The much-maligned, often-discussed, and frequently cheered Tim Tebow is nothing more than a man with a desire to play professional football who is as polarizing as your run-of-the-mill nationally-known politician. Followed by a seemingly relentless and wholly unique cloud made of controversy and media infatuation, he has divided opinions since he entered the league, so when he initially hit the free agent market this past summer teams were mum on him. Eventually, the Patriots–whose coach openly expressed admiration of him in the past–signed Tebow to a 2-year non-guaranteed contract. For those absolutely tired of the aforementioned Tebow coverage, this was seemingly a gift from Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick.
Noise (excessive media attention) has followed him and made him the polarizing player that he is, with scores of fans voicing their displeasure at the unnecessary coverage he receives. Even members of the great sports-media machine ESPN have mentioned that the nonstop talk about one football player can be maddening. Sage Steele stated in an interview that she wasn’t the biggest fan of how ESPN covered Tim Tebow, although she understood why it was done. In the media capital of the world, with a boisterous, spotlight-grabbing coach, the attention on Tebow last season was endless, and certainly exhausting for football fans. As a Patriot, the hope is that things will change for the better in regards to how much Tebow information is thrown at us. This is still the same organization that humanized Randy Moss and Chad Johnson and also got in front of a horrible scandal this past summer. Given that this organization prides itself on making sure that no one is bigger than the team, minimizing large personalities, and manipulating public perception, Tebow should be able to operate in Foxboro without a lot of the noise that accompanied his stay in NYC.
That is not to say that media outlets won’t still press for questions, set up show in annoying, head-scratching locations, and generally do a great impression of TMZ. The noise will certainly follow him, but the press conference that Bill Belichick gave on June 11 was an indication of how Belichick and Kraft will handle Tebow. Belichick is a masterful silencer. The media’s stomach was about to be overstuffed (again) with Tim Tebow coverage, and Belichick performed lap-band surgery, limiting questions, redirecting inquiries, and controlling the media with the pinpoint accuracy that Tebow lacks. There will not be coverage of Tebow’s method of getting off the field during minicamp, nor of what he had for lunch on the 22nd day of camp, because although the organization has been rocked in the last few months, they still have strong leadership and certain principles that govern their discussions with the media from the top down. Belichick’s influence was clear in Tebow’s minicamp interview on July 26th. Throughout the interview, despite questions about last year and NYC, Tebow reiterated the good solder lines of being focused on what they need him to do/doing his job. You can be sure that Belichick instructed Tebow to only respond to certain questions and give certain responses. Already, Belichick is making it so that Tebow is a non-story.
If Tom Brady’s comments regarding their former TE indicate anything, it’s that the Patriots have strengthened their resolve to do things in “the Patriot Way” with a team-first mentality. As a result, Tebow will be just another player in the system, and that’s best for him and those who love football. Society won’t be bombarded with Tebow coverage…because there won’t be anything to cover. With limited answers and access, the media will have far less “news” to report on him, a welcome change. Having signed a non-guaranteed contract so that all monetary gains will be acquired by the fruits of his efforts, Tim probably wants nothing more than a chance to prove his skill, not answer millions of questions. Avoiding the noise will be an asset for Tebow, as he can focus on becoming a better football player, and sweet relief for fans who are literally exhausted by excessive coverage of a football player with marginal skills at his position.