This is my favorite of the Sad Alex Smith at Super Bowl Media Day meme.
An interception becomes a touchdown even with a freaking review.
End the ref lockout now.
If not, someone is going to be severely hurt on the field this season.
The scabs have no control of the game at this level.
(GIF via The Big Lead.)
Jerry Jones probably wipes with $20 bills, so of course he has his own personal glasses-cleaner.
Sean Payton will be suspended for the year over the Saints’ bounty scandal. The Saints’ GM will be suspended eight games, although I wonder how that works if you’re not in an on-field capacity.
On one hand this is great because it seems Roger Goodell is a) punishing wrongdoing by coaches and executives just as seriously as he does players and b) you do not want to encourage such things as bounty programs.
The problem is that Goodell is trying to paper over the inherent brutality in the league. Explicit bounties are out of bounds, but the implicit ideal of doing your job by doing the most harm to the other person has always been around in the NFL — particularly with non-guaranteed salaries and the money at stake for the more average players. You can say it’s a no-win decision for Goodell, and it is, but it still reeks of hypocrisy and a desire to dig one’s head in the sand about the nature of the game.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching even though I shouldn’t be.
☛ The Year of Magical Stinking: An Oral History of Tebow Time - GQ
Rejoice, Denver Broncos fans.
Your true savior has revealed himself.
Pro: A competent, Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
Con: The Broncos could be just as in the lurch if his neck goes bad.
Super-con: I talked so much shit about Peyton for fun to my Colts-loving friend who idolized him over the years to tweak him that I’m probably going to get punched the next time I see him.
The headline alone is fantastic. Brady Quinn is catching serious flak for his comments and defending them by saying they were old and don’t reflect where he is now, but the problem is that they seem relatively accurate. The problem is that we don’t know whether Tim Tebow will actually be anything legit as an NFL quarterback until next season, when everyone’s had time to review the tape and he’s had a full off-season and training camp.
But Terrell Suggs isn’t wrong to wonder where the appreciation was for Cam Newton on a mass level, because a casual observer would have been forgiven for thinking Tebow actually had better numbers. Tebow, right now, is the beneficiary of an adoring public, a coaching staff willing to create an offensive philosophy around him, and a very good defense that broke down in the secondary.
The 2012 season is where Tebow will make or break his career, and he probably knows that and relishes it more than anyone.
The short answer: Jeremy Lin appears to be able to execute the basics of playing his position.
And I say that as someone who wants Tim Tebow to succeed so the Broncos do not have to spend another first or second round pick on a quarterback.
Also, 1.5 weeks of Lin is not a good sample size, particularly considering the opposition. (Strength of opposition was a similar slam on Tebow.) The only team the Knicks have played in that span that’s considered a decent one is the Lakers. But so far, so good.
Additionally, Lin has looked good for four quarters as opposed to fourth quarters and one playoff game for Tebow.
Never mind that Tebow was a highly recruited prep football star who went to a big-name BCS school, won one title as an essential component and a second as The Man. Jeremy Lin wasn’t even heavily recruited by his home state powerhouses or the tony private school in his hometown, mostly because he was hurt his junior year, but also because Trent Johnson signed another point guard while telling Lin and his family he had another spot open, which sent him to Harvard, who got him in on early acceptance. If you’re serious about hoops and want to be an Ivy Leaguer, you probably think Princeton before Harvard, although Tommy Amaker is working to change that.
Regarding the Christianity angle: Lin’s a serious believer (you’d have to be CCM-familiar to know his favorite musicians), but not in the way that differentiates him from most other professional athletes, many of whom are pretty devout (i.e., the very funny example of Mariano Rivera listening to Christian music and hymns in the context of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as his entrance music at Yankee Stadium). Tebow’s in a different category as an evangelical Christian and a missionary, and we can’t pretend it’s the same — he made himself a proselytizer and spreader of the “good news.”
My personal jury is out on Tebow being an NFL quarterback because I believe the lockout was the worst thing for his professional development. I want to see him in OTAs, training camp, etc. as The Man. I think the reason I’m sick of the Tebow fawning and not the Lin phenomenon at this point files down to a few things:
- if you follow CFB as well you’ve had a LOT of Tebow in your media life
- Tebow playing seemed more like fan pressure and demand for a guy they liked as opposed to actual football reasons
- the sports media willingly abandoned any sort of statistical understanding of what made Tebow work for the Broncos and went for the easy “the guy just wins.” Lin’s scoring 20+ for the first five/six games he played gives us something to hang our hat on, never mind the 13 assists he dished out tonight. With Tebow, we are being asked to take a, well, leap of faith, save the bravura performance against the Steelers.
