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Copyright 2011 by John T. Reed

There is a lot of talk among football fans and experts about Tim Tebow. I try to refrain from commenting about headline news unless the existing comments are incomplete or incorrect. Tebow is such a case.

People seem not to be able to articulate the Tebow problem. It’s simple.

Tebow plays for the grandstand. That is an ancient, unattractive habit of some athletes. Only a jerk would do that. Tebow is a jerk. He should knock it off.

Quarterback ability and performance

I am an expert on football coaching in certain respects, but not with regard to evaluating Tebow as a pro QB. To analyze his performance, I would need to watch most of the film of his games plus I would have to know the Broncos playbook so I knew what Tebow and his teammates were supposed to do on each play.

Furthermore, the expert analysis of Tebow’s performance is one of the aspects of his story that I think is getting analyzed correctly in the media. That aspect does not need me or anyone else to comment—except maybe for one part.

The It factor

The general football shtick by laymen on Tebow is he has IT—some magic ability to just win, baby.

Those same people also believe in the big mo—momentum. There have been a number of studies on athletic momentum. It does not exist. Momentum is simple so the studies are valid.

IT, however, is not simple. I think it’s probably true that Tim Tebow has some skills or football virtues that are not picked up by current, state-of-the-art football statistics.

The guy won two national championships at Florida. He was the MVP of one of them. He was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. Here is a Wikipedia list of his other accomplishments:

2 SEC championships
2 1st-team All-American
1 2nd team All-American
3 1st team all-SEC
AP Player of the Year

For the complete list, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tebow#Awards_and_honors.

So if he does not have IT, he surely has SOMETHING.

7-1 not a big enough sample

His 7-1 Broncos record as of 12/15/11 is not a large enough sample to draw the sorts of conclusions that are being drawn.

Accidental contrarianism

He may be benefitting paradoxically from lack of standard type NFL QB type ability. His coaches have had to modify their offense considerably to make use of his strengths and minimize the effects of his weaknesses. Credit them heavily for having done so.

Want an example? One of the chapters in my Contrarian book is titled “11-man offense.” Most offenses are 10-man because the QB hands off or passes then goes off duty. Tebow runs with the ball sometimes. That is an enormously contrarian thing to do in the NFL—because the defenses assume the offense will only play with 10 men. The coaching phrase is,

No defender accounts for the quarterback.

One 11-man play, a throwback pass to the QB, is actually illegal in the NFL if the QB took the snap from under center. The reason it’s illegal is the defenses have great difficulty dealing with it, especially when they are in man pass defense on the goal line.

Whatever the genesis, it has caused the Broncos to be one of the most contrarian teams in the NFL. Contrarianism gives teams at all levels a powerful winning edge. Indeed, I wrote almost the only book on football contrarianism—The Contrarian Edge for Football Offense.

Two others that discuss contrarianism only in a historical sense are The Games that Changed the Game by Ron Jaworski and Blood, Sweat, and Chalk by Tim Layden. My book on the other hand is forward looking, using history only to prove that contrarianism works. Ironically, Jaworski’s and Layden’s books are solely about contrarianism that worked so well that it is no longer contrarian. My book discusses achieving the contrarian advantage by either brand new or really old approaches. All that matters is that what you do is not currently fashionable. The Wildcat is an example of an offense that is contrarian because it is old, not because it is new. (The Wildcat is rather similar to the single wing invented by Pop Warner in the 1920s. I have written three books on the single wing offense.)

In my contrarian book, I made the comment that contrarianism would actually be more powerful in the NFL than at lower levels. The reason is the high stakes in the NFL have caused it to become extremely conservative and homogeneous. So any contrarianism in the NFL is more contrarian than at lower levels because there is so little contrarianism in the NFL. The fact that contrarian offenses are extremely rare means the defenses are more locked in on the standard NFL offense and less able to deal with deviations.

Tebow is a deviant and his coaches have turned their offense deviant to try to get the most out of Tebow. The bottom line, an unintended consequence, is that the Broncos have a contrarian offense and are getting the contrarian edge benefit from it. Tebow, thus, in an upside-down, left-handed way, is getting credit for being a great winner simply because he is weird and weird is difficult for NFL defenses to deal with.

If the success mechanism is contrarianism, and Tim Tebow cannot spell and never heard of contrarianism, he deserves no credit for forcing his coaches to go contrarian to deal with his weirdness as a QB.

