Elliot HughesFirst off, unless you’re someone who’s seen Tim Tebow perform at a Denver Broncos practice, I don’t want to hear anyone say with an air of certainty that Tebow can’t and won’t ever become an NFL quarterback.It’s truly remarkable how little of a chance sports pundits – namely Merril Hoge of ESPN – have given Tebow. It’s just incredibly irrational.He’s in the first half of his second year in the NFL, playing the game’s most difficult position. Sports analysts coddle young quarterbacks like they’re infants learning how to walk and talk, and now after seeing Tebow play in the limited amount of playing time he’s been given, we’re just going to label him a failure? Come on.It’s time to take on this Tebow controversy (which, in the whole, vast galaxy of sports, is strangely one of the most divisive these days) with some rationality.Here’s what we know so far:Kyle Orton is not cutting it as Denver’s signal caller. Not counting last week’s 29-24 loss to San Diego, in which he was benched for the second half, Orton led the Broncos to a 1-3 record with a flaccid 75.7 passer rating so far this year.Tebow, who we still need to keep in mind is a young quarterback, played fairly well in the three games he started in 2010. His passer ratings in those games: 100.5, 89.4 and 58.2. His completion percentage was a poor 49 percent, and he threw four touchdowns and three interceptions (he also rushed for three more scores).In the second half of last Sunday’s game against San Diego, Tebow completed four of 10 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown, good for a passer rating of 101.7. And let me point out that several of his passes Sunday were dropped.All told for Tebow’s short career: 48.9 completion percentage, six touchdown passes, three interceptions and an 84.2 passer rating.Those numbers aren’t exactly impressive, but is it a disaster like Hoge would make it out to be? Far from it. It seems to me like Tebow’s had a relatively positive entrance to the NFL when compared to other quarterbacks. And considering Tebow’s famous work ethic, I feel confident he can build off of it.And don’t give the argument about his mechanics. Brett Favre’s were miserable. For 20 years, he held the ball near his stomach and threw off his backfoot. He may be the league’s all-time leader in interceptions, but they still kept him in the starting lineup for a reason.So should Tebow be the starter right now? Sure. I honestly don’t know how well Denver’s coaching staff would say Brady Quinn has performed lately in practice, but Tebow’s played well enough as a young quarterback to warrant a starting nod for now.Ian McCueSorry Elliot, but Tim Tebow is possibly the last man in the NFL I would want to start for my team. While I don’t agree with Merril Hoge on much, I do share his not so favorable opinions of Tebow.Call me callous, but I don’t buy the idea that heart and hard work can be used to build an NFL career. When down by three touchdowns, I can’t see a halftime speech about heart and a strong work ethic going over so well in a locker room full of large, angry men. His whole “good guy” mantra may have worked at Florida, but his career at quarterback should have ended in the SEC. The guy was made to be a college quarterback – elusive and the type of player every Gators fan loved – but nothing more.Tebow simply doesn’t have the physical tools or skills to be a professional quarterback competing against the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It’s not like the guy hasn’t had a chance to prove himself – he played in nine games last year, and his stats weren’t exactly mind-blowing. The so-called quarterback completed just 50 percent of his passes and threw five touchdowns and three interceptions, so it’s not like he wowed the Broncos with his rocket-powered arm (that’s a joke – Tebow actually has a very weak arm).The most overrated player in the league doesn’t rack up yards on the ground, either. Admittedly, his six rushing touchdowns in 2010 are impressive, but Tebow averaged just 5.3 yards per carry. He’s a run-first quarterback, and the only problem is that run-first quarterbacks rarely, if ever, work in the NFL. His speed on the ground carried him in college, but the speed and agility of defensive players at the professional level will keep Tebow from picking up big gains on the ground.The guy gets more attention then any other player in the NFL who hasn’t done anything of note, and I don’t understand why. While I realize his appeal, he in no way deserves the amount of hype and attention he gets when he has (mostly) been a backup.Tebow has enough trouble taking a snap from under center and throwing the football correctly – he’s in no way ready to be a starting NFL quarterback. Kyle Orton is not exactly an All-Pro signal-caller either, but he has proven himself much more than Tebow and deserves the starting spot.Part of me believes the Broncos know they aren’t going anywhere this season and are making the change at quarterback solely to fill seats at Mile High Stadium. Why else would John Fox put Tebow under center?
