SBD/March 22, 2012/Franchises

Does Acquisition Of Tim Tebow Means Jets Are Desperate For Attention?

QB controversy between Sanchez and Tebow could help Jets sell tickets
The Jets' trade for QB Tim Tebow yesterday “reminded us of what we already know to be true of these attention-starved Jets: they are a franchise without a plan, a team without an identity, and they remain content being the league leaders in chasing headlines,” according to Tara Sullivan of the Bergen RECORD. The Jets’ move brings “a roving fan base inspired by Tebow’s deep Christian beliefs, a segment of believers who will follow Tebow anywhere and who will waste no time rallying for him to get more playing time.” To Jets Owner Woody Johnson, a player like Tebow “represents so much more than football.” He represents “jersey sales and television ratings and national games” (Bergen RECORD, 3/22). In, N.Y., Brian Costello writes the Jets “made one of the most dramatic trades in franchise history Wednesday -- twice,” as they “swung a deal with the Broncos for polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow after the trade nearly fell through earlier in the day.” The deal got done “just before 9 p.m., some eight hours after it originally was thought to be completed” (N.Y. POST, 3/22). On Long Island, Roderick Boone notes the trade reportedly “hit a snag when ... the Jets learned they would have to pay Denver $5 million because of a clause in Tebow’s contract.” But in the end, the Jets “sent a fourth- and sixth-round pick in April’s NFL draft and half of the $5 million to Denver for Tebow and a seventh-round pick” (NEWSDAY, 3/22). In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes, “If you are talking show biz, pure entertainment, the acquisition of Tebow is a brilliant move, right out of Sonny As In Money’s playbook.” All the talk “may not lead to selling tickets and PSLs, but it improves the chances of it happening -- big time.” Raissman: “Does anyone think [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell is crying because Tebow has landed in our nation’s largest media market?” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/22). YAHOO SPORTS’ Maggie Hendricks wrote one thing Tebow “will do is bring plenty of interest to a team that needs to pay for the New Meadowlands.” A QB controversy “that involves one of the most divisive players in the league may not help win games, but it will sell tickets” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/21).  SportsNet N.Y.’s Marc Malusis said, “I believe this is an attention, get money, sell seats, sell jerseys maneuver by this Jets organization. Clearly, they’ve been run over by the Giants. ...This is what the Jets want to go out there and try and do, grab a little bit of headlines. This was not a football decision, this was a PR decision” (“The WheelHouse,” SportsNet N.Y., 3/21).

WEIGHING IN: Pro Football HOFer Joe Namath yesterday appeared on ESPN Radio 1050 N.Y.'s Michael Kay show and said, "I'm sorry. I do not agree with this situation. I can't agree with it. I just think it's a publicity stunt. I really think it's wrong. I can't go for it" (NEWSDAY, 3/22). In N.Y., Mike Lupica writes the Jets “go out and get themselves a rock-star backup who happens to be one of the most famous athletes on the planet, and tell their fans he’s going to pitch middle relief.” Lupica writes, "The circus really can be a lot of fun. You just have to make sure you don’t end up looking like clowns in the end” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/22).YAHOO SPORTS’ Matthew Darnell writes Tebow to the Jets is “such an odd fit,” but a “bold and splashy move for the Jets.” No team closed the ‘11 season “on a more dismal note” than the Jets (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/21). In N.Y., Greg Bishop writes under the header, “Splashy Move, But Suspect Thinking.” What becomes “eminently clear is the risk in the acquisition, which has little to do with Tebow’s passing acumen and everything to do with the organizational culture the Jets have created, the desperation with which they operate” (N.Y. TIMES, 3/22). ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said, “This solidifies a level of ineptitude, a level of futility that the New York Jets have enjoyed for over 40 years...This is the reason why they are second-tier status, and this is the reason the New York Giants will always be the team in New York” (“First Take,” ESPN2, 3/22).

MAN WITH A PLAN? In Newark, Steve Politi writes whether the move “is a success or a flop will come back” to Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, who has “tied himself to the most scrutinized player in the NFL.” How Tebow impacts the Jets “will be one of the more compelling stories in the league next season,” and it will “go a long way to defining the legacy of the man who brought him to the Meadowlands” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/22).
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