Every time the camera pans to Broncos EVP of Football Operations and former QB John Elway watching Tebow play, Elway’s facial expression suggests he just stepped in dog poop. Apparently Elway needs to read my book. The Elway is not the only way to win.

Tebow’s QB weirdness begat contrarian offense and contrarian offense begat an offensive advantage that begat recent victories. Give the Bronco coaches credit for that, not Tebow.

Les Carpenter of Yahoo! Sports wrote a web column that says similar things about the great job the Broncos coaches did modifying their offense to match Tebow’s unusual combination of strengths and weaknesses at http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AjtP9IhBtY_YKSPG.KK4Mu1DubYF?slug=lc-carpenter_john_fox_broncos_tim_tebow_010212.

Coming from behind

Fans and many sports writers give QBs extra credit for coming from behind to win.

Uh, morons, they get no credit for that if they started and played the whole game. The biggest college (Maryland at Miami 11/10/84) and NFL (1/3/93 wildcard Houston at Buffalo) comeback single-game records both belonged for years to the same QB: Frank Reich. Furthermore, he won both those games coming off the bench. He was not cleaning up his own mess. He was cleaning up the mess made by the starter.

(A reader tells me that Reich came off the bench to replace the injured starter of the era, Jim Kelly, against Houston in the final regular season game. But in the next game, against the same opponent, Reich was the starter because Kelly was still injured. That was the wildcard playoff game with the big second-half comeback. In that game, Reich was cleaning up his own first half mess, or more accurately, failure to score more. The mess was made mainly by the Bills defense in the first half.)

All hail Frank Reich.

Now when it comes to Marino, Montana, Elway, and Tebow coming from behind in games they started and played all the way, speaking as a coach, “Knock off that Goddamn waiting until the second half to play well!”

My two football coach sons and I have joked that SNL ought to do a skit showing the Broncos coach telling the team the game plan for throwing the game until the fourth quarter when they will switch gears, play hard, and let Tebow have another come-from-behind win—like the script at a pro wrestling match. [Note: I wrote that paragraph several days before 12/17/11 when SNL actually did a skit that was very close to this suggestion. Not saying they copied our idea. Just great minds running in the same channel.]

[Also, a friend in the DC area sent me a Tom Boswell Washington Post column that says similar things to my article here with regard to Tebow’s weirdness and its advantages in the NFL. I did not see Boswell’s column until 12/23/11 and I have no reason to think Boswell ever heard of me before his column was published.]

NO QB should ever get extra credit for coming from behind to win a game in which they were the QB when they fell behind.

Use your freaking heads, folks! That should be obvious on its face. Are come-from-behind victories dramatic and entertaining? You bet. All Hollywood fiction is written to follow that format. But those sorts of football victories are a manifestation of inconsistency, not greatness. All coaches would agree with that. Tebow would probably agree with it.

Baseball, which is usually about 100 years behind football, actually has more sensible stats on giving credit to the pitcher for a win. If he was behind when he left, and the team wins, the reliever who took the lead gets the credit. Even the dumb fans do not give baseball starters who pitch a whole game extra credit for retaking the lead late. Although nowadays, they rarely get the chance to see such a sequence of events.

Holier than thou

Tebow is very religious. How do I know that?

Even better question—why do I know that?

And am I sure that I know that?

I should not know that. Neither should you. But we both know it, or think we do, because he keeps telling us ad nauseam. The quarterback doth protest too much, methinks.

He’s a two-bit show-off about it.

Tebow’s God is omniscient. That means he knows precisely how religious Tebow is or isn’t by reading his mind. Heck, if God is in charge, he wrote what’s in Tebow’s mind. He also wrote the game script. So when Tebow goes down on one knee to pray, it’s not for God’s benefit, it’s to impress you and me with how religious he is.

‘Wonderful young man’

What does that have to do with being a QB? Nothing. It has nothing to do with anything other than making religious people and other grown-ups think he’s a “wonderful young man.”

I know a little bit about that. I am a former “wonderful young man.” And when I was a “wonderful young man” I was in an organization where there were 4,000 other “wonderful young men.”

In particular, when I was 17 in 1964, I became a West Point cadet. That was a bigger deal back then than young readers can comprehend. It was during the sixties when my Baby Boomer generation was generally burning their draft cards, having pre-marital sex (a no-no back then), doing drugs, growing their hair long, not bathing, and so on.

And there we were at West Point. We did not do any of that stuff—well, maybe some discrete premarital sex in private, not publicly in the mud at Woodstock. One of the main reasons we did not do any of that stuff was we were not allowed. Not even close. So the grown-ups were always pouring compliments on us as “wonderful young men” because of our neat, clean, patriotic, diligent approach to life.

