New Yorker: God Help the Jets

An alternative viewpoint to the Tim Tebow to the Jets move comes from Adam Gopnik at the New Yorker’s Sporting Scene:

First, even allowing that we all do our best work in highly competitive circumstances—a dubious premise; most of us do our best work when we feel confident that the boss has our back, that we have room to maneuver, and even a little space to fail in—this does not give the newly re-signed Mark Sanchez helpful competitive pressure, but merely weirdly competitive pressure. That is, the moment Sanchez has a bad game or even a bad quarter—which he is bound to have, as all quarterbacks do—then the crowd, the bloggers, and some announcers will all cry for Tebow to come in and rescue the situation. That is, his presence won’t lead to a technical calculation about who can best lead the Jets; it will lead to an hysterical overreaction as to who can do what. Tebow’s reputation is not, after all, as a cool hand who will steady the ship, but as an unduly lucky man who will agitate it, and the fans. Even if you consider only the question of “chemistry,” what you are doing is adding an even more volatile ingredient to an already volatile brew. It can only blow up.

Yeesh, how do you really feel?

He goes on to suspect that Woody Johnson, the Jets owner is behind this decision because of some kind of right-wing agenda, which I think is a bit ludicrous. But his further point could be on the money.

My own dire prediction is that Sanchez will be inconsistent, the tabloid back pages will be exhausting and enervating, Tebow will then be thrown in and will create some excitement and win a game against the Bills or someone—and then, as more and more defenses catch on to the limitations of a college quarterback playing what amounts to a high-school style game, he will fail, big-time, and then Sanchez, left on the bench, will return, only now even more confused and demoralized than he has ever been before. It’s not a pretty picture. One wants to believe that pro-football decisions are made on cynical brutal, pro-football grounds, i.e. that the coaches would take a pentagram-drawing Satanist if he drew pentagrams that moved the football.

So perhaps the Jets are desperate enough to throw up a prayer by signing Tebow, but perhaps Tebow’s signing is an indication that they have also sold their soul for media hype?

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