Crushing: Tim Tebow Pushes a Tire. Shirtless.

First, we had Tim Tebow in his shirtless touchdown Jesus pose.  Then, we had Tim Tebow shirtless, running in the rain at Jets camp.  And now, we have Tim Tebow pushing a giant tire, you guessed it…shirtless.  And why not?  When you look this good, you should really never be photographed with your shirt ON.

Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz captured the latest images for the October issue of Vogue, in a story entitled, Superman Returns.  In it, Tebow talks about adjusting to life in New York (it intimidates him), the kind of woman he’s looking for (one like his mama), and of course…the New York Jets.

I know, I know.  The last Crushing column I did was also on Tim Tebow.  And I don’t want to show a Tebow bias…who me?  So, I promise…the next football player who shows up in this column will not be Tim Tebow.  Unless he does something else amazing without a shirt on.

Now excuse me, while I go look for an old tire that needs moving.  Tim…


Bold Predictions for 2012 NFL Season: Cutler Cracks a Smile, Brady Attempts the Impossible, and Eli Loses Some Weight…

Here we are…the preseason is behind us.  The regular season is before us.  And I have a few bold predictions (ten to be exact) for the 2012 NFL season:

10.  Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler will be more likable as a dad.  I didn’t say he’d be a better quarterback, but I do think fatherhood will soften his edges and make him a little more personable, or at least a little more human.  Hey, that commercial he did for The NFL Store was almost funny.  See?  It’s already working.

9.  On the other hand, fatherhood WILL make Tony Romo a better quarterback for the Cowboys.  He put a lot of pressure on himself (some deservedly) the last few seasons, but now seems happy and settled.  That will translate to the field in confidence, that he has someone to come home to…and it’s not Jessica Simpson.

8.  We will discover that Rex Ryan is a better coach when he’s overweight.  Maybe it’s the diet.  It’s possible he’s a little light-headed these days.  I mean, claiming this is the best Jets team he’s ever coached?  That may be more bold than his pre-preseason Superbowl predictions.  He must be seeing something in practice that we’re not.  Namely…touchdowns.

7.  We will learn why no one wants to coach (or play) in Miami.  If you watched Hard Knocks, you’re already half way there.

6.  We will discover that there was indeed something magical about Peyton Manning’s hands under Jeff Saturday’s butt.  Both will have decent seasons, but neither will be able to replicate what they had together in Indianapolis.  Seeing as they’re both playing in outside stadiums now, that’s mostly warm hands and a warm butt.

5.  Tim Tebow will become the starter for the New York Jets.  I don’t know when, but it will happen.  And when it does, the skies will part, the angels will sing, and Skip Bayless will crown him MVP…all before he completes his first pass (just before halftime).

4.  With the Patriots light on receivers, Tom Brady, upon suffering two Superbowl defeats to Eli Manning, will attempt to do the very thing wife Gisele Bundchen claimed he could not…throw the ball and catch it himself.

3.  Eli Manning will finally prove that he is an elite quarterback after all, and is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the Manning family.  Wait, didn’t he do that last season?  Forget it then.  Eli will find new joy playing for the Giants, without carrying a 230-pound monkey on his back named Peyton.

2.  After two weeks of fumbled calls, Father Goodell will finally open his checkbook and sign the NFL officials to a new contract, just in time for week three.  The replacement refs will miss the call, report to work, and flag the league for too many men on the field.  They will try to reverse the call, but won’t remember what it was.

1.  And for my last bold prediction of the season…Terrell Owens and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson will fall in love (no, not with each other) and ride off into sunset, never to be heard from again.  I know.  I pushed it too far with that one.  Damn, it was a nice thought though…wasn’t it?

Here’s to the 2012 NFL season.  The clock is down to hours…and they’re ticking away.


Coffee Cup Quarterback (Monday Edition) | Preseason Week 3: The One With the Starters

Ahhh…week three of the NFL preseason.  When the starters actually play and our teams begin to look less like it’s the preseason and more like the regular season.  For some teams, that was good news.  For others…not so much.

The New York Jets were featured on Sunday Night Football hosting the Carolina Panthers.  Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton was in regular season form.  He ran, he threw, he impressed.  And his team went on to beat the Jets 17-12.  No, the Jets don’t have a touchdown yet.  That was four field goals for them.  They have Mark Sanchez, they have Tim Tebow.  Before the season started, we couldn’t stop talking about this duo and what they could do.  And now that it’s started, we can’t stop talking about what they can’t do.  There were visions of hope.  After a thoroughly unsuccessful half by Sanchez (who was booed for letting the clock run down to end it), it was Tebow Time.  Tebow did what Tebow does, which is run and throw to the other team.  At one point, NBC Host Cris Collinsworth was dissecting the mechanics of his unconventional left-handed throw and Tebow broke out for a huge run and first down.  The timing was nothing short of divine.  This is what Tebow can do.  A few plays later…perfectly thrown ball…to a Carolina Panther.  This is also what Tebow can do.

Note to self: take Jets kicker in fantasy draft.  Tebow was eventually booed as well.  Yes, Jets fans booed both of their quarterbacks in one game and it’s only the preseason.  Tough crowd.

And to back up my theory that Twitter has no better use than for in-game football commentary, take this.  For me, the tweet of the night, maybe of the entire preseason:

Michele Tafoya asked Sanchez about the Jets’ lack of a touchdown and he pointed out that there is still a fourth preseason game to be played.  When pressed, he responded, “Looks like we’re saving all our touchdowns for the regular season.”  When they count.  Good plan.

