Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/24/13
Cade McNown, Tim Couch, Akili Smith -- remember those three quarterbacks from the 1999 NFL Draft?  Of the three, the most hyped and heralded was Akili Smith. The media raved about his athleticism and how he was going to change the Cincinnati Bengals franchise. All the highlights shown of Smith's play was not his arm strength or precision passing, it was a flip into the end zone on a touchdown run. For all the hype that was giving him, Akili Smith was out of the league by 2005. Smith's hype machine was nowhere close to what we have seen with Tim Tebow. The media circus that was created in Gainesville has seriously harmed and damaged Tebow's career to the point that now teams don't want to bring him in because of the all the attention it brings to an organization. Tim Tebow has not had a chance to develop as quarterback because he was drafted too high, the Broncos did him a disservice by trading him to the New York Jets, the biggest media market in the country.Tim's collegiate career was nothing short of spectacular. Heisman Trophy, two-time National Championship winner and three BCS bowl appearances, stuff right out of the movies. Tebow was everybody's All-American and the hype machine was in full effect once he started preparing for the draft. Teams overlooked his awkward throwing motion and focused in on the way the he could rally a locker room and will his team to win. Being a great leader is part of winning in the National Football League but the main and most important part for a quarterback to be successful is the ability to throw a football. NFL coaches thought they could change his throwing style and the stories begin to fly and Tebow's draft stock began to rise. Tebowmania took the nation by storm and the media creation was born. Documentaries were made chronicling his draft path, following his workouts and daily activities. Mock drafts had Tebow going from the first to fourth round. Super Bowl winning quarterback and analyst Tony Dungy went on record by saying he would draft Tebow in the first round. Everybody loved Tim Tebow and the media loved every minute of it. Fast forward and now Tebow has been cut by the New York Jets and teams will not bring him in because of the circus it can cause. The AFL and CFL have put feelers out to Tebow to see if he would like to play in those leagues. Others in the media have suggested that Tebow switch positions to keep his career alive. Tebowmania has come to a screeching halt in the last year due to lack of playing time and the fact Tim was on a really bad team. Did the Jets do more harm than good to Tim's career? Yes!! But the media-driven hype machine around him also harmed Tebow's chance to be developed and coached in a way to make him a better player. The overexposure harmed his ability to learn the position and for a NFL team to bring him in and help with that development. Would love to know your thoughts.
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