The Curious Martyrdom of Tim Tebow

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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86 Responses

  1. Mike Schilling says:

    Has there ever been a theatrically Christian wrestler?Report

    • Shazbot3 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Father McHeadlock

      His matches against the Iron Sheik were legendary.

      Actually, I have some vague memory of Jake the Snake being openly Christian as part of his persona in wrestling in maybe the early 90’s.

      Not that I was watching wresting 20 years ago. Not at all.Report

      • Shazbot3 in reply to Shazbot3 says:

        They got rid of the Father McHeadlock character when his wrestling match against the little person character “The Altar Boy” who used to be his sidekick, got a little too unnerving.Report

      • Reformed Republican in reply to Shazbot3 says:

        It was Jake Roberts’ Christian character that led to Austin 3:16.

        Ted Dibiase and Sting both converted to Christianity, and were very open about it, but I do not remember it being incorporated into either character.

        I really cannot think of any wrestler that took on a Christian persona and played it straight. I think it is usually more of a tongue-in-cheek heel persona.Report

        • If you remember the Koloffs, you remember the scariest Russians, like, EVER. Nikita Koloff and Ivan Koloff were the real deal. None of this over-the-top Nikolai Volkoff stuff.

          Well, they’re both ministers now. Ivan has “Bear Witness” Ministries. Nikita has Koloff for Christ.

          They never incorporated this into their gimmicks, as far as I can tell.Report

        • I don’t remember Jake the Snake being particularly Christian in front of the camera, though. Was he?Report

          • Reformed Republican in reply to Jaybird says:

            I was watching WCW with my dad at the time (late 90s), but my understanding is that he had a preacher persona for a while.Report

          • Shazbot3 in reply to Jaybird says:

            Wikipedia has this.

            The Jake the Snake as Preacher role actually was a big part of the Stone Cold Steve Austin era, as his matches with Jake the Snake gave him his catch phrase:

            Roberts returned to WWF at the Royal Rumble in 1996, as a Bible-preaching face.[14] To go along with his new gimmick, his new Albino Burmese Python was named “Revelations.” His gimmick also mirrored his real life, as Roberts had recently become a born-again Christian and had been preaching around the country.[14]During his second tenure with the company, Roberts was pushed as a “Cinderella story” and faced “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the final match of the King of the Ring tournament. Due to injuries received at the hands of Vader in their semi-final match that night, Austin easily defeated him, and in a post-match interview, mocked his recital of the biblical passage John 3:16 by saying “You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn’t get you anywhere! Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16… Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”.[14] The catchphrase would help propel Austin to the top of the WWF, and is one of the moments that is often cited as the beginning of “The Attitude Era,” along with Survivor Series (1997) and WrestleMania XIV. Roberts next feuded with Jerry “The King” Lawler, who went to great lengths to ridicule Roberts’ past bouts against alcoholism. At one point, Lawler spat real whiskey at Roberts.[citation needed]”


            More than you ever wanted to know about rasslin.Report

            • Wardsmith in reply to Shazbot3 says:

              Back in 2000 I was on a business trip and was in the hotel bar with the CEO of a chip company. I was carrying two beers back to the table and this big biker looking dude bumped into me and spilled my beers (mostly on himself). He was all apologetic and called the bartender over and had him get me two more. The bartender delivered them to my table and gasped, “Do you know who that is?” Of course I had no idea nor did the person with me. He said, “That’s Stone Cold Steve Austin!” We both shrugged still having no clue in the world who he might be.

              Later when we were leaving there was a large crowd of kids – teenagers or maybe young college students outside the bar. They stopped me and said, “You talked to him! What did he say?” I told them he said sorry for spilling my drinks. They clucked and oohed a bit and we left shaking our heads.

              It wasn’t until I got home and asked my kids that I finally found out he was a pro wrestler.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      There are Christian Pro Wrestling organizations out there. The idea is that they get away from all of the sexy lady crap and just get back down to the basics of wrestling. Open with a prayer, kick some ass, and close with a prayer.

