“Thoughts? -- don’t even have to add a subject”
“Tim Tebow … A Patriot????”
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“Belichick knows trollin’ only exists on the Internet, right?” “WHYYYYYYYYY?”
It has only been five minutes, yet I already have these five text messages about the news. It’s a story that needs no actual introduction. His name is an alliteration, and he is coming to Foxboro. Not for a charity event. Nope. He’s here to try out for the local football team. Worse, he was invited. It’s not that I’m against him, or his beliefs; it’s the other stuff. The water coolers are particularly jovial, sports talk radio is beaming, and I’m left aghast, fighting to find the words for words to a column that I don’t want to write. I’ll be abundantly honest, dear reader, I’m not ready to join the conversation. Not yet, anyway.
Thirty seconds later, someone nearby actually uttered the words “Brady is getting old.” I snap. Surely, there’s a successor to Tom Terrific, but not him. Not Tebow. I immediately get an eerie feeling, like Kate Hudson’s character in Almost Famous, named Penny Lane, will magically appear and excitedly squeal, “It’s all happening!” Except we’re not waiting for Stillwater, we’re waiting for Tebow.-I’ve never been a sycophant, or subscribed to “In Bill We Trust.” Blind faith, no pun intended, breeds irrationality. Publically, The Patriot Way, as an ideology, died when the team traded for Albert Haynesworth. But realistically, it never existed. Still, I am not sure how to react to this, mainly I because I don’t want to react to this. Six minutes ago, I lived in a world. It was far from perfect, but Tebow was never part of it, or essential to it, beyond goofily looking at him as a straight-to-DVD Disney movie. Because Tebow Time, meaning everything that comes along with The Signing – the attention, baggage, and polarization – is typically reserved for other franchises, in other cities, that wear the ugliest shade of green in the color’s arsenal.
Time is moving but nothing is subsiding. Minute number seven is full of disappointment. There are seven steps to these sorts of events, and shock is still resonating. I just want to be given a second to collect my bearings, but life never waits. I’m callously reminded of this truth as CBS confirms the original ESPN report, and, seamlessly, step number two, “Denial,” is forgone -- bypassed in another world, where Twitter and the 24/7 news cycle doesn’t exist.
Exactly nine minutes after The Signing, I ask the natural follow up: “What are they going to do with him?” The team will still win 13 games and be entrenched
in The Conversation. Still, here we are: Tim Tebow, Patriot. Bedlam.
Follow Ryan Hadfield on Twitter @Hadfield__