November 24, 2011

Tim Tebow and the Scourge of Fantasy Football




“This game is setting football back 50 years, offensive play calling 40 years, and soccer back 20 years.” -Steve Braband, on Twitter, during last week’s Jets/Broncos matchup
It’s funny, I don’t remember the media working themselves up into a tizzy over Ronnie Brown circa the Miami Wildcat days about whether or not he was going to make it as an NFL quarterback, but here we are with Tim Tebow running the same offense, not as successfully, with about the same amount of passing ability and less running ability as Brown, having to hear about how he could be the one to finally lead the Broncos back to the Promised Land, to the top of Mount Elway.

Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting Tebow is Different. Special.

Tebow is averaging, in his five starts, about 105 yards passing. That is bad. Now, I don’t think stats are necessarily the end-all-be-all in football, but if you believe that Tebow is destined for NFL greatness -- or even averageness -- then you believe that in a league in which every rule change and tendency of the last ten years has been to favor high-octane passing games, there is room to excel for a quarterback who can’t throw.

If that isn’t blind faith, I don’t know what is. So it makes sense that he’s a fan favorite of the Jesus crowd. Both disciplines require a belief in something for which there is absolutely no evidence of.

Just like the Jesus people largely ignore what Jesus actually (supposedly) said, Tebowites are amazingly able to completely ignore anything that happens on the field, selectively choosing a play or two out of context and claiming it means Tebow is a “winner,” or a “leader.”

Do you think, for instance, that if Mark Sanchez had gotten the ball back last Thursday night with a minute left and led the Jets to a game-winning touchdown that the Tebowites would have become Sanchez disciples? Would that have made Tebow a loser?

The truth is, no quarterback has less of an impact on his team’s fortunes right now than Tebow. They are using the strategy made famous by Yinzstachio’s Pitt teams: Make no effort to score, keep the game slow and ugly, hopefully close, and try to get lucky in the final five minutes.

It didn’t work out too well in Pittsburgh, and it will end up even worse for the Broncos. That is no way to win consistently in Major College Football, and certainly not in the NFL.

Some of Tebow’s popularity must have something to do with Fantasy Football stats. FF is Idiot America’s way of following our National Pastime without having to know anything, or even care, about the sport. And there is an unsurprising correlation with Idiot America as a whole and Tebow Nation.

Fantasy Football is scourge on Sports that threatens to drown out Real Fans forever. Thanks to FF, we’ve had to endure arguments from otherwise reasonable people that Peyton Manning, the most uncreative player in NFL history, is the best quarterback ever, despite empirical evidence that he’s been no better than the third best quarterback in his own CONFERENCE for at least the last six years.

The average Fantasy Footballer will look at their league scoring and see Manning’s name at the top and think it means something. They don’t have to watch any games, or know that when things start to deviate from what is expected he crumbles like a cookie. All that matters is that he gets the most Fantasy points, so he is the best.

Having to hear over and over again that Manning is the best ever, or Tebow has a chance to ever be a better than middling quarterback is like being told that Kim Kardashian is famous: It’s only true if you believe it first.

...As for my picks this week, it was another sad struggle. I couldn’t line up a set of whole-numbered spreads, for one, giving me only three Push opportunities, or “Pushtunities.” The actual picks? I hate them. I want to tie them up in a bag full of cats and drown them in the river.

Looks like another 1-4 week, if I’m lucky. Anyone want to join me in my Shame Hole?

Packers v. Lions OVER (55.5)
Aren’t there about 70 points scored in any given Lions or Packers game this year? According to my recreationally-ravaged memory, yes. My track record on picking Thanksgiving NFL games is pretty awful, so I suppose I shouldn't hold out much hope for this one.

Texas v. TEXAS A&M (-7.5)
If I said I know why I’m picking this, I would be lying.

Louisville v. South Florida UNDER (43)
This is going to be an absolute suck-fest, a ride on the Suck Bus, a journey deep into far reaches of the suckiverse. In other words, it is the quintessential Big East match-up.

Georgia v. GEORGIA TECH (+6)
I haven’t paid attention to ACC football at all this year (by design), and anyone who’s not LSU or Alabama gets drowned out in the SEC. What better time to catch up with all these old friends than Thanksgiving weekend? Maybe their birthdays.

Clemson v. South Carolina OVER (50)
Wow. I made these picks about thirty-six hours prior to getting around to writing this, and I’m dumbfounded as to why I picked this. Did I have some fleeting hankering to watch this game? I guess it seems like an Over..., 11:36 PM MST, Tuesday, Goddamned right.

Robb Witmer Full is the Tim Tebow correspondent for SPORTS-THRUST!! Follow his second-rate material on Twitter.