Instead of joining Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers as quarterback stars in the National Football League, Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos appears headed for a quarterback association with the likes of major busts Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell and Joey Harrington.
Tebow was more popular than orange juice in Florida when he starred for four years at University of Florida, but his professional prospects were in question became he wasn't the classic drop-back QB scouts drooled over. Instead, he was a good-sized scrambler with an uncanny knack of making the big play at the right time and the Broncos surprised many by picking Tebow in the first round of the draft in 2010.
Not only was he a Heisman Trophy winner and a consensus college All-American at QB, Tebow was every mother's dream boyfriend for their daughters. He didn't drink, smoke or stay out late. He didn't swear. He was neatly groomed, kept his hair cut short, had no tattoos or piercings and his hero was not Lil Wayne or 50 Cent, but Jesus Christ. He belonged in the church choir, not the rough-and-tumble, violent world of the NFL.
Unfortunately, Tebow may actually be choir-bound. As a rookie last year, he was expected to battle Kyle Orton for the No. 1 job, but the Broncos' brass was so unimpressed with his progress last year that Brady Quinn, acquired from Cleveland about a month before Tebow was drafted, was moved to No. 2 on the depth chart.
As the curtain goes up on the 2011 NFL season this weekend, it could be curtains, so to speak, for Tebow's dream of duplicating his college success in the pros. Late training camp reports out of Denver still had Orton No. 1 and Quinn No. 2 on the Broncos depth chart, with Tebow No. 1 only on the list of those likely to be traded or released.
It was then-Denver coach Josh McDaniels who was Tebow's biggest fan and lobbied to have the Broncos pick him. Midway through a horrible second season, however, McDaniels was fired, but has landed on his feet this year as the offensive co-ordinator of the St. Louis Rams.
If Tebow and the Broncos happen to part ways, and the church choir doesn't have room for the tenor Tebow, watch for him to wind up as a reclamation project with the Rams. McDaniels would like nothing better than to prove to the world that his Tebow hunch was right all along.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "The latest report out of Denver is that Tim Tebow may be just the fourth-best quarterback on the Broncos roster. If that truly is the case, then Timmy won't be holding a clipboard this season; he'll be holding the pen for the guy who holds the clipboard."
Headline at theonion.com: "NHL Fines Ozzie Guillen Just To See If He'll Pay."
Blogger Charlie Gay, on the plus side of Famous Idaho Potato Bowl organizers reaching their ticket-selling goal: "Anything after that is gravy."
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky, to USA Today, on the side benefit of being included on EA Sports' "NHL 12" legends mode: "At least my kids now believe me when they see it on a video game."
Michael Rosenberg of SI.com, on the Miami booster scandal: "Cash payments, alcohol, strippers, hookers - no wonder the Hurricanes haven't won much lately. They're exhausted."
Comedy writer Jerry Perisho: "How bad are the LA Dodgers? Vin Scully is going to stay in his hotel room and broadcast tonight's game based on what he reads on the Internet."
Comedy writer Jim Barach: "A Florida Marlins day game attracted a crowd of 347. That means each fan pretty much had their own personal peanut vendor."
Barach again: "The Yankees set a Major League record with three grand slam home runs in one game. The old record for Grand Slams at one time was two by Kirstie Alley at Denny's."
Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, after Bethany (Kan.) College suspended its men's golf team for three tournaments for posing naked except for strategically placed drivers: "Let us all pray this idea never occurs to John Daly."
Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: "Champion jockey Calvin Borel was pulled over and arrested for DWI in Evansville, Ind. No word on whether police impounded his horse."
Perry again: "Looks like U.S. cities will sit out the next round of bidding to host the Olympic Games. In other words, no one has a 2020 vision."
A third from Perry, who's on a roll: "Coincidence? Eli Manning proclaims to be in the same QB stratosphere as Tom Brady just days before the premiere of "Idiot Brother."
Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
"They've just opened the Bud Selig Center for the Archives of Major League Baseball Commissioners.'Look, dad, in that display case! Those are the pants Commissioner Selig wore the night he stood up and glumly put his hands in his pockets to celebrate Barry Bonds's record home run!'