Just what makes that little old ant think he’ll move that rubber tree plant? Anyone knows an ant, can’t…move a rubber tree plant. But he’s got high hopes. He’s got high hopes. He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes. -Frank Sinatra
Ok, here we go! I hate to sound like the oldest guy in the barbershop, but lately, when I hear all the criticism flying Tim Tebow’s way, all I could think of were those nasty little naysayers a few years back. All I could think of were those nasty little not today sayers a few years back. Those nasty little no way Jose sayers a few years back. I thought of them and I thought of Doug Flutie.
You probably remember Flutie because of this:
That’s how it all started. That’s how we all fell in love. That’s how our hero was born. Not really. Before that game was even played, Flutie had already won the Heisman. Before that game was even played, Flutie had already stolen a big one from Alabama in bahn burnah on National TV. Before that game was even played, Flutie had already broken Jim McMahon’s NCAA career passing record. Then that. Yowza, yowza, yowza!
Like Tim Tebow, everybody said Doug Flutie was the greatest college quarterback to have ever played the game. Like Tim Tebow, those same folks also said Doug Flutie would never make it in the NFL. Doug Flutie was never given a fair shake. He was forced to toil in the USFL and Canada. Flutie racked up records in the CFL. He racked up MVP’s in the CFL. He racked up Championships. He racked up Championship MVP’s. When he left Canada, he left a legend.
Finally, Flutie was given a shot in the NFL. He took over an awful Buffalo Bills team. In his first start as a Bill, Flutie passed for two TDs and led a fourth-quarter comeback against the Indianapolis Colts. He didn’t stop there. He took that dreadful team and led them all the way to the playoffs. He earned himself Comeback Player of the Year. His reward? That summabitch Wade Phillips named Rob Johnson the starter the following season.
The NFL then wasn’t so much different than the NFL of today. Then, Wade Phillips wanted a protypical quarterback not a Midget Moses. Winning didn’t matter. Today, NFL masterminds have concerns about Tebow’s footwork and elongated delivery. They want a protypical quarterback. Winning doesn’t matter.
When Flutie was benched in favor of Johnson, he said, “Anyone who would be content to be a number two doesn’t deserve to be on the field.” That’s why we loved him in the first place. Tim Tebow just said, “Those who say I won’t make it are wrong. They don’t know what I’m capable of and what’s inside me.” That’s why we love Tebow.
Ultimately, Rob Johnson went down due to injury. Flutie scrambled and bootlegged and wheeled and dealed and positioned the Bills for another winter of playoff football. But when Rob Johnson got healthy, Phiilips sat Flutie for the last game of the season. When Rob Johnson got healthy, Phiilips sat Flutie for the Playoffs. The Music City Miracle playoffs.
Flutie still made the Pro Bowl that year yet he was named backup to Rob Johnson the following one. It was inevitable he would be moved. But know this sports fans, the Bills have not appeared in a single playoff game since Phillips replaced Flutie with Johnson.
The moral of this story? Sometimes conventional wisdom is not wisdom at all. Sometimes, you have to think like Al Davis. Sometimes you have to say, just win baby! Doug Flutie was a winner. I believe in my heart of hearts that Tebow is that same type of winner. Last season, if you saw Tim Tebow become only the third rookie quarterback in forty years to score a game-winning TD in the final five minutes of the fourth-quarter you should believe it too. Jabar Gaffney does: “It takes a special guy to do that. And that’s what we have.”
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!