Not even Tim Tebow gets free pass in N.Y.

July, 28, 2012
7/28/12
8:12
PM ET


It was bound to happen. I just didn't foresee it coming this soon.

Tim Tebow, the most hyped backup quarterback in recent memory, is getting heckled by some New York Jets fans. Saturday was the first training camp day open to the public and an opportunity to crown Tebow the people's champ. Instead, the reception was "lukewarm at best" for Tebow and a pro-Mark Sanchez crowd, according to my colleague Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com.

What does this sudden Tebow backlash mean?

This has more to do with Tebow the hype machine than Tebow the player. Jets fans -- at least some of them -- are tired of hearing every detail about a backup quarterback and special-teams player.

American sports culture can be relentless with celebrities. We build players up so much and so fast that it can build resentment. Tebow is a tremendous person with great character, yet there is a sector of people who cannot wait to see him struggle or fail. I get these responses all the time in the AFC East blog.

Besides, New Yorkers do not give anyone a free pass. They didn't do it for Sanchez or Eli Manning, and they certainly won't do it for Tebow.

The biggest lesson in Saturday's Tebow heckling is no amount of hype is enough. Ultimately, Tebow has to win over Jets fans with his performance on the field.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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