Why I Think "NFL Guys" Hate Tim Tebow

There has been a lovely pissing match on this series of tubes over this question, "Should Florida have taught Tim Tebow to be a pro-style quarterback?" In one corner, the ink stained fingers of the Palm Beach Post's Ben Volin and Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi. In the other corner, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio and your ESPN's cavalcade of stars, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay

First off, criticism of Tebow and any college player is valid. College football has a tendency to glorify guys, who only end up as great players because they played with 10 other great guys. Perhaps Tebow is one of those guys. After all, Bubba Caldwell, Percy Harvin and Lou Murphy are productive pros and the Pounceys, Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez will be decent draft picks too. Maybe Tebow benefited from playing with them, not the other way around.

Secondly, if you read Florio's take on the situation, it has the air of someone tossing knowledge out of his digital ivory tower. Since he is an NFL guy, he is the smartest guy in the room. And even though he throws around rumors as fact, Florio has the moral high ground to criticize Volin and accuse him of being a mouthpiece for the UF program. While Volin defends the UF program and Tebow, he can't go far in that argument since he is, you know, a real reporter. (Or maybe he doesn't want to go far, too.) Bianchi, as a columnist, can take it further, basically saying that the only responsibility Florida's coaches have is to win games. If UF could win with Tebow throwing right handed, they would let him.

However, Florio's strafing ultimately reveals his real argument; Tim Tebow does not look, taste, smell or feel like an NFL quarterback. The NFL wants quarterbacks who look like Jimmy Clausen and Jevon Snead. According to NFL guys, Tebow is a failure because he not a pro-style quarterback.

Florio is lucky that the NFL has not had the revolution that Baseball has had with Moneyball and Sabermetrics finding ways to assess players outside of the blonde 6-foot-3 guy who, "just looks like a player." After the Oakland A's rebuilt their team and became successful, every MLB team copied it. The philosophy worked so well that after the Boston Red Sox used it to rebuild their team, they won two World Series in four years. The NFL, a league that thinks the Wildcat is innovative, is not a creative league. Teams are successful by copying the West Coast Offense or Tampa 2, not creating their own system with players uniquely designed for it. 

I don't want to say NFL guys like Florio, Kiper and McShay are intellectually lazy, but they are not creative. In their mind, it is impossible for a great athlete to be a quarterback. It is impossible to rebuild your throwing motion or get faster or stronger. If your 40-time is not right, or you don't have enough reps at 225, or your mother was a maid and your father was a drunk, you cannot play in their league. Fit in this box and maybe we can let you play in the NFL. There is something else at stake; if Tebow starts putting up numbers, Florio and the rest of them are failures. So are every general manager who passed up the greatest college football player of his generation. After all, they're all so smart, they should have seen in coming. Just like Kiper on JaMarcus Russell. Oh, wait, bad example.

I'm not trying to defend Tebow or make the claim that he is going to be a great quarterback. After all, he could suck. But the meme that somehow Urban Meyer or Tebow should have fixed the loop in his throw is garbage. They wanted to win games, not look pretty. Obviously, to play in the NFL, Florio and the rest of his NFL guys think you have to look pretty. Tebow will never be pretty and they will all hate him for it.

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