Hold Your Jets: Would Tim Tebow Be Worse in the CFL?

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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So, Tim Tebow is heading out of New York, you say? It’s a bout fu*kin’ time.

Watching that Monday nighter against Tennessee was an effort to truly understand the hater‘s opinion on Tim Tebow, since the man was prematurely called the “most polarizing athlete in all of sports” (what, like he’s as big as Beatlemania now?). Sportswriters and casters have a tendency to swallow their own allegories a little too tastefully sometimes. They believe Tebow is the biggest thing to hit Broadway since Babe Ruth because they’ve never seen it before. They think so-and-so is the best passer or runner out there because they’ve never seen anyone like them. Of course, they’re just looking in the wrong places or — even worse — only one place.

So, Mark Sanchez threw four picks and the Jets season away. He didn’t do the latter in that game. He’s been doing it for months.

And, while Tebow isn’t an always-capable fill-in quarterback, no one can argue it wouldn’t have been nice to see him try. At worst, he’s a positive quarterback who plays like he’s heading downhill. Meanwhile, Sanchez is trying to stay on his feet. He always looks like he’s throwing off a Bosu ball.

There’s one scenario, and the most likely: Tebow asks for a trade.

Is it because he now realizes that the Jaguars would have actually been a good fit for him? Does he wish he actually said yes to Taylor Swift? Has he just realized he has a better future as a spokesperson in anti-abortion commercials?

Well, it also has to due with the fact that Jets coach Rex Ryan has benched Sanchez for the team’s Week 16 game and will start Tebow’s backup, Greg McElroy, instead of Jesus’s poker buddy, himself.

“According to the New York Daily News, Tebow will likely request a trade or ask for his release if McElroy starts each of the final two games,” wrote the Associated Press.

“(Tebow) has appeared in 11 games this season and has completed 6-of-8 passes for a mere 39 yards while also rushing for 102 yards on 32 carries.

“Once Ryan decided to sit Sanchez, the choice of McElroy to make Sunday’s start was somewhat surprising. The Alabama product has been inactive for most of the season and has appeared in just one game. He came off the bench in Week 13 and threw a touchdown pass in a 7-6 win over Arizona.

“Sanchez was back as the starter the following week and Tebow — who had been bothered by a rib injury — returned to his backup duties, while McElroy was again third string.”

Oh, so… there’s a pattern here?

That has of course led others to speculate whether or not Senor Florida will be heading to the CFL any time soon. It’s lucky the Montreal Alouettes have his trade rights, too, because that’s probably the only place in Canada that’s Roman Catholic-y enough to tolerate Tim forcing his religion onto everyone else.

Of course, the mere thought that Tebow would be just welcomed with open arms because it’s Canada and they’ll be all  like, “HOLY CRAP, IT’S A CELEBRITY!” is kind of dumbfounded and ridiculous.

While Americans view the Canadian Football League as its inbred half-sister (which is ironic, again, because it’s to the North of them), the CFL is its own league with its own rules and its own system.

And, it has a lot of passing.

Here’s Andrew Bucholtz of Yahoo! Sports and the 55 Yard Line Blog:

“Simply put, Tim Tebow is a terrible quarterback. His career NFL completion percentage is just 47.9 per cent,  and the 75.0 per cent mark he’s notched this year is incredibly deceptive, as he’s only thrown eight passes. Heck, even Pro Football Reference lists him as a fullback/tight end this year, which many of us would argue would be a better position for him. Yes, many quarterbacks who haven’t found great success south of the border have gone on to shine in the CFL, and that has some talking up Tebow as perhaps the next in that line. The crucial difference, though? Those guys were effective passers.

“With three downs, a bigger field and expanded motion, the Canadian game is even more passing-focused. Yes, some dual-threat quarterbacks have had success up north, most notably Damon Allen (Warren Moon, sometimes cited as an example there, didn’t actually run very much in the CFL), but Allen was always quite capable in the passing game too. He was the CFL’s leader in career passing yards until Anthony Calvillo broke his record in 2011, and his 56.4 per cent career completion mark (much of which was recorded in an era that emphasized deep, lower-percentage throws more than today’s game) makes Tebow’s look like chopped liver by comparison.”

You hear that? Chopped liver.

Eventually, every team will have to accurately and realistically have to evaluate Tebow for what he brings to them. Some have called him a great athlete — a great football player — but not a great quarterback. So, what’s the point of that? He plays quarterback. This is the NFL. You’re not supposed to just take flyers on guys and sign them for millions upon millions because you can believe they can be useful somewhere in your depth chart.

Go at it like you’re gelling your hair: always have a game plan, and stick to it.

If there’s no room for something trendy like Tim Tebow — i.e. the side part — then there’s no point in trying.