Am I supposed to root for Tebow?
So a football player I’ve always enjoyed making fun of has joined the New England Patriots. And I’m wondering how to react. My question: Do I have to quit mocking Tim Tebow?
When I heard the Patriots had signed Tim Tebow, I groaned. Tim Tebow is not a good quarterback — why would I want him on my team? But then I became curious. Obviously, no one on the Patriots staff wants or even expects Tebow to play quarterback. That would be an indication that something truly terrible has happened — that Tom Brady is out with a season-ending injury, and his number one back-up, Ryan Mallett, is too. Ideally, Tebow won’t take a single snap during a regular season game this season. And there’s always chance he won’t even make the final roster. Even the Patriots’ players seem a little baffled about what Tebow brings to the team. “There’s a reason why he’s here,” tight end Aaron Hernandez said. “I actually don’t know the reason yet, but we’ll see.”
Another, more intriguing possibility, is that Patriots coach Bill Belichick finds uses for Tebow that don’t involve throwing a football. In an expletive-laden piece on Deadspin, writer Drew Magary berated Belichick for signing Tebow and extending the obnoxious phenomenon known as Tebowmania, while also acknowledging that he’s one of the few coaches who might be capable of maximizing Tebow’s limited skill set. “...you may be able to get something useful out of him,” Magary told Belichick. “Maybe you’ll move Tebow to tight end and he’ll flourish, and then we’ll all want to DIE.”
Maybe. Or maybe not. It’s tough to say. All I know is that I’m conflicted: I want to keep poking fun at Tim Tebow, but now that he’s a member of my team I feel like I should give him a chance. In the end, the Tebow signing is likely to be one of those high-profile yet inconsequential personnel moves — something fans will barely remember in a year or two from now, just as Jets fans have repressed their memories of Tebow’s one disastrous season with the Jets. (Magary rightly points out that another one of Belichick’s risky moves, signing the thuggish criminal Albert Haynesworth, wasn’t exactly a rousing success.)
For the time being, I see no reason to root for Tebow’s failure. If he can help the team, great. If not, the Patriots should get rid of him. As for whether I should quit mocking Tim Tebow, I’ve given it some thought, and I don’t think I can stop. He’s just too rich a target. If he succeeds, I’ll cheer for him. But I’ll probably make fun of him, too.
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