      I am not making this up.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Molly Holly. She was a girl-next-door type. She spoke publicly about her faith and her virginity. Eventually the WWE switched her character from a face to a heel, and made her an evil prude. She quit wrestling not long afterwards.Report

    • Russell M in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      I would swear that a few years ago i was watching a history channel special on wrassling and it featured an out and out Christian wrassling company headed by the Million Dollar man, ol Teddy D. sort of a combine of old tent revivalist meeting and a 1985-era wwf. but for the life of me i cant remember what the org was called or what the name of the show was.Report

  2. Michelle says:

    Whatever Tebow’s skills as a quarterback (and I admit that I don’t really care) his “they’re persecuting me because I’m Christian” routine got old quick. Persecution doesn’t usually involve multi-million dollar contracts for mediocre skills or media attention up the wazoo. Tebow’s like the Sarah Palin of football–looks good initially but soon proves that he ain’t all that and then reverts to playing the victim card.

    Cry me a river.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Michelle says:

      Did he ever take that position? Or did his supporters and handlers? I realize the latter are, technically, an extension of him, but it is hard to know who was the dog and who was the tail, though. Hard to pin the supporters doing it on him. Personally, for all the sports I consume (and its a ton, especially football) his voice is one I heard rarely… the most extended piece I heard from him was the repetition of his repetition of the word “excited” during his introductory press conference.Report

      • greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

        I think he supporters were worse than him. I always thought the Tebowing was a bit to much a pose for the camera. But as noted in the OP, praising God in one way or the other is super common in sports. There really wasn’t anything special about what he did.Report

      • Michelle in reply to Kazzy says:

        Did anybody force Tebow’s to appear on shows like Hannity or Limbaugh to play up his Christian credentials with clowns willing to portray him as a victim of the liberal sports media complex?Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Michelle says:

          I didn’t see or hear any of those, so I really can’t speak to them. My question was genuine: I personally never saw him make statements to that effect so I was curious if they really should be attributed to him.Report

        • Michael Drew in reply to Michelle says:

          Sports figure seeks media attention; doesn’t decline offers from political media he’s sympathetic to. Film at 11.

          I understand what you’re saying, and I agree he hasn’t done that much to tamp down that sentiment among those who see him that way. Still, I think Kazzy has a point that if he’s never advanced that narrative with words of his own to that effect, it’s not really right to call it “his schtick.”Report

        • Pinky in reply to Michelle says:

          Did Tim Tebow ever appear on Rush Limbaugh’s show? Rush hardly ever has guests.Report

          • Michelle in reply to Pinky says:

            He’s too much of a pompous gasbag to have guests. He might actually have to let them talk. Plus, there can’t be a whole lot of extra room in the booth for a guest when it has to accommodate Rush and his outsized ego.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Michelle says:

              So what you’re saying is that you made up the part about Tebow being on Limbaugh because it helped your argument, but it’s ok to lie because you don’t like either of them?Report

  3. greginak says:

    Was he really the Debil for some people? The “he is so persecuted” shtick of his fans while getting wildly disproportionate media coverage didn’t go over well. He actually was less whiny about that than his fans i think, which speaks well of him.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to greginak says:

      Yes. Google what, for instance, the LGM bloggers and commenters had to say about him.Report

      • Chris in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Ugh, the Geno Smith post over there was painful.

