Published September 17, 2013
Tim Tebow must look at football these days the way Barack Obama looks at Syria: There are no good options.
The Russians want to help , though there are a few hitches. Like the Russian American Football Championships being so obscure the KGB doesn't even know it exists.
His fans want to help, but all they can do is hold vigils in the Jaguars' parking lot. The other option is going to work for Gene Simmons , a.k.a. The Demon. I realize Tebow played for Urban Meyer -- but this would be another level of infamy entirely.
His best career move would be to accept reality. ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso summed it up best: "Tebow's got a great future outside football. He's got more important things to do than screw around with the NFL."
And the NFL has better things to do than screw around with Tebow. For the millionth time, he's a great guy with a stirring story -- but if you still believe all Tebow needs is a fair shake, I have some property near Chernobyl I'd like to sell you.
I probably could have made some money at EverBank Field Monday afternoon. A Tebow rally started at 3:16 p.m. and lasted three hours and 16 minutes. The numerology paid homage to John 3:16, one of the Bible verses Tebow used to write on his eye black.
The theme was "Jags - Tebow Why Not?" Granted, Tebow couldn't be worse than Blaine Gabbert. (Neither could Billy Graham, but you don't see teams offering him any free-agent deals.)
If Tebow couldn't make it in New England, he can't make it anywhere -- anywhere in the NFL, that is. The Patriots were a perfect situation for him to develop: Established starter, innovative approach, patient staff, loving owner.
Problem was, Tebow still throws like a guy putting out a kitchen fire with a wet towel. He should throw in that towel and get on spreading his gospel, building orphanages and being a great humanitarian.
That's better than being an NFL quarterback, but Tebow's faith in himself is almost as strong as his faith in God. Given that, what's his best option?
There's that $1 million offer to play two upcoming playoff games with the Moscow Black Storm. The first thing I'd do is demand the 32,263,230 rubles up front, since the entire league is valued at approximately $4.38. It doesn't even have a website, though the team has a Facebook page. The lead entry:
"¿¿ ¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿.....¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿, ¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿¿¿, ¿¿¿¿¿ 28-¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿ ¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿. ¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿. ¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿ ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿¿¿¿ ¿¿¿¿."
Translation: "We know Comrade Tebow reads defenses like you read Russian. We're just milking this for publicity."
The Moscow owner said Tebow's people are advising him to junk football and become a full-time motivational speaker. If only he'd listen.
The only potential upside to Russia is that Vladimir Putin might drop by wanting to compare chest hair. That could allow Tebow to grab the Super Bowl ring Putin swiped from Robert Kraft, who would then force Bill Belichick to give Tebow another chance.
Speaking of publicity stunts, there's option No. 2: The LA KISS. The Arena League team offered Tebow a three-year contract potentially worth "millions of dollars" last week.
"It wasn't about publicity," Paul Stanley said on the TODAY Show. "He would be great for the sport."
Stanley co-owns the team with band-mate Simmons. In case you're not up on your KISS knowledge, he's the one with the "Starchild" makeup. Simmons has gallivanted around the world sporting "The Demon" makeup the past four decades.
To be fair, the Tebow 3:16 crowd should know KISS doesn't really stand for Knights in Satan's Service. Simmons never minded fanning such suspicion since it helped sell KISS albums, T-shirts, wine, comics and urns.
The Demon would give six inches off his tongue to snag Tebow. The mere offer last week spawned about 10,000 photo-shopped Internet pictures of Tebow in KISS makeup. If he actually signed, next season's opener would be a mini-Super Bowl of hype.
From a football standpoint, Arena ball is Tebow's best hope. Threading the tight passing lanes of indoor football might improve his delivery and get him an NFL gig. Hey, it worked for Kurt Warner.
I know. The odds of that happening are about as good as Simmons being named the next Pope -- but it would be fun to watch if you could stomach the cheesiness of it all.
The sad fact is teams want Tebow for his name, not his arm. Seeing him as a Moscow Black Stormer or LA KISSer would be the modern-day version of Jesse Owens racing a horse at a minor-league game. Tebow deserves a more dignified exit.
The Tebow brand is based on his image and the belief the NFL shafted him. Tebow can't take all those rubles without looking greedy. If he bombs in the Arena League, it would validate what the Broncos, Jets, Patriots, Corso and almost everybody else knows.
Tebow has a great future, but it's not in football. If he keeps trying to prove otherwise, even the people in the EverBank parking lot are going to lose faith.