So it looks like the NFL career of Tim Tebow is, for the foreseeable future, over.
Tebow, for those of you who were enjoying your Labor Day vacations and thus missed or forgot about the news, was cut by the New England Patriots on the final day of August. That announcement, one that wasn't all that surprising, elicited the expected reactions from football fans on Twitter and in the comments sections of online articles that arise whenever anything involving Tebow occurs. Some laughed. Some taunted Skip Bayless regarding the ESPN personality's man crush on the quarterback who currently can't find a new NFL home. There were also, of course, jabs made about Tebow's religious beliefs.
I've never understood the Tebow hate. Not from day one. I got that there were people who were sick of all the hype and of all of the coverage Tebow got on TV channels such as ESPN and NFL Network. Never did Tebow publicly seek out to be the main event of the US sports world, so much so that he was mentioned on ESPN 137 times in a two-hour period. The guy merely showed up for work on time every day, gave it his all out on the football field, and, oh yeah, he even managed to win a few games for the Denver Broncos and create some memorable highlights in the process.
Tebow likely doesn't have the goods to lead a winning NFL offense. You could say that about a lot of QBs who are currently in the league. No disrespect to these players, but I don't envision Blaine Gabbert or Alex Smith hoisting an MVP trophy anytime soon. Neither man elicits a fraction of the reaction Tebow gets from fans on a daily basis.
Point me to an instance during his brief NFL career when Tebow threw a teammate under the bus, to when he was in any way unprofessional, or to when he buried fans who verbally assaulted him either at stadiums or via the Internet. There are plenty of, to put it nicely, unlikeable individuals in American professional sports. In no way is Tebow close to being one of them.
The backlash Tebow has gotten about his Christianity has always been ridiculous. It may come as a shock to casual sports fans to learn that Tebow is hardly the only football player to proudly wear his religion on his sleeve. Justin Tuck of the New York Giants, for example, Tweets about Jesus/God/The Bible nearly every day that he sends out messages via the social networking service. I have yet to see anybody make a joke about Tuck healing the broken leg of teammate Andre Brown.
Sports fans, in general, are largely cynical and hypocrites. The love affair that ESPN and the Internet had with the QB at the height of “Tebow Mania” had everything to do with the fact that he attracted attention, page views and TV ratings. It didn't matter that people were complaining. They were still watching, reading and getting Tebow's name trending on Twitter.
In other words, the real people at fault for all of the Tebow hype was everybody who publicly lashed out against it.
Odds are that Tebow got exactly what he deserved when it comes to his playing in the NFL. His refusal to switch from quarterback to running back as did Michael Robinson after the former PSU QB graduated from college cost Tebow multiple jobs and potentially his NFL career. Tebow absolutely deserved better from the public, and that's why his being out of the league may not be the worst thing for him at this stage of his life.
Best of luck in the CFL, Tim, if that's the road you choose to take.