Full disclosure: The author of this column, a diehard Jets fan, drove into work Wednesday in Los Angeles and pulled up next to a TV news van. He leaned out his window and asked if they were driving to cover Tebow. The man in the passenger seat said "Huh?" The author replied with a loud "We got Tebow!" The other man then rolled his window up.
Finally, after hours of clicking my refresh button, Tebow officially became a Jet. But now that the dust has settled -- and I've ordered my daughter her size 5T Tebow jersey (she's only four, but I want to maximize the wear) -- we have learned a lot about everyone involved in this (or)deal, including us as fans.
What we learned about the New York Jets
Only the Jets could make me ride an emotional roller coaster when they weren't even playing a game. How did you not look at the contract beforehand? How did you not address the $5 million Clydesdale in the room? Teams full of bravado and bluster often overlook the little things, like the pulse of a locker room, a waterbug running back you had no place for who's proving his worth for a division rival, or the small detail of how much money you're going to have to pay for your new acquisition. ("See, here's the thing, Mr. Johnson. This morning I sort of missed a minor detail I wanted to tell you about. It's probably not a big deal, but ... ")
In the end, the Jets had to complete this deal to not only improve the team, but also save face and not be the laughingstock of the league. The little things like this are what have been holding the franchise back from the Super Bowl the past three seasons.
What we learned about the Denver Broncos
If we're to believe that they allowed Tebow to choose his destination -- or at least have input on his final landing spot -- that speaks volumes about John Elway and John Fox. Sure, it wasn't that big a deal because it's not like they were sending Tebow to a division rival, but that's a ton of class.
The past four months, I've been incredibly impressed by Elway's talent in the front office. Never misleading anyone as it pertained to his opinion on Tebow, always open about the direction Denver was taking in regard to Peyton Manning, and then giving Tebow the option of the Big Apple or his hometown. There's a reason Elway was such a great leader on the field, and now he's turned it into something else. I wish he was running my team, and you probably do, too.
What we learned about the Jacksonville Jaguars
It's hard for me to believe Shahid Khan. I want to, but then he says things like he would've taken Tebow in the first round had he owned the team back in 2010; and once Tebow hit the trading block, that he'd do what he could to make it happen. And I just can't take him at his word. Why? Because Tebow was eminently gettable for a team that needs to first energize the fan base and actually sell out games before it can move on to other pesky things like winning. The Jaguars are hanging by a thread in Jacksonville. Forget about talent, Tebow would become their franchise player. And interest level would rise. But when you find out the Jets are giving up a fourth- and sixth-round pick for Tebow, don't you say, "Hey, we'll give you a third-rounder, because he would mean everything to us." Nope, instead you let him go, and then get involved as an afterthought to placate your fans, who were losing it after seeing their native son passed over for the second time.
GM Gene Smith is a great football mind, but sometimes you have to put that aside and realize keeping the team in the city they currently play is the most important thing on your to-do list. Unless it's not, which is a different conversation altogether, and one I'm more inclined to have now after seeing how things played out Wednesday.
What we learned about us as fans
Can't we just realize that this Tebow story is fun? Tebow going to the media capital of the country is fun. This whole thing is fun. Anything that involves Tebow is fun to talk about.
So often we get hung up on why something is "bad," and I get it. Within minutes of this deal going down (for the first time), fans were angry, pundits again weighed in on how overrated Tebow is and how this was just horrible for the Jets. I get it. News is inherently negative in nature, so we wind up falling into that mindset of why things are bad. Why a trade is bad. Or a draft pick is bad. But this is a development that is going to carry us throughout the offseason, into the regular season and beyond. Tebow is a rock star, and now you've increased his Q rating even more. He's part of pop culture now. There's no one in the sports world who stirs more debate and satire than he does. Jimmy Fallon will change from a Broncos to a Jets jersey for Tebowie.
Why do you think seven of the top 10 Twitter trending topics on Wednesday were about Tebow? Because he has more of an "it" factor than anyone else in the NFL. Before I considered for one second Tebow's potential on-field impact with the Jets, all that went through my mind was that craziness that'd ensue with Tebow in New York. And a little bit of crazy is a great thing.