"Poor man's Tim Tebow." An analogue that will stifle creative college football QB comparisons for a generation.
The preeminent basketball blog Free Darko has long-used a construction called "Myth of the Next" as a way to describe the expectations saddled on "similar" players -- similar for any number of qualities, including style of play, physical traits and -- yes -- looks. Here is a great primer on that.
I have more commonly heard and used the phrase "Poor Man's...": As in "So-and-so-player is a poor man's fill-in-superstar-here." Like "Jake Locker is a Poor Man's Tim Tebow."
What that automatically suggests is that the former can never match the latter. Even the phrasing "poor man's" suggests a demeaning, cheap comparison. (Perhaps in today's economic climate, "poor man's" should be valued -- or reframed as "bargain.")
As soon as Tim Tebow exploded on the scene -- first as a short-yardage-specialist/"energy" spark off the bench, then as a "20/20"-reaching, Heisman-winning starter -- analysts have been trying to find other large-framed QBs who are considered "dual-threat" to label "poor man's Tim Tebow."
It is unfair on many levels, but I'm not going to reject the notion of Tebow as some sort of gold standard at the position -- or as an archetype within the position. (After all, there should be "poor man's Sam Bradford" et al across the "QB type" skills spectrum.)
TimTeblog.com will track the contenders for Poor Man's Tim Tebow -- or "PMTT" -- throughout the season, ranking them on the right side based on observation and your feedback. Here is my preseason Top 10:
Who should be higher on the list? Who is missing but belongs there? Who doesn't? Please weigh in. That covers starters.
Meanwhile, what I would also love your help with is any freshmen who are playing the "Tebow 2006" role -- the part-time QB who will come in to rumble through in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Fans may not know their names yet, but they will.