        When it comes to quarterbacks, race plays a big role in how we see them. Tebow is a good example of this (do you think a black overtly Christian quarterback would have gotten this kind of attention, positive or negative? and do you think “his competitive spirit” would be a phrase used to compliment him if he weren’t very good?), as is Smith.Report

  4. Kimmi says:

    Swann hasn’t won anything political, that I can see.Report

  5. I find it fascinating that the librul media spent as much time as you say following the career collapse of Tebow and apparently no time at all covering the first openly gay player in a major American team sport. The former will amount to nothing, the latter will quite likely make a whole bunch of gay kids’ lives a lot better by giving them someone than can relate to a lot better than Neil Patrick Harris. (And I say that as someone who adores NPH.)Report

    • Jason M. in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Not sure I’d characterize ESPN as “librul media”. They cram as much Tebow into their coverage as possible because it’s one of the few sports stories that captures attention beyond their set audience of sports fans (like Evangelical Christians looking for a hero to champion their beliefs). And the moment a current NFL player (because it’s the sport Americans truly care about the most) comes out as gay, you can bet ESPN will all over that as well.Report

      • Jason M. in reply to Jason M. says:

        To further expand on why I qualified it “current NFL player” instead of “major American sport”, the NFL resides on a different plane than other sports. The NBA is about speed and agility; it prizes finely tuned athleticism. The NFL combines speed and agility with strength and brutality; it prizes toughness (“that guy right there, he’s just a football player, you know?”). This deserves a longer, more thought-out and well composed post, but I believe most homophobia and/or anti-gay sentiment in general is mostly a push back against perceived feminisation, and football is a sanctuary for masculine values. So if a current NFL player comes out, trust me, it’ll be a big, fishin’ deal.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      I thought the same thing. My hunch is that Collins’ announcement comes via a yet-to-be published SI story, meaning that there are probably limitations in how it can be reported, especially by other outlets. I think once the story officially comes out, you’ll see a lot more made of it. But that did stand out to me.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

        And, Russell, I’d point you towards LZ Granderson who writes for He has serious writing chops and can write as deftly on issues of sexual orientation or race (he’s black and gay) as he can on the sports themselves. He also has a very funny TED Talk on the so-called “gay agenda”. Should you find yourself among young people who are looking for gay role models that don’t fit nicely amongst the cast of “Modern Family” he’d be a great place to start.

        He is in the video in that article (again, I haven’t watched it) and I’m sure will be all over the story once he has a chance to put pen to paper. He just had a piece last week on the subject, available here:

    • Pinky in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Russell – You really nailed the press blackout about Jason Collins. 🙂Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    Where’s Ray Lewis? I heard that Tim Tebow got cut.Report

  7. Pinky says:

    Two things you have to remember about Tebow –

    First, he turned his team around. The 2011 Broncos were 1-4 and losing their 6th game when the coach put him in. The team ended up 8-8, just making it into the playoffs, where they won their first game. Most of those wins were comebacks. If you can’t make an exciting narrative out of that, you don’t belong in sportscasting.

    Second, he played the position differently. NFL offenses follow a certain type of play these days, and they’re centered around a high-precision short-yardage quarterback. Tebow’s nothing like that at all. He’s the Wankel engine of quarterbacks: on paper it shouldn’t even work, but the thing keeps moving. A team is not going to rebuild itself around a player like that (although I think it’d be smart to find a place for him on your bench, because defenses hate unpredictability).

    So, yeah, it’s weird for a young QB to go 8-4 and get cut, even though I can understand why it happened.Report

    • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

      Mobile qb’s who ran for significant yardage were not new. Vick made a bit noise before Tebow. Even going back to Kordell Stewart among others, the concept was not new at all. What was different was ….well….i think what was really different was he was white. Black qbs’s are always “athletic” so being a blindingly fast and a good runner is not a surprise. White qb’s are “smart” and “know the game.” There is a serious filter sports media, and often fans, see athletes though. In reality every body who gets to the NFL is a great athlete who has worked really hard.Report

      • Pinky in reply to greginak says:

        I just jumped over to his Wikipedia page; I was going to pull some statistics to show what made him different. But I’d have to cut-and-paste his whole college career. His teams went #1, #16, #1, and #3. He won one Heisman, narrowly missed winning a second one. His final game, the 2010 Sugar Bowl against an undefeated Cincinatti team, he went 31 for 35 for 482 yards. That’s not a skin color, or religion, or sexual orientation. That’s a freaking quarterback.

