Tim Tebow. It's hard to think of a more divisive two word combination in the past twenty years of football. Oh sure, up until now we have been spared the media onslaught that comes with the former Heisman winner and 2-Time National Champion.
As CFL fans we have been able to live in a world free from the crazy hype and speculation that follows the man with more Denver Bronco playoffs wins than Peyton Manning. It was easy for us to gaze south of the border and mock the 24 hour sports insanity that comes with having Tebow on your team's roster.
But are we really that safe?
With Tebow cut by the Patriots he has now been on three NFL teams in the past three years and his NFL options are seemingly coming to an end. Does this mean it’s Canada's turn? (insert dramatic music here)
Before I continue, let me say I have no inside information and this is not a wild speculation type piece to generate false interest. This is simply looking at a topic that I still find interesting.
There are so many different angles when it comes to this issue. Let's start small and work from there.
|Als likely not to call Tebow|
"We've never had a conversation with him or his representation. It's all for talk and there's nothing there, there's no substance to it ... I don't think they (Tebow camp) would be ready to do that. But if they are ... I'm sure they'll call us."
Als GM/Head Coach Jim Popp in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Tebow's rights are owned by the Montreal Alouettes, a team that will soon be looking for the eventual replacement to Anthony Calvillo. Many quarterbacks have dared try to unseat the throne of Calvillo, all have failed.
Coincidentally one of those unlucky souls was Chris Leak who was the starter for the 2007 National Championship Florida Gators team when a certain double T quarterback was just a freshman. On a superficial level this seems like a match made in heaven. Tebow is a quarterback without a team while Montreal is a franchise with a 40+ year-old banged up signal caller.
However it really isn't that simple, now is it?
When it comes to sports rage very few topics get the old blood boiling quite like the idea that a quarterback who has started in the NFL, especially one with an impressive NCAA pedigree, will automatically be a success in the CFL. I've railed about this before, there is no such thing as an automatic punched ticket of CFL success just because at one point you drew a pay cheque with the words "Roger Goodell" written on it. Just ask Cleo Lemon Eric Crouch or Akili Smith how their respective CFL careers went.
To infer that Tebow will automatically be a success in the CFL is both ignorant and an insult to every athlete that works their behinds off just to make a roster spot.
Now this is not to say that I wouldn't embrace Tebow giving it a shot. In fact, I would love to see this football experiment continue to play out in front of our eyes. For his own sake the CFL makes a lot of sense for him. Tebow needs to be in a league that so emphasizes the pass. He needs countless reps both in practice and even more importantly he needs to be throwing the ball 30-40 times in real game action.
In short, Tebow needs to go to a place where the glare of the spotlight would be dimmed and the entire focus would be on his passing mechanics and his ability to read defences.
For all the people that are blinded by the light of the NFL I would argue Tebow needs the CFL more than the other way around.
Yes, his presence would give the league added profile but I wonder just how much of a bump his presence would have.
I think we can all agree the league has survived just fine without him for the past 120 years or so.
In my mind the perfect place would be in Hamilton. The team is getting a new stadium next year so they’ll be looking to make a splash. Tebow actually plays an old school, blue collar style of football. You're telling me the fans wouldn't go wild the first time Tebow knocked over Chip Cox on a first down run?
The best case scenario would be for Tebow to come up to Canada, play for several years and develop the skills needed to be a legitimate passer. Think about the credibility that would be gained if the CFL could somehow create a pocket passer out of one of the awkward looking quarterbacks to ever play this game. Not that the CFL needs a boost of credibility, it doesn't. It would just be a helluva story if one of our coaches staffs could do what John Elway and Bill Belichick couldn't, breathe life into the career of one of the greatest college football players of all time.
Of course, I have no idea what the future holds. I am not one of these people that roots vehemently against Tebow nor do I want to erect a statue to celebrate all of his glory. I am not the insecure CFL fan that turns their nose on anything that has even a faint whiff of the NFL nor am I the snobbish NFL fan that believes Tebow can march into this league and call his shot.
What I am is a football fan that enjoys experiencing as many different fascinating stories that I can consume in a 24 hour time span. I love a good redemption story as much as the next fan and I would be wildly curious to see what the beginning, middle and end would look like if Tebow ever decides to attempt a comeback in Canada.
Matthew Cauz is the Weekend Host for 'GAME DAY' on TSN 1050 Radio. Previously, he was a producer and football analyst for SUN TV where he appeared regularly on the “Casino Rama Grill Room” and he spent seven years working for TSN's “Off The Record”. Follow Matthew on Twitter @mcauz56.