"Mania" Surrounding Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning Far From Over

By Ryan Wooden

Two of the three biggest headline makers in the sporting world over the last 12 months are going to wind up on the same team–for now. As reported earlier by our own Kris Hughes, and before that by ESPN NFL insider, Chris Mortensen, Peyton Manning has told his agent to complete a deal with the Denver Broncos, leaving scorned Titans fans and Tebow followers in his wake.

However, the hysteria surrounding the two former SEC greats is far from over. As a matter of fact, it’s just getting started.

There won’t be any actual football played for upwards of six months, so for now, the hype machine will be in full effect with rampant speculation serving as its rocket fuel. Is Peyton Manning going to be healthy? Where will Tim Tebow be traded and what sort of value will the Broncos get for him?

These are just a few of the questions that ESPN and just about every other sports news outlet will lap up like impoverished dogs over the course of the next several months, and I’d imagine this will be a topic on every sports-blab show ESPN has to offer for no less than the next 90 days straight. (Because the world hasn’t heard Skip Bayless screaming about Tim Tebow enough.)

Of course, despite the audible cries of Tebow sympathizers, Manning to Denver is can’t miss for the Broncos–contingent on his health. Even with seemingly mystical powers, Tebow’s deficiencies as a quarterback are illuminated by a pitiful completion percentage and a sloppy release like a Vegas street sign. It’s simply impossible to overlook.

Peyton Manning, on the other hand, has a proven track record as a winner, with his true value perhaps best characterized by the Indianapolis Colts’ complete collapse with Manning sidelined by injury. Manning won 10 games or more in 11 of 13 seasons as the starter in Indianapolis, and put up the sort of numbers that will make him an unquestioned first ballot Hall of Famer.

On top of that, Manning’s handle on NFL-style offenses is unmatched, as he had total autonomy at the line of scrimmage during his time in Indy. On the contrary, one of the major complaints from John Fox and the Denver Broncos surrounding Tim Tebow was the fact that offenses had to be tailored to mask Tebow’s deficiencies as a passer.

At the end of the day, Manning signing with the Denver Broncos may seem like a fitting way to put an end to all this “mania”, but, in reality, this is likely just the beginning to another wave of media exploitation with Denver acting as its epicenter. It’s a shame that the NBA trade deadline has passed and Jeremy Lin won’t wind up in Denver any time soon. That just might warrant a Pedro Gomez posting in the Mile High City.

For now, Peyton Manning “Mania” and Tim Tebow “Mania” have converged into one big ball of….. mania.

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