The Tebow Saga: Defending Brady Quinn

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The Oscars air Sunday night. So what? Nothing provides drama like sports, and even the NFL offseason fits the mold.

This week, Denver Broncos backup quarterback Brady Quinn apologized he made regarding Tim Tebow in a GQ article. Instead of praising the Mile High Messiah for his unfathomable comebacks and inexplicable knack for winning, he took his shots at Tebow. He called him lazy. He called him lucky. He called him nothing more than a fan favorite. He’s absolutely right.

Tebow is a good person. Simply put, he’s a devout Christian who has probably never put his needs ahead of anybody else’s. And yes, he prays … and the TV cameras zoom in on it like there’s no tomorrow. And somehow, someway, he’s managed to pull off six game-winning drives this year, five in the fourth quarter and the last in an overtime upset in the playoffs.

But Tebow’s rise to fame is not because he’s an elite NFL quarterback. If you were his backup, and you watched from the sidelines as he won games by completing nine passes for 104 yards, and led the offense to 10 points in three quarters, you’d be frustrated, too. I guarantee it, like Namath in ’69.

People root for No. 14 because he’s an underdog story. Move over, Rocky, because Tebow was drafted in the first round out of a national powerhouse, Florida, where he won a Heisman Trophy and two national titles. Oh yeah, and he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. If that’s not defying the odds, then what is?

I’m not a hater. I’m just a fan. I respect Tebow. I believe his devotion to his faith is admirable. As long as my Jets aren’t on the on the opposite sideline, I find watching Tebow win games exhilarating.

But like many, I get nauseous after watching SportsCenter blab about Tebow every day. And that’s where I can understand Quinn’s frustration.

Quinn’s record as a starting quarterback is nothing to write home about. That’s irrelevant, though. He began the 2011 season as the second-stringer behind Kyle Orton; yet all the rave centered around Tebow as the No. 3. Can you even name the third-string quarterback on most teams?

Quinn has had a front-seat view of Tebowmania all year. For every errant pass, every “Tebow” chant, every David Copperfield-esque victory, Quinn has been holding a clipboard in his shadow.

It must me noted that Quinn apologized for his comments after the GQ piece surfaced. He claimed he was inaccurately portrayed, that he was disappointed with the writer, Michael Silver, and that Tebow deserves a lot of credit for the success of the Broncos this season.

Brady, man up. The last time I checked, there’s a little something called the First Amendment. It gives you the right to speak what’s on your mind. If you want to be one the few who speaks out against Tebowmania, own up to it. Silver is a well-respected journalist; it’s hard to twist what you said and claim it was out of context.

Quinn likely won’t ever have a crowd pleading for him to enter a game (unless we somehow discover he has another year of eligibility at Notre Dame). He’ll never draw the attention Tebow does for his faith in God. And to be honest, he’ll probably never have as many game-winning drives in his career as Tebow did in 2011.

Some NFL team might take a chance on Quinn. I don’t know; it could happen. But what’s more likely is that the last thing we remember Quinn by is his role in this article. To take back what he said – that’s just silly. So, Brady, if you don’t want to speak up, I will.

Sam Spiegelman

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