Tebow, The Bounty, The Knicks
“What do you think?”
Nice people who remember when I used to emit instant profundity three times a week for the Times have inquired about some of the sports issues of the day.
Since you asked:
1. Tebow. I cannot imagine a Jets fan, a sports fan, or just a voyeur of the human condition, who would not be fascinated by the Jets’ acquisition of Tim Tebow. Seems to me, the Jets and Mark Sanchez deteriorated last season. The charm is off the alleged leadership and ability of Sanchez and, for that matter, Rex Ryan. So what’s to lose?
Tebow, who was scheduled for a press conference in Jet-land Monday at noon, seems to be a secure athlete with a history of success. If he cannot throw well enough to be a standard N.F.L. quarterback, he certainly seems to have the skills of a scrambler, which to my point of view is great fun to watch. He gets to the end zone. Isn’t that the point?
Did he wear out defenses in the thin air of Denver? Maybe. But if he adds a dimension to the Jets, that makes them more dangerous, right?
It’s a shame that great athletes of past decades (that is to say, black quarterbacks) never got to display their gifts starting with the snap from center. That seems to be a battle that the Cunninghams and Vicks have won, and continue to win. Tebow profits from their journey.
Plus, quarterback controversies are usually fun. Coaches will blather that their chosen quarterback is doing great, but in these informed times fans have the facts and the electronic forum to ask, nay demand, a second opinion, another look.
Joe Namath thinks it's a travesty. He's Broadway Joe. He won a Super Bowl. He will always be entitled to his opinion.
From afar, Tebow strikes me as a solid adult who can handle just about anything, including marginality as a backup quarterback with other duties.
Tebow’s religion should not be an issue. He witnesses his Christian faith, and seems to be an energetic, positive member of the gang, like Mariano Rivera, whose word and behavior are gold in the Yankee clubhouse, or R.A. Dickey, who is usually in the center of the Mets’ dugout when he is not pitching.
One final thought from this soccer-centric observer: I love versatility in sports. In most of the world, soccer players are called footballers; they move around, expected to defend, tackle, run, pass, even score. I use that word for the rare American college or pro player who can handle multiple roles – running backs who can throw, receivers who can play a little defensive back, linebackers who can catch a pass as an eligible receiver. Tim Tebow is a footballer. Let the fun begin.
2. The Bounty. The suspensions handed out by N.F.L. commissioner Roger Goodell constitute his finest hour. He stood up for every fan, every player and every parent who allows a child to play this game with some underlying hope for safety and respect for the rules.
By banning New Orleans coach Sean Payton for a year, Goodell showed an awareness that the Saints violated the core of their sport – they cheated on the paramount issue of safety. What they did, in permitting cash bounties for taking quarterbacks and other key players out of the game, was worse than cheating with performance-enhancing drugs.
The rules against drugs in sports are to insure a level playing field and also to mandate long-range health for players at all levels, including youths who emulate professionals.
The cash bounties were a direct assault on the safety and future of opponents. They amounted to premeditated violence – a huge distinction under the law.
From my angle, Goodell could have banned Payton for life. Payton and his assistants allowed players to maim or possibly even kill somebody for a few thousand bucks. A year away catches everybody’s attention.
It was vital that Goodell act because the N.F.L. is so huge in attendance, television viewership, endorsements and, yes, illegal gambling. Part of Goodell’s constituency fills out forms every week, picking winners and judging the point spreads. He cannot afford to acknowledge this, but it is true. Everybody deserves to know there is not a game within a game – cripple the quarterback, for dollars.
The suspensions were also vital because of the self-important role taken on by college and professional football. Coaches and other officials carry themselves with the smug self-assurance that the great American sport of foo’ball upholds some deep national moral and ethical code. I hope it doesn’t. But if that industry is going to assume this role then it has to be clean. Goodell was handed a grievous violation at the core of his business. And he acted. Bully for him.
3. The Knicks. Even when the Knicks went on a winning streak after the resignation of Mike D’Antoni, some Knicks fans were not charmed because they felt Carmelo Anthony would ultimately hold the team back by his talented obtuseness.
After all, the Knicks had nice teamwork going last season and a 28-26 record before owner Jim Dolan insisted on trading four players to get Anthony. The next version of the Knicks went 14-14 and lost four straight to the Celtics in the playoffs.
This year the Knicks were ragged until Jeremy Lin appeared from nowhere to get everybody playing together. Then Anthony came back from his injury and the teamwork vanished. Lin was not a superstar suddenly discovered but more likely a symptom of what happens when skilled players work together. The New York fans saw team basketball return to the Garden, but Anthony’s self-centeredness cost D’Antoni his job.
Anthony may have just enough individual skill, and Mike Woodson seems to be a professional coach, for the Knicks to slip into the playoffs, however briefly. However, the fun of watching the ball zip around the court during the Jeremy Lin era may not be possible.
Carmelo Anthony is now in the position of wrecking teamwork in a basketball-savvy city two years in a row. Is that some sort of N.B.A. record?
Anyway, that’s what I think. Thanks for asking.
Your comments are valued. GV
3/26/2012 02:14:48 pm
3/30/2012 05:51:59 am
3/30/2012 10:59:12 am
Hansen, thanks. You know more than I do about football, what with your emerging web site:
3/30/2012 11:00:32 am
oooops, that's 6-2, 236.
3/31/2012 02:40:40 pm
George, I certainly don't know more than you about football, European or United States varieties, yet I too believe that tackling Tebow at full gallop must be a challenge. As I recall, he had some of the highest agility scores and speed at the combine the year he was drafted. He's much quicker than people think. And variety grows anything; nature proves it. My wife is watching "West Side Story" on 13 and couldn't resist a pun about the Jets.
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1/3/2013 06:56:59 pm
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1/29/2013 04:07:14 am
There are so many aspects to this, and you have opened up another train of thought for me to examine. Thank you for your insight.
6/11/2013 09:24:29 pm
There can be no doubt that Tebow is one of the best players around! The one that will surpass him has not yet been born!
1/30/2013 10:12:33 pm
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2/20/2013 07:25:34 pm
These seen are normal in this kind of sport and sometime this cause a big trouble for the place due to any mistake.
2/20/2013 07:28:20 pm
These things are normal in this kind of sport and sometime this cause a big trouble for the players due to any mistake by the players.
7/23/2013 02:43:21 pm
As of this time and beyond, Tim Tebow will always be a legend in his own right. He made headlines and he made a name for himself! Go, Tebow!
8/8/2013 07:36:03 pm
Jets’ acquisition of Tim Tebow was one of the best moves they ever did! This man is now a legend in his own right!
8/22/2013 11:20:42 am
Jets’ acquisition of Tim Tebow is not the only fascination here. Tim Tebow himself is a fascination! Great man! Future legend!
9/5/2013 01:12:28 pm
Tebow, whether you like it or not, is already a legend in his own right in the world of NFL!
9/19/2013 10:37:40 am
I never been a fan of Tebow but I can say that this guy's got balls and he will always be a legend for years to come.
10/2/2013 01:53:40 pm
Aside from Vicks, Tebow was also one of the best players of the game!
12/22/2016 04:55:35 am
Thanks for sharing this useful information!
Comments are closed.
“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.