The Next A-Rod

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Football is out of control.

He’s a runaway freight train. The fat kid winning a trip inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Miley Cyrus getting ready to twerk.

Unstoppable.

We didn’t learn much about Johnny Manziel last year for a number of reasons. Freshman players at Texas A&M aren’t allowed to speak to the media. Manziel hadn’t yet morphed into Johnny Football. Most importantly, the college football world had only begun treating him like the guy Tim Tebow worships.

But now, Johnny Manziel is showing his true colours and they couldn’t be any uglier.

Obviously, the NCAA’s half game penalty to Manziel didn’t teach him a lesson. The slap on the wrist simply inflated Mr. Football’s ego. It confirmed his belief that he is invincible.

Time after time this off-season, Manziel has thrown the middle finger in the face of his critics. He didn’t care that he was sent home from the Manning camp. He knew it would cause an uproar going to a University of Texas frat party. He signed autographs in exchange for money even though his family is rich as holy hell.

Johnny Football don’t care because Johnny Football is above the law. At least, that’s how Johnny Football views the world.

After his performance on the field today, it is clear as to how Johnny Manziel perceives his place on this earth. He taunted a defender by pretending to sign his autograph. He celebrated on two occasions by giving the ca$h money sign with his hands.

I hate to put it in such a low brow way but Manziel is a douche bag. He isn’t just a douchebag. He is lord of the douchebags and seems perfectly happy with carrying that title.

By making reference to his recent mini scandal multiple times on national TV, Johnny Manziel is carving out his place as the next Alex Rodriguez in professional sports.

Manziel is the kind of douchebag that you can’t quite define. I’m all for taunting on the field but when Chad Ochocinco tries to bribe a referee with a dollar bill, it comes off as endearing. When Johnny For whatever reason, Manziel throws up the ca$h money sign with both hands, I’m pissed off. It’s not very hard to picture him as the dude wearing the Delta Kappa Epsilon t-shirt as a head band during college orientation week.

Douchebag.

If Manziel is able to translate his skills to the next level, he will become the NFL’s most polarizing figure. It’s incredibly simplistic to attribute his actions to “just being a kid” or “boys will be boys”. There are lots of “kids” who have been showered with praise in the manner that Johnny Manziel has without transforming into raging ego-maniacs. Tim Tebow, LeBron James and Sidney Crosby are names that immediately come to mind.

As much as people may hate LeBron James, it is not because he has that douchebaggy, A-Fraud kind of aura to him.

Sadly, Johnny Manziel gives off that vibe and it won’t serve him well moving forward. Alex Rodriguez is lucky he plays what is essentially an individual sport. As much as we hear reports that Manziel’s teammates adore him, those college kids who look up to him now will turn into grown men in the NFL.

Manziel isn’t merely enjoying the fruits of his labour at this point. He goes out of his way to flaunt his success in everyone’s faces. His ego has become the size of Barry Bonds’ head circa 2001. It’s a huge turn off.

If you look at the greatest leaders in the NFL, they aren’t frat boys who happen to play football really well. If Manziel continues down this path, ‘haters gonna hate’ will become his go to phrase on twitter.

Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin has to bench him. Benching him for a half will do a whole lot more than the NCAA’s pathetic double standard of a suspension did. He needs to take a page from Don Mattingly’s book. Yasiel Puig, who has been basking a little too hard in the glow of his own phenomenon, forced Mattingly’s hand. There were rumblings that players were getting upset and understandably so.

Puig’s ego ain’t got nothing on Johnny Football.

While Manziel’s future success is far from a guarantee, there are other things that are certainties. Professional football players won’t tolerate Manziel the way he handles that ego. The media won’t give him any breaks. Diehard football fans can be as ruthless and unforgiving as they come.

It is possible that Manziel will mature and shed this other label he is creating for himself. However, someone has to stop him in his tracks. And fast.

Because Johnny Football appears to be just getting started.

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Tick Tock on the Clock

Tim Tebow

The script had everything that a person could want — intrigue, drama, and a flawed main character. It was a Broadway show that had the makings of being a huge money-maker but the director decided to go another route. Tim Tebow was supposed to be the next big thing in New York but he didn’t even get the chance to be a flop.

It was reported earlier today that the New York Jets are ready to part ways with Tim Tebow. Despite all the expectations heading into the season and the plethora of ESPN coverage, Tebow’s tenure in the Big Apple was just rotten. Following the Mark Sanchez benching this week, Tim Tebow was bypassed as starting quarterback for 3rd stringer Greg McElroy. It was the last straw for Tebow and ultimately signalled the end for the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Unfortunately for Tebow and ESPN, this failure with the Jets might have signalled more than just the end of Tebow’s days in New York.