And then we had the battle of the draft picks.  Number one, Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts take on number two, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field.  There was hype.  There was a t-shirt…

In the end, it was just another preseason game.  Both quarterbacks highlighted their strengths.  Luck threw a lot and ran a little, RGIII threw a little and ran a lot.  Both had moments of brilliance.  Both had rookie mistakes.  The Redskins beat the Colts 30-17.  The most impressive drives came from (wait for it)…Rex Grossman.  Yes, Wrecks Grossman.  The guy who has never really been able to establish himself as solid starting material (at least for long), was brilliant.  Grossman finished 8 of 8 for 130 yards, 2 touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.  Don’t be surprised if he gets traded to the Jets!

Other highlights for week three of the preseason:

We said hello to: Russell Wilson as starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Peyton Manning’s first touchdowns (a pair) for the Denver Broncos, and Cornerback Vontae Davis as a Colt, traded to Indy by the Miami Dolphins.

We said goodbye to: Terrell Owens as a Seattle Seahawk (and possibly as an NFL player), Pro Bowl Kicker Billy Cundiff as a Baltimore Raven (the team chose to move on with Rookie Justin Tucker), and many of the players who will be released by our teams as the rosters are reduced to 75 players.

Lest you forget, the NFL really stands for “Not For Long.”

One thing we do hope is not for long…the replacement refs.  There is confusion, discussion, and an on field meeting with practically every call.  The games are being dragged out, and there have been mistakes.  Plenty of them.  But it is the preseason.  And the games don’t count.  Yet.  The players, coaches, even the fans have been fairly patient thus far.  That will end once those calls result in a “W” or an “L” in a team’s record.  We need better than this for the regular season.  And really, by the start of it.

So, let’s hope week four of the preseason brings renewed talks between the NFL and the official officials.

And…a Jets touchdown.


Are the J-E-T-S a J-O-K-E?

They have the most talked about quarterback duo in the National Football League.  Their training camp was a virtual media circus, due mostly to Tebowmania.  We saw everything from stealth wildcat practices to pictures of Tim Tebow running shirtless in the rain.  Sports media and ESPN in particular has been widely criticized for the amount time they have devoted to the Jets and the quarterback contest between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.  A tandem which has so far produced 0 touchdowns this preseason.  That’s zero. Zilch. Nada.

That ought to quiet the Jets talk.  Ha!

We know, we know…you can’t jump to conclusions in the preseason.  You can’t take everything (or anything) too seriously.  Preseason is about experimenting, trying different players in different positions, and setting the roster.  But certainly, one of the most important decisions Head Coach Rex Ryan and his staff will be asked to make is…who to start at quarterback.  And the fact that neither Sanchez nor Tebow can seem to find the end zone, is going to make that decision all the more difficult.

A third of the way into the second quarter of Saturday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants, Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz had more yards than the Jets offense.  For a while, it seemed like the Jets were getting more offense out of their defense.  At one point, I wondered what would happen if they left them on the field and subbed a quarterback in.  The Jets are the only NFL team in the preseason without a touchdown.  The St. Louis Rams…touchdown, the Jacksonville Jaguars…touchdown, the Indianapolis Colts…many touchdowns.  Quarterback Drew Stanton, who the Jets traded to Indianapolis (as a backup to Andrew Luck), had a touchdown in the Colts Sunday night game against the Steelers.  Wonder how the Jets are feeling about that now?

How serious should we take all of this?  Well, to be fair, with the holes they have in their offensive line (especially at right tackle), it’s almost unfair to judge any Jets quarterback right now.  Sanchez was sacked three times against the Giants (four really, but one was nullified by a penalty).  Even Tebow looked a little (dare we say)…frustrated.  He was sacked repeatedly himself and under constant pressure when he wasn’t running (for his life).

Coach Rex Ryan says he is bothered, but not concerned.

“We don’t need to be at our best right now. We need to be at our best opening day.  I’m confident that when we get going (in the regular season).  We will be.  I’ve seen some encouraging signs.  We’re heading in the right direction.”

Hopefully, the right direction eventually leads them to the end zone.  So to answer the question, “Should we be concerned that the Jets haven’t scored one touchdown this preseason?”  My answer is simple…

“Only if you’re a Jets fan.”


Crushing: On Tim Tebow

This week we are crushing on New York Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow, who flaunts his assets in GQ’s 2012 NFL Kickoff issue.  The magazine hit stands on August 14th, which was also Tim’s 25th birthday.  And apparently, this is his gift to us!

The spread is titled: “Have You Accepted Tim Tebow as Your QB and Sunday Savior?” Our response…a resounding YES!  Never shy about his faith and religious beliefs, Tebow actually created some controversy with this “Sexy Jesus” pose.  It certainly got a “Holy Mary Mother of God!” out of me.

The quarterback with the cult-like following was traded to the Jets earlier this season by the Denver Broncos, who had just signed Peyton Manning.  From there, full on Tebowmania hit the Big Apple…and it shows no sign of letting up.

His unconventional football style, his outspoken devotion to Christianity, even his willingness to shine the spotlight on his causes have cast Tim Tebow as a polarizing figure in sports.  But love him or hate him, Tebow has always been true to himself.  And what’s sexier than that?  Except, maybe these photos…

If you ask us…it’s always Tebow Time!