In retrospect, impressing grown-ups as a “wonderful young man” is kind of a cheap trick. Grown-ups are easy to impress. They like neat grooming and dress and politeness and traditional values. You can criticize West Point for many things, and I have, but I assure you we had grooming, dress, Cadetiquette, and tradition down to a science in the mid-60s there.

Role model

I was discussing this at breakfast on 12/16/11 with my wife, a Harvard MBA, and a friend who is a University of Chicago MBA, both around my age. (I am also a Harvard MBA.) They both used the phrase “wonderful role model” to describe Tebow’s behavior and they both said it was “branding.” “Wonderful role model” is a more accurate phrase to describe this in 2011. That phrase was less used in 1964 to describe us West Pointers.

Branding

I agree that Tebow’s antics are for the purpose of “branding” himself, like Apple or Pepsi working to create a distinct and attractive identity that they can cash in on. My complaint is that Tebow dishonestly claims he’s not branding. Rather, he would have us believe he is just being his natural self.

Using your religiousness to brand yourself for commercial purposes is an ancient and contemptible trick of con-artist, tent revival meeting preachers and politicians. Buy my product because I am religious so that means you can trust me. Vote for me because I am religious. In 2008, Hillary, McCain, and Obama all made a big show of being Christian. I believe all three are actually atheists. But all three knew that atheists do not win elections in the U.S. There is even a name for that: affinity fraud where the con man urges you to trust him because he is a member of the same group or religion or whatever as you.

What Tebow ought to do with regard to religion is get real. If he wants to suck up to God and give him credit for any of Tebow’s success, he can do it silently in his head. No public posing. No pointing at the sky. If he wants to go to church on Sunday, do it without a camera crew. God would probably agree with me. He’s a class guy and would not like two-bit con men using Him to curry favor with grandstands and TV audiences.

Foundation hospital in Philippines

When he was named starter in Denver, Tebow was asked if it was exciting. He said it was but he was more excited about his foundation opening a hospital in the Philippines.

Jesus H. Christ, Tebow!

1. You are an NFL QB. You get paid a lot of money to do that. You have no time to be running foundations or hospitals. Study your play book and film and the game plan. Practice your plays and reads and throws. Eventually, you will be dumped by the NFL because of an injury or old age (probably the former because of your propensity to act like a running back—running backs have very short NFL careers). You will have plenty of time to do heavy-duty charity work then. If one of Vince Lombardi’s QBs ever said such a thing he probably would have sent him to the Philippines for a month during the season without pay.

2. I can understand why you might want to start a hospital in the Philippines, your birthplace, but I have no freaking idea why you would want to tell millions of people that you are doing it. Very simply, contributing to charity is nice, but when you tell people about your charity contributions, it appears that your reason for making the contribution was, at least in part, favorable publicity. Bragging about your charitable giving does not benefit the charity recipients in the least. Bragging about it only benefits you, and makes people doubt your motives for the contributions were laudable.

3. Shut up about religion and charity. That includes both words and gestures. Leave the camera crews behind. Just do it. Actions speak louder than words. If your reasons for being religious and making charitable contributions are pure, shutting up and refraining from all the holier-than-thou grandstanding will neither adversely affect your relationship with God nor the beneficiaries of your charity.

Hostility towards Tebow’s religiousness

Criticism of Tebow’s prayerful posing are called anti-Christian. Bullshit! The problem is not his beliefs, which, I must note, no one really knows but him. Rather, the problem is his ostentatious advertising suggesting he is the second coming of Mother Theresa. For all we know, he’s is the world’s biggest cynic running a con. The problem is his protest-too-much repeating of statements and poses sending the same message. “I am so religious and so good.” No critic cares about his beliefs or charity. Only his incessant showing off about them irritates them.

Leader?

Another part of Tebow’s act really pissed me off when he was in college, but not since he got to the NFL. That was his additional theatrical, lens louse, grandstanding performances as “Mr. Leader” on college football fields.

Apparently, he reads his newspaper clippings and watches TV broadcasts of his games. In the process of watching DVRs of TV broadcasts of his games, he heard announcers declare him to be a great leader and use footage of him speaking to teammates in an animated and high-energy manner on the sideline and on the field. After hearing that he was getting credit for such leadership as evidenced by video of him admonishing teammates, he did that more often. That’s my theory reverse engineering what I saw him do on TV.