        As I noted, the NFL has gotten more and more geared toward a particular style of QB. There have always been mobile throwers, but Tebow is unusual. What he reminds me of most is Doug Flutie, a great college player who took a long time to find his fit in the NFL due to his physical limitations.Report

        • Chris in reply to Pinky says:

          That’s a freakin’ quarterback, or a freakin’ system. Florida has had a long history of producing great college quarterbacks who flop in the NFL.Report

        • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

          His college success is undeniable. Trust me, my niece and her husband are proud U of F grads. But his skill set was never likely to work that well in the pros. That has happened before. I think it was Jason White who won the heisman as qb and wasn’t’ even drafted.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

          The last 10 QBs to graduate after winning the Heisman:

          2000 Chris Weinke
          2001 Eric Crouch
          2002 Carson Palmer
          2003 Jason White
          2004 Matt Leinart
          2006 Troy Smith
          2007 Tim Tebow
          2008 Sam Bradford
          2010 Cam Newton
          2011 Robert Griffin III

          Six have been more or less flops in the NFL. Palmer has had a long, but mostly mediocre career. It’s early to say with Bradford, Newton, and RG3, though they’ve shown more promise than any of their predecessors except perhaps Palmer.Report

          • Bob2 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            Spread offense QBs historically haven’t translated well to the NFL. There’s was reliable way of calculating whether they’d be any good in the NFL given that their WRs are generally wide open in college in a spread system. Andrew Luck has been the only QB I’ve been confident in going into the draft since Peyton Manning because he was basically running the offense at Stanford his last season, and it was a pro style offense.

            The change for Cam Newton and RG3 is that their coaches added college spread concepts or zone read options in the NFL, which lets them use their old practiced skill sets.Report

          • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

            And the total list of Heisman-winning QBs that became NFL stars:

            Roger Staubach
            Jim Plunkett (With this third team, after many years of failure)
            Paul Hornung (though not as a QB, of course)

            It’s almost as if Stauback succeeded in spite of the award.Report

        • Michelle in reply to Pinky says:

          Didn’t Flutie find his greatest professional success in Canada?Report

        • Chris in reply to Pinky says:

          I just noticed you had the rankings for all 4 of Tebow’s year playing at Florida. He didn’t start his Freshman year.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to greginak says:

        Vick, Stewart, and Griffin all could not only run but had reasonable (albeit not great) completion percentages. Tebow’s favorite targets were the ground, out of bounds, and the numbers on the back of his right tackle’s jersey. He never figured out how to read an NFL-speed defense.

        He could have been listed as a QB/RB, someone who could be brought in with someone else under center but a threat for a gadget pass, a direct split hike, or of course the wildcat. These are all lower-percentage plays but when they work they are not only big yardage gainers but spectacular. And if most of the time putting a guy like that in would be a bluff, well, NFL football is as much a mind game as anything else.

        Tebow’s career in football is not over. He may not play in the NFL again but there’s no reason to think he couldn’t play in Europe, Canada, or the Arena League until his mid-thirties at least. And there’s no reason he won’t continue to be popular; he was well-marketed particularly but not exclusively amongst the evangelical crowd and he can do well for himself on the lecture circuit.

        If he turns out to actually have a head for such things, he might also make a good college coach — but good skills at the NCAA level and a lackluster NFL career do not say much one way or the other about whether he’d be a good coach.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

      Not just comebacks, but bizarrely unlikely comebacks, especially the playoff win where nobody thought to cover the guy who scored. I can only think of three explanations for that year:

      1. Tebow has some mad skills that only start to manifest themselves in the fourth quarter.
      2. Coincidence.
      3. Divine intervention.

      I lean towards 2, but 3 is tempting. 🙂

      More seriously, I think his story has hurt his career. He’d be an OK backup QB and a fine RB or TE who can occasionally throw the ball on gimmick plays. But the Jets (and I think that is somewhat true of NFL teams in general) are terrified of the situation where the starter struggles and the fans are clamoring to start Tebow, which the coaching staff , well aware of his lack of passing skills, knows would be disastrous. (More disastrous than Sanchez, you ask? You have a point.) Tebow had his success at Denver, in an offense designed to minimize his shortcomings, and with a defense that made it unnecessary to score a lot of points. Take either of those away, and the result would be brutal.

