A week ago it seemed like the irritating soap opera starring Tim Tebow and the New York Jets had reached its conclusion. Greg McElroy was named the team’s new starter following their latest embarrassing loss. Mark Sanchez was relegated to the bench. Tebow was passed over for a promotion for the umpteenth time. The Jets were officially out of postseason contention. Everything seemed to have been tidily wrapped up.
When it came out that Tebow asked Rex Ryan to stop playing him in the wildcat, that bit of news was met with a ho-hum reaction from everyone not named Merril Hoge. Why should Tebow continue playing for a team that will inevitably cut him this summer, particularly when the head coach had made it abundantly clear that he didn’t want to use him?
Again, aside from the trolliest of ESPN trolls, nobody cared about this latest development.
Unfortunately the trolliest of ESPN trolls have a big microphone. And in an effort get themselves into the headlines, they decided to make a thing out of Tebow not wanting to participate in the Jets’ failed wildcat package anymore.
They ultimately made such a big stink out of it that Tebow had to come out and backtrack on what was a very understandably initial stance.
"For people to not know the situation and to bash your character and say you're a phony, you're a fake and you're a hypocrite, I think that's what's disappointing and that's what's frustrating," he said. "It's a football game. That's one thing, if you're good or bad at football, but your character and integrity, that's who you are as a man,” he told ESPN this week.
"That's a lot more important. That's what's disappointing for me and frustrating because I take that way more serious than I'll ever take a football game."
When asked about whether or not he demanded to be removed from the Jets’ wildcat package, Tebow said this:
"I never said, 'Hey, I don't want to do anything or I won't do anything. That wasn't the talk at all. He knows that and everybody on this team knows I would never not do something if I was asked.
"That's what's disappointing, people saying, 'You quit' or, 'You didn't do this.' That was not it at all. It was me asking to get an opportunity to play the position I love, which is quarterback. It wasn't me asking out of anything."
At the end of the day, this is the most manufactured controversy we’ve had in the NFL all season. After Rex Ryan passed him over again, Tebow likely went to his coach and told him that he didn’t want to participate in the circus freak formation that the Jets had been playing him in all year. Since Ryan didn’t really want to play Tebow anyway, he was likely relieved. There was no controversy at all until Hoge and his ragtag group of provocateurs decided to take a few shots at their favorite target over the matter.
Dumbest non-story of the year by far.