Who needs John Elway? I’ll take the mob, any day of the week.

I think the Broncos showed a complete lack of class today. Yes, I’m referring to the fact that the team just picked up Peyton Manning and put a knife — and a damn big one, at that — in Tim Tebow’s back.

I’m struggling to remember if this was the first time or the fifth time they’ve done this to him.

So much for giving Tebow a training camp to work through. So much for John Elway saying he’d work with Tebow. So much for letting Tebow keep his starting job. (Seems I remember them taking it from him before… Nah, surely not.)

Anyway, I do hope Peyton called Tim before he decided to make the move. Maybe it’s just me, but it would seem the right thing to do.

You know, just a quick, “Hey, Tim, it’s Peyton. Yeah, well, I’m not really calling about the weather or to talk about your throwing mechanics. Yeah, I’m sorry, man. I just wanted to tell you first that when you get that text from Elway later today, yeah, he’s going to be kicking your ass to the door. Yeah, I know he’s a slick bull shitter without an ounce of integrity, but you heard all his comments last year. He was practically pulling against you. Anyway, I’m sorry man.”

And I hope Peyton laid out all the reasons Denver was the right fit for him, instead of all the other teams that were trying to kill themselves for him.

My gut tells me Peyton did make this call. And my gut tells me you can’t trust John Elway as far as you can throw him.

My final parting thought is this… If I played for the Broncos, I’d go ahead and start looking for a new team. Hell, I’d go ahead and stop by that Italian restaurant with all the well-dressed dudes sitting around. Because while the mob might pay a bit less, I hear they get loyalty. And I hear they get family.

John Elway? Not so much.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. As a reminder, you do not need a Kindle to buy my book, “Little Man, and the Dixon County War.” You can read it from your computer, laptop, ipad, phone, or other device with this free download. And you can buy my book here, for $3.49. Read reviews of it here.

15 thoughts on “Who needs John Elway? I’ll take the mob, any day of the week.

  1. I’m a pretty huge pro football fan, so let me first say that I could write a bunch on this. Suffice it to say that Manning, arguably the best to ever play the position, is a significantly better quarterback than Tebow. Manning is a better QB on the field, and he’s a better QB off the field. Tebow has done nothing wrong, but he’s not good enough in the eyes of his bosses. Because he’s a pro athlete, we all have an opinion on whether he’s good enough, and because he’s a famous christian, American news outlets will continue to tell his story, a story about a good man who isn’t better than Peyton Maning at playing quarterback. All of the teams that suited Manning, including my beloved Titans, have a quarterback that must have thought “what the fuck”? The Broncos can’t be blamed. They are trying to win, and they didn’t know how to win with an unconventional quarterback. That is not a sin. In the world of pro football, it is downright prudent. As for the other members of the Broncos, this is in fact what happens every year. Big free agents or big talents from the amatuer ranks come in, and each and every player is ruthlessly evaluated. It’s not high school where you can’t kick the slow kid off the team. If I am a player, and I just saw my team upgrade from Tebow to Manning, I’d get the message. At the pro level, all of the “family” metaphors are merely carry-overs from a lifetime spent playing the game. No one thinks they have long-term security. That’s why the great ones hold out for more money when they have the most leverage. The best teams have 15% turnover every single year. The best teams have quarterbacks that put them in a position to win every single time they play. No one does that better than Peyton Manning. Tebow is a nice guy. He’ll land on his feet. I wouldn’t put down your visa to throw him a pity party.


    1. I definitely don’t disagree that Peyton is better. Way better.

      Just that what happened is super shitty, in my opinion. Tebow is a franchise quarterback, albeit a young one. Those don’t come often, ya know?

      I can’t name who plays quarterback at any of the three Florida teams off the top of my head. I know Tampa Bay has some dude with silly looking curly hair, that was touted early last year and sucked by the end of the year. (Least that’s my impression.)

      Tebow brought leadership, made the Broncos matter, oh, and got them in the playoffs, where they beat the usually dominant Steelers. Those are no small achievements, and he did that with no spring camp.

      And he brought the Broncos huge media attention. Maybe not what Peyton can bring, but certainly far more than most QBs bring. But, you’re right, I think he’ll land on his feet.


  2. Nobody is owed a starting quarterback job in the NFL. Tebow knows this. Peyton knows this, particularly since he was just jettisoned from the Colts in favor of a kid who’s never thrown an NFL pass. If a team can get a better QB than you, they should do that. Don’t like it? Get better. Just business. Never personal. Tebow should end up in Jacksonville if they’re smart (although, to be fair, they may not be smart). Timmy Legend goes home. Elway gets a prototype QB. Everybody wins. Kumbaya.


    1. Jeff, you make great points, and in the end, it’ll probably work out. I just think that if you had a Tebow and the success you had the year prior with so little preparation by him — no spring training, no reps with the starters through almost half the year — then you give him a go for at least one more year.