      Also, in Denver Tebow had the complete support of his team. I’ve read many times that the rest of the Jets offense, after seeing him throw in practice, thought “this guy sucks” and had no confidence in him. That takes away almost all chances for success right there.Report

      • greginak in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Really if you’re playing for the J-E-T-S no confidence is really the best and safest feeling. Its hard to keep track of all the circuses they have there.Report

      • kenB in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        IIRC, a few teams were considering picking him up if he was willing to play TE, but he said no.Report

      • Bob2 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        The Denver offense was completely retooled for Tebow, but the defense was one of the best in the league that year and didn’t get enough credit. Having great offensive tackles also helped a lot.

        His teammates didn’t intentionally badmouth him after the Jets got him, but they didn’t really care he was gone because the media circus was horrible and he missed a lot of wide open throws. Demaryius Thomas put his foot in his mouth at least once afterwards on the Tebow subject.

        That he was a great college player isn’t in dispute, but his slow release, florida’s offense and his complete lack of accuracy means he was destined to be a disaster in the NFL without a lot of changes.Report

      • Patrick in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        I just want to second Mike and Mark, here.Report

    • Jason M. in reply to Pinky says:

      The problem with that is, Tebow can now be fairly compared with QBs who also play the position “differently” – Colin Kaepernick, Russel Wilson, Cam Newton, and Robert Griffin III – and he doesn’t compare favorably with those guys either. Because those guys can, you know, throw a decent pass too.Report

      • Mark Thompson in reply to Jason M. says:

        This is a good point, made even stronger by the fact that in none of those cases did those quarterbacks require an offense that sought to minimize the role of the quarterback, as happened during Tebow’s run in Denver. The Broncos’ success with Tebow at the helm owed no small amount to the fact that it meant an overwhelming emphasis on the run and relied heavily on a strong defense that needed some time to breathe in between series. If an opposing team could shut the run down early and force Tebow to throw a fair amount, then the game could get out of hand very quickly. A good chunk of the Broncos’ win streak was owed to the delay it took for teams to figure out how to adjust to the Broncos’ retooled offense – once teams figured it out, the Broncos lost four of their last five games, with the Steelers’ game being the notable exception. Worse, two of those four losses were against an atrocious Bills team (which had one of the three worst defenses in the league) and a bad Chiefs team, against whom the Denver Tebows managed a whopping 14 and 3 points, respectively. The Bills game was made even more embarassing by the fact that the Broncos were blown out 40-14 thanks to two pick-sixes thrown by Tebow when it became necessary for the Broncos to abandon the run game in the fourth quarter.

        Looking quickly at the box scores during Tebow’s run, I see that the Broncos’ offense (ie, not including defensive and special teams TDs) managed a whopping 16.5 points in regulation. And even those figures are skewed by a 35 point effort against an epically bad Vikings team that was next-to-last in the league in scoring defense.

        In Tebow’s last six starts with the Broncos, they managed to put up the following point totals in regulation:
        10 against the Bears, who they beat with a 51-yard field goal in overtime after needing a miracle 59-yard field goal to send it to overtime. The winning field goal came as a result of a very timely fumble recovery that would have completely demoralized the Bears and left Tebow only 30 yards to drive for the field goal.
        23 against the Patriots, with 7 of those points coming in garbage time.
        14 against the Bills (see above)
        3 against the Chiefs
        23 against the Steelers
        10 against the Patriots, in another blowout

        In their entire run, they only won by more than a touchdown once, and four of their wins came in overtime – flip the results of those overtime games (which are heavily dependent on luck and historically even out in the long run), and Tebow’s record as a starter could have just as easily been 4-8.

