There was a time not too long ago when having Mike Vick, Tony Romo or Mark Sanchez as your quarterback was considered living well in the NFL. Now it is like the sports version of marry, boff, kill.
If you had to choose one to build your franchise around, one to win a single game and death is not an option (neither is abstaining) whom do you go with?
Be careful with quick answers.
Anybody saying Vick should know he is the bridge Philadelphia coach Andy Reid’s career is likely to die on — slowly and painfully if his staying with him for another week is any indication.
As for Romo, what if that one game is the one where he throws five interceptions?
And Sanchez, well, he seems to have retained his starting job simply because the New York Jets really do view Tim Tebow as a cool party trick and not a legitimate starter.
Which is why I find it funny that NFL players voted Tebow the most overrated player in the league in a Sports Illustrated poll. He is not even the most overrated quarterback on his team. That distinction belongs to the guy formerly known as The Sanchise.
How do you even rate Tebow, football-wise? He played and won in Denver despite everybody in that organization wishing and, at times, scheming for him to fail. He has barely been used in New York, which says more about the Jets than Tebow. Their season is cratering. Their quarterback is flailing, and they refuse even to consider his backup, which strongly hints what most of us understood all along — that they acquired him for non-football reasons. And how stupid does that look right about now?
And this is why the whole overrated thing is overrated.
Is Tebow really more overrated than Vick? Or Romo? Or Sanchez? He is a backup quarterback who happens to get talked a lot about on "First Take," not because he courts this but rather because he brings ratings. People are interested in him. This does not make him overrated.
The problem is we have confused the word. One is not overrated because ESPN follows your every move. One is overrated if you have been projected to be one type of player and you are not that guy.
This is the problem with Sanchez, Vick and Romo. Everybody is still dealing with what they could be “if only.”
If only Romo did not have to do so much.
If only Reid properly utilized Vick.
If only Sanchez had better talent around him.
OK, and if I were 5-10 and 120 pounds, I’d be in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I am not. We need to deal with these players for what they are and what they have done, which is a big bag of not a lot lately. This is the kind of play that gets you benched — except in New York, Philly and Dallas, the wagons are circling. All have been declared the starters and, in Dallas, the very idea of this as a legit question is denied by the Cowboys.
This is what happens when you fall in love with your guy, your plan, your way. No amount of information — in the form of losses and turnovers and mediocre season after mediocre season — dissuades them. I really do not know if Reid is this stubborn, or if he does not recognize that Vick has become his kryptonite.
What I know for sure is, in Dallas they are not willing to even entertain the idea that Romo is not the guy. I am not saying he is not. I like him and really like his talent, too. But there does come a point that you are what you are, you are what your record says you are, you are the mistakes that you continue to make.
The same goes for Sanchez. It can’t always be the line, the receivers, the coach, the game plan.
It really is sometimes just about the quarterback. And if the question is marry, boff, kill in the sports sense with Vick, Romo and Sanchez, I am not so sure there is a good choice to marry your franchise to any of them long term, not right now, not based on what we have seen, not on the information we have at the time.
And that makes them absolutely more overrated than Tebow.