I don't really know why I've neglected this blog for so long, there's just so much for me to talk about. But with the beginning of a new season in the NFL, I find interest in the plight - if that's what you want to call it - of the most popular football player not suiting up for an NFL team this season, your friend and mine Tim Tebow. Unless you've been under a rock for the last few months, our boy Teebs was cut from the New England Patriots on the last day of the preseason. Staying positive, Teebs tweeted that he'd remain in 'relentless pursuit' of his dream to be an NFL quarterback. But since his release, nobody's really been a-knocking at his door - at least not with the offer he wants. According to ESPN, several NFL clubs have offered him contracts that hinged upon him changing position from quarterback to say, tight end or fullback. He's been pursued by the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He even received a contract from the Los Angeles KISS (yes, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are part-owners) of the Arena Football League. And most intriguingly, USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville tweeted that Tebow should consider the oval ball over the pointed one, though no formal offer was actually made to him.
So what do we have here? Here's the facts. He's an amazing physical specimen. He's a proven winner. He's a man of unimpeachable character. But he also lacks the proper throwing mechanics and decision-making ability that an NFL quarterback absolutely must have, and this has been proven beyond any doubt. But as gifted an athlete as he is, he can learn. But if he truly wants the job he desires, as the old saying goes how does he get experience without a job, and how does he get a job without experience? He could take any of the offers that have been presented to him. He could switch positions. He could play in a lesser league. He could even switch codes and play the game that's the ancestor to American Football. So why not?
Because it's not what he wants, that's why. That whole 'relentless pursuit' thing. But when does relentless pursuit become a quest to assuage wounded pride, or to justify arrogance? What we do know about his brief NFL career is that when he had the chance, he did lead the Denver Broncos to the playoffs, even managed to win a playoff game in dramatic fashion. But he did it with a hastily retooled offense that played to his strengths as a runner, with few pass plays that didn't involve some sort of play-action to keep defenses close to the line of scrimmage. It's ironic that the read-option offense he ran in college is coming into vogue in the NFL, albeit run by quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, guys with far better passing and decision-making skills than Tebow possesses.
So what should he do? Where should he go? Since he won't switch positions, he probably won't be suiting up for an NFL team any time this season. The CFL's regular season is almost over, so I doubt he'll be making reservations at Joe Beef any time soon. And I really doubt that he'd even want to be in the same room as KISS - he probably thinks they're Satan worshipers. Which is a joke, because the only thing KISS worships is money.
And that leaves the offer not yet made, to represent his country as an Eagle of USA Rugby. And there is some precedent for a move like that. This winter the rugby world was fairly turned on its ear by a former Division III college running back-turned-Olympic sprinter named Carlin Isles, widely considered the fastest man to ever play rugby. Former Ohio State standout (and spectacular NFL flameout) Maurice Clarett is currently learning the intricacies of the oval-ball game with the Tiger Rugby Academy in Ohio with an eye towards playing for the USA in rugby's return to the Olympics in 2016. There have even been discussions between the NFL and Premier Rugby Ltd. (the company that operates England's top rugby competition, the Aviva Premiership) about the idea of training NFL washouts in rugby, with the goal being developing talent for a possible American professional rugby league. I think Tebow would make one hell of a scrumhalf.
What do you think?