National Football League
Don't let Tebow hype fool you
National Football League

Don't let Tebow hype fool you

Published Oct. 10, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Jason’s note: This column has spoilers from Sunday night’s “Breaking Bad” season finale.

Maybe Tim Tebow is a football force of nature, the answer to Denver’s mile-high longing for the next John Elway. But it’s going to take more than a screen pass, a 12-yard TD scramble, constant fist-pumping and yelling and a moral victory to convince me.

I hope I don’t get struck by lightning or my Tebow-loving, colleague Jen Engel for writing that.

I’m not for or against Touchdown Timmy. I’m a Kansas City-fed, Show Me State, fence-sitting skeptic when it comes to the religious symbol/Broncos quarterback. You have to show me more than a 4-of-10, 79-yard passing half to get my heart racing about a Tebow Era.


I was stunned Sunday night when none other than Tony Dungy declared on NBC’s “Football Night In America” that Denver coach John Fox had to start Tebow in two weeks after Denver’s bye in the aftermath of the Broncos’ 29-24 close loss against San Diego. Dungy, while a religious zealot, is a stone-cold football man, a methodical, by-the-books, measured coach. He’s not given to succumbing to emotion or public sentiment.

But he’s now apparently caught Tebow religion thanks to a screen pass that Knowshon Moreno turned into a 28-yard TD scamper, a Tebow run for another score and the intangible-reliant belief the Broncos played harder when Touchdown Timmy was yelling and screaming.

Dungy fell for the hype. It makes sense. He’s removed from the fire. He’s on TV now. He’s like the rest of America. We believe that whatever the last entertaining thing we saw on the boob tube is infinitely better than whatever we saw before.

Sorry. I’m in a very cynical mood today. Touchdown Timmy reminds me of the AMC drama “Breaking Bad,” the show idiots claim is on the verge of replacing “The Wire” as the greatest in television history. “Breaking Bad” aired its Season 4 finale a couple of hours after Tebow flung his final incomplete pass into the end zone.

I got a bit swept up in the “Breaking Bad” hype this season. I never put it on the same level as “The Wire,” a show about cops, drug dealers and big-city politics that is being taught as political science on college campuses across the country, a show US attorney general Eric Holder stated in a public plea to creator David Simon is worthy of a sixth season. “Breaking Bad” never had a chance to be as important, as gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking and compelling as Simon’s masterpiece.

But by the final two or three episodes of this season, I put away my “Wire” bias and opened my mind to the possibility that “BB” could be viewed on the same level as “The Shield,” “Mad Men” and “The Sopranos.”

After last night’s “BB” finale, the show is on the same level as “Happy Days.” For those of you not old enough to remember Fonzie jumping the shark, you’ll always have Walter White’s “24”-Jack Bauer-esque blowup of meth kingpin Gus Fring, complete with Gus walking out of the room with half his face and body blown off before falling to his death. “Breaking Bad,” a show about a high school science teacher-turned-meth cook embracing his dark side, morphed into a suspension-of-reality, ignore-the-plot-holes action movie.

A few of the highlights: 1. Walt took the bomb off Gus’ car and walked back into the hospital to talk with Jessie Pinkman without knowing where Gus was in the hospital; 2. No one ever explained why Gus walked away from the car in the first place; 3. The careful, meticulous Gus — a man who just a few episodes before plotted the mass killing of an entire Mexican drug cartel, including setting up an on-site hospital to help him recover from poisoning — hatched a half-baked plan to kill Walt even though Gus had every reason to suspect the DEA was watching him and Walt; 4. The same Gus also went to personally kill Hector just hours after Hector had met with the DEA. If Hector had cooperated with the DEA — which there was zero proof he had — Gus would surely suspect he and Hector were both being watched; 5. There was no explanation given for how Walt poisoned the child Brock.

I could go on. The show was an absolute joke. It jumped the Gus.

Chuck Klosterman, the talented thinker and writer who authored the original idiocy comparing “Breaking Bad” to the all-time great shows, owes David Simon, David Chase ("The Sopranos"), Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"), Matthew Weiner ("Mad Men") and all of America an apology.

“Breaking Bad” is a car-crash buddy flick featuring meth dealers rather than cops. It’s “Bad Boys” powered by fawning media and the Emmy committee telling the public Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are better actors than Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

Child, please.

Oops. I forgot this is a column about Tim Tebow and the overhype that will eventually lead him to break bad. Will we ever learn? Haven’t we already been down this road with Tiger Woods? Haven’t we been there with Michael Vick?

Woods deserved the golf hype, but a big part of his following was based on the belief he was special, strong enough to avoid the temptations that seduced Adam, Clinton, Kennedy, Martin and Pitino.

Ms. P. Galore remains undefeated.

Vick, like Tebow, was supposed to redefine the quarterback position. Vick, like Tebow, was polarizing. Vick had/has passionate supporters and haters. He has yet to redefine the QB position. He likely won’t. And neither will Tebow.

Yelling, screaming and fist-pumping are intangibles and motivational techniques best used by assistant coaches and middle linebackers. They have limited value on the offensive side of the ball. Defense is emotional. Offense is intellectual. Ray Lewis can’t play quarterback. And Peyton Manning can’t play middle linebacker.

In a pass-happy league where Cam Newton came out of the box throwing for 400 yards, let’s not get carried away because Touchdown Timmy threw for 79.

Denver doesn’t have a quarterback controversy. It has a QB crisis.


Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more