The director, Rex Ryan, obviously wasn’t comfortable with Tim Tebow having a starring role in his play. This special Tebow package that Tony Sparano designed for Tebow has yet to be found and I don’t think anyone is sure if it actually exists. The coaching staff refused to insert more Tebow into the offence despite Mark Sanchez’s consistently abysmal play. It speaks volumes to what the coaching staff thinks of Tebow.

The clock never struck Tebow time in New York and it appears as though the clock is ticking rather quickly on Tim Tebow’s opportunity to be one of the NFL’s 32 starting quarterbacks.

Although he was such a success in Denver, it appears pretty clear that Tim Tebow will never be more than a novelty in the NFL. A ploy that owners use to increase jersey sales and media hype for their team. No one, except maybe Josh McDaniels, believes that Tim Tebow can be the long-term solution for their franchise.

Nor should they.

The New York Jets had an entire season with Tim Tebow. They saw him workout, practice and play. Well, sort of play. Out of any team in the NFL, the Jets coaching staff knows Tim Tebow better than anyone else does at this point in his career. Regardless of their immense struggles, they still didn’t believe it was worth putting him under center.

They felt it would be better if Tim Tebow didn’t get a sniff at leading their Sanchize.

They knew that Tebow time can lead to short-term success. However, the possibility of short-term success would undoubtedly lead to long-term problems. The potential limited success of Tim Tebow wasn’t worth the pain of having to find a real quarterback somewhere down the road. Let’s be real, that would be an inevitability.

I mean, it has been 3 seasons and Tim Tebow still throws while rolling out to his right about as well as I can cook, which is not very well if you couldn’t guess.

To commit to Tim Tebow means committing to a completely different style of game. It means tailoring personnel to fit his very unique brand of football. It means going all-in on a system that has absolutely no guarantee of working.

After watching the Tebow experiment fizzle out in New York, teams are seeing that Mr. John 3:16 is more headache than help. Any ownership or management group that is more concerned with winning than merchandise sales won’t be willing to roll the dice on Tim Tebow. For a project as defective as Tebow, who wants to take the risk?

Everyone is learning what John Elway knew all along.

I can’t even imagine that Shahid Khan is considering Tebow as a viable starting quarterback option at this point.

Tim Tebow did not get the big break he was hoping for after he was dealt to the New York Jets. All he has left to do now is to hope that someone else sees what Josh McDaniels saw at the 2010 NFL draft.

The thing is, that ticking clock, it’s already close to zero.

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Tim Tebow a Real Starting Quarterback?

Tim Tebow must start the season as the Denver Broncos starting quarterback. I don’t think there are many people who could disagree with that. Whether he won or lost against the Steelers today, Tebow earned his spot as the team’s rightful starting quarterback.

The bottom line still isn’t wins. It’s how Tebow gets those wins. Today, Tim Tebow’s starring role against the Steelers was not accompanied by an Oscar worthy performance from luck (god?) for best supporting actor. Tebow time wasn’t reserved specifically for the 4th quarter as the Broncos’s won this game in a manner that John Elway could be proud of who seemed genuinely happy today. I know, right?

Tim Tebow showed the organization they need to stick with him. Even the fiercest critics, such as myself, of Tebow’s stumbling and bumbling inspector Clouseau-like (see my tweet) style of play have to concede this one to the real chosen1. It would be crazy of Denver, at this point, not to publicly show a great deal of confidence with regards to Tim Tebow’s status as the starting quarterback going into next season.

He has clearly improved virtually all facets of his game. That is something no one can ignore.

However, is it enough?

In spite of everything we witnessed against the Steelers, one strong week following a number of poor weeks isn’t going to completely change my mind. Yeah, what a shocker.

The supporters continue to support while the critics continue to criticize.

Tebow still misses open receivers. Late in the 4th quarter he had a chance to put his team into game winning field goal range but on 3rd down with just over a minute remaining he neatly stepped up in the pocket only to badly miss the open receiver running free across the middle of the field. It wasn’t the lone time in the game he missed a receiver by a fair margin. He may have thrown for over 300 yards but it was done on only 10 of 21 passing, with just 1 of those passes being dropped.

Tebow still stands in the pocket for much too long. He hasn’t learned how make his progressions and read a defence with ease. If his primary receiver isn’t there, Tebow must scramble. Can he learn to read defences? Does he have to learn how to read defences?

