When I heard the news about the New England Patriots signing Tim Tebow, I’m pretty sure I reacted just like the rest of you: I called the White House and told Obama that the terrorists had hijacked Bill Belichick’s mind with Inception-style inception, our only hope now being to send in Ellen Page to do nothing remotely helpful. Why in the world would the Patriots want Tim Tebow? I thought I was witnessing one of the best coaching minds of my generation go stark raving mad; it was scary. Then I began to wonder if this wasn’t some sort of underhanded trick, some sort of duplicitous misdirection to gain an advantage on unsuspecting opponents. I dismissed that idea quickly, though, because Belichick would obviously never cheat at anything ever. Yet I kept coming back to the question over the course of the week, unable to shake it from my mind.
Let’s back up a bit. I know it is trendy and “hilarious” to make fun of Tim Tebow, but I kinda like the guy. He and I feel a bit like kindred spirits; we both cry openly, we both retained our respective virginities for far too long, and we both love circumcising babies. He’s a man of God; I’m a god of a man (ask your girlfriend). Tebow gives hope to high school players everywhere; you too can win the Heisman if you’re white, handsome, and playing alongside someone as talented as Percy Harvin. A lot of people like to joke about how Tebow is Jesus, but I won’t consider that a fitting comparison until I see Tebow do the whole water-to-wine thing at the Gatorade dispenser he’ll perpetually be stationed near at the end of the bench. Though the media drooling over his every move grows tiresome, I find it difficult to imagine even though most cynical of people legitimately believing he is a “bad guy.”
Tom Brady, on the other hand, is an antichrist (yes, I know the common phrase is “the” antichrist, but considering Todd Akin exists, we obviously have more than one walking this earth right now). His little sixth-round-pick-to-Super-Bowl-champion narrative is cute, sure, until you remember that there are thousands of NFL-eligible college football players in America, ergo even being picked in the draft is a damn impressive accomplishment. Oh, and his house has a moat around it. People say the water is patrolled by some sort of hideous sea monster, but it’s actually just Vince Wilfork and his mammoth arm fat. I respect the hell out of Tom Brady for all the incredible things he’s accomplished—multiple MVPS, a slew of records, the Super Bowl wins—but I say his greatest achievement of all is tricking Giants fans into believing Eli Manning is anything more than a marginally talented goofball who doesn’t even deserve to share a name with Peyton. Now that takes talent.
It’s clear, then, that having these two opposing forces working together is going to present an enthralling challenge, one that I’m sure ESPN will do only ten-second passing mentions of every Sports Center episode. As much as Tebow “just wins games” (you know, as proven by that one partial season), it is hard to imagine him being a viable backup to Tom Brady. As much as it physically pains me to admit this, Tom Brady is a pretty good NFL quarterback. Belichick is a smart coach, though, and it is unreasonable to think he just signed Tebow on a lark given the disparity in talent between Tom and Tim. He has to have some sort of master plan, and I think—though my tin-foil hat has hampered my normally acute psychic abilities—I know what it is.
During the second game of the 2001 season, Drew Bledsoe suffered the injury that provided Tom Brady the opportunity to shine. The team the Patriots were playing that fateful day? The New York Jets. What team do they Patriots play the second week of this upcoming season? The New York Jets! ALEX JONES COULDN’T EVEN MAKE THAT UP! Don’t be surprised if Brady gets “hurt” at some point in that game so Tebow can come in to face his former team. I know Belichick has a play designed where Tebow, operating from the shotgun, runs forward and commits an intentional “butt-fumble,” only to pick up the loose ball and run it eighty yards for the touchdown. The Patriots will win in a blow-out. Expect adulation for Tebow and tears of shame from Mark Sanchez.
The next few weeks will be utter pandemonium. Tebow will dominate the league, using his magical powers to heal Gronk’s ailing back and his swagger to swipe Samantha Steele from Christian Ponder. There will be innumerable pontifications from hack sports journalists about if Tom Brady is “done” and at least one rumor that Tebow prayed to have Tom Brady injured. Don’t be surprised if the Patriots jump out to an 9-1 record, the only loss coming from the Miami Dolphins, a team so talented and gifted and incredible that I’d never ever conceive of making fun of them.
Of course, the big game of the regular season is clearly the November 24th contest against the Denver Broncos. People will be expecting Tebow to run wild over the team that unceremoniously dumped him, but this is where Belichick’s genius will prevail. I wouldn’t be surprise if the Patriots intentionally gave up points to the Broncos, perhaps letting Wes Welker exert a bit of vengeance. Trailing in the fourth quarter, the Patriots will pull Tebow from the game and put in a seemingly hobbled Tom Brady, who will limp out onto the field with the energy and dexterity of a wounded hound…and then will lead his team on a remarkable comeback that’ll put the final nail in coffin of the Brady versus Manning debate (because, you know, that debate clearly hasn’t been settled yet). It’ll make for great theater, and that’s what Belichick wants. After the game, Tebow will graciously concede his starting position to Brady, and Brady will announce to the media that he could have never made his “recovery” without the magical healing touch of Tim Tebow. They’ll hug, and women across America will swoon (Mark Sanchez will still be weeping).
I unfortunately can’t say how this charade will work once the playoffs begin. My psychic abilities only extend a certain amount into the future, sorry. However, would you really want bet against a team that has both a saint and a devil on the roster, a team that is helmed by a diabolical genius with an impeccable taste for sweatshirts? I wouldn’t, and I don’t even LIKE the Patriots. There is one hope, though, for all you anti-Pats people out there. Thankfully the NFL has one hero who could potentially stop this unholy marriage of Good and Evil, this apocalyptic tandem of saint and Satan. His name is Bernard Karmell Pollard, former safety for the Baltimore Ravens, and his ability to wreck havoc on the Patriots is well established. He plays for the Tennessee Titans now, and if he finds himself facing Brady in the playoffs, expect some serious smiting to occur.
(Oh god, I just realized our only hope is the Tennessee Titans making the playoffs. Damn. Uhh…someone call Ellen Page. I don’t think she’s busy.)