Well, that was fast. Not only did Tim Tebow's Broncos get housed by the Lions at home yesterday (18/39, 172 yards, 1TD, 1 INT in a 45-10 loss), he got thoroughly humiliated by a group of Lions defenders who reveled in the quarterback's failure.
Linebacker Stephen Tulloch went Tebowing right over Tebow's body after a sack. And then many Lions openly ridiculed Tebow's play for Yahoo's Mike Silver to hear:
“Can you believe ’15’?” one Detroit Lions defender asked after his team’s 45-10 immolation of Tebow and the Denver Broncos. “Come on – that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We knew all week that if we brought any kind of defensive pressure, he couldn’t do anything. In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on – that’s your quarterback? Seriously?’”... Words like atrocious, terrible, completely exposed and not even close to ready kept coming up in these conversations; a couple of Lions even used the term oh my god.
And just like that, the idea of Tim Tebow ever being a legitimate starting QB in the NFL was pretty much extinguished. Remember, it took Tebow three hours against a winless team last week to show any kind of ability, and that was with the other team hosting a day in his honor, for crying out loud. For the season, Tebow has completed less than half his passes, which is inexcusable in today's passer-friendly environment. There are certain inherent qualities you need to be an NFL QB -- a quick release, good touch, etc. -- and Tebow lacks them.
People who love Tim Tebow often think the backlash against him was a byproduct of his faith, that people are rooting for Tebow to fail because they resent him being so openly Christian. But that's not what this backlash has been about. The NFL has had plenty of QBs who used the position as a pulpit (Kurt Warner and Jon Kitna, to name a couple). This has never been about Tebow's faith or even Tebow as a person. This is strictly a blowback against the media putting Tebow on a pedestal and making a moral unicorn out of him. Silver sums it up best:
There’s a glaring disconnect between many fans’ assessment of Tebow’s status as a wholesome winner and the way many NFL players process his presence. To some, the notion that Tebow somehow pushes harder or taps into a higher power than they do is insulting.
Exactly. The media loves to find players like Tebow and hold them up as examples for the rest of you to follow. See this guy? This guy does it THE RIGHT WAY.
And that's a con. Tebow doesn't possess some magical pouch of "gritty dust" that other NFL players lack. Most NFL players have busted their butts to get where they are. Most of them are professionals who don't mail it in just for a check (as evidenced by the Rams yesterday). Even Terrell Owens - TERRELL OWENS! - busts his butt. No one NFL player should ever be morally elevated like that, particularly an unproven one. It's unfair to other players, AND it's unfair to Tebow, who never should have been a first-round pick to begin with.
So this is how it ends. Tebow will play a couple more games, give way to Brady Quinn or Kyle Orton, and then perhaps spend the rest of his career with a handful of other teams as a novelty player. Let's hope the glorification dies down along the way.