Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Vaya con dios, Tim
With proper apologies to Vail Daily sports editor Chris Freud, it’s hard to let this one go without sharing a few thoughts.
After all the hoopla surrounding Tebow mania, the nationwide obsession with “Tebowing” in photos and videos, the amazing comebacks and the horrific meltdowns, I must admit I am happy to see Tim Tebow leaving on a Jet(s) plane to New York City.
I am not saying good riddance, because I truly like the guy (though in a strictly platonic manner, of course). He was a breath of fresh air last season for professional sports in general and the NFL in particular, and helped remind the typical sports fanatic that in the big scheme of things, football is still just a game.
A damned expensive and major league sport business wrapped around a kid’s game, but still a game nonetheless.
Nor can we forget that the NFL is certainly not a charity, either. It puts on charity events, and is itself very charitable, but it is in the business of making money first, winning championships second, and pleasing the fans third. You’re kidding yourselves if you think that order ever changes.
Team owner Pat Bowlen shook his Etch A Sketch with Tebow’s face and decided to draw a new picture, meaning the Broncos made a decision that they determined was best for the Broncos. Only time will tell if it was a Sputnik moment or a Dukakis moment.
We should know which by the first or second week in September.
Sure, Peyton Manning turned 36 last Saturday, but never forget that our previous messiah (the one named Elway) was 37 before winning his first of two Super Bowls.
Some are concerned about Manning’s play outdoors. While it’s true that his QB rating is about 9 percent lower in outdoor games throughout his career, his yards per game is higher, and his winning percentage is about even, so the point is relatively moot.
The Broncos play 15 outdoor games next season. If Manning has an Achilles’ heel (besides age), it’s that he does tend to struggle in extreme cold. But hey, every QB does (except perhaps Brady, but he annoys me in so many other ways I’m not going to mention it).
Peyton Manning could be the best thing that has ever happened to the Broncos since John Elway, or he could be the biggest bust since drafting Maurice Clarett (third round RB draft pick in 2005 who ran straight to prison for robbery instead of running a single down in the NFL).
Either way, Manning makes really entertaining TV commercials.
Would Peyton have had a better shot at another title if he had gone to, oh, let’s say, the 49ers? Yeah, probably, but who wants to spend the twilight of their NFL career stuck in cold, windy, wet San Fran when you can enjoy the Rocky Mountains instead?
As for Tim Tebow, I hope he challenges Mark Sanchez for the Jets starting QB job. He has nowhere near the arm, but he does possess passion for the game, devotion to his team and the admiration of teammates and fans alike. If anything, he’ll light a fire under Sanchez’s backside to get him back to the winning ways of his first two seasons.
And as for evangelist Pat Robertson and his remarks that if Manning gets hurt, then “it would serve them right” in reference to Denver, well, let’s just say his good Christian words speak for themselves.
Adios, Tim, it was (sporadically) fun while it lasted.
Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.