Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why I'm glad Tim Tebow is no longer a Bronco.

I am a Christian. I am a huge Denver Broncos fan. I couldn't be happier that Tim Tebow is no longer a Bronco.

I think this makes me weird. If you go by trends, I am supposed to be angry that John Elway got rid of Tim Tebow. I'm supposed to be in a fit of rage and ready to be grabbing either a torch or a pitchfork and storming Bronco headquarters to demand someone pay for this outrage. I'm probably not supposed to have a dumb grin on my face that I can't seem to wipe off that has been there all week.

Here's the thing, I respect Tim Tebow as a person. I'd probably vote for him for president should he run once he turns 45 years old. I think he's the kind of person that makes good decisions in life and has a solid head on his shoulders. He's a good kid, he also is a mediocre quarterback. As easy as it was to cheer for Tim, I have had trepidation about him being the long term answer for the Broncos. The reason for this is because I think last year was a fluke. A wonderfully fun and exciting fluke, but a fluke nonetheless. 

The thing about flukes is that they tend to stop happening. Tebow was going to enter camp as the number one quarterback on the roster. The reason for this are three-fold: 1. There were no other viable options. 2. There were no other viable options. 3. There were no other viable options. As soon as Peyton Manning became available, suddenly all three reasons were no longer valid AND John Elway had a 4 time MVP Golden Ticket out of Tebowville. The local fan base has grown an unhealthy obsession with Tim. As wonderful as Tebow has been, the irrational fervor surrounding him has become equally unbearable. A large contingent of people who didn't care about football or the Broncos are now very angry that Tebow is no longer a Bronco. 

There is an element of faith I like about Timmy, but there is a transitive element of faith that I despise about his diehard fans. His belief in God is admirable and honest, however the transitive property is that because he has faith in something, we should have faith in him as a football player. Look, I have faith in God, that doesn't make me able to throw a timing route to a slot receiver running a seam pattern. Tim's believe in God does not help him play quarterback in the NFL. The fact that so many Christians seem to believe in him as a spiritual force for good on the football field is baffling to me. He's a Christian that also happens to play football. He works hard to do his best, and he's a gritty player, but his release on his throws is humorous. I can't decide if it's the fact that it takes so long or looks so terrible that bothers me most about the way he throws. What I do know is that I did not want to pin any hopes for the Broncos on him.

People unfamiliar with football are confusing hype with talent. Just because Tebow is the most talked about athlete in the NFL last year doesn't mean he was anywhere close to the best. If you don't believe me, please note that he just was traded away to the Jets for a measly 4th round draft pick...For those unfamiliar with football, a Fourth round pick has roughly the same value to an NFL team as that quarter you found on the floor of your local grocery store checkout stand. It's worth bothering to bend over to pick up, but it's not going to change your life. 

You don't believe me when I say that Tebow's football ability is not greatly respected by football people? You need to understand that the Jets picked him up to be the backup to Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is a quarterback consistently rated in the bottom third of NFL quarterbacks, and yet most reasonable football people believe that Tebow has virtually no shot an unseating him. Football wise, Tebow's value has been wildly overstated by his fans. He's a backup quarterback with unique skills. He has everything you'd want in a quarterback with the notable and critical exception of being incapable of throwing the ball well. Some believe this is something he can learn with practice and training, I do not share this belief.

While Tebow's value as a quarterback is average at best, his value as a sideshow attraction is through the roof. Tebow has a unique ability to take people with little interest in football and make them interested in football. He galvanizes people who never before were interested, and quickly they become Tebow fans. The problem is that these people who know nothing about football suddenly are passionate about Tebow, but still remain people that know virtually nothing about football. These well meaning folks are under the mistaken impression that his magnetic personality equates to football prowess. It doesn't. I've spoken with these misguided fans all week. They all hold a belief that Tebow is going to morph into one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL and make Denver pay for getting rid of him. They have a healthy amount of anger at the Broncos for not holding on to Tebow. They are the reason that I'm glad he's been traded. I'm tired of the side show. 

