As time went on, the lines became blurred between blogging and traditional media. This wasn’t so much through us going deeper into traditional media, but came from the advent of traditional media members becoming more involved in what we would recognize as blogging and opinion journalism … OUR domain. Initially, we welcomed this development and it has certainly led to more dialogue between the media and their readership.
However, at the same time, the site evolved to include more serious analysis and challenging certain media-fuelled perceptions with regard to finances and on-field performance. Personally, my role continued to be a columnist and just a columnist, albeit with increased administrative powers, but the content of my work moved away from the light-hearted articles I was producing as the site started to take off.
I’ll never be a professional journalist though. You think I can write an article like Rich Cimini’s piece on Karl Dunbar or Jenny Vrentas’ piece on Rex’s secret sensei? Never in a million years. That’s what these guys do best though and we’d love it if they collectively went down that route more often instead of dedicating so much time to breaking stories and sharing their opinions.
In recent times, any attempt at humor on this site has been met with scorn by some of our readers, who tell us to stick to the analysis side of things. That’s one of the main things that has influenced the shift in the content I provide.
Still, every now and then, although I know it will be met by scorn, I can sense the mood needs lifting. People are complaining about too much negativity, so maybe it’s time to start looking at things from a more warped perspective.
Ironically, the vessel I choose to make this point is the one thing that people complain about more than the negativity…a Tim Tebow article. However, you should appreciate that it is the FIRST (and more importantly LAST) article I’ll have written on the subject.
It’s coming up after the jump. Don’t say you weren’t warned…
It’s March 2012. An NFL team just traded a mid-round pick for a backup quarterback. However, this was not just any backup quarterback. This quarterback had almost gone on a fairytale run during the previous season, taking over midway through the season and riding a strong defense and running game, a gimmick offense and the fact that it took teams three months to figure out that you don’t need to go into a prevent defense to stop it all the way to the lofty heights of the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. Still, having been rendered surplus-to-requirements due to that quarterback’s team signing a significantly and historically superior quarterback, this young backup’s skill-set would seem to lend itself to a situational role, one the team who traded for him had seen success with in the past.
It’s not a major story. It’s a minimal risk in terms of what they gave up and financially and it’s a role that could add another dimension to a team lacking in offensive firepower and shouldn’t cause irreparable damage to the on-field product if that dimension never materialized. However, this was not just any backup quarterback.
In discussing the deal to trade for him, this NFL team – which didn’t just hail from any NFL town – would have weighed that up. Yes, the media attention would be significant and they might need to embrace that initially, but the media would soon realize that he’s a role player and lose interest, right? After all, what better person to get to be a role player than one whose popularity is in large part due to his selflessness and integrity of character? Once things settled down, everyone would see the logic behind it. Once things settled down. And if they never settled down, who cares? We can handle that, right?
Over at the offices of the Generic Sun-Bugle (or whatever), the ink hadn’t run dry on the contract yet and they were already looking for an angle. It’s all for the money! They haven’t done this for football reasons. All they care about is the bottom line. Now, let’s exploit this with months of mindless speculation, try and get players and coaches to contradict each other on what they expect from him and use it to create a locker room divide that will capitulate their season and allow us to put pressure on the organization to fire everyone involved. It’s what the people want. Sure, it’ll suck, but at least we’ll sell more papers that way.
The TV networks moved even faster, as bloodthirsty as a news network more excited about the prospect of covering a war than the downside of that war itself.
If he throws a ball into a bin at training camp, the people are going to want to hear about it, so let’s send several people down to his introductory presser to create the illusion of mass interest, despite the fact it only really takes one person to report on the comments made at a press conference. Then let’s set up permanent residence there to debate what his role will be, despite the fact we’ve been told what his role will be and we’re just ignoring that to speculate what his real role will be on the assumption that they’re lying. Then we’ll throw back to the studio….
…and when we throw back to the studio, we’ll have “analysts” permanently entrenched there to discuss the speculation. They say he’s going to get up to 20 snaps a game? Wait a minute – this guy can’t play and now they’re guaranteeing him 20 snaps or more a game? Anyway, you bring him in and he has to play. Never mind the fact that they are paying five times as much money to the guy he’d replace and that they don’t have the cap room to afford the backup’s escalated salary if he does start. Obviously the fix is in and they’re planning to lose on purpose so they have an excuse to let him play. Coming up after the break, we’ll be talking about how he’ll definitely be the starter by week six and that this was the plan all along.
While this is going on, the young backup quarterback is “excited” to be there and says he’ll do whatever it takes to help the team. He just wants to be left alone to do his job.