        Moreover, Pittsburgh was the only team they beat that finished the season with an above-.500 record, and they finished 1-3 against such teams, outscored by a whopping 154-62 in those games.Report

        • Whoops – forgot to mention that in the case of RGIII, Newton, Kaepernick, and Wilson, the effect not only wasn’t to minimize the role of the QB in the offense, but instead was to find a way to actively feature the QB more.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          You have to admire Mark’s integrity in writing “The Broncos even lost to the freaking Bills!”Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          These always read to me like explanations of how much better the generals of the Confederacy were, if you look at the actual numbers.Report

          • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

            I dunno. Kaepernick had a 4 offensive touchdown, 400 yard blow out game against the NFC favorite Packers, and reached the Super Bowl. RGIII’s team went 10-6 while he was setting rookie records for QB rating and TD/Int ratio. Wilson had gaudy QB stats while also leading a strong team well into the playoffs….

            That is to say, dude. Tebow had one flash in the pan coin flip run. These other guys have had solid NFL seasons where they ran up the score against good teams.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Pinky says:

      Speaking as a Broncos fan… John Fox, Mike McCoy and the offensive line install an entirely new offense a third of the way through the season… the defense, despite spending ridiculous amounts of time on the field, keeps the games close enough that a late fourth-quarter score can win the game… Matt Prater hits game-tying or game-winning field goals time after time, including a 51-yard game-tying and 59-yard game winning kick against the Bears… the story should never have been about Tebow.

      I have a secret suspicion that Manning came to Denver because Elway told that 2011 story about the coaching staff, the offensive line, the defense and the kicker… and Manning decided that Denver had the best supporting staff for a Hall-of-Fame QB.Report

      • Russell M in reply to Michael Cain says:

        I hear that. Those guys moved heaven, earth and all the spheres for Timmy fracking tebow. just think what they will do for you, peyton ol’buddy ol’pal.Report

  8. George Turner says:

    I’ll throw a hail mary in this thread and link an SI article about NBA center Jason Collins coming out as gay.

    In it he says:

    The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that I shouldn’t wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect.

    So we have the original thread about a major franchise persecuting a Christian, and now Islamic terrorists are turning the NBA openly gay, undermining something that I haven’t bothered to think up yet.

    There are so many ways this thread can run amok about the end times, it’s bound to be fun!Report

  9. Patrick says:

    Here’s the thing about being a quarterback in the NFL. If you can’t pass the ball, you’re probably going to die.

    Running the football is a nice add-on, but your ability to scramble, first and foremost, needs to be leveraged to open up your passing game, not to get yardage. Exceptions to this rule don’t last long.

    Because you can’t get hit like that, all that often, and have a career longer than a couple of years. Blindside hits on pocket QBs are good at getting you concussions… but getting hit on the open field is what gives you concussions… and also gives you separated shoulders and torn rotator cuffs and back problems… and unless you’re outrageously tough, that’s going to end you. For four years every 49er fan had a heart attack at every game when Steve Young would pass the line of scrimmage, wondering if that was going to be it for the season. Dude was tough as hell and still got seven concussions. If Montana had run that much they would have buried him with his uniform on.

    The top 20 running backs for career yardage vary from 18,355 yards (the redoubtable and much hated Emmitt Smith) down to 10,643 for Ricky Watters.

    Randall Cunningham is the #1 rated QB for rushing and he had a gobsmackingly high 4,928 career yards over 16 years (29,979 passing yards, 81.5 QB rating), almost half as much as one of the top 20 running backs of all time. But the dropoff from Randall is pretty steep; only Steve Young is also over 4k (4,239 – 14 years, 33,124 passing yards, QB rating 96.8) and then you have Vick (3,954 – 10 years, 20,274 passing yards, 80.6 QB rating), Fran Tarkington (3,674 – 18 seasons, 47,003 passing yards, 80.4 QB rating), Steve McNair (3,590 – 13 years, 31,304 passing yards, 82.8 QB rating), John Elway (3,407 – 16 years, 51,475 passing yards, 79.9 QB rating), Donovan McNabb (3,249 – 13 seasons, 37,276 passing yards, 85.6 QB rating), Kordell Stewart (2,874 – 11 years, 2 of which he didn’t QB, 14,746 passing yards, 70.7 QB rating), and Jim Harbaugh (2,787 – 14 seasons, 26,288 passing yards, 77.6 QB rating).