The only people who flip-flop more than Mitt Romney does may be the football analysts commenting on this Tebow conundrum. Nevertheless, his inability to show he can consistently play as well as he has against the Steelers and Raiders leaves me no choice but to carry on with my scepticism.

Consistency is a must in the NFL. Roller-coasters are fun, but after a while you start to get sick of them. America will never get sick of talking about Tebow. The Broncos, on the other hand, will put up with his inconsistency for only so long.

Tebow deserves the opportunity to succeed in the NFL next year. He should be the unquestionable starter. His performance against the Patriots shouldn’t make any difference to where he stands next season. While he ought to be number 1 on the depth chart in 2012, the Broncos can’t put all their eggs in their holy basket.

To place their full faith in an inconsistent, inaccurate quarterback constantly exposed to injury, despite his thick 245 pound frame, after a clutch playoff performance would also be crazy. Focusing their complete energy in surrounding Tebow with the best personnel for an option offence could blow up in their face if Tebow fails or gets injured.

Tebow has given the Bronco’s a lot more to think about. And to think, a Raiders win last weekend might have put the final nail in Tebow’s starting quarterback coffin. Now, it’s full steam ahead for the Tebow train.

I’m just not jumping aboard. Not yet.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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The Magic of Tim Tebow

There’s the magic of Tim Tebow. Mike Mayock said it and everyone else watching Thursday night’s game against the Jets was thinking it.

Tim Tebow did his thing in the final 5 minutes of the game. His team needed a field goal but in typical Tebow fashion, he drove down the field for a go-ahead touchdown. With 58 seconds left to play, Tebow put his team up by 4 points and for another week has silenced the critics.

OK, partially silenced.

Tim Tebow’s magic isn’t real. I’m still not buying it. His comebacks amaze me but it’s all smoke and mirrors. Tebow is giving America a great show. Maybe Las Vegas will give him a call soon. He could have one of those high-priced, fancy shows with all the extravagant lights and sounds.

The thing about all magic shows is that they are illusions. A good magic show will put you in awe, make you ask how in the name of Tebow did he do that but in the end you know you’re just getting fooled.

Tim Tebow has two things going for him: He has great feel for the game and he knows how to come through in the clutch.

I keep hearing that winning is the bottom line. Winning is not the bottom line. At least, winning the way Tim Tebow has is not the bottom line.

The bottom line is that Tim Tebow can’t play quarterback and win in the NFL.

He marched his team down the field for a game winning drive but he should never have had the opportunity to do so in the first place. Tim Tebow has taken advantage of his opportunities but the way he is playing, those opportunities shouldn’t be coming around as often as they have.

At some point, Tim Tebow’s luck is going to run out.

Mark Sanchez isn’t always going to be there to throw an unnecessary pick six. Matt Cassel won’t always be around to run a hapless offence. A matchup against the miserable Miami Dolphins squad that can’t recover an onside kick doesn’t come standard in the NFL.

If the Denver Broncos were any good offensively they would have blown those 3 teams out of the water.

His one decent outing against the Oakland Raiders came with a side of 3 interceptions courtesy of Carson Palmer.

I don’t care that Tim Tebow doesn’t have a group of good NFL receivers. If you can’t throw a 10 yard out on target then it doesn’t matter who you’re throwing the ball to. Tim Tebow was getting all day to throw against the Jets yet he was still having more trouble hitting his man than an out of football, overweight Jamarcus Russell.

I feel for John Elway. John Elway was clapping when Tebow scored the go-ahead touchdown but his eyes were filled with disappointment. He wants the Tebow experiment to fail and I don’t blame him. The way Tebow plays isn’t sustainable. He knows it.

John Elway knows that you can’t teach accuracy.

Related: What to Make of Mr. Tebow’s Wild Ride?

Cartoon steam comes out of John Elway’s ears whenever he sees Tebow throw the ball. His elongated motion is disgusting. It’s as if Tebow is throwing in epic movie hero slow motion. The problem for Timmy T is that the blitz doesn’t also come in slow motion.

With the Broncos next two games featuring the Chargers and Vikings, it’s entirely plausible that Denver could be sitting at 7-5 atop the AFC West going into their Week 14 game versus the Bears.

However, a 7-5 record still shouldn’t mean Bronco fans can be too optimistic. This unsustainable style of play is only stalling the inevitable realization they will either have to go in another direction or that Jesus…err Tebow needs to drastically improve. Emphasis on the drastically.

The 4-1 Broncos with Tebow as their starter simply means the Broncos most likely won’t be looking at Matt Barkley or Landry Jones come the 2012 draft.

