Tim Tebow & Rex Ryan: Jets’ Preordained Odd Couple

Move over Oscar and Felix. There’s a new odd couple in New York City (well, technically New Jersey). In what has to be one of the most unexpected and explosive moves in recent NFL history, the Denver Broncos traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets. The trade, which was on-again, off-again, on-again last Wednesday, was finally official on Saturday. On Monday, Tebow will be formally introduced as the Jets’ backup quarterback (another first in that second-string quarterbacks are usually not given such a coming out party — but, this is Tim Tebow we’re talking about).

When news first broke that Tebow would be heading to New York, my first reaction was, “NOOOOOOO!!!!” Growing up in Florida as Miami Dolphins fan, if there was one team that I could not stand (apart from the Oakland Raiders, who are in a category all by themselves), it was the New York Jets (although I do love NYC). If there was one coach in all of the National Football League that I could not stand, it was Rex Ryan. I still love to visualize Ryan, with his “I don’t know what just happened” look, pacing the sidelines after the Jets got Tebowed on Thursday Night Football last season. Priceless.

But, a funny thing happened throughout the day on Wednesday. What at first seemed like the worst possible landing spot for Tebow gradually turned into perhaps the best place he could be. Notwithstanding inane tweets by Antonio Cromartie (since walked back), the Jets organization — Owner, General Manager, and Head Coach — seem to genuinely want Tebow. That is certainly a contrast to the Denver Broncos, who made it abundantly clear that they wanted nothing to do with Tebow or Tebowmania, instead opting for a legend, 36 year-old Peyton Manning, the former Colt who was sidelined all of last year with neck issues.

And, in what can only be described as God’s sense of humor, I found myself warming up to the idea that Tim Tebow would be wearing green and white this fall. By the end of last Wednesday, when Jets’ GM Mike Tannenbaum spoke to the press and Tebow held a conference call with the media, I was inexplicably finding myself — for the very first time in my life — actually liking the New York Jets and Rex Ryan. Miracles never cease.

I will readily admit that my newfound fondness for the Jets can be traced back to one man — Tim Tebow. Without Tebow as a Jet, I would still root against Gang Green, unless they were playing the Raiders, in which case I would hope the game ended in a tie after overtime. Is it necessarily wrong to root for a team because of one player? Others may disagree, but in a time when sports’ role models — regardless of their personal faith — are in short supply, you would think that people would find Tim Tebow a breath of fresh air. Even in New York City.

But, of all the places that Tim Tebow could play, why the New York Jets? Some Jets’ fans are at a loss to answer that question. Merril Hoge and Steven A. Smith — bless their hearts — will never figure it out because their hate for Tim Tebow will not allow them to think clearly. Regardless of what Woody Johnson, Mike Tannenbaum or Rex Ryan say, Tim Tebow is a New York Jet because God has allowed Tim to walk onto the biggest stage of his young life. And, Tim Tebow’s stage transcends football.

What greater stage than NYC? In terms of exposure — both good and bad — it doesn’t get any bigger or better than the Big Apple. Los Angeles doesn’t even come close. Besides, they don’t even have a football franchise in that city. For Tebow, the football player and the man of faith, playing for the New York Jets will provide Tim the opportunity to shine, both on an off the football field. It might also give Rex Ryan the missing piece of the puzzle which he needs to bring the Jets their first Super Bowl Championship since another Southeastern Conference quarterback by the name of Joe Willie Namath did it in 1969.

For that to happen, God would have to intervene in a way that most non-Christians (and not a few Christians) simply find unfathomable — that He actually ordains who wins and loses football games. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that and neither would Tim Tebow. I would say that God is most concerned with His own glory. And, to the extent that Tim Tebow and the New York Jets winning the Super Bowl would redound to His glory, then God might just have preordained the birth of this odd couple. With Tim Tebow and Rex Ryan together in NYC (some call it Babylon), continue to expect the unexpected:

So even the most pious of Jets fans shouldn’t expect a Super Bowl title. But if their new quarterback’s story really has an Author, they’re in for a pretty interesting ride.” (“Tebow in Babylon,” by Ross Douthat)

3 comments for “Tim Tebow & Rex Ryan: Jets’ Preordained Odd Couple

  1. March 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Well, as a diehard Chiefs fan, I’m glad to see Tebow go somewhere else than Denver (or worse, the Raiders!) so I can cheer for the guy on the on-the-field as well. Also helps that I’m moving to NYC in June (though will probably be rooting more for the Giants since they are in the NFC, as well as Super Bowl champs). I’m not sure who the Jets qb coach is, but I hope Tebow can get some extended throwing work this spring and actually be developed and taught. Denver went out of their way to ruin the kid, ended up winning a playoff game with him, made a ton of money in jersey sales and publicity, and then looked for the first chance to dump him. not exactly sure how I would feel as a player in that kind of organization.

  2. Job
    March 26, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Pastor Scott:

    Now that they have Tebow, maybe the Jets will draft this guy in a couple of years to play OLB. Incidentally, do you agree with the idea of teenage Baptist preachers?


  3. Job
    March 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    “I’m not sure who the Jets qb coach is, but I hope Tebow can get some extended throwing work this spring and actually be developed and taught.”

    Denver tried for 2 seasons to fix Tebow’s throwing motion. Granted, the coaching change and the lockout set Tebow back, but changing a throwing motion that a player has relied on all his career at this stage is much harder than most people think, and is practically impossible for a player to pull off while he is starting.

    “Denver went out of their way to ruin the kid”

    Comments like these from Tebow fans are why Elway couldn’t wait to get Tebow out of Denver instead of simply letting him sit for a couple of years behind Manning to see if he can learn the NFL game. Denver didn’t go out of their way to ruin Tebow. They went out of their way to help him win games by creating an offense for him that allowed him to “win” games while completing as few as 2 passes. If they wanted to “ruin” Tebow, they wouldn’t have had to go out of their way at all. All they would have had to do is tell Tebow to run the same offense that Orton was running, and watch him fall flat on his face. Had they done so, the entire season would have been like that 45-10 debacle against the Lions, that was so bad that even the Lions players felt sorry for Tebow and said things to try to cheer him up during the game. Elway actually did everything possible to accommodate Tebow only to be falsely accused of the opposite anyway. It was a no-win situation for Elway, and that’s precisely why Elway couldn’t wait to get Tebow out of town.

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