And the starter? He’s already having his confidence eroded by the fact that a guy he knows can’t challenge him is getting all the attention.
Fast forward to July 2012. The upcoming presidential elections are on the horizon, with State Primaries and the selection of moderators for the presidential debates in October. That’s not important right now though, who cares about that?
We interrupt his broadcast with some huge news! More embarrassment for the hapless New York Jets organization today as topless photos of face-of-the-franchise/quarterback-in-waiting Tim Tebow running off the practice field have surfaced online! There’s worse news for the Tebow camp too, as the images appear to show that he’s put on weight. This isn’t going to help him in his dogged pursuit of fellow virgin Lolo Jones.
The photographer who released these images wishes to remain nameless. However, we can report that he was paid $100,000 by various news outlets for the shots. Now, let’s get you back to the election coverage, after which we’ll be laughing at the Jets some more for making this trade solely for financial reasons.
The backup tries to keep his head down and say the right things. He’s had flashes of success in the utility role, but the starter continues to struggle under the weight of expectations in the goldfish bowl of a big market city. Teary eyed supporters for the backup take to YouTube begging us to "leave him alone" and "give him a chance". And the beat? The beat goes on.
November, 2012. The presidential election is decided, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other important things going on around the world. What do we get, though?
It’s TEBOW WATCH! Great news for fans of the heroic all-American virgin, as his main rival Mark Sanchez was spotted stepping out on Thanksgiving Night in a controversial wearing-Brandon-Moore-as-a-hat look! It’s no wonder Eva Longoria dumped him, he’s an embarrassment and it will surely only be a matter of time before Tebow takes over this town…
Maybe it’s time. Maybe finally he will get his chance and surprise us all. Unfortunately, a rib injury would delay the seemingly-inevitable and at the same time, the TV networks have started to realize that reporting on a non-story in an effort to make it seem like a real story so that it then becomes a real story isn’t so good for business after all, so they resolve to back off … just in time for something newsworthy to potentially happen that they would then be compelled to cover. The beat goes on though, as comments procured about the apparent nicest man in American look set to divide the locker room, creating a chasm just big enough for him to fall into.
December, 2012. Finally, he gets his shot. It’s curious timing, but the young backup gets some extended action for the first time. Initially he looks good, but then soon becomes increasingly out-of-his-depth and the experiment fails, never to be revisited. At least the media has something tangible to report on at last though!
It’s TEBOW WOWTCH! Major embarrassment for Tim Tebow this week as he proved what we all already knew! He can’t be a quarterback in this league. What WERE the Jets thinking? Let’s look at the footage. We’ve edited out anything that could potentially cause offense. Obviously that means editing out any footage of Tebow actually playing football because there’s no danger of any offense happening there. However, this footage of him looking crestfallen on the sideline post-failure reveals an even bigger source of humiliation – if we zoom in and look at his chin, he’s developing an enormous zit…!
By the end of December, it’s pretty obvious this was never going to be allowed to work. The team has fallen out of the playoff race. They realize they can’t be successful with the backup on the team and all the distractions he causes. Even the starter’s resolve has been completely broken, to the point where the team will look to move on without him – and several of the other central figures in the trade execution and usage of the backup. The story is headed for a merciful end, then, surely?
It’s TEEEEEBOW watch! Big news has surfaced that Tim Tebow is set to abandon all those close to him and head off to Jacksonville. Let’s listen to some of his comments. [Tebow talks about continuing to do his best for the team]. Well, that just confirms what we thought – and not only that, but he was CLEARLY lip-synching.
The Jets, in an effort to distract the media even resorted to disguising Jeremy Kerley as Tim Tebow, but it would all be in vain.
You think the media is finished with him? No way.
It’s obvious that the backup and the starter (and the coach, offensive coordinator, GM) are in no condition to handle this, but everyone agrees, the backup’s career must die, taking as many people with him as possible. Throughout time people have been built up for human sacrifice. For harvest. Modern day people like to think they’re more civilized, but their lust for torture and death has to be satisfied somehow. So they instead kill careers through the papers and television to ensure a bountiful harvest each year..
As the made up stories built up, the contradictory leaks began to take off and the constant flash of the paparazzi’s cameras endured, it finally became too much.
"I don’t want to go on."
It was over … and time for us all to leave the poor guy alone.
Ultimately, it’s not all about Tebow and never was. Looks like the media got what they wanted though – and at the same time they’ll revel in the collateral damage. They can at last move on now though…
And so, the fresh faced youngster from Alabama, who earlier in the year led the team to a come-from-behind win over the Cardinals, looks set to be in the mix for the starting job in 2013.
Yes, guys, looks like next year’s harvest will be e-ven bet-ter…