Tim Tebow is widely regarded across the National Football League (NFL) as a waste of time, resources and money. Tebow, as a Denver Bronco, took a 1-4 team and led them to a playoff victory over the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers, before eventually falling in the divisional round of the playoffs to future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Tebow is known for his long throwing motion, his left-handedness and his inability to throw an accurate ball a simple five yards, at least to scouts. What I know Tebow for is his leadership qualities, his ability to run the football and his inability to roll over and quit.
The Cleveland Browns were formed in 1946, at the height of the city of Cleveland’s history. In 1946, Cleveland was the fourth largest city in America in population and the third largest economic hub. Since the 1950 census, Cleveland’s population has steadily declined. PriceWaterhouseCoopers recently rated Cleveland as the third worst metropolitan area to invest in real estate as prices continue to drop. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River, the main river in the city of Cleveland, caught fire due to mass pollution. Cleveland, in the mid-1980s, was dubbed the “Comeback City” due to being known throughout the nation as a dud of a town. Cleveland continues to be a town that values humility, family values and, most importantly, leadership.
The Cleveland Browns, despite being one of the most storied NFL franchises, have never been to a Super Bowl, let alone won one. In 1995, Art Modell, the owner of the Browns since 1961, moved the team to Baltimore. Five years later, Modell would get his ring as the Ravens defeated the New York Giants. Browns fans have had to endure “the Fumble,” “The Drive” and “Red Right 88.” Since the Browns were reformed in 1999, they have been to the playoffs all of one time. They have never advanced beyond the Wild Card round.
Tim Tebow, while at the University of Florida, was part of two National Championship teams. He won a Heisman trophy and two SEC Championships. Throughout Tebow’s college career, he would lose a total of seven games. Tebow seemingly willed his team to victory against Oklahoma in the 2008 National Championship game. Tied at halftime, Tebow delivered the most stirring halftime speech I have ever heard. Out of the half, the Gators would score a quick touchdown. The Sooners would respond with a score of their own, and then Tebow took over. The Gators would score 10 unanswered points and lift the crystal football for the second time in three years. Tebow would earn MVP honors.
Tebow has not earned the shot of playing time he has deserved while on the New York Jets. Tebow saw all of 39 snaps last season. Why should a team like Cleveland not take a shot on a guy like Tebow?
The NFL draft has quickly approached us. This year has been almost universally declared as a year where if you pick a quarterback in the first round, you’re likely making a mistake. Cleveland has a lump of coal in Brandon Weeden as its current starting quarterback. The Browns shouldn’t even bother taking a chance on a quarterback in this draft early, when someone like Tebow is prime for the taking.
Cleveland is nowhere near playoff caliber, so why not give Tebow a shot? He took a Denver team to the playoffs, why not Cleveland?