DJ Eberle is a student/athlete at Western New England University. He is an offensive tackle, built like his dad; a rugby Prop. Track him on Twitter @Ebstide52
DENVER, CO – A few weeks ago I wrote about players playing multiple sports. It was there that I focused on two players who first played football and switched to rugby; former Chicago Bear Leonard Peters and former Phoenix Cardinal Richard Tardits. These two players each had short-lived careers in the NFL and decided to take their talents to another sport involving an oval-shaped ball.
Last week, former Denver Bronco quarterback (if that’s what you want to call him) Tim Tebow came back in the NFL spotlight and for almost all the wrong reasons: but it’s not his fault. It’s really is not his fault that no one wants him… If you possibly didn’t know, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets -officially yesterday – after being twice-delayed due to contract altercations/alterations. The Jets had multiple problems without Tebow and now have decided to start another fire in the locker room.
The Jets already had problems with starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, with his confidence. Adding two backup quarterbacks in one week does not help; first it was former Detroit Lion backup Drew Staton. Let’s face it, Sanchez is not a great quarterback and he is well aware of it, believe me. So first, to give Sanchez a bode of confidence they signed him to a rather large 4-year extension, showing the Jets fan base that they had enough faith not to go after Peyton Manning. But now the Jets just signed Tebow, which will have a completely opposite effect an again-scrambling Sanchez.
Tebow has been told he is the backup quarterback but will have a special wildcat package to operate. But who says once Sanchez throws a pick six and has a bad game, Tebowmania won’t be chanting for Tim to come in the game? And who says Mark Sanchez will enjoy coming off the field when it’s a 3 and 1 or they’re in the red zone because the Jets want to run Tebow’s package. Rumor has it Tebow choose the Jets because he feels he can become the starting quarterback. This already builds a huge quarterback controversy.
So, why doesn’t Tim Tebow play rugby? He’s an extraordinary athlete and, in my humble opinion, would be a huge success in rugby. Why? 1) He won’t need to throw the ball forwards to anyone in rugby. 2) Tebow is big and can run. He’s like a David Pocock of Australia – or All Blacks legend Michael Jones in his prime. He’s at least as big as Tardits, who was a linebacker in football. 3) You know he’s mentally tough because of the way he plays the game – a run-first quarterback in the NFL – and has defensive players trying to knock him silly every play. He’d be fine without pads. 4) Tebow has the physical ability and toughness to play rugby. If you have ever watched his pre-draft documentary, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Changing gears a bit – we do that on RWU – the Hong Kong HSBC 7s concluded this weekend and Fiji bested New Zealand in a wild final – the second consecutive losing final for NZ. But fans in Hong Kong had to battle with the protesters due to the elections taking place. Sam Tuckey, an English rugby fan had this to say about the elections, “Election, what election?” Tuckey continued, “I had no idea — but then I’m not usually aware when there are elections in the U.K.” Could you imagine what Tebowmania would bring to an international tournament? His fan base single-handily is the reason Tebow even got a chance to start in a Bronco game last season. Extending that following as a cross-over NFL star would land hit boatloads of endorsement money – so cash wouldn’t be the problem. And if he did make the switch and brought his fan base and beliefs with him? The people protesting the elections in Hong Kong wouldn’t make the radar – and I’m not saying that’s a good thing.
What do you think? Would Tim Tebow be better off in rugby or football?