Monday, April 29, 2013
Timeline: Tebow has left the building
By Rich Cimini
A look back at the highlights (all three of them) and lowlights (too many to count) of Tim Tebow’s brief time in New York:
March 19 -- Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum are sipping on Ben & Jerry’s milkshakes at Newark Airport, waiting for a flight to the North Carolina pro day, when Tannenbaum broaches the idea of trading for Tebow. Peyton Manning is on the verge of signing with the Denver Broncos, so Tannenbaum figures Tebow will be available.
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March 22 -- Tebow lands in Morristown, N.J., via private jet, to visit the Jets’ facility. News choppers fly overhead, following his car on the short drive to the facility -- an O.J.-like scene. No white Bronco, though.
May 10 -- Tebow reveals he has changed the name of his dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback, to fit with his new address. Say hello to Bronx, formerly known as Bronco. Believe it or not, this makes headlines. Is another name change in the offing for the dog?
July 28 -- The shirt hits the fan. Following a rain-soaked practice, Tebow makes national news by removing his jersey and running shirtless to the locker room, parting the rain drops. A video of his jaunt hits the Internet and goes viral. Poking fun at himself, he shows up for a quarterbacks meeting later in the day wearing no shirt.
In terms of volume, Tim Tebow's introduction to New York was the largest news conference in the history of the Jets franchise.
Aug. 13 -- In a laughable display of paranoia, the Jets hold a closed practice devoted largely to the Wildcat. Reporters are permitted to watch, but they’re not allowed to report details. Coordinator Tony Sparano, not the trusting type, instructs players to form a wall on the sideline, blocking the view of reporters. ESPN reports live, but the crew is told to keep the camera far from the field.
Aug. 30 -- Owner Woody Johnson puts foot in mouth, telling a TV interviewer that "I think you can never have too much Tebow." The comment naturally becomes a headline, fueling the perception it was Johnson’s idea to acquire Tebow.
Sept. 18 -- In a Q & A with ESPNNewYork.com, Tebow makes news by revealing post-football political aspirations. It provides monologue fodder for TV talk-show host Jimmy Fallon. If Tebow tries to pass a bill, Fallon cracks, it will get intercepted over the middle.
Sept. 20 -- An ominous sign: A testy Sparano, supposedly the godfather of the Wildcat, defends his use of Tebow (or lack thereof) by explaining that using a player with Tebow’s skill set is "uncharted territory." It’s the first indication that Sparano isn’t on board.
Nov. 22 -- The first of many questionable quarterback decisions by Ryan. Tebow dresses but doesn’t play in a Thanksgiving night loss to the New England Patriots. (Remember the Butt Fumble?) Afterward, Tebow reveals the rib injury.
Dec. 17 -- On a Monday-night stage, the quarterback situation changes dramatically, perhaps forever. With an outside chance to make the playoffs, Sanchez (five turnovers) plays the worst game of his career -- but Ryan refuses to play Tebow for more than six snaps.