Linsanity, Tebowmania nearing end

March 11, 2012


The thump-thump of helicopter blades announced Peyton Manning’s arrival in Denver, prompting some curious fans to head over to team headquarters to see if they could catch a glimpse of the quarterback cast off by the Colts just a few days before.

The television helicopters may well have announced the end of Tebowmania, too, with John Elway making clear what he has hinted at before — that Tim Tebow is not the player he sees leading the Broncos to future glory. Elway is so taken with the idea of luring Manning to Denver that he dispatched a jet to bring him to town, then spent nearly six hours showing him around the place.

No disrespect to Tebow; this is just the way business is done in the NFL. Even the fans who chanted Tebow’s name all season long don’t seem terribly conflicted about it all, with two of every three in a Denver Post poll saying they would like to see Manning under center for the Broncos next season.

As crazes go, Tebowmania didn’t last long. A playoff win over Pittsburgh helped keep it alive, but the reality is Tebow looked just this side of awful toward the end of the season as Denver stumbled to losses in four of its last five games.

Hard to blame Elway for looking elsewhere. The prototype of an NFL quarterback in his prime, he doesn’t see much of himself in the ungainly way Tebow plays the position, even if Tebow’s will to win is so great it’s probably the only reason the Broncos even made the playoffs.

Manning came along at a perfect time for Elway, who was boxed in by Tebow’s early success and the way Denver fans took to their underdog quarterback. Questions about Manning’s health aside, it’s hard for anyone but the most ardent Tebow believers to argue against pursuing one of the great quarterbacks of our time.

Elway made it clear that Tebow Time is running out in Denver. As compelling as it was, it was never destined to last long, because crazes never do.

The same can be said about Linsanity. That’s still the semi-official title, though the only thing Linsane about the New York Knicks lately is their inability to figure out a way to win when Jeremy Lin is not surrounded by a bunch of cast-offs.

A month after Lin exploded in the public consciousness, the Knicks are a team in turmoil. They’ve lost four straight, Carmelo Anthony can’t figure out where he fits in, and coach Mike D’Antoni was heard muttering this week about his team’s inability to score.

As crazes usually are, they were a lot of fun while they lasted.


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