4-1 doesn’t say anything about the Broncos ability to win playoff games, which, by the way, is something they won’t be able to do with Tebow. Squeaking out tight victories against weak teams, that does nothing more than put another notch in the legendary Tebow belt, doesn’t win Super Bowls.

There is no doubt a lot of magical talent within Tim Tebow. Unfortunately, Tebow’s weekly magic gig will soon run its course and it will be time for another act to take his place in the mile high city.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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What to Make of Mr. Tebow’s Wild Ride?

The mounting evidence surrounding Tim Tebow is overwhelming. If it makes us feel better we can choose to ignore it or we can take it for what it should be worth.

We could choose to listen to the Adam Schefter approach. The cop-out, good ol’ wait and see approach. Schefter said in a radio interview that “Let’s just wait and see before we start ripping Tim Tebow and declaring him to be a failure — the guy at least deserves the chance to prove himself over time. I’m not ready to declare a quarterback a success or failure after just two weeks of the preseason.”

But choosing to listen to guys like Adam Schefter would be discounting the excessive information constantly being thrown at us about God’s gift to football.

Tim Tebow is not ready to be top-tier NFL quarterback and he probably never will be.

It isn’t just the two weeks of the preseason.

I’m not jumping on this because hating on Tim Tebow has become the new black as Yahoo Sports pronounced yesterday. In fact, I believed not too long ago that Tim Tebow deserved a chance to start for the Denver Broncos. I still have no faith in Kyle Orton.

However, it was reported by “a highly knowledgeable member of the [Denver] organization told Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports that “If everything was totally equal, and this were a competition based only on performance at this camp, Tebow would probably be the fourth-string guy. Kyle [Orton] is far and away the best, and Tebow’s way behind [Brady] Quinn too. And I’m telling you, Adam Weber is flat-out better right now.”

John Fox refuted that claim but the idea behind it is concerning for Tim Tebow to say the least. It has taken just a few short weeks for Tebow’s status within his team’s new regime to sink faster than a human body thrown into the Hudson River.

The new regime in Denver, headlined by John’s Elway and Fox, may not have drafted Tebow but, contrary to what some are saying, they came in open-minded to the Tebow experiment.

Elway said before the 2010 season that “I don’t think Tim Tebow is a good quarterback at this level at this time.” Sure, he wasn’t a fan like Josh McDaniels was, but the Denver head brass was ready to hand Tebow the reigns to the Broncos a couple of weeks ago. They sure weren’t digging Orton back then.

If the Miami Dolphins had agreed to pony up a 3rd round pick for Kyle Orton than this not so fairy tale story for Tim Tebow would certainly have been different.

It hasn’t taken very long for the folks in the Bronco organization to change their mind. Kyle Orton has been schooling Tim Tebow in practice. Brady Quinn, the man of the 66.8 career QB rating, now occupies the back-up spot. And undrafted free agent Adam Weber could be more ready than Tim Tebow at this point in time.

Tebow didn’t start at the back-end of the depth chart. He has played his way there. We all have our opinions about Tebow but the bottom line is that the people who watch him day in and day out are telling us that he isn’t good enough.

If you can’t make reads quickly, you can’t play quarterback in the NFL. Apparently, Tim Tebow is having more trouble figuring out what’s going on than a blind man at the movie theatre.

If he’s still having trouble making reads then you really start to wonder about his intelligence. Unlike a Sam Bradford, he doesn’t come across as the brightest fellow in his interviews. Although this is purely speculative, you have to question if Tebow is intelligent enough to fully grasp every minute nuance of an NFL playbook.

It may not be the most telling of intelligence tests but Tim Tebow scored an unimpressive 22 on his prior to being drafted. Just something to think about.

His 3 games at the end of the 2010 season, run purely on instinct and intensity, aren’t reason enough to give him a shot. He’s going to have to prove to the Broncos that he can make all the throws and reads. He can only do that in the one place that Allen Iverson has become famous for – practice.

There isn’t a non-football grounds on which you can explain the rapid fall of Tim Tebow. It isn’t his evangelical ways, the media attention or that the Broncos organization has it in for him. I think it’s got to be pretty hard for you to sit there on your laptop and tell me that you know more than John Fox. Not to say that coaches aren’t wrong sometimes but you don’t become a successful coach of 22 years and head coach of the past 9 years without knowing a little something about the game.

You can listen to whoever you want about the Tim Tebow gong show but it seems to me that we should be listening to those who care and have the most invested in him – the Denver Broncos.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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