SBD/June 11, 2013/Media

Tebowmania Alive For Now After QB Signs With Pats, But Can Belichick Put End To Coverage?

Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the media for nine minutes this morning after the team signed QB Tim Tebow to a two-year contract in one of the "most Belichickian press conferences you'll ever see," which is a reason "Tebowmania could finally die down in Foxborough," according to Will Brinson of CBSSPORTS.com. Tebow's press conference when he was traded to the Jets in March '12 "lasted approximately 30 minutes longer" and was "WAY more revealing." When Belichick was asked about the media circus around Tebow and any possible distractions to the team, he said, "Hopefully there will be more than that at the games on Sunday." Brinson writes Belichick "couldn't have been any grumpier" today, and his "approach to the media is what can make this experiment work." Brinson: "No one's going to repeatedly send throngs of media to Patriots practices and media sessions so they can print 'I don't know' a bunch of times. ... Tebow's not going to talk to the media much and the Patriots are going to figure out a way to choke off the interest in their potential third-string quarterback" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/11). ESPN's Ed Werder, who first reported the Patriots signing Tebow, said the move works because Belichick "can manage all the media attention that Tim Tebow commands" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/10). But ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "You know what the problem with this is? This is way too close to Bristol. There will be 24-hour surveillance of Tim Tebow arriving in New England. God help the republic" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/10).

MORNING GLORY: News of Tebow signing with the Patriots made all three network morning news shows. Both ABC's "GMA" and "CBS This Morning" teased the news in the opening of the show. "GMA" aired a news brief approximately 15 minutes into the broadcast on Tebow, and ABC's Josh Elliott noted, "I do hope you are listening to this news because I'm sure it will be the very last you'll hear about Tim Tebow heading to the New England Patriots." ABC's Robin Miller responded, "I can't believe you said that out loud. Many were thinking that" ("GMA," ABC, 6/11). CBS aired a taped report on the signing in the bottom half of the 7:00am ET hour, including commentary from Boston Globe reporter Shalise Manza Young. CBS' Charlie Rose noted Patriots Owner Robert Kraft and Belichick "have some idea how they can use him in a smart way." CBS' Norah O'Donnell replied, "But there are some Patriots fans who are not too happy, skeptical I should say" ("CBS This Morning," 6/11). NBC’s Stephanie Gosk led off the 7:30am ET segment of “Today” with roughly a two-minute report on Tebow, saying, “A lot of people thought Tim Tebow’s career was over, but he lives to play again” ("Today," NBC, 6/11). Meanwhile, ESPN L.A.'s Arash Markazi noted CNN had "live coverage of the Tebow press conference" this morning (TWITTER.com, 6/11).

OVERSHADOWING STANLEY CUP FINAL?
Blogger Ed Sherman writes just two days before the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup Final Game 1 against the Bruins, "sports talk in Chicago was buzzing about Tebow." Sherman: "Most talk in this town for a quarterback not named Cutler." Meanwhile, in Boston, they are "obviously bracing for the deluge ... as evidenced by the front page of the Boston Herald." Tebowmania "was the talk of the town Tuesday, and will be for quite some time" (SHERMANREPORT.com, 6/11).

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: In Newark, Steve Politi offers a few tongue-in-cheek "tips" for the Boston media on how to cover Tebow. The media should "take a strong stance right away." Signing Tebow is a "stroke of genius that will surely revolutionize how the Patriots play football, or it is a disastrous move that will undermine Tom Brady and this entire football dynasty." Politi: "Pick one and dig in. The best part: There is no wrong answer." Everything Tebow does "is news," and reporters should "try to avoid actually speaking to Tebow." Their "best bet is to talk to other players, anonymously." Media members should not let "things like 'facts' get in your way of wild speculation about what the organization might do with their newest asset." Politi: "This will not end well. Be ready. ... But it will end well for you, Boston-area sports columnists" (NJ.com, 6/11).
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