Posts Tagged ‘Tim Tebow’

Whatever happened to Jeremy Lin (and Tim Tebow)?

Clockwise: Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pokeman Cards, Hula Hoops

I first broached this topic a little more than a month ago in a post entitled Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow: Celebrating the Art of the Passing Fad. I did not expect they would have faded this far in just a few short weeks.

Here’s what happened to Jeremy Lin: the New York Knicks stopped winning. As soon as their injured superstars came back into the line-up, they went on a steep losing streak. Their coach got fired. The Lin phenomena ended abruptly. Poor kid not only had to deal with the harshness of the New York media spotlight, but, as a point guard, the quarterback of the Knick offense had to figure out how to divvy up the ball to keep all those superstar egos from having tizzy fits, lest they not get all their shots at glory. The Knicks are a mess. Lin deserves to be on a better team with less baggage and a media market with lower expectations.

Here’s what happened to Tim Tebow: Peyton Manning. The future hall-of-fame quarterback has decided he wants to go to Denver following his post-neck-injury release by the Indianapolis Colts. It didn’t take the mania long to focus on a new darling in the mile-high city.

Denver Post columnist, Woody Paige, pronounced it in his first sentence this afternoon:

Tebowmania ends. Manningmania begins.

And Paige concludes:

There is much to digest and assess in a short time, but the Broncos beat out all the spurned suitors and helped Manning find a new home. Tebow must find a new home of his own.
Tim Te-bye.
But mania goes on in Denver.
It has a new name attached.
Manningmadness. Peytonpassion. Horsepower.

Ah, already trying to coin the new phrase for the latest fad in Denver. And it’s been less than 12 hours since the Manning news broke.

Easy and obvious lesson, if you ask me. No one ever lives up to the hype. It’s not humanly possible. Take note, Mr. Manning.

Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow: Celebrating the Art of the Passing Fad

February 16, 2012 1 comment

“Wait,” you argue, “Jeremy Lin is a CURRENT fad.” Nope, sorry, this is a week old now. Like those 4-G phone commercials- it’s so “4.7 seconds ago.”

“B-but,” asks the casual sports fan, “I missed this whole Jeremy Lin thing- who is he?”

He was an undiscovered bench warmer born of Taiwanese parents, who kept getting cut by one basketball team after another, played starting point guard for Harvard just two years ago and then, depleted by injuries, the New York Knicks turned to him in desperation and all of a sudden in the past week he’s turned into one of the top scoring players in the NBA and has led a previously hapless basketball squad to 7 straight victories.

And he’s done all this in New York City, which I understand, is a town that contains a number of news organizations and media outlets.

The other thing you need to know about Jeremy Lin is that his name is fodder for pun-filled headlines by New York tabloids which are then picked up by other media organizations. Linsanity! Linsane! 7 Lins, No Losses! Linderella Story! Time magazine has actually already compiled a comprehensive list of bad Jeremy Lin puns entitled: “A Lesson in Lin-guistics.”

Do you see how one could tire so quickly of this phenomenon?

And we had just gotten over Tim Tebow, the last incarnation of an improbable sports hero. You remember how fast “Tebowing” caught on?

OMG—that was so six weeks ago. Tebowing, as we all know, was quickly replaced by Tom Brady-ing. The sad pose struck by a suddenly humiliated sports superstar.

But Good Lord, people, the Superbowl was, what, two weeks ago? We needed a new fad and quickly and- voila! Lin-sational! I know that doesn’t make sense…it doesn’t need to. Go with me here.

What we have accomplished today, ladies and gentlemen, is being one of the first web sites to officially declare itself tired of the Jeremy Lin miracle. That makes us as cutting edge as, say Gawker, or other similarly snarky web sites.

And we’re going to go further than that. The next fad coming down the pike? We’re tired of it already! It doesn’t matter that we don’t know what it is. It’s going to get overplayed and we’re all going to be sick of it, so I’m declaring that Garcia Media Life is tired of it before it even has a chance to rear its ugly head.

Explaining Tebow and the Broncos: The Physical and the Metaphysical

December 12, 2011 2 comments

Having watched the latest Tebow miracle against the Chicago Bears, I have come to the conclusion that resistance is futile.  There are physical and strategic ways to explain how the Broncos managed to win a game they trailed by ten points with 2 minutes to play, but the set of circumstances that had to all converge at once to make the latest miracle possible, are, depending on your point of view, either coincidental or metaphysical.  Cue up the Twilight Zone music please.

First, Tebow and the Broncos happened to get the Bears on the schedule at a time when Chicago was without both its starting quarterback and running back- out with injuries.  The Bear’s offense without these fellows is just ludicrously, absurdly wretched.  Still, the Bears measly ten points seemed to be enough because the Bronco’s offense was even worse. 

For roughly 58 minutes of the 60-minute game, and true to form during this miracle streak, Tebow and his offense were just horrible.  At one point he had 11 consecutive incomplete passes.  For the first three quarters, he completed only 3 of 16 passes for just 45 yards and an interception.  

