Thursday, March 22, 2012

03/22 (Tebow and Jets) Quickie

Tim Tebow on the Jets is going to be insane. Tim Tebow anywhere is already insane. Now add New York.

I think Jets fans (and New York media) have no idea what's coming. They think they do, but they don't. It's so much bigger than they think. Tebow is better than they think. The impact he has on the game and his teammates is bigger than they think. After three-plus years of covering Tebow for, I can assure you: It's ALWAYS bigger than you think.

Just wait for that first touchdown in Week 1 -- the Jets fans will come around quickly. This is what happens. I think he'll be starting by midseason, either because Sanchez implodes or gets injured.

Tebow's success is self-created, up to a point. But I go back to a familiar refrain: He needs a coach brilliant enough and ballsy enough to create innovative schemes around him -- schemes that the league hasn't seen before and very well might change the game.

The Denver Post's Mike Klis had a tweet last night that the Jets should go for two after EVERY touchdown, letting Tebow manage the conversion. Even if they only make it 3 out of 4 times, that is 6 points versus 4 points -- for a team and in a league where every point counts.

Would that be innovative enough for Rex Ryan? Exploiting an arbitrage between tightly held NFL conventional wisdom about kicking extra points and the expected value of going for two every time when you have the ultimate "going for two" player? Changing how the game is played? Winning games based on an undervalued edge? This is the essence of Moneyball.

And so, yes, the Page 6 stuff is going to be bananas. The Post and the Daily News and SNY and WFAN and and everyone else are going to see audience surges like they have never seen before. The team is going to be the NFL's biggest story, and nothing else even comes close.

But it's not simply that the Jets have acquired Tim Tebow. It's HOW they'll use him. That is the really interesting part.

BTW: Like other Tebow fans, as of yesterday, I am no longer a Broncos fan and am now a Jets fan. I'm sure the die-hard Jets fan nation are thrilled to hear it.


*NFL crushes the Saints: Star coach Sean Payton is suspended for the year. GM Mickey Loomis is suspended for nearly half the season (but none of the offseason, which sort of defeats the purpose). In any other industry, that kind of punishment would be accompanied by their termination by a self-respecting owner. But Tom Benson will ride it out; 2012 will be a lost season.

(Gregg Williams won't be so lucky. He is suspended "indefinitely," which means that his NFL career is all but over; the Rams might want to keep him around -- but, really, though: why? -- but I suspect the suspension comes with a back-channel warning from the NFL that the guy isn't to be employed by a team ever again.) Player suspensions pending.

*Oh, and today is the first half of the Sweet 16 regional semifinals in the NCAA Tournament. It's kind of a shame those have been drowned out by the Peyton-Tebow-Saints news this week. I'm picking Wisconsin over Syracuse and Ohio State over Cincinnati in the East. In the West, I'm taking Michigan State over Louisville -- Tom Izzo is just too good in games like this -- and Florida over Marquette, which is, by far, the best game of the night and by no means one I feel comfortable picking the Gators in. Let's revise that: I think Marquette has a really really good chance of winning, but I'm obviously rooting for UF. (The story of the night, obviously, would be if either of the 1-seeds lost.)

-- D.S.

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