That’s right, that wasn’t a misprint.  Tim Tebow has taken Peyton Manning’s place. 

By now you’re probably wondering if I’ve been standing one step too close to that open bottle of model airplane glue (if that doesn’t give away my age, you’re never gonna figure it out)! 

Before you draw blood from scratching your head, let me explain.  For months, all we heard about was Peyton Manning, Peyton Manning, Peyton Manning.  Is he ever going to play football again?  Will he play for the Colts?  Who will he play for? 

Before the season ended, we heard the majority of coaches chime in about how they were committed to their current quarterback.  No one wanted to give away their position, just in case. 

We also heard from every expert out there, giving their opinion about what they believed was going to happen to Peyton.  Of course, most of those opinions changed daily, but we’re not supposed to notice things like that, so forget I mentioned it.  (I’m talking about the part about the experts’ opinions changing daily.  Forget that part, okay?  Whatever you do, don’t think about them changing their minds daily!) 

Then Manning parted ways with the Indianapolis organization, and the feeding frenzy began.  Both for the coaches & owners and the expert analysts. 

Within 24 hours, a dozen teams had made contact with Peyton’s ‘people’.  This included some of those teams that had made commitments to their current quarterbacks.  (You know who I’m talking about!) 

Meanwhile, the experts were going nuts, trying to sound like authorities when they really had no clue.  It was amazing to hear these guys spouting off about the “tone” of the meeting(s) that took place behind closed doors.  (By the way, they were on the same side of the door as the rest of us!) 

Every day, there was a new front-runner in the Manning race.  How ironic that the final choice made by Peyton himself was the first team that he visited.  Kind of tells you that he really had his mind made up all along, doesn’t it!  He just needed to work out the details. 

So Peyton signs with the Denver Broncos.  Bye-bye Tim Tebow.  John Elway was now officially the happiest man on Earth.  He was able to get rid of the quarterback that he did not want without upsetting the entire city of Denver.  And he obtained one of the greatest quarterbacks ever at the same time.  Life doesn’t get any better. 

Oh, there were some nasty responses, but they were to be expected.  Well most of them were.  I must admit, when a not-nearly-as-famous-as-he-used-to-be evangelist claimed that God was going to have Manning injured in order to punish the Broncos for getting rid of Mr. Tebow, I really had to do a double take.  I mean, really?  A so-called man of God calling for someone to get injured because a man who happens to pray more than most athletes was traded?  Hmmm, on second thought, I’d better stop commenting on that, or he may turn on me!  (The evangelist, not….well you know what I’m saying!) 

So off Tebow goes to New York, to live happier ever after.  Wait a minute. New York?  The Jets?  Didn’t they just give Mark Sanchez a new contract for five years, with the first two years guaranteed?  Why would they bring in a guy like Tim Tebow, knowing that he brings with him a huge following of ‘anything but bandwagon’ fans?  You just know that when Sanchez goes three and out on the first possession of the first home game, the chants for Tebow will begin.  What were the Jets thinking? 

And of course, the tabloids are all jumping in with both feet, trying to match Timmy boy up with the most available single women in New York, like they do with any sports celebrity that comes to town.  Have they not been paying attention? 

At the press conference that was held to announce Tebow’s arrival, both Tim and Mark said all of the correct things.  Tebow said “I just want to help this team anyway I can to win football games” and “Me and Mark have a great relationship.”  Sanchez responded with a statement that he is “not at all” threatened and Tebow is “here to help us”. 

Okay, so they can both read a script.  Great!  Behind closed doors, I’m not so sure about this love-fest.  But time will tell.  I’ll be patient.  Unlike the experts in the media. 

Tebow has now officially taken over the spotlight that Manning held only a week ago.  And it won’t end until next season is over.  Regardless of how much he plays or if he ever gets a start.  The media, and the Tebow fanatics, will not let this story die. 

As for the reason behind the Jets trading for Tebow?  The valley of the sun’s own Ron Wolfley (KTAR afternoons) summed it up best.  This trade wasn’t about Tebow nearly as much as it was about Sanchez. 

He has been coasting along, unchallenged for the starter’s job of this team.  He now must prove himself, not only in mini camps and pre-season, but every down of every game for the entire season.  If he steps up to the plate, he and the Jets will be better for it.  If he doesn’t, the Jets will cut ties with him in two years and move on. 

It’s a win-win for the Jets.  No other city in the country, with the possible exception of Los Angeles (if they had a football team) would be able to deal with the media circus, since New York deals with it all of the time. 

Which will ensure that the Tebow media storm will not die down any time soon!



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