    Of those guys, only two didn’t have an 80+ QB rating (if you round Elway up to 80). Harbaugh went to the Pro Bowl once and had a 3-2 record in the playoffs. He’s like the exception-to-the-exception, a guy who had a decently long career with relatively poor QB rating who still managed to run a lot.

    It’s obviously hard to generalize from that small of a data set, but that in and of itself should tell you something: quarterbacks don’t run very often for a reason, and the exceptions to this rule are exceptions for that reason.

    You run, you wear out. Really fast.Report

  10. Jaybird says:

    I totally agree with your conclusion. Tebow is about a lot of things and only half of them are football related. I mean, my mom got a Tebow shirt. She doesn’t watch football.

    Tebow was yet another symbol of the culture war. As symbols of the culture war go, he was a very, very interesting one… he was a mediocre QB who kept winning coinflips. And yet… he was a mediocre QB who *kept* *winning*.

    I mean, sure, the AFC West sucks. The Raiders suck. The Chargers suck. The Chiefs don’t even suck. They’re in Lions territory. To be mediocre is to be the top of the heap. But Tebow got to the top of this heap… and made it to the playoffs… and won a game before being eliminated.

    There were so many people who were thrilled that he kept winning and so many of them were thrilled for reasons dealing with the culture wars rather than mundane football reasons. I completely understand why the Broncos didn’t want Tebow’s controversy… and, heck, why the Jets don’t either.

    But… damn. He was *FUN* to watch that year, wasn’t he?Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

      The offensive line installing an entirely new playbook was fun to watch… the defense scrambling to keep the games within reach was exciting to watch… the kicker was amazing… but for about 55 out of 60 minutes, Tebow wasn’t fun, he was miserable to watch. Three-and-out gets really, really old after a while. Sports Center and the NFL highlight shows didn’t bother with that part.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

        Dude, that’s part of what made it awesome. You were at the edge of your seat, you groaned, you died with every turnover, you came back to life with every “that couldn’t have just happened” flub in the Broncos’ favor. Holding your breath and not exhaling as much as shouting incoherently.

        And arguing about him at work the day after.Report

        • Russell M in reply to Jaybird says:

          as a bronco fan so hard core i even bought the “Brian Greise is the future” stuff i have to say i loved timmy. mostly because watching orton figure out ways to lose games sucked. but what sucked most was orton did not seem to care. timmy at least when he plays seems to remember that the fans take the game seriously so he should to.

          plus he has a HUGE motor. he never seemed to quit.

          plus that 20yard run to end the J-E-T-S game was epic. i really hope timmy lands somewhere that will let him start for a season. good or bad i think he at least deserves some resolution to the suckhole vs actual player debate.Report

    • Bob2 in reply to Jaybird says:

      Affirmative action for mediocre evangelical christian quarterbacks!

      or would he be considered a legacy? of Jesus Christ?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Bob2 says:

        What would that entail?

        Wins that he didn’t earn? I think the argument is that he got quite a few of those already.Report

        • Bob2 in reply to Jaybird says:

          It would mean that they passed over Brady Quinn to start Tebow despite Quinn outperforming Tebow in practice.
          The question is if you feel Tebow got to start because his Father’s influence, or if because he was clearly a disadvantaged student that succeeded despite his poor accuracy scores.Report

          • Russell M in reply to Bob2 says:

            he got the start because he has a rabid foam at the mouth fanbase that love the air he exhales and because practice is the only place Brady Quinn looks good.Report

  11. North says:

    Still he’s nice ta look at.Report