I have not seen him do that in the NFL. One theory is he tried and was put down so hard and forcefully he swore off it. My other theory is he sensed when he first was in the presence of veteran NFL teammates that he had better not even start down that road.

Only his high school, Florida, and Broncos teammates know about his leadership. The fact that he is a successful QB indicates that he must be, on some levels, a leader. It is an inescapable part of the position. But the clips of him cheerleading his teammates may not only be irrelevant to his on-field leadership, they may be counterproductive.

For one thing, the whole idea sort of makes him out to be the team and the other players merely pawns—children to his adult.

Leadership is a very slippery concept.

I wrote a number of articles on leadership. The main one is http://www.johntreed.com/leadership.html. To see all of them, do a search for the word “leader” in the within-johntreed.com search box at the top of each of my web pages.

I spent some time with Bill Walsh on a number of occasions in the 1990s and 2000s. On several occasions, he and I were speakers at the same football clinics. We both wrote for American Football Quarterly (now American Football Monthly) and spoke one-on-one at their hospitality suite for columnists/clinic speakers at their “University” conventions. I also attended a multi-day coaching clinic at Stanford during his spring practice in the mid 90s (his return to Stanford). And I have interviewed him for my books.

On two occasions, he went out of his way to note that sports writers and TV announcers were always saying the Ronnie Lott was a great and important leader for the 1980s Niners. “Bull!” Walsh said. Lott only seemed like a leader because of his on-field and on-sideline body language and animation. He was a crowd and media favorite. But not a player leader. The real player leader on the Niners, according to Walsh, was Keena Turner. He said the Niners evolved into a weekly ritual where after all the coach remarks to the team, just before they went out on to the field, the players would all gather around and Keena would make his pre-game remarks.

I met Keena and talked to him at the 1994 Walsh clinic at Stanford. Turner was one of his assistant coaches. He was a really nice guy, very quiet, genuine, and a great listener. I did not sense the leadership because we were just coaches asking him questions about the details of coaching. However, I do not doubt Walsh.

Who the player leaders are, if any, and how they exert leadership is very, very subtle. The notion that it is automatically the QB and that the only way it manifests itself is his animatedly admonishing and cheerleading his teammates is bull.

Leaders have their effect mainly by their character. Also, their effect is very narrow, not general as those who discuss it often say or imply. Furthermore, how you lead in a particular moment is a combination of your unique personality and the details of the situation.

There can be both positive and negative leaders on a football team. Positive leaders are trying to lead the team in the same direction as the head coach. Negative leaders are trying to lead the players a different direction from the head coach. Negative leaders need to be gotten rid of immediately. I concluded I had one in 2004 but I could not figure out who it was. I had a couple of suspects by the end of the season, but I was unable to draw a conclusion.

In high school, I thought our starting QB was a jerk. Full of himself and no future Hall of Famer although probably our best guy to be QB. My teammates seemed to think about the same. He got hurt senior year and missed some games. We struggled on offense in those games. Then he was sent in in a late-season game. As I recall, he was limping when he went onto the field. Also as I recall, our offensive play perked up and we came from behind to win the game. (I was on defense only.) After the game, the head coach commented that when the injured, former first-string QB first went into the game, you could see the change in how the huddle suddenly became much sharper when he first stepped into it. I believe it. But although we won that game, I don’t think anyone on the team wanted their sister to marry the QB or their future sons to emulate him.

Sometimes, being full of yourself is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Other people figure you must know something they don’t and they assume you must have a good reason for thinking you are as good as you seem to think you are. Confidence combined with a little bit of skill can carry the day.

Leader for one game

My oldest son was not elected team captain in high school or college football, but one game his senior year of high school revealed that sometimes leaders emerge on a single occasion. His undefeated Miramonte High school team was playing Campolindo, their within-town rival. Campo sucked that year as usual. (They went to the state championship game in 2011.) But they were leading in the game at half-time—even though they only had 18 players, and three of those got hurt in the game. Miramonte had about 60 players from a same-size student body.

My son simply got really and quite sincerely angry about the situation. He started playing as if he were possessed and was yelling at his teammates to do likewise. Miramonte came back in the second half to win. The Miramonte QB that year was Ken Dorsey, who went on to a Hall of Fame career at the University of Miami. They won the national championship one year in the Rose Bowl and came in second the next. Kenny was a two-time Heisman finalist.