Here is why I'm ecstatic about the developments of the past 2 weeks. I believe Peyton Manning is ten times the quarterback Tim Tebow will ever be. I'm hopeful he still has something left in the tank, and I am hopeful he can make the Broncos an NFL contender. There is an excellent chance I am wrong, but here is why I'm still on board with the Manning decision despite it's risks. I believe that Tim Tebow would have stopped getting the ridiculous breaks he was getting last season. Football statisticians much smarter than I have estimated that the Broncos overachieved by 3 to 4 games last season. Even with that large of a benefit of luck, they still managed to only get to 8-8 and barely made the playoffs on the 3rd or 4th tiebreaker. I believe that had the Broncos gone into next season with Tebow at Quarterback that they would have experienced a severe regression to the mean. All the breaks went Tebow's way last year, and that is unsustainable. He would start to have the breaks go against him, and the Broncos would have finished with a poor record.

Naturally, all of this is conjecture. I can't prove what would have happened, but I can look to see what will happen. I feel like Manning is a good risk, even if it turns out that he's washed up. At least gives the Broncos a legit shot to be something special. I can't imagine that the Broncos under Tebow would ever be anything better than they were last season.

I also feel like there is a very good chance that Tebow never again starts in the NFL. I don't understand why the Jets would want him, but from all accounts it sounds like he is going to be used as a short-yardage gimmick, playing three or four plays a game. Not exactly a recipe for long-term success in the NFL. My guess? He washes out of the NFL within 3 years with nowhere near the level of success he had last year. I'm hoping he improves and has a good career, because he's a fun guy to watch and cheer for. I just don't have a lot of faith in his football ability.

As for why I'm glad he's no longer a Bronco? It's a selfish reason. Sure, he was fun to watch for the final five minutes of a game, but the first 55 minutes were often a mixture of painful and humorous. He'd look absolutely hopeless for giant stretches of games, and that was depressing and boring to watch. I like the idea that we might have a quarterback who can sling it again. The vertical passing game seems so much more likely, and the level of excitement for the first three quarters is due to rise. I'm all in with Manning, and now I can watch the final five minutes of any Tebow game without having to endure being emotionally invested in the first 55 minutes of pain. It's win-win.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

JaVale McGee rides the short bus?

The Nuggets added JaVale McGee right before the trade deadline picking him up in a trade for Nene. I'm not going to pretend that I'm a McGee expert, but these clips have me worried. The bonehead potential for Nuggets games has increased dramatically, but at least it should be entertaining.

Take another step, JaVale...

Where EXACTLY are you going?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 156 - 03-19-12 - Celebrating Manning

Craig was irrationally exuberant about the Peyton Manning signing, and as such, he went on a Lebatardian rant before discussing how he feels about Peyton signing in Denver.

Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell Tim Tebow thanks for the memories. I'll root for him wherever he ends up next, even as I'll be glad that he'll no longer be a Bronco. Best wishes, Tim.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 155 - 03-17-12 - Irish Turtles

This was the final VSR for March, so we went really long to make up for the next two dark Saturdays.

It was an Irish themed show, sort of. We began with a merging of Muppets and Ireland for an intro, and then went into some sports discussion with Face, we did a Magnificent Seven list of 7 things we like about The Irish/Ireland, and then finished off with a lengthy and surprisingly heated discussion of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from 1990.

Face and Craig dominated discussion today, with a bit of a cameo from The Whale. Our apologies to Ed, who called in, but we never got to him. The Show was already going long, so it's probably a good thing he hung up. The show wrapped up with a music recommendation from Tim Berry of the song, "Avoiding Catatonic Surrender".

I have no idea if this show is any good to listen to, but it sure was fun to make. Hope you enjoy it, and sorry it's so stinking long. We'll be back in April!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 154 - 03-12-12 - Hoping for Manning

After skipping out on doing a live show on Saturday afternoon, Craig puts together a half hour podcast to explain, to share his excitement at the possibility of Peyton Manning in the Orange and Blue, and to break out some ancient radio commercials. Things wrapped up with a music recommendation from Bright Eyes of the song "Four Winds".

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daring to Dream of Peyton Manning.