      The fans loved him, and his jersey sales probably made him worth keeping along. Granted, you don’t get a Peyton on the market but once in a lifetime, but I think John Elway took a risk. If Peyton gets hurt, there will be more billboards in Denver, but they’ll have someone else’s head on them this time.


      1. I think it’s a FAR bigger risk to pass on a chance to get a four-time MVP/future Hall of Fame QB to ride it out with a guy who is inaccurate, inconsistent and very hard to build an NFL offense around.

        On the flip side of him having success with little preparation is that defenses also had little time/film to prepare for him. NFL defensive coordinators and players got to where they are for good reason. They’re going to get more and more film on Tebow the more he plays, and he doesn’t have the natural QB skills to beat them anyway. Defenses will catch up.

        I actually like Tebow. He’s a very good person and a winner, by all accounts. But passing up a Peyton Manning to hope this guy who only has a handful of NFL starts will stand the test of time just makes little sense in today’s NFL. Sign Peyton. Start concentrating on drafting his successor in either 2013 or 2014, and let someone else try to figure out how to use Tebow in the long term.


  3. My conversation with Jeff continued on facebook, and since apparently 56 people have already shared this on facebook and who knows how many will see it in the future, I thought I’d put that in here…

    Jeff Haws: What “word” did Elway not keep?

    Stan Mitchell: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7468087/denver-broncos-john-elway-says-tim-tebow-starting-qb-going-camp

    Jeff Haws: Meh. Circumstances change. Clearly, Elway was talking about Tebow vs. Orton (and Brady Quinn, I guess, but, um, yeah). It would be insanity for Elway to say “Tebow will be the starting quarterback, no matter who we can possibly get, even if we can re-animate the corpse of Johnny Unitas and create a Frankenstein monster with him, my own mobility, Joe Montana’s clutch throws and Dan Marino’s quick release.”

    If Tebow wanted to be the starting quarterback over Peyton Manning, he should have been better than Peyton Manning. Outside of that, it would be idiotic for Elway to not pursue a Hall of Fame QB because of some statement he made in January about Tebow earning the No. 1 designation over Orton going into camp.

    Stan Mitchell: I was about to type: “I don’t disagree.” But the truth is, I guess I do. At any rate, it is what it is.

    Jeff Haws: Well, I’m not sure what there is to disagree about. Peyton wasn’t a Bronco, he was still a Colt. As such, Elway couldn’t even comment on Peyton or speculate that Peyton was on their team, would likely be on their team, or anything else. Peyton didn’t get cut until roughly 6 weeks later. So there’s nothing Elway could be commenting on, other than his roster as it was currently set up. Do you honestly think Elway should stick with Tebow even if he could get the best quarterback of all time, to the detriment of his team, just because he announced a sensible roster decision in January and he considers that “his word”? Really?

    Stan Mitchell: No, I think he should have kept Tebow because Tebow had earned the spot, had far greater potential this year, and because management loyalty leads to a healthier team environment.

    Jeff Haws: He had only earned the spot over Orton, not Peyton. He had not earned the spot over every quarterback imaginable, only the ones they had at the time. He didn’t have greater potential this year; defenses have more film and an offseason to work on defending him, and much of his success was due to otherworldly defense the Broncos suddenly played late in the year. Management loyalty leads to a horrible team environment when they pass on getting a Hall of Fame quarterback in favor of a kid who’s barely played, is terribly inconsistent, puts up lackluster numbers and can’t get the ball to his receivers.

    Stan Mitchell: I think we’ve come to that point in our discussion where we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    Jeff Haws:Heh … Why would we have come to that point? Can you counter what I said? I welcome it.

    Stan Mitchell: I’d love to, but what’s the point? I’m at work and have things I need to do. Furthermore, it’s pretty obvious I can’t possibly convince you, just as you can’t possibly convince me (at least that taking him was the right thing to do). So, I’m declining to even try. It’s been a fun discussion though and I’m sorry I don’t have time to keep it going.

    Jeff Haws: Of course you can convince me. Seems like an odd thing to be dogmatic about something as inconsequential as the starting quarterback signing on an NFL team. I think I’ve addressed your points pretty logically and reasonably, so I’m not sure why you’d think I’d be that way. It’s not like I’m ignoring you or just making “Your mom!” jokes to shout you down. If you don’t agree, that’s cool. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me and respect a good debate. But don’t tell me I’m dogmatic about my position. I never am.

    Stan Mitchell: Agreed. Not meaning to say you’re dogmatic. On this point: “He didn’t have greater potential this year; defenses have more film and an offseason to work on defending him, and much of his success was due to otherworldly defense the Broncos suddenly played late in the year.”

