25 October 2011

Tuesday Football: Tebow Zombie Edition

Yep, The Walking Dead just got renewed.  Congrats, AMC.

For someone who only started his first NFL game two days ago, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has become an amazing cause celébre.  The coverage of his exploits in the last two weeks has reached such a level that people are complaining about its sheer volume.  It actually is amazing to see how many sports fans have pinned their hopes on Tebow.  But why?

Tebow is unconventional, and he likes to run a lot.  He's hardly the first quarterback, or the best, with those characteristics.  [His contemporary Cam Newton, for one, is better.]  Anyway, many of Tebow's (and Newton's) fans today are the same ones who glommed onto Michael Vick six years ago.  Before that, their attention turned to the likes of Randall Cunningham and even Donovan McNabb.

Of course, Tebow is the only white man on that list, so it's tempting to consider race as a factor.  But Vick was only a little less popular when he wore red and black in Atlanta.  Also, even though I didn't include Aaron Rodgers in that list (his style is more conventional), some fans do.  In those lights, the racial theory loses some of its force.

Race doesn't lose all its force, though -- and that might be because evangelical Christians can count Tim Tebow as one of their own.  To them, he may, indeed, be a great white hope.  I suspect that, as a group, they're following Tebow they way African Americans rooted for Joe Gilliam and James Harris back in the 1970s.  I watched my elders pull just as passionately for fellow Mexican Americans Joe Capp, Jim Plunkett and Tom Flores.

In short:  Tim Tebow isn't popular for his quirky quarterback style, or because he's white, or because he wears his religion on his sleeve.  It's because they're all in effect at the same time.

Almost perfect:  With both starting quarterbacks and Ahmad Bradshaw all on bye weeks, and my receivers beyond Devin Hester struggling, I needed to make a perfect set of waiver-wire pickups and roster moves to win both my games.

It almost worked.  Between them, the Fluttering Horde and the Ghost-Grey Cats started four of the five best running backs this week.  Almost.

For no reason other than pure shock -- no one else in my public league wanted him -- I added Tim Tebow, and he started for the Cats (4-3) this week.  I could have started the miserable Curtis Painter and still picked off one of the league leaders.  Arian Foster and Matt Forte combined for 66 points as the Cats rolled to a 29-point win over The Pack.

Meanwhile, the Fluttering Horde nabbed Dallas rookie DeMarco Murray, who rewarded them with a team-record 253 rushing yards.  He and Darren Sproles contributed 58 more points.  Unfortunately, the miserable Curtis Painter did start, and his disaster cost the Horde (3-4) a 16-point loss to the Southside Hitmen.  A full-time NFL quarterback would've won it.

Next week, I'm going to have to decide who sits on the Horde bench:  Murray, Sproles or Bradshaw.  It's a nice dilemma to have.

Needless to say, I dropped Curtis Painter.

For a kicker.

And finally:  J-E-T-S! Suck! Suck! Suck! Suck!

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