We all know the feeling of the shiny new thing: excitement, anticipation, hope. The old thing? Well, if it’s in good condition, it has a proven track record, it is reliable and it certainly gets the job done.
From purely a manager’s perspective, I absolutely understand and agree with EFX’s decision to go with what’s new over what’s old.
Visualizing Tim Tebow in Jets green makes my stomach turn. He’s still up on my son’s wall, all six-foot-plus fathead of him, Tebowing. My son, Giuseppe, who is two and a half years old, points to him and smiles: “Tim Tebow - champion, daddy!” I taught him that. I've also taught him lots of bad jokes, just like my dad taught me. It's a dad thing. My son pulls my finger and I oblige. But it's tough when you've got a hangover.
From purely a fan’s perspective who always likes cheering for the underdog, I have a bit of a hangover this morning.
I argued vociferously here over the last week-plus for the opportunity to have my cake and eat it, too. The idea of Manning and Tebow together just seems awesome to me. I readily admit I don’t have the play-design acumen to say this is exactly how it’s going to work, but in the mindset of what Bellichick does with several of his players up in New England and with a masterful IQ QB like Manning, it seemed entirely plausible. And as the market, apparently, wasn’t that great (fourth and sixth - minus our seventh + paying 2.5 mil...meh?), I still think keeping him would have been my choice.
However, those Tebow-first fans yelling that Elway never wanted Tebow seem to be correct. I didn’t want to believe that. I’m a Broncos-first guy. I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the Tebow pick, but I was intrigued. I backed Orton as long as possible, wanting Tebow to develop under a somewhat solid front office (since all he’d known was turmoil). But when he got his chance, man did he make last year fun. In fairness, some of that fun has to do with a longer hangover that sums up what it has felt like being a Broncos fan since the last playoff win in 2005.
The thing is, there’s a big difference between backing the known and the unknown. Beyond just the physical appearance, the crown jewel piece that is QB sits amongst many other parts. I think, as a manager, Elway just wanted to spend a lot less time worrying about that one piece. Prepping for every game last season with Tebow at the helm must have been exhausting for EFX. To have to make that offense up on the fly and game plan in whatever odd and out of the box manner they did might seem exciting to fans because you just never know when Tebow’s going to do something amazing (and he did several amazing things last year). But to EFX, at some point, you have to think -- what are we doing here?
And I think that’s the bottom line. Most managers don’t like to be in completely unknown territory. They like the familiar, the reliable and that which gets the job done -- that is, health-bearing, Peyton Manning. I wish Tebow the best and thank him for a very exciting season. He still may be great or he may be forever a sideshow -- there’s truly no knowing with him. Manning, on the other hand, is great and I believe will make the Broncos a better football team in 2012.
Hangovers pass -- and Manning passes even better. My bad sense of humor is coming back. Hey Giuseppe -- come pull daddy's finger. I feel better already.