    I think his improvement of a full spring training working on the plays with the receivers and the playbook would have surpassed the ability of defenses to plan for him. That’s my main point, and that team loyalty matters from management. I don’t have enough historical references to prove this. It’s what my gut says, but certainly isn’t what short-term facts support. Therefore, I don’t think I’m going to be able to convince you.

    Jeff Haws: Gotcha. Fair enough. I’d say it’s really hard to say about his progress vs. the defenses, and team loyalty can’t possibly be absolute, because almost every coach/player/fan will take wins over loyalty. But that’s cool. Nothin’ but love for ya, Stan. Keep putting out the best newspaper product the Oak Ridgers have seen.


    1. Thanks for posting this here. I wasn’t following on facebook. To my thinking, there isn’t an argument that can be made in pure football terms that make the signing a bad one. However, there is this side thing, this non-football thing that seems to be finding its way to daylight: integrity. What would you imagine Jake Locker, selected 8th overall in the NFL Draft just last year, was thinking? It couldn’t have been much different than Tebow. Both young men have potential, and both would perhaps never see that potential if they wore the same jersey as Peyton Manning. The real difference between the two? The Titans owner didn’t spin the press keeping up appearances all last season and all offseason. Elway did. Stan is right; he JUST vouched for the guy. He said at every turn that Tebow was his guy, this coming after he’d been on record doubting him. I’m not saying that Elway could have done anything different. He was put in an impossible position, not liking Tebow. His actions in the last two weeks show that was all a front. It is like me telling my beautiful wife that if two of the ladies featured in the SI Swimsuit calendar came a knocking, I’d tell them to hit the bricks. That’s all well and good. But the 10 just sent Elway a harmless little text saying that she’s single now and DTF, and he invited her over and gave his old lady the boot. Maybe championships are built on deceit, on men of Elway’s influence and stature saying one thing and doing another. I suppose we will see. Perhaps this is where the argument is made that one must allow oneself to reconsider matters upon receiving new and better information. “Well, honey, when I said I would love you and only you, I didn’t think that SHE would be single.”


    2. I will argue with a couple of other points, though. 1) Management in such a high stakes endeavor is incredibly complex. I believe that loyalty and integrity count for something, maybe more than something. 2) Many football people say Tebow can’t win long-term at the NFL level. Others, just as qualified and expert, say he can. Others still, and we’ll see who picks him up, want Tebow on their team. Time will determine whether this guy can play; now, we layfolk don’t know shit. 3) lackluster numbers?: wins. The guy won ballgames, won way more than he lost, at the highest level of competition imaginable. Perhaps it’s just a fact that there is only one way to win a pro football game or a championship or whatever. Except that’s why we love sports. We think we know, but we don’t know. We have to tune in to find out.


      1. And as I told my friend, can you imagine how much more driven than ever Tebow will be now?

        He bordered on insane before. Now, he’s going to be a damn force beyond description. A beast.


  4. Oh, and there was one other facebook back and forth, though I won’t name this person (since they didn’t comment first here under their real name).

    Anonymous: Nobody — certainly not Payton Manning — owes Tebow anything. Despite all the hypocritical B.S. about team loyalty, NFL football is a high-stakes business without a lot of sentiment on the part of anybody but fans who romanticize it. Owners, general managers and players make their decisions based on their self interest, not some idealized, imagined dedication the the benefit of the team and the fans. Irsay dumped Manning for financial considerations. Elway hired him for financial reasons. Some other team will hire Tebow for financial reasons. As they say in “The Godfather,” “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” Hey, I love watching the massively-paid employees do their jobs on Sunday and Monday night. But I don’t delude myself into believing that they are a dedicated band of brothers strviing for a shared and sacred goal. They’re pros, working for their own benefit. And when someone who can be more useful to the team’s owners comes along,they’re history.

    Stan Mitchell: That all may be the case, Anonymous, but you don’t have to let your environment destroy your soul. I’m still hoping Peyton made the call, just as I’d hope you’d make the call if suddenly you were taking over a project I’d been working on for more than a year. It’s just the right thing to do. Doesn’t mean one has to do it, or that even most do, but I like to think Peyton fits in the mold of someone who would call. I’m sure we’ll find out soon if he did or not.


  5. Don’t get me wrong. Football-wise, the guy can go fuck himself. I suppose the argument can be made, though, that if he’d worn Orange & White during college and not Orange & Blue, I’d feel so so different.


    1. I hear you there. I hated him in college. Laughed when he cried in the press conference and after he lost to Alabama. Pulled against him the entire way, even when he first landed in the pros.

      But, over time — and it doesn’t have shit to do with his religion — he has absolutely won me over. And I as researched him, learned about the broken-leg story in high school, and watched with disbelief his determination and drive, he totally started winning me over.

      And when I started reading about his late-night workouts, his push-ups while on planes, the record-number of passes he throws even before a game, I connected with that work ethic. And when I compare that to the take-it-for-granted pathetic-ness of so many other pro players, I jumped totally on board.


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