Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sports columnist Aaron McFarling: Watching Tebow play makes the NFL feel like a college Saturday

Mistakes were made. We'll want to burn some of those old photos. But in the end, boy, didn't we all have fun?

Yeah. Tim Tebow's debut as a starting quarterback felt a lot like college.

Nobody ever talks about that aspect of it -- but they should.

I read/watched/listened to Tebow coverage nonstop on Monday, whether I liked it or not (I did like it). I heard a lot of debate about Tebow's throwing motion. This always makes me laugh: "His throwing motion stinks!"

His throwing motion. When did we start caring about this? Mark that date down, because that's exactly the point at which sports stopped being fun.

I heard a lot of talk about whether he'll be a success for the long term. This makes me laugh, too. Some guy from Buffalo will call in and say, "His skill set will never work for the long haul!" Because, you know, guys from Buffalo have always given a lot of thought to the long-term success or failure of the Denver Broncos.

I heard how we should credit the kicker for Denver's win over Miami -- and not Tebow's two touchdown passes in the last 2:44. Or how we should credit the Denver running game. Or dumb luck. Hey, let's reference the refs, too. That'll complete the cycle.

Here's what really happened: Tim Tebow brought the college game to the NFL, and he won. He rallied his teammates like a campus hero. He ran in a two-point conversion straight out of Navy's playbook. He got people to put away their fantasy football spreadsheets, show up at the stadium, put on jerseys and cheer like idiots.

And good for him.

The NFL sycophants might not realize this, but there are plenty of people (myself included) who enjoy the college game a lot more than their antiseptic version. Bill Belichick is not our hero. We don't go gaga over a trade for all-hat, no-cattle prototypes like Carson Palmer. We don't think Rex Ryan is all that colorful, considering there are at least a dozen college coaches with his emotion, personality and moxie.

For some of us, this isn't about religion. This isn't about commercials. This isn't about proving people wrong or proving them right.

No, some of us like Tebow because he feels like Saturday.

Cam Newton, too.

Sue us.

*   *   *

Virginia Tech announced Monday that linebacker Bruce Taylor was lost for the year, bringing the total number of defensive players lost to injury to ... six zillion.

You know what this rash of injuries on the Tech defense reminds me of? The Hokies basketball team last year.

Guys kept dropping. The team kept hanging in there.

But in the end, it all became too much. Tech hit a wall in a must-win game against Clemson and didn't make the NCAA tournament because of it.

Got a feeling that will happen again. Same opponent, too.

*   *   *

Say want you will about Twitter. Yes, there can be a lot of sophomoric nonsense you have to sift through (especially if you follow me) to get to the good stuff.

Yes, players can get themselves in trouble by posting in the heat of the moment.

Yes, some of the abbreviations required to fit a post into 140 characters contribute to The Dumbing Down of America. (smh).

But occasionally, you'll see a tweet that makes it all worthwhile. I proudly present to you one such tweet from former Virginia Tech defensive end Darryl Tapp, now with the Philadelphia Eagles.

He issued it Thursday evening, about the time you'd expect an NFL player to be getting ready to head out to the club, break down some game film, roll around naked in his limitless supply of $100 bills -- or do whatever it is NFL players do on Thursday nights.

Here is what Tapp wrote:

"It's about time to have this private viewing of it's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown in my living room...#dontjudgeme."

Sorry, Darryl. I've got no choice but to judge this decision.


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