Shanoff's WUC: Tebow Drives Draftniks Crazy

Today's Calls: Saints Super story lines vs. Colts Super story lines, Brett Favre vs. Certainty, Syracuse vs. Kentucky, LeBron vs. Dwyane Wade, Tim Tebow vs. NFL Scouts, Ben Sheets vs. Billy Beane, Barack Obama vs. Kobe Bryant and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Does it matter HOW Tim Tebow performs at the Senior Bowl this week? ↵

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↵Does it matter that in his first Senior Bowl practice, he bobbled the exchange with the center? Does it matter that his throws were inaccurate? Does it matter that gleeful draftniks took the moment to pounce? ↵

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↵No, for a couple of reasons: ↵

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↵• Expectations: Scouts had already battered Tebow's mechanics over the past few weeks to the point where his ability to merely walk without stumbling is a moral victory. Low expectations always help; nowhere to go but up. ↵

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↵• It was Day 1: Did scouts really expect Tebow to come in and seamlessly transition to a new style, with new players around him? No pre-draft rookie QB is instantly ready for the NFL. Give him a week ... or three months ... or three seasons. ↵

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↵• Tebow defies grading: Commensurate with his status as the Senior Bowl's -- and college football's -- biggest rock star, there is a strong chance that he could have mediocre workouts yet still go in the Draft's Top 10, to the Jaguars. ↵

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↵Undoubtedly, this drives the draftniks crazy, because it is irrational -- and because it makes their opinion about the most intriguing prospect in NFL Draft history irrelevant. ↵

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↵Draftniks have two choices: Bash Tebow and look like fools when he goes in the 1st round, or abandon their analysis and reflect more accurate "reality" in their mock draft. Either way, the only mockery is the draftnik-industrial complex. ↵

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↵It's fair to be torn about Tebow -- fans are fairly split on whether he will be a "good" pro QB -- but that's what makes his NFL prospects so interesting. Unfortunately for them, draftniks aren't paid to be torn. ↵

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↵Favre Watch: "Highly unlikely" is Favre's own initial assessment. Which means, of course, that his return is a virtual lock. ↵

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↵Tebow at the Senior Bowl Update: In the morning, there was a creepy weigh-in for Tebow and the rest of the prospects, where they strip down to their skivvies and parade in front of leering middle-aged scouts. In the afternoon, there was practice, where the main buzz was Tebow mis-handling a couple of snaps under center. Hardly surprising. Give it time. ↵

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↵Super Bowl Story Lines: This is just a taste of what will be the dominant story line of the next two weeks. (Per Levy: With good reason.) ↵

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↵On the Colts side: It's all about the WRs. If you want the best reason that Peyton Manning is the MVP of the league, it's that he took unknowns Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon and turned them into receiving studs. ↵

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↵David Garrard, Pro Bowler. Florio makes the case against the Pro Bowl's relevancy -- and for putting it in August. (I say: Let's wait and see what the fans think of the new timing of the game -- the week before the Super Bowl, rather than the week after it.) ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Syracuse's 17-point win over Georgetown is a lot more impressive when you factor in that the Hoyas started the game with a 14-0 run. No Flynn, Devendorf or Harris -- and the Orange has its best team since Melo's (and its best shot at winning a national title since Melo, too). ↵

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↵Hoops Poll: Kentucky is No. 1, obviously. (DeCourcy makes a great point about the AP: Took 'em long enough.) ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: The next time LeBron plays in Miami, he may very well be wearing a Heat jersey. That's what made the Cavs-Heat game last night so intriguing. Instead of watching LeBron and D-Wade going at each other, try envisioning them playing together, in what would be the greatest pairing of superstars in NBA history. And that's why LeBron will consider it. (That, and it's a lot easier to imagine him fleeing for South Beach than it is him convincing Wade to come to Cleveland.) Their duel ends in a near-draw: 32-9-4 for LeBron and 32-10-5 for Wade, in a 1-point Cavs win. ↵

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↵Plus: You just can't stop the Grizzlies in Memphis (11 straight home Ws) ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Ben Sheets on the A's? Is the team really considering giving Sheets a 1-year deal worth $8-10M, which hardly feels like a "Moneyball"-style play for Billy Beane, given Sheets' history with injuries over his career. Every fantasy GM who has ever owned Sheets is shouting: "Don't do it!" ↵

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↵CFB Scandals: What's worse -- punching another player in the face after being instigated on the road after a brutal loss... or being accused of stealing laptops? I'll say the latter. (And the former got a 3/4-season suspension.) ↵

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↵Politics: The Lakers visited the White House to meet President Obama, who noted "The only thing that's better than watching basketball is playing basketball." Here's hoping his State of the Union is equally simple and true. ↵

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↵(Also: Obama told Diane Sawyer that he is rooting for the Saints, because... well, essentially: How could you NOT?) ↵

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↵TV: Saints-Vikings was the most-watched TV show (besides the Super Bowl) since the Seinfeld finale in 1998. That caps what was a banner year for the NFL for showcasing its power to drive a massive audience. (Favre + NOLA confluence helped.) ↵

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↵The Last Word: "This is not Detroit, man. This is the Super Bowl!" I'm sorry I'm a day late on this, but the rhetorical analysis of the Vikings -- the Vikings -- radio play-by-play announcer directed at Brett Favre after Favre's game-killing interception is one of the great moments in sports media. It's like everything that is right about "Do you believe in miracles?" ... except the opposite. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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