And now we come to the other two factors that are just difficult to explain and those involve the bird-brained Chicago Bears.  Tebow finished the game completing 18 of 24 passes that wracked up 191 yards and a touchdown.  This has been happening game after game now in Denver’s improbable road to a 7 and 1 record in their last 8 games with Tebow at the helm.  Horrible stats for three quarters- amazing stats for the final one.

It’s actually not hard to explain.  The NFL has Tebow figured out.  He’s a young quarterback.  He does not have a quick release and he’s green enough that he doesn’t look at a lot of 2nd, 3rd and 4th receiver options.  He basically looks for one main receiver and if he’s not open- he runs.  And he runs well.  Built like a tight end, Tebow doesn’t do much sliding into the turf as most other quarterbacks do.  He runs into defenders and tries to bowl them over and often does.

What makes Tebow successful late in games is that NFL defenses abandon what’s worked against him for 3 quarters and begin to play soft.  With the Broncos perpetually behind, teams play a prevent defense against them, willing to allow yards as long as it’s time consuming and they don’t get into the end zone.  This is where Tebow excels.  For a great explanation of how this works, see this smart article by Steve von Horn, a contributor to SB Nation Chicago.

Why the Bears and other NFL teams continue to play a prevent defense against Tebow after seeing film of game after game in which he exploits it so well, is clueless but explainable.  It’s because they’ve been doing it for years and it usually works.  But von Horn speculates that the first team that plays Tebow in the 4th quarter the same way they’ve played him for the previous three will probably put an end to the Denver miracle.

Then there’s Marion Barber, the back-up Chicago running back who had played seven years in the NFL and apparently learned nothing.  With the Broncos out of time outs and Chicago trying to eat precious seconds, Barber inexplicably let himself get run out of bounds and it stopped the clock and gave Denver the time needed to launch their furious rally against the soft prevent defense.  This is elemental football strategy.  The very definition of running the clock out requires that you stay in bounds. 

And then as the Bears are in field goal range in overtime, Barber runs to Denver’s rescue yet again, failing to hold on to the ball and fumbling it away. 

Let’s not forget that Denver hit a 59-yard field goal to tie the game in regulation.  That’s like 4 yards shy of the all-time NFL record.  And then a 51-yarder to win it all in overtime.  In case you’re not familiar with the game, 50-yard+ field goals don’t come easily.

The fairy tale will come to an end one of these days.  Maybe next week against the New England Patriots.  But for right now, it’s a remarkable thing to watch.  Whatever your feelings about all the religion stuff and that an NFL player, who, say, thanked Allah instead of Jesus after every touchdown, would probably end up on a terrorist watch list – what this young man and his teammates have been accomplishing really is rather miraculous.   

When you break it down it’s sort of explainable.  But when you step back and look at the totality of these last 8 games and everything that’s had to go just right to pull off, among other things, not one, not two, but three overtime victories- you just have to sit back in wonder, shake your head and chuckle.  You may not see anything like this again for a long, long while.

Athletes and Religion: Seems to be Working for the Broncos

November 30, 2011 1 comment

Retired NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner, an active, devout and prominent Christian, recently advised Bronco quarterback sensation Tim Tebow to cool it with the religious rhetoric he uses quite publicly. I think this is a dangerous piece of advice that threatens Denver’s football season.

Why would you want to anger God when he has clearly climbed aboard your bandwagon and is actively rooting for you to get to the Super Bowl? Oh, there are lots of athletes who, after scoring a touchdown or making an interception, point their fingers toward the sky and thank God. But unless they play for the Denver Broncos, they are all sadly mistaken. Their particular great play was just coincidence.

As everyone knows, God became a fan of the Denver Broncos earlier in the season- in fact, six weeks ago. I have the press release:

PR Newswire
From: Heaven

Dear Media,

Having watched the young man when he played at the University of Florida, God noticed that Tim Tebow wore eye black referencing a passage from the Gospel of John from the New Testament. While God has never been fond of humans wearing religion on their sleeve, he is actually intrigued with the notion of wearing religion as eye black. Heaven is thusly, herewith announcing that the professional football team called the Denver Broncos, which has chosen Mr. Tebow to lead their offense, is God’s favorite football team for the 2011 season.

Kurt Warner argues that religion and faith in God is something you practice in daily life and that public pronouncements about it in connection with success on the football field alienates some fans and is something better kept in private. Please. When God officially endorses your team, I say you flaunt it.

If you were a political candidate and God came out in favor of you, would you not buy full-page ads in even godless publications like the New York Times? Of course you would.

It was Abraham Lincoln who once uttered the famous phrase: “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.” A fine piece of electoral humor, but seriously misguided. When you pass only 20 times a game and your completion percentage is less than 50%, clearly, God is all that is necessary to go 5-1 in your first six starts.

And if any further proof was necessary, have you checked out the Indianapolis Colts this year? They are 0-11. On their helmets, a horse shoe. That’s right- an advertisement for hooves. I think we know who’s rooting for those guys.