- Tebow, for all his strength, agility, and other non-traditional attributes, seems like a throwback because of his arm accuracy, whereas Cam Newton (almost ironically?) is the harbinger of the quarterback future, obscured by a horrendous Carolina Panthers defense. Lin seems to fit in well, but maybe this is a moot point because NFL coaches are ridiculously conservative and Lin plays for Mike D’Antoni, whose emphasis on up-tempo offense tends to inflate PG stats.
These are just the things that grind my gears about the cheap, easy comparison narrative: so often, the support for these narratives is paper-thin and related to superficial ideals of “the underdog story” and the uncomfortable racial dynamics pro basketball and football traffic in as a matter of doing business.
“Three days before the draft, McDaniels had gone to Gainesville, telling no one, because he wanted to work out Tebow and talk football with him, to see how much he knew about offensive football — and to see if he might be worth a major investment of draft choices if that’s what it came down to get him.
“We spent about seven hours together,” McDaniels said. “Our offense is pretty complicated, and the terminology and the scheme is totally different from what he did at Florida. But about midway through my time there, we’re going through plays, and he starts using our terminology. He’s so smart about football that he was able to begin to speak my language and talk apples to apples. He’d already translated what he knew of our scheme into my words. There’re going to be doubts about him. Great doubts — and I understand that. Some people don’t think he has the natural traits of a great quarterback. Here’s what I think: Do Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods swing the club the same way, hit irons the same way? No. But they both win tournaments. There’s different ways to throw, different mechanics, and you can still get the job done.”
At the end of the conversation, McDaniels said he couldn’t wait to see Tebow throw the ball deep to Thomas. “He’s 6-foot-3, and a legit 4.3-second [in the 40-yard dash] guy. What a weapon he’s going to be. Wait ‘til our fans see these guys together.”
They did Sunday, in one of the greatest games the city’s ever hosted. Now, it’s clear that offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who has been important in Tebow’s development and has been a very smart play-caller and strategist, deserves a huge hand for his work this year. John Fox has been a smart head coach, because he has adjusted to Tebow’s style rather than forcing him to the play a straight pro style. But after what we witnessed on draft day 20 months ago, and the magic we saw Sunday, one question: Still hate Josh McDaniels, Denver?”
- Peter King
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: It’s more like I hate Pat Bowlen, because there was nothing wrong with the offense as presented that Mike Shanahan wasn’t able to get into the playoffs — Cutler to Marshall and Royal wasn’t a problem. The issue is and always had been defense — which Shanahan couldn’t draft for nor could he keep a decent coordinator for. Bowlen should have done two things at that point: hire a traditional general manager with real power, and then hire a defensive-minded coach (I wanted Rex Ryan) to fix what was broken. Instead, he handed all power to an untested offensive coordinator who couldn’t draft defense and alienated the crucial pieces in a system that was working. McDaniels’ arrogance in dealing with Cutler did not help matters, although Cutler was a brat — and his defensive drafting was just as poor as Shanahan’s, trading up to draft a safety in the 2nd round that didn’t even make the final roster and was dealt away! Dumervil will pan out, Robert Ayers might, but John Fox has to rebuild a defense. As an organizational whole, all that does not make up for the tragic mess that was McDaniels’ two seasons in Denver, and only God knows if Tim Tebow will ever throw a routine pass between 8-15 yards on time with the accuracy most NFL quarterbacks ever will. If he can’t (and there’s no excuse for him not to, because other so-called “running” or “option” QBs in college can, Cam Newton being the latest example), then Elway and Fox have to spend a first or second round pick on a quarterback and start again there.
Essentially, Peter King can blow it out his ass. Just because Tebow won a playoff game and did a fine job doing it doesn’t mean we’re content with his body of work as a starter to this point. I want him to succeed because that means the team does and does not have to use a draft pick to groom a starting QB. I think the lockout was the worst thing to happen to him as far as developing into an NFL QB; it denied him crucial practice reps and time. No matter how far the Broncos go short of a Super Bowl appearance, those questions need to be answered about Tebow. The best part of it is that Tim Tebow, like any other athlete with a fiercely competitive streak, wants to put the work in to answer those questions.