In the media sideshow that is the New York Jets, there always needs to be a story that really isn't a story during non-game days (so basically the other 349 days of the year). Sometimes, it's the needless report that the Jets “had a great practice.” Only in New York is completing a practice that went how you'd expect it to go a news item. Elsewhere it seems to be part of the everyday function of a sports team. As sports personality Jerry Thornton joked on Twitter last week, the Jets lead the league in good practices.
But good practices are only place holders for the media. Last season, in need of a good story, the New York (and national) sports media, took anything that came out of Rex Ryan's mouth (including his wife's toe) and turned it into a frontpage spectacle.
This season, with American icon Tim Tebow in tow, the media, every week, concocts self-created stories or controversies that serve absolutely no practical purpose, nor do any of them have more than an iota of credibility.
One week it's whether Tebow's the most overrated, then it's if he's the most hated, followed by whatever he thinks on any mundane topic floating through the pop culture stratosphere.
So, without further ado, this week's drawn-up Tebow psuedo-story is an anonymous straw poll that the The New York Daily News conducted in the Jets locker room. The glorified witch hunt concludes that no one in the room really thinks Tebow is anything but a cruddy QB.
In an a terrific column written last week for Yahoo Sports, Dan Wetzel called for an end to the click-bait, mean-spirited polls masquerading as journalism.
“Nothing is gleaned from "most overrated" or just about any other negative question,” Wetzel writers. “ It's just a chance for the voters to unload and the rest of us to laugh.”
He continues later on: “Just try to keep it reasonable and stand up when you're speaking out. Secretly belittling a peer is just pathetic.”
To put this whole thing into perspective—the Daily News' big story is an anonymous poll about a guy who plays about 5 percent of the snaps for the Jets.
Of course, only one of the handful of the players the News spoke with was identified in name, and that one player, guard Matt Slauson, only went so far as to say that Tebow was an “athlete” and not, presumably, a starting quarterback.
The other unnamed players took Tebow to task, however.
“He’s terrible,” a defensive starter told the Daily News.
Other Jet players, while less inflammatory, admitted they didn't see the team winning with Tebow at the helm. He's a purely wildcat player, they said, a guy who only won via miracles in Denver—miracles they don't think will reoccur in New York.
In the spirit of a takedown player poll, there was of course an anonymous pot shot at the team's receiving corps.
“Look at some of the players he’s throwing to,” a Jets official told the Daily News. “It’s garbage.”
The Jets are 3-6 and if their struggles continue, expect nothing short of a torrent of unnamed players speaking out against anything and anyone. The media will assuredly eat it up.