As we were leaving the Campo stadium that night, I saw Dorsey’s father and said, “Good game.” He said something along the lines that he did not think Kenny had a good game and words to the effect of, “Your son gets that win.” Years later, one of my customers called to order some books I had written. He happened to also have been a father on the 1998 Miramonte football team and said my son’s best game was the Campo game where he seemed to single-handedly will the team to victory. The 1998 Miramonte team was the first undefeated one in the 40-year history of the school. They won the North Coast Section championship which was the highest you could go on the field then in California, the only state with no high school state championship tournament (too many high schools). By poll, Miramonte ended up ranked second in the state after Marin Catholic, a team that defeated a common opponent by less than Miramonte, but the common opponent’s star tailback was hurt for our game.

Who was the leader in the NCS championship game? No one. It was raining sideways and so cold that the players were shivering uncontrollably for the team photo. Because of the rain and wind and cold, passing was not working much. My son was the tailback and got most of the carries rushing for 189 yards and scoring 26 points in our 40-0 win. So some teams have great leaders. Some teams have momentary leaders at times, and for some successful teams and some games, there is no particular leadership at all, just a bunch of good players grinding it out by doing their jobs. TV and radio announcers and sports writers overanalyze player leadership and draw unwarranted conclusions from too little data especially things the camera can see. You cannot lead a camera. You can only gesticulate for it.

Football leadership comes in many guises and sizes, like where one previously quiet guy emerges in a given situation and makes a big play or says something that fires up his teammates, thereby changing the tenor of the game. To suggest that football game leadership can be seen in sideline cheerleading by a particular player is nonsense. Whole-season leadership is far more subtle than that. Ad hoc leadership like my son did in the Campo game is often visible from the stands, but that is the only kind that is.

Steve Jobs was a long-term leader

I recently called Steve Jobs perhaps the greatest leader of our time based solely on the results he achieved—revolutionizing five industries and heading the most valuable company on earth after starting in his dad’s garage as a college dropout. I am now reading the Isaacson biography of Jobs. What a jerk! What a kook! But he is still probably the greatest leader of our time, not at every aspect of his life, just at the Mac, Pixar, iPod, iPhone, iPad.

Like I said, leadership is often applicable in an extremely narrow range of situations. President John F. Kennedy once said of his Air Force Chief of Staff, Curtis LeMay, that if you went to war you would want him in the lead plane. LeMay had been brilliant in World War II in the Pacific. But Kennedy also said you would never let LeMay near the button that would start the war. The Air Force “General Jack D. Ripper” in Dr. Strangelove was said to have been based on Curtis LeMay.

One could make a similar comment about General George Patton. You want to drive an army across North Africa, Italy, and France at great speed? Patton’s your man. War’s over? What do we do with Patton to prevent him from starting World War III?

So real leadership in the real world is not the universal good it is typically described as. Tebow may be an obnoxious, self-aggrandizing jerk but have enough leadership on a football field to achieve the narrow objective of gaining the next first down or scoring the one more touchdown that is needed. In other words, his leadership may have absolutely nothing to do with his showing off how religious he is or how charitable he is. Although Tebow seems to be trying to portray himself as a wonderful young man who is “practically perfect in every way,” like Mary Poppins.

Like I said, I expect Tebow must be a leader because of his QB position and success. Really hard to have that success at that position if you are not some sort of a leader. But I doubt that Tebow’s self-conscious, staged, act-like-a-leader performances on the Florida sideline were evidence of it and may have been evidence of nothing but Tebow’s unseemly love of the camera and favorable publicity.

Ask Tebow’s teammates, not the media, if he is a great leader and if so, how does his leadership manifest itself.

‘The Chosen One’ You Tubes of Tebow

A reader told me to check out ESPN You Tube stuff called “The Chosen One.” It provides more evidence of my point.

It also reminded me of an incident when I was a company commander in the Army. In The Chosen One, you frequently get video shots like Tebow stripped to the waist and posing for the camera. Having had some brushes with media —I was on 60 Minutes, Larry King Live, and Good Morning America and in a couple of all-day photo shoots for Money magazine—I can see the behind the scenes from the scene on the You Tube. For example when Tebow does that stripped-to-the-waist carrying a football scene in The Chosen One, it was directed by the ESPN guy in charge. Probably, they did at least a half dozen takes to get the light and shadows and facial expression just right.

When I was company commander in the Army, I had a weekly meeting with my men, about 400 of them, in an auditorium at Fort Monmouth. Guys falling behind in paying their bills was a recurring problem so I found a civilian business executive in the community to talk to them about their personal finances. He showed up with a camera crew to publicize his being invited to speak to my men. I was annoyed about the cameras but I did not stop them.

