Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Booking a flight to the Big Apple on Air Tebow

Tebowmania is hitting the sporting goods stores of the East Coast already

Its been about a week since the New York Jets signed their new backup quarterback. Nothing unusual to report here officer, move along.

Backup quarterbacks are there to be an insurance policy, someone who gets mop-up snaps in a blowout, but most of all they are a portable piece of furniture, a two armed clipboard display stand.

If only that was the case in the Big Apple and the collective sports world could breathe out. Around the same time the Jets made their move the San Diego Chargers also signed, well re-signed, a backup quarterback too, the rather scruff looking Charlie Whitehurst.

Whitehurst's move received about as much interest in the sports world as 50p would annually in a current account. On the other hand the Jets decided the backup quarterback they would bring in would be the second most talked about player in the entire league, behind only Broncos new signal caller Peyton Manning.

Yep New York media and residents let me introduce you to none other than Tim Tebow.

With Peyton Manning moving to Denver the Broncos decided that the quarterback that had proverbially rose his team from the dead in 2011 all the way to the divisional playoffs, via an earth-shattering upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was now surplus to requirements.

Pretty much every expert, and for once I was in total agreement, thought the Jacksonville Jaguars would make a b-line towards the former Florida quarterback, national college champion and Heisman Trophy winner.

When the news broke that the New York Jets had signed Tebow I turned into a bonobo, looking bemused and scratching my head like I had some tropical fleas in my scalp hair.

This was the same New York Jets team that on March 9 THIS YEAR, signed their three-year veteran starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to a three-year extension that includes $20million in guaranteed money.

Forbes in fact reports that whilst Sanchez will not make any more money that he was expected to before signing the new contract, he is still due to make $11.75million in 2012 ($8m signing bonus, $3.25m contract and 500k off-season workout bonus).

Sanchez has already taken the Jets to two AFC Championship games (2009 and 2010) but due to lack of perceived growth on the pitch in 2011 was in a fragile enough condition, without Tebowmania casting a shadow on his starting role.

The Jets have used a 'specialist' wildcat quarterback to mix things up, in the form of WR/QB/Return man Brad Smith, but there was never a question that Smith was breathing hot under the collar of the former USC quarterback.

With Tebow in place Sanchez will be about as nervous as Mr Jelly on a Ghost Train.

With Jesus on your side and the old adage that 'the backup quarterback is only one bad pass away from being on the field' Tebow will be praying that he gets his chance to be more than some kind of goal-line or fourth-and-one specialist bulldozer.

The New York media have been spoilt rotten with the Giants winning two out of the last five Super Bowls. I'm certain that they will not hesitate in campaigning for Tebowmania to take the Big-Apple by storm if Sanchez has another 2-3 start, just like he did in 2011.

Lawrence Vos
Primetime Sports NFL blogger

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