Friday, November 18, 2011

Lay off Tim Tebow ... and other random observations

Notes, quotes and anecdotes as I wonder whether Tim Tebow is for real ...

Speaking of Tebow, this whole mania that surrounds him reminds me of Doug Flutie.

Flutie was too short, Tebow is too unorthodox. But both seem to provoke some kind of pathological disdain that -- to me -- is pretty hard to comprehend.

I've been told (though I never saw it) that Flutie could tough to take. I know his fans were tough to take sometimes. But as far as he went, and how he performed, what's to hate? Maybe he wasn't the most orthodox quarterback ever, but when he was allowed to play to his strengths, he got it done. When coaches tried to force him into things that he simply couldn't do, he came up short (no pun intended).

That's pretty easy to understand. If you were to ask Tom Brady to play like Michael Vick, Brady would -- in the words of Denver Broncos coach John Fox -- "be screwed." So, Bill Belichick, no dummy, doesn't ask Tom Brady to play like Michael Vick. The offense is designed around Brady's strengths (classic pocket passer with decent ability to sidestep a rush, above-average intelligence, ability to make quick, accurate reads, etc.), and the team succeeds because of it.

Similarly, Fox has "tweaked" (his words) the Broncos offense to better take advantage of what Tebow does best. That's fine as far as it goes. But why qualify it by saying the kid would be "screwed" if he were to suddenly be forced to play as a pocket passer? Why damn him like that? Isn't it enough that the Broncos are 4-1 with Tebow back there? What -- other than Tebow's presence on the field -- has changed since the Broncos got off to that abysmal start?

Last night, Tebow and the Broncos offense were horrible for three-and-two-thirds quarters against an above-average defense (well, we keep hearing about how great the Jets defense is, but now it's reasonable to wonder whether that's just talk). But when he had to, he took the Broncos 95 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

I hate to trot out the old cliche, but it may apply in this case. All Tebow does is win. And in the end, who cares how that happens? The late-great Al Davis said it best. Just win, baby.

I could do without all the proselytizing. I'm not anxious to hear him thank his "his lord and savior Jesus Christ," and that's mainly because I don't think LASJC gives a crap about pro football. But other than that, he said all the right things in that post-game interview last night, despite clear attempts from that NFL Network panel to bait him.

Could be that the kid is the real deal. And if he is, put me down as happy.


I go back and forth on this whole "Occupy-Every-American-Big City" movement. I understand it. And I think people who say "they need a better focus; they don't even know what they're protesting" are the ones who need a little education.

That's because it isn't "just one thing." It's everything. It's things that, as a liberal, I might support; and it's things that I might vehemently oppose. But what it is mostly is a protest against the fact that the United States is now so much of an oligarchy (as opposed to being a republic) that you'd have to be blind not to see it.

Fifty years ago, there was a minority of the American public that you could honestly say had no shot at making a better life for themselves than their parents had. The opportunities were there, and if you got educated and worked hard, you could thrive in this society.

Now? That minority isn't so small anymore, and is dangerously close to being a majority. More and more people are scrambling to make ends meet, and that includes the educated. Meanwhile, in the face of this crisis (and it is a crisis) you have politicians in Washington (and elsewhere) who would have you believe that if we can all just hold out for one more year until Big Bad Obama is out of the White House all our problems will be solved.

A pox on anyone who believes that. Well, a pox on the people who would have you believe it too, but anyone who buys that line is just as guilty.

The problems we have are years in the making. They transcend political parties. Both of them are equally responsible ... perhaps for different reasons, but in what end what does that matter? This is the result of a systematic failure on everyone's part.

When Obama first got elected, the Tea Party sprung up as a reaction to his policies, specifically the health care revisions. But to me, they seemed to be more interested in protecting their status quo than they were in forcing any kind of meaningful dialogue about solutions. And their presence is keenly felt in Congress now, as there's an entire bloc of newly-minted representatives who would vote "nay" on whether the sun was out if the president opined that it was.

How's that helping anything?

The Occupy Wall Street/Boston/Portland/Whatever else movement may be messy (most of the time democracy is messy), and I'm sure it's an inconvenience (and perhaps even a blight) for people who have to deal with them every day.

And I guess that's why I go back and forth. You can't just pitch tents and squat in Dewey Square in Boston forever. At some point, there has to be an end game, just like there is in war. The longer, and more open-ended these things go, the worse it gets, and better the chances of them ending badly. Or can anyone say "Tienanmen Square?"

But I sympathize with them totally.


I have a Facebook friend who does daily trivia. About a month ago, his question involved "The Logical Song" by "Supertramp." And I don't know why, but that just made me go back and re-investigate all the Supertramp stuff I own, or remember, and I downloaded a bunch of songs off iTunes as a result.

I always hated "Take the Long Way Home" because I thought it was -- for them -- a little too Poppy. Supertramp are in the same category as Steely Dan to me. They were both capable of putting out some pretty damn sophisticated music back in "the day," and I didn't think "Take the Long Way Home" measured up.

But the more I hear it now (which is all the time, because I'm playing those Supertramp songs practically non-stop when I'm sitting around doing mindless idling on the computer) the more I like it. It's catchy. It has a nice hook. You can dance to it. And I read somewhere that Roger Hodgson considers it one of his favorites!

But for some reason, the song "Bloody Well Right" amuses me more than any of the others they did, and that includes "The Logical Song."

But the real question is: Am I nuts? Does anyone else go through these jags, where they just become thoroughly obsessed by one particular singer or group? It's weird.

One more thing about Steely Dan (I rediscovered them about 20 or so years ago, in much the same manner I rediscovered Supertramp ... by hearing "Botthisattva" on the radio at 2 in the morning), we all know that the two principals are Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. My question is: Is there any other rocker named Walter? It just seems like such an "un-rocker" name!

And where did you get those shoes???


Between what went on at Penn State, and the new allegations concerning Syracuse University basketball, it's beginning to appear as if we should just blow up the entire college sports model and start over. Doesn't it?

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