“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC’s Wide World of Sports!”
I grew up with that show. It was part of Saturday afternoons. Too bad there was no good way to record it back in the day!
This past week Denver Broncos fans experienced BOTH, the thrill of victory AND the agony of defeat as we learned that, amazingly, we’d won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes and then quickly discovered that Elway had sent our beloved Tim packing.
Before I go any further let me say this, I love both guys. I think Manning is one of the best if not the best NFL QB of all time. I think Tebow has a lot to learn about being an NFL QB but he is one of the classiest acts of all time, at least to this point.
My personal prejudices having been acknowledged let me say that I now firmly believe John Elway is an idiot. Ok, perhaps too strong on the language there but I think he’s made a HUGE mistake.
Football is, at its core, entertainment. Yes, it is a sport. Yes it is about competition. Yes, it is some weird imitation of medieval warfare boxed into a 100 yard field once a week with men playing a boys game. But it makes money because it is entertainment. So just a couple questions:
- What Jersey sold the most last year in all cities? Tebow
- What was the ongoing biggest story in the NFL last year, bigger than the Packers run at perfection? Tebow
- Who was responsible for Denver being the most entertaining team in the NFL? Tebow
So if entertainment is about merchandising, marketing and market appeal and you have ALL of that in one guy, why do you trade him? And worse yet, why do you trade him for some nondescript future picks?
In week 4 last year the majority of Denver fans had given up. The cry to put Tebow in was not because we thought he’d win a bunch. It was because it was time to start rebuilding, the season was a bust. And then the ride began. It was insane. It was fun. It was ENTERTAINING. And at the end of the day it was some good football. Granted only about 6 minutes of good football out of 60 but MAN was it fun to watch.
So how do you top that?
You bring in the best QB in the game. You start him. You use him to mentor Tebow because Manning is great in all the places Tim needs work. You include some of that option package in your game plan as a change of pace. THE PRESS AND FANS WOULD EAT IT UP BECAUSE IT IS ENTERTAINING!!
Of course I’m sure those who support the Elway position will say that winning is the ultimate entertainment. I probably don’t completely agree with that but even if I did the Broncos have to make it to the AFC championship game at a minimum next year or the gamble doesn’t pay off. Anything less is a wash. A 95 million dollar wash.
I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like for a defensive coordinator to have had to prepare for an offense run in the classic Manning style AND the possibility of a Tebow style game IN THE SAME WEEK. Now we’ll never know because Elway forgot that football isn’t just about winning, it’s about entertainment.
That sound that you hear as you drive through Denver is the sound of opportunity scrambling off John Elway’s lap and disappearing into the woods.
What opportunities are sitting in your lap at the moment disguised as difficult choices?