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Tebow’s return to Jacksonville creates what-ifs

Tim Tebow AP

It’s unclear at the moment if Jets quarterback Tim Tebow will even be in uniform today in Jacksonville.

But that doesn’t stop many Jaguars fans from wondering what might have been if the local team had drafted the local quarterback in 2010.

After starring at Nease High and the University of Florida, Tebow’s still a big enough deal in Jacksonville that they pulled off some of the tarps at EverBank Field to sell more seats today. And Jaguars fans still wonder what his impact would have been if they had chosen him instead of defensive tackle Tyson Alualu in the first round.

“What would Archie Manning had been if the Saints had won the Super Bowl?” said Jags fan Raef Godwin, the director of advertising operations for the nearby PGA Tour office, via Ben Shpigel of the New York Times. “New Orleans would have had a statue 40 feet high of him. Here, with Tebow, it would have been 80.”

Of course, the elder Manning comparison is valid for more than local ties, because it’s extremely unlikely the Jags as presently constructed, with Tebow under center, would have been terribly good.

But they’d have certainly moved a lot of merchandise, and created a reason for fans to come watch.

The Tebow hysteria was such that the governor of Florida at the time lobbied for the team to draft him. And when Shad Khan bought the team, he told a local radio station he’d have “100 percent” taken Tebow.

That might be why Jags general manager Gene Smith declined an interview request from the Times, as it’s truly a no-win situation for him, even if Alualu develops into a star and Tebow continues to underwhelm.

That doesn’t keep the locals from talking.

“How good a player would he have been, and would his impact have been sustainable?” Jacksonvile sports radio host Frank Frangie said. “Get me 100 people, and you’ll get 100 different opinions, all passionate. Either that, or you’ll get two opinions 50 times.”

All for a guy who might not even play today.

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11 Responses to “Tebow’s return to Jacksonville creates what-ifs”
  1. timmillah says: Dec 9, 2012 9:36 AM

    As a Jaguars fan and Jacksonville resident: No, it doesn’t.

  2. razzlejag says: Dec 9, 2012 10:01 AM

    Brilliant move by the Jags in creating that scenario where TT refused them and chose the Jets instead. Was it true? Who knows but it silenced the crying Gator part of the fanbase for a while.

    There is still a vocal majority saying TT never got a chance. You earn that chance in practice and neither Denver nor the Jest, I mean Jets, ever saw anything in practice to warrant more than the token appearances he’s had.

    The guy can’t play at the NFL level as a QB.

  3. marvin120 says: Dec 9, 2012 10:34 AM

    The Jags have already dropped the ball twice, they MUST acquire Tebow this offseason. I’ve been a season ticket holder since ’98 and I’m tired of looking at the tarps, tired of all the talk about the team moving. This guy has a HUGE following in the area– he’s the most popular/famous person, not athlete, in Jax. Plus, the Jags QB situation is abysmal– what can it hurt? He proved the skeptics wrong last year by shredding the best D in the league in the playoffs. If u bring him in and it doesn’t work out, hey at least you made the franchise relevant and sold tix for a couple of years. Lastly, I’m tired of the vocal minority in town (msg board crowd) going on about how “real Jags fans” don’t want him, it would be a circus. I got news for u– WE NEED A CIRCUS!! Those are the same people who were saying “in Gene we trust” a couple of years ago– is that the segment of the fan base we should listen to? I think not. Come home Timmy!

  4. reed20fence says: Dec 9, 2012 10:53 AM

    Jacksonvilles defense has shown flashes of brilliance the last few years. If they can batten down the hatches I don’t see why a Tebow with three years of film study and experience is such a crazy proposition? He can, with the talent they have, play some decent football.

  5. nfloracle says: Dec 9, 2012 10:53 AM

    Ah, what was Archie Manning’s overall win-loss record at New Orleans?

    Nine losing seasons? One .500 season?

    Per Wikipedia: “His record as a starter was 35–101–3 (26.3%), the worst in NFL history among QBs with at least 100 starts.”

    I suspect Tebow if given a shot could put up better overall numbers than old Arch ever did.

  6. therillest says: Dec 9, 2012 11:17 AM

    Tebow belongs in Jacksonville. The answer to all the questions about his talent or lack there of should have been answered with the Jags from the very beginning. The Jaguars organization completely bungled this Tebow thing TWICE and until they make it right with the fans and city they will continue to struggle as a franchise (financially and physically).

  7. packhawk04 says: Dec 9, 2012 11:32 AM

    For you jags fans who want tim to “come home,” remember that he didnt want to. He wanted to backup sanchez in new york to market himself more.

  8. htowntexan says: Dec 9, 2012 11:37 AM

    Dude did similar things in Denver last year as Manning is this year. If TT starts somewhere, he too will end up in the HOF. People just hate him because he is such a good person and super religious.

  9. granadafan says: Dec 9, 2012 12:19 PM

    Tebow didn’t want to go to Jax because he knows deep down he won’t have the success he did in Denver. The expectations of deluded Gator fans will be so high they’d be impossible to live up to short of a Superbowl every year. He’s not an NFL QB. Period. Gator fans just can’t get it out of their head that college success when in a gimmick offense surrounded by NFL talent does not equal NFL success.

    Look at all the Heisman Trophy winners who have fallen flat on their faces in the pros or never even made it to the league, especially every single QB from the Florida schools since the 90s.

  10. cuda1234 says: Dec 9, 2012 12:19 PM

    Still don’t understand you they keep saying that the tarps are coming off because of Tebow. Could it have anything to do with the team from the country’s biggest market coming to town? Haven’t the tarps come off for other games?

    Just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t make them related. If it rains today is that because Tebow came to town? If it doesn’t rain today is that because Tebow came to town? The media’s determination to attach magic powers to the most divisive player in the league doesn’t make any sense.

  11. therillest says: Dec 9, 2012 12:58 PM

    @cuda1234

    You make a valid point but trust me….this time its definitely Tebow. Jets fans dont feel this staduim like the Cowboy, Buffalo, Steeler, Bears and Giants do.

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