This is merely anecdotal — if there's a PPP poll out there for Nate Silver to break down for us, we're all ears — but if the Jets thought their trade for Tim Tebow (which officially went through, for sure this time, last night) was going to fire up their fan base and skeptics ... that absolutely has not happened. Readers of influential Jets blog Gang Green Nation were 61 percent against the move, some anonymous Jets were calling him "overrated," and, as anyone who is a Jets fan but has friends who aren't Jets fans can tell you, this is the sort of move that makes people make fun of you for being a Jets fan. The pressure here is going to be immense, on Tebow, on Mark Sanchez, on Rex Ryan, on everybody. (The Post is already making fun of Tebow.) This could turn into a shitshow extremely fast. Which raises the question: Why did Tebow pick the Jets?
He had a choice, you know. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that it was up to Tebow whether he went to the Jets or the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags have long been considered an ideal fit for Tebow; they're in his home state, they desperately need a box-office draw, and they don't have much blocking him at the quarterback position. (Unless you're a believer in Blaine Gabbert.) Tebow has always shown that he's willing to play wherever a coach plays him, but he's always made it clear that he wants to be a starting quarterback. Considering he won a playoff game for his team last year at quarterback and briefly became the hottest story in sports at quarterback, it's certainly reasonable that he'd expect to continue to be treated like a quarterback, skepticism about his professional quarterbacking skills notwithstanding.
Also — and not to turn this into a religious referendum, which is somehow what seems to happen every time Tebow's name comes up, one of the many reasons we're honestly dreading having to write about this story for the next year of our life — Jacksonville seems more of a logical lifestyle pick as well. Never minding the supposed Sodom that is New York City (there are a heckuva lot more churches per capita here than there are in Jacksonville, so ya know), it's not clear why Tebow would want to be involved with a franchise like this anyway. All franchises have their ne'er-do-wells and miscreants, but the Jets, they have a lot. And most of all, they have a notoriously profane coach with a foot fetish. You mean to tell us that Tebow is a fit with this guy?
(Side note: We certainly hope Ryan doesn't feel obliged to tone down his rhetoric with Tebow around. That would be a tragedy.)
Everything we know about Tebow — the piety, the desire to be a starter, the proximity to home — would lead Tebow to pick the Jaguars. But he didn't. He picked the Jets. We can come up with three reasons:
1. His agent. Tebow's agent is Jimmy Sexton, who is also the rep for Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. We are certain Sexton made a hard pro-Jets pitch. We're not sure Tebow coming here is such a great move for Sparano and (especially) Ryan, but Tebow is the client who brings in the most cash.
2. The Jets have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl. Tough to argue that the Jets will be in it, but they definitely have a better supporting cast than the Jaguars. Tebow might not be the starting quarterback — yet — but the Jets are in fact closer to a championship than the Jaguars are. That is not a towering hurdle to make it over, but it's something.
3. A wider net with which to catch fish for the Lord. The thing about Tebow's Christianity is that it's different than most players'. Most players thank the Lord for touchdowns and an occasional meal, and then go along acting like the rich twentysomethings they are, but Tebow has been taught from birth that the most important thing he can do in his life is spread the Gospel. You might like this or you might not, but it is not fake or insincere. Tebow firmly believes he can inspire people for Jesus through his play and through his conduct under the brightest spotlight possible. His parents prepared him for this. This is what he has always wanted. In this way, New York was always a logical destination. There are many souls that need saving here, and there are more people watching here than anywhere else. For Tebow, this is where he can do the most good.
We suspect this last one was what got him here. Now, about the football part ...