"We've already talked enough about him, I think I've covered it. Anything else?" -- Bill Belichick on Tim Tebow, three minutes into his press conference Tuesday morning
As Tim Tebow sat on the shelf for the last several weeks, discarded by arguably the worst and most dysfunctional team in football, the buzz dying around the misfit toy of NFL quarterbacks, the rhetoric on his future has been that there was no place for him in the NFL.
No place for his narrow, ultra-specific skill set, and far more than that no place for the circus that seemingly follows Tebow wherever he goes.
Well, in roughly 180 seconds of press conference and in about a dozen words, with questions about Tebow bouncing off of him like hollow point bullets ricocheting off of Superman, Bill Belichick made it clear:
The circus may try to come to town, but they will get no resources, no free advertising, no nourishment feeding the beast.
In his first press conference since agreeing with Tim Tebow on a two-year deal (no guaranteed money, that's key), Belichick gave an impromptu lesson to the civilized world in how to handle Tebow-mania, and it was quite frankly the same way that Belichick handles every other mania, controversy, situation or simple question:
Speak softly, speak little, give them nothing, make it all about the team.
It's really not that hard.
With Tebow a few days away from spending mini-camp figuratively fouling pitches off on his third strike in the league, for Belichick to begin his press conference Tuesday disdainfully shrugging off the Tebow questions before squelching them altogether about three minutes in was both logical and welcomed.
With every subsequent, repetitive Tebow question, the horde of reporters at Patriots headquarters sounded more and more ridiculous. Finally, when some clod decided to ask Belichick if he had a problem with Tebow praying after touchdowns (complete with a gratuitous explanation of the phrase "Tebowing," as if Belichick had been in carbon freeze since 2010), Belichick had had enough:
"We've already talked enough about him," Belichick said. "I think I've covered it. Anything else?" Since coming into the league, I don't know that Tebow has ever warranted the level of coverage that he's received. Frankly, I don't think there are natural disasters or wars that have warranted the level of coverage that Tebow has received, but with that said, there was a time where, let's call it over-coverage of Tebow was acceptable.
A two-time national champion, a Heisman winner, the ultimate do-gooder, a winner and a style of play that was fairly foreign to the NFL when he arrived in the league -- hey, it's different, he's relevant, cover it. I get that.
But at this point, three years in, we now know: Tebow is nothing more than a broken, flawed third-string gimmicky quarterback who's much closer to being a graduate assistant than he is a starting NFL quarterback. Most football fans, even the Tebow sycophants, have come to grips with this reality.
Most right-thinking people realize that the amazing run at the end of 2011 with the Broncos was ground in a lot of good fortune, the football equivalent of hitting an eight-game parlay or getting ten 20's in a row at a blackjack table.
Less than two years removed from that playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tim Tebow is now just a guy trying to make a team, and the "Tebow circus" that the media so likes to discuss and dwell upon as a relevant faction has been reduced to, well, pretty much just the media.
If there's one takeaway from Belichick's press conference on Tuesday, as the media was asking Belichick questions about the amount of media coverage that Tebow gets, it's that the Tim Tebow Experience is now just masturbation for ESPN, NFL scribes and (admittedly) talk radio.
As media, at this point, hopefully we are self-aware enough to know that any talk of the "Tebow circus" is really just talk about ourselves. No faction even remotely big enough to justify the amount of coverage Tebow received today and will receive at the start of mini-camp (until such time as Prime Minister Belichick squashes it) exists anymore.
There are small pockets of Tebow zealots, always will be, but most of football-watching America is now hip to Tebow's act -- he's not really that good at football.
As a collective media, when it comes to Tebow, we are the circus, we are the beast, we are the problem. Just us.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Stop with the press conference hordes and post-practice mobs. Stop with the endless Tebow segments on NFL television shows and during our talk shows. I guarantee you there will be no throng calling your respective outlet demanding "MORE TEBOW."
It's time to let a third string training camp body be a third string training camp body. That's what Bill Belichick was saying to us in so few words today.
Now if we could just get Bill Belichick to program SportsCenter.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.