As Peyton Manning is touring Denver, Phoenix, and Miami trying to decide where he is going to play, I look at this photo of him with John Fox and John Elway and just keep thinking, "Please make this happen!" I am still doubtful he ends up in Denver, and although I realize there are plenty of reasons that I should be hoping Manning doesn't come to the Broncos, I can't help but keep wishing and hoping. I want him.

Here's the thing, Dude is about to turn 36 years old. He has had three or four neck surgeries in the past year or so, and there is precious little proof that he can even throw a football right now. Best case scenario he gives you two or three years of football. And clearly he's past his prime and due to start declining rapidly. Still, here is the thing...HE'S PEYTON MANNING! If he's right, and if he is able to come in and sling it, he's one of the best of all time. Sure, he'll always belong to Indianapolis, not whichever city he ends up in at the tail end of his career, but that never bothered Denverites when it was Ray Bourque on the Avalanche in 2001, and it won't bother us now.

We want Peyton. The very idea that it's even within the realm of possibility makes me giddy. When Peyton Manning is right, he's one of the few quarterbacks that is a difference maker all by himself. He guarantees nothing. He's only managed to get one ring in the whole of his Hall of Fame career. However, having him on your squad means you're in the discussion. Not in the discussion in a Tim Tebow "isn't this interesting how a bad quarterback is winning" kind of way, but in a "this team has the potential to win a Super Bowl" kind of way.

I'm a fan of Tim Tebow. This past season was one of the more interesting and surprising and fun in my three decades of being a Broncos fan. Still, Timmy isn't winning a Super Bowl. Ever. Should the Broncos miss out on Peyton Manning, I'll try to delude myself into believing that isn't a fact. However, I believe it to be the truth. I think Tebow is a great person, wonderful character, and someone who is going to work very hard to improve himself. I'm not sure if there is anyone in history I've hoped for harder while believing in less. I would love nothing more than to see Tebow win multiple Super Bowls, and I'll root for him to succeed throughout his entire career be it in a Denver Bronco uniform or be it elsewhere. I like Tim. I just don't think he's the type of elite quarterback capable of wearing an ugly hat on the sidelines as the confetti falls at the end of the last game of the season.

Here is where Peyton fits a need so strongly with the Broncos. Tebow has become so beloved in this town. It's going to take something special for an uncomfortably large section of the local fan base that I like to call "the idiots who believe Tebow is better than Elway" to be okay with kicking number 15 to the curb. It's hard to find a quarterback capable of making these people sign off on a change under center. Tebow is their hero. Manning has the credentials to make this happen, and even if people don't embrace it, they'll understand it.

I don't know if Tebow would be traded (which seems likely, as it seems impossible that Tebow and Manning would possibly run the same system since they are vastly different quarterbacks) or perhaps Tebow would be the backup (again, not sure how that would work). Either way, the Broncos would be able to move on without too large of a backlash. How do you complain about moving a quarterback who's throwing motion hurts to watch for one of the greatest of all time?

Now, there will be some backlash, and if Manning ends up signing in Denver and struggling to return to form, we're going to hear it from the second guessers. However, if it works, the ceiling for the next two or three years is significantly higher than it has been since Elway retired. It's a potential greatness that is worth shelving or trading Timmy to attempt to achieve, even if it fails. Manning makes you relevant. Manning makes you interesting. It's a huge gamble with the potential of torpedoing the Broncos. Manning is worth the risk. 

A home movie of the Challenger disaster:

A tragedy, but this is a very interesting look at that day taken by a Super 8 camera. Very intimate. Gives you an idea of what it's like to see the unexpected happen and not even know what you're watching. Captivating.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Vertically Striped Radio - Episode 153 - 03-03-12 - Miniature McDonalds

It was Leap Week, and Craig was ready to institute some changes to make Leap Day a bigger part of our society. We played "Something to Think About" with Face and The Whale and introduced ideas such as a miniature McDonalds, the Feel No Evil Monkey, and getting society to start walking on escalators.

Craig played an excellent Moth story that revolved around an exceptional Drivers Ed teacher and his Yeti. And we also did a quick Magnificent 7 of Craig's Top Seven "I Can't Explain This" Girls. The show wrapped with a recommendation of "It's a Big World" by Renee & Jeremy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012