Then the camera crew started giving me directions of where they wanted me to stand and what they wanted me to do and all that. My men were sitting there watching all this. I had been trying to convince my men that I was on their side. This scene seemed like it might convey to the men that I was more interested in self-aggrandizing showing off for the media audience who would see the photos, that I was using my men as mere props for self-glorification. When the camera crew gave me the first direction, I snapped at them, “You guys can take pictures of what goes on here, but you are not going to control what goes on. The only pictures you can take of me or my men are candid ones. No posing.”

Later, I was in a big fight with my superiors over various stuff they were trying to force me to do that I did not agree with. See my web articles on O.V.U.M. and military integrity. Some of my men apparently told the media because my lawyer got a call from the local daily newspaper, the Asbury Park Press. They wanted to interview me. I refused on the grounds that it would look to my West Point classmates and others like I did what I did for the publicity. Back then, 1971, with anti-Vietnam-War fever at an extreme high pitch, the media loved to get rebellious young officers on camera. John Kerry did his “Jengis Kahn” routine in 1971. It looked to us other Vietnam vets as if he just did it to advance his political career and nothing has happened in the ensuing 41 years to suggest we were wrong about that.

Tebow, in contrast, does every take, strikes every pose, and grants every interview. He is not concerned that his love of the camera and microphone casts doubt on his motives. He should be.

A little more zen

“The Chosen One” also shows 17-year-old Tebow shrieking like a maniac in a road rage at his teammates. He needs to read the new “Trust the Force, Luke” chapter in my Succeeding book. It explains that although maximum effort is best for many things in life, it is not best for everything. In some situations, like a quarterback throwing a touch pass or calling a play, you need to be relaxed and “Let it happen, don’t make it happen.” If I were Tebow’s coach, I would especially keep my punter and place kicker away from all that screaming. They are strictly zen positions—like golfers. Quarterback is partly zen. Perhaps the greatest quarterback ever was Joe Montana. Ever see him screaming at his teammates? Ever see him lead his team to victory? Sports Illustrated rated him the number one clutch quarterback of all-time.

When I played defense in tackle football in high school and at Fort Monmouth as an Army officer, I was internally screaming and working myself into a rage because that is the required mind set for defense. Tebow’s behavior in “The Chosen One” would have been fine if he was a linebacker—which he may have been in high school actually—but it is not QB-like or leader like.

Now they tell us

After New England beat Denver on 12/18/11, the analysts on TV suddenly started pointing out that almost all of the seven teams Denver beat previously when Tebow started at QB had poor records. Is there a reason this was not in the prior TV discussions? Like the media was hyping the Legend of Tim Tebow for ratings? Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry even pronounced himself the Tim Tebow of the candidates, days before Tebow’s win streak ended.

In defeat, Tebow managed to put a Donald Trump-like spin on it. “We made some big plays but not enough of them.” That’s the royal “we.” He made some big plays. His analysis could be said of almost all NFL games. The more appropriate statement would have been “I was unable to get it done on offense. They’re a great team—best we’ve faced all season. I need to learn how to move the ball against the better teams.” But then he would not sound like “The Chosen One,” only the Appropriately Humble One in a league with about a thousand more accomplished, veteran pros. He may become a great NFL QB in the future. I wish him luck. But for now he needs to have an attitude adjustment about how wonderful he is.

Once, when an untested football team of mine got new uniforms, the players were all excited and taking great pride in the uniforms. They seemed to think they had arrived as a team. I said, “I hope you guys play as well as you look. So far, that has not happened. How about we concentrate on making our play on the field live up the what the great uniforms suggest about us.”

Tebow has gotten a wildly disproportionate amount of ink and air time as an individual, since high school, and he has done everything he could to maximize that ink and air time. How about he now focuses on being the best QB and Denver Bronco teammate he can henceforth and let the ink and air time, if any, take care of itself? Take responsibility for the losses and spread the credit for the wins among his teammates. Instead of looking at broadcast video of his got-a-lot-to-learn self, or his reflection in a pool of water, he should watch broadcast video of the great NFL quarterbacks of the past and present to see how they handled the media and post-game questions about how their games went. He could do a lot worse than study how Drew Brees handled his breaking Dan Marino’s 27-year-old single-season passing-yards record on Monday Night Football on 12/26/11.

John T. Reed