The first time it happened, I looked in horror from the baseball to my partner playing catch.My eighth-grade arm had twitched in the middle of throwing. I wound up as I had so many times before, extending my arm behind me, rocking back then forward, but by the time the ball got just behind my ear, my arm felt heavy and jerked seemingly on its own.The throw had landed nowhere close to him, just a few yards away from me and way to the left. He guffawed, thinking I was joking, until he saw my face.“The yips” are a sudden, inexplicable loss of fine motor skills, rare but not unheard of. They pounce without explanation, defy medical treatment and shatter self-confidence. Within a year, I had quit baseball and realized the anxiety also overtook me on the basketball court, but only during games.As a high school sophomore, on junior-varsity basketball, three concussions became the perfect excuse to sidle away. The doctor OK’d playing again, but I thought about the next season, varsity. Free throws. Full gyms. Nope. Whenever anyone asked why I stopped, I told them my head wasn’t right, the time commitment was too much, anything but the truth.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textI stopped playing because I was ashamed.The shame of not being able to throw or shoot turned the games I once lived for into prolonged opportunities for public humiliation. The shame of failing teammates, noticing their reactions after screwing up, felt like I had betrayed them. The shame of being afraid prevented me from telling almost anyone about it.This wasn’t about losing a core piece of my identity, which was always going to happen. I was never a scholarship athlete. Instead, I bowed to fear. It prevented me from being my idea of being a teenager, playing high school sports with the friends I’d grown up with.I worried what else fear could take from me. One summer, seemingly every Red Sox game I watched with my dad had a Volkswagen commercial in which a father teaches his son to throw a baseball. The father is terrible, the son could be too. At night when I slept, I dropped into a nondescript suburban front lawn, airmailing tosses to a faceless, red-haired boy.I tamped down my uncertainty, and when I got to Syracuse, The Daily Orange helped fill a void. I wrote one story, then another and another. I earned a staff writer job, spent hours at 744 Ostrom Ave. and learned to chest-beat with the fanboys of WAER, the radio station we play against in Media Cup, the annual battle of egos at the Carrier Dome.This was my chance to confront the fear that once stopped me from playing the sports I loved. Freshman year, I hurried a shot at the end of a blowout loss. I felt a familiar heaviness, then relief when the ball grazed the rim. I didn’t have to explain another air-ball.The yips never fully disappeared, reminders cropping up at inopportune times. In Manley Field House for an interview, a player asked me to toss her a ball. My throw whistled above her head, and she laughed. I underhanded everything after that. In an intramural game, I air-balled two free throws.By senior year, our D.O. class still hadn’t won Media Cup. I never scored and grew increasingly anxious from missing open looks. This year’s Media Cup was about the seniors beating WAER, but it was also my last meaningful game. The night before, antsy, I went to the Women’s Building with two teammates. We shot around for an hour, and I missed almost everything.When the ball tipped the next night, the crowd behind us made everything, including my anxiety, bigger. Early in the game, I got the ball and everything blurred. A teammate set a screen, I dribbled right once or twice when fear ran into muscle memory. I rose up to shoot from just inside the top of the arc.The motion felt as it always had. My arms lumbered. Air came in sips. Everything moved too fast. But, somehow, this shot went in. I ran back on defense, scowling to suppress a smile — as intent to conceal what the moment meant now as I had been the hurt in high school.I didn’t attempt another jumper all game. I didn’t need to. When the buzzer echoed through the Dome, I held the basketball and wondered how I could feel such shock and joy and sorrow in a moment so fleeting.A few weeks later, I threw a ball and the yips reappeared. Still, something had changed during Media Cup. When that shot left my hand, the fear that kept me from moments like this went as well. That night, I got to play one last game with the friends I grew up with.Sam Fortier was a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Sam4TR.– 30 – Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 29, 2018 at 10:24 pm
Atlanta spent millions preparing to host Super Bowl 53, and among the expenditures was one curiosity: a pedestrian bridge that cost as much as $27 million.That is a lot of money for a pedestrian bridge, but Atlanta leaders deemed it necessary to help fans cross a busy street between a transit center and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. One problem: Because of its proximity to the stadium, the bridge was deemed a security risk and was open to only staff and credentialed media before the game, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was ready. Unfortunately, few people could use it going to the game. It was opened to fans after the game. Super Bowl 53: What’s next for Patriots? Holy hell. The City of Atlanta spent “at least $23 million and possibly as much as $27 million” on this pedestrian bridge next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. #GAPol https://t.co/n0o4b7RMgW pic.twitter.com/Q0uG4xMete— 🅑🅔🅝 🅑🅔🅐🅡🅤🅟 (@TheAviationBeat) February 5, 2019Of course, the bridge will be useful for future Falcons games and other big events at the stadium, right? But the city dropped millions to get it built specifically for the Super Bowl. According to the report, the initial cost estimate was for $13 million, but the city spent at least an additional $10 million and possibly up to $14 million more to ensure it would be finished for the big game. Related News Super Bowl 53: What’s next for Rams?