Merril Hoge has been the front runner in the anti Tebow campaign ever since his twitter comments in the preseason where he said " Its a joke to think the Broncos could win with Tebow as there starter". He started what became a media frenzy and the most heated debate over a player in NFL history. With the Bronocs winning 6 straight and then coming out on top of the AFC West he probably felt like his credibility as an anaylst was under attack.
When the Broncos were winning Merril Hoge was rarely adressed on the issue, and when questioned he seemed to get emotionally charged but staying adament on his opinion of the player. Hoge probably got more attention this year from his provocative statements than he had ever gotten before either during his playing career or his career as an anaylst. When he felt like his reputatioin was at stake he even came out and made a statement trying to redeem himself from his statements by comparing Tebows success to his own personal battle with cancer and that through this debate he had lost sight of the more important part of the story. He was back pedaling at full speed, and too stoop as far as bringing his own battle with cancer into the equation you knew the situation had to be weighing on him heavily.
Never before can I remember a single player so highly debated in the NFL as Tebow. NFL anaylsts and sportswriters are usually supposed to remain objective and un biased on players and teams but when it came to Tebow anything was fair game. I saw ESPN anaylsts high five each other showing public displays of their joy at the failure of Tebow after the Detroit Lions loss . Not to mention numerous other veteran players and anaylsts seeming to have an emotional stake in their opinions of Tebow. It was either one extreme or the other it seemed, you either loved him, or you hated him, and almost nobody that was in the sports media believed he would succeed save for maybe Skip Bayless.
When the Broncos were winning, all his detractors seemed to be able to come up with some excuse. But when the Broncs won 6 in a row and then won the AFC West and after they beat the reigning AFC champions in the first round of the playoffs, his detractros seemed to be hiding in the shadows waiting for another chance to scrutinize Tebow. Never once did I see Hoge do the highlights of a Broncos game after a win, he would report on all the other games but then when it came to the Broncos his media employers seemed to try and hide him from scrutiny or maybe he asked them to keep him off the air during those particular highlights. How would it look for his credibility as an analyst to have been so pubicly confident on Tebows inability to win as the Bronocos starting QB, after the Broncos just won the AFC West and then beat the Steelers in the first round of thee players. With every win Tebow and the Bronocs got during the season his credibility took a shot.
How convienient for Hoge that Tebow and the Bronocs would lose in embarrasing fashion in the second round of the playoffs. Can you imagine if the Bronocs made the AFC championship game, or the Super Bowl? They were only two wins away and he probably felt his reputation as an anaylst wss riding on the Bronocs to lose and end this cinderella run they had been on. If the Bronocs win that game do you see Hoge standing tall and calling the highlights for the game on ESPN? Not a chance, ESPN almost for sure had a different set of commentators should the Broncos win because it would be too big of an insult to Hoge for him to be seen doing it. But low and behold the Broncos lose and guess who is front and center ready to soak in his pride and vindication by calling the highligts of the lop sided game and being able to seemingly get the last laugh on the issue.
I try not to judge people from what I see on T.V., but after seeing Hoge so blatentley disrespect Tebow during the preseason, try and discredit him every chance he got, then when he started to feel a little bit of heat because the Broncos were winning with Tebow, he takes the low road out by playing his cancer card on the issue and trying to redeem himself. Then when the oppurtunity arises he right on time to jump all over it, continuing to voice what he had said all along and finally feeling vindicated with a lop sided playoff loss. Maybe I would respect Hoge a little more if he was some super star NFl player, but Tebow has already done more than Hoge was able to do in 10 seasons as a running back. So when Hoge seemed to come out of hiding at the most convienient time possible, trying to pull the old " I told you so, see i wsa right all along" I felt like it was a joke. I lost respect for alot of analyst and experts this year for being so emotionally invested in the failure of a player. But Hoge takes the cake.