NFL fans all over the country have spent the last year grappling with the grating, confounding popularity of Tim Tebow, a quarterback whose passing game is as mediocre as his personal character is admirable. And now, it seems that even Tebow's fellow NFL stars are tired of "Tebowmania." A recent poll of 180 active NFL players conducted by Sports Illustrated found that a whopping 34 percent think that Tebow, currently serving time as the New York Jets' backup quarterback, is the most overrated player in the league. Tebow earned that ignominious title last year, too, though in 2011's poll, he scored just 22 percent of the vote — indicating that players believe he's growing more overrated with time, not less. Is Tebow really the most overrated player in the NFL?
Of course he is: The players "nailed it," says James Walker at ESPN.com. Tebow has "quickly become one of the most popular and polarizing athletes in sports," bafflingly drawing as much media attention as elite players like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. But he's not anywhere near their league, and it shows. This season, Tebow has thrown for just 32 yards and rushed for 76. Though he's not entirely unskilled, it's no surprise that the "unjustified hype" over his debut with the Jets has led to criticism from his fellow players.
"Players nailed it: Tim Tebow is overrated"
Tebow doesn't deserve all this criticism: Tebow may have underperformed this season, but it's important to remember that he's "never been considered a franchise quarterback," and shouldn't be expected to compete with the league's top players, says Tim Kephart at CBS Sports. All the backlash against Tebow "has been built largely on his coverage by ESPN" — attention that Tebow "never actively sought." Tebow is widely reported to be "a great teammate" and "a hard worker both on and off the field," which is all anyone should expect him to be.
"Poll: Players name Tebow most overrated player in NFL"
Forget Tebow. What about Mark Sanchez? Whatever your opinion of Tebow's performance, the real loser here is the Jets' starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, who tied with the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo for the second most overrated player in the league, says Kacy Capobres at Fox News. Sanchez has now been ranked as the NFL's most overrated starter by his fellow players and one of the least popular players among NFL fans in a poll at Forbes. And don't forget that he was just publicly dumped by girlfriend Eva Longoria. Tebow can shrug off a single poll, but calling Sanchez's "past few days 'rough' would be an understatement."
"Tim Tebow & Mark Sanchez most overrated players in NFL"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Germany has a serious wolf problem
- There's a raging Islamic insurgency in Thailand's strangest party town
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Why we can't educate racism away
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How Sonia Sotomayor became the Supreme Court's preeminent defender of civil liberties
- How to fix America's crumbling bridges
Subscribe to the Week