I was on a JetBlue flight from Jacksonville to NYC late yesterday afternoon. Kudos to JetBlue for bringing NFL Sunday Ticket to their DirecTV packages on Sundays.
I was excited to watch the Broncos-Raiders game, one that I would never get regionally in NYC. By the time we were settled in our seats, the Raiders were up 31-0.
Broncos fans might not like the following sentiment, but my feeling was: Well, at least we'll get a nice long look at Tim Tebow, because Josh McDaniels can't possibly NOT play him in THIS one.
When the first half finished up and Tebow hadn't played a down, I was a little frustrated, but I was able to rationalize it: Gotta try to keep Kyle Orton in some kind of long-term rhythm.
But then we got into the 3rd quarter and the game was blown open -- I mean, more than it was when it was 31-freaking-zilch.
Into the 4th quarter... no Tebow. Not a series.
In the most meaningless half of football the Broncos will play this season -- at least until they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention -- McDaniels refused to play Tebow.
And I use that word "refused" purposely. He had every reason to give Tebow some much-needed in-game reps, against an opponent up so many points that they were half-speed.
"That's not really the time that I'd want him to get work," McDaniels said.
Instead, he let him linger -- the most notable Tebow appearance coming during all those TV camera cuts to him on the sidelines, helmet off, not even close to warming up.
If McDaniels isn't going to even give Tebow a glimpse of game action during a zillion-to-not-so-much rout, I'm not sure he is at all serious about Tebow as the future of the team.
As the Denver Post's Mark Kiszla said: "Stubborn and stupid is no way to go through life."
If not then, when? It is a fair question -- and one that would have taken at least some of the sting out of what turned out to be the most humiliating Broncos regular-season loss in a generation.
The Broncos play in London next week -- Tebow Takes the U.K.! -- and then have a bye week. As predicted before the season started, the week after the bye seems as good a time as any to give Tebow a try.
But given McDaniels' decision-making yesterday, I won't be holding my breath.