Why not.
And stop being mad about it.