By Jason Keidel
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For the record, my rancor over acquiring Tim Tebow was quite public and pronounced. Despite the fact that he beat my beloved black and gold in overtime during last year’s playoffs, we were looking at a man with an erratic throwing arm and the aim of Mr. Magoo.
And now, for the record redux, I don’t think Tim Tebow is a better NFL quarterback than Mark Sanchez, nor will he ever be. But sometimes that doesn’t matter. The metaphysical maladies often trump the physical.
So..who better to reverse the seemingly Satanic hex than one with a pipeline to Lucifer’s foil?
Awful biblical analogies aside, there are a thousand sound football reasons to bench Mark Sanchez for Tim Tebow. First, Sanchez has lost his motivation, mojo, and marksmanship. Sanchez has gone from Golden Boy to gangrenous in 12 months. Yet the team’s picks in personnel are just as much to blame as any erosion in Sanchez’s game. When listing the Jets’ killer karma, the purely gridiron reasons for their season’s woes, Sanchez wouldn’t even crack the top three.
But Tebow can just as easily go 9-for-22 with 124 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. And say what you like about Tebow’s bona fides for NFL stardom (which are very few) no one doubts the teeming, teenage glee he brings to the game, or the fact that his teammates would run through firewalls for him. If nothing else, Tebow inspires men. And we know Sanchez has no life in MetLife.
The Broncos were floundering last year under Kyle Orton, and then their season skyrocketed when switching to the divine signal-caller. Even hardened veterans like Brian Dawkins were spellbound by Tebow’s aura. While we think physical splendor dictates and dominates the standings, the truth is that the club’s altitude in attitude is equally if not more profound in turning a squad around. To tweak the religious adage, a football team that prays together…
And there’s always Tebow’s threat to run, something the Jets’ opponents needn’t worry about with No. 6 lumbering behind center.
And sometimes change is essential because change is essential. As Jimmy Johnson said recently, football teams are moved and motivated by fear. And a displaced quarterback sends anxiety ripples through a locker room.
I’m one of the few and final Sanchez supporters. He has four road playoff wins, and he got them in his first two NFL campaigns. One season in the AFC title game can be an accident. Two times is a trend. If the Jets can get some value in draft picks in return, they would do all involved a solid by sending Sanchez as far away from the five boroughs and beyond.
Mark Sanchez can still win in the NFL. He just can’t win in New York, it’s a distinction we’ve made in most sports for a century. Woody Johnson’s nuanced barbs – refusing to call his quarterback by name – set the Sanchez exodus in slow motion. If your owner doesn’t have your back your back straddles the wall to avoid the sword splitting your spine. Playing quarterback in NYC and NFL is tough enough without the political machinations. Sanchez has been set up to go down for two years. And it doesn’t take Karl Rove to see it.
Unless Woody fires the GM and HC of the NYJ, then sells the team, Sanchez will sink in the swamp. Despite his denials, we know the shampoo heir’s hair spikes when he sees Tebow in the game. Trading for the former Florida Gator was a transparent PR play, a way to catch the wave of Tebowmania and cash-in on the ancillary benefits, from jersey to seat sales. Now the climate is perfect to pull the plug on Mark Sanchez. I just hope he has the guts to do it himself, instead of dumping the task down the totem pole, leaving the most awkward call to men who didn’t want Tebow to begin with.
All successful franchises have historic harmony, all down the hallway to the ballboy to the waterboy to the owner’s box. Woody Johnson is starting to feel like Jerry Jones, a three-ring circus sans the three rings Jets fans have awaited since Joe Namath trotted from the Orange Bowl, wagging is forefinger as the forefather of Jets success. It’s quite a memory. Sadly, it’s the only memory.
It will take an act of God to turn this team around, or maybe someone who acts with God.
Feel free to email me: Keidel.Jason@gmail.com
Is it time to pull the plug of Sanchez and insert Tebowmania? Let us know below.