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A pat and a shove

March 26, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

Basically, John Elway gave Tim Tebow a pat on the back for getting the Denver Broncos into the playoffs and beating Pittsburgh, and then, with that same hand, shoved No. 15 out the door.

That was, of course, after he used that same hand to welcome Peyton Manning to Denver and the same hand to shake Manning's hand once No. 18 said yes to the Broncos and arrived in the Mile High City.

That same hand was on the phone probably five seconds after Manning said yes to any and all NFL executives to see who were Tebow takers.

Elway listened to fans, read the billboards and started Tebow over a lethargic Kyle Orton.

Tebow is and will always be far from perfect between and outside of the confines of any football stadium, but he energized a city, a team and, with the help of a solid defense, offensive line and ground game, led the Broncos to the AFC West title and the playoffs.

But, really, all of that didn't matter to Elway because when he had his chance to push Tebow out of the door, he didn't push, he shoved.

Of course, if not for Tebow, the D, Oline and running game, Denver finishes about 6-10 and is not in the Manning Sweepstakes.

Of course, the D, Oline, running game and one timely pass, led the Broncos past Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs and en eventual date, and loss, at New England.

But, that didn't matter to Elway.

Tebow isn't an Elway guy. Tebow is not the prototypical QB.

He has a lot of work to do and I sure don't think Elway was interested in devoting that much time to a guy whom, he thinks, will never be that type of prototypical QB like he was.

Elway was tired of all the negative press of the fact that Tebow stunk for three quarters but always found a way to win.

As much as pro football organizations say that character counts, it is obvious to me that Tebow's character meant nothing to Elway and all the positives it brought to Denver.

I understand that Manning is a character guy.

His press conferences in Indianapolis and Denver should be mandatory for all NFL rookies.

Character isn't exactly rampant in professional sports and there are far too many examples to list.

But, I will start with guys like Antonio Cromartie, Gregg Williams, Sean Payton, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Odell Thurman, JaMarcus Russell and Brandon Marshall.

The list, actually, is quite long.

"He's humble, works his tail off, is quick with a smile and has a larger-than-life personality," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in an Associated Press story. "He's just a good person, and he stands for all the right things.

"Religiously, no matter what side you're on, you realize he's a good human being who represents his faith and his family in the right way. He always represented the Gators in the right way, and he's a guy that Gator fans will always love."

The bottom line is that NFL executives talk about character and how it matters to them, but winning football games means a lot more to those same execs than character.

Players continue to get jobs, not because of character, but because of talent.

NFL teams will talk for the next month about character as the draft approaches, but the bottom line will be how that player can influence to team in terms of winning more games.


The bottom line for teams will be how much they want to scrimp on character to bolster their talent.

How much bad character are teams willing to accept to put a bigger number in the wins column and make the playoffs?

I talked a couple of weeks ago about the failure of communities to support the levies for Indian Creek, Edison and JVS.

I was given numbers from the Indian Creek levy and here the numbers, to me, are astounding.

Sixteen of the 26 precincts (62 percent) voted against the levy - three in Steubenville, Cross Creek, Linduff, Salem, Shelley, Mingo A-D, Georges Run, Steuben, Bloomingdale, Belvedere and Wayne.

Ten voted for the levy - Wintersville A-D, Bantam Ridge, Brentwood, Stark, West Park, Two Ridge and Wintringer.

By percentages, according to the numbers I was given, the top five places where it failed were in Shelley (95.45 percent), Mingo D (72.43), Mingo C (68.88), Mingo B (67.43) and Linduff (66.67).

Still feel badly for the kids.

The kids.

Oh yeah, the kids.

If the people who voted against the levy in Edison don't think changes will happen, you are wrong.

When those changes happen, you really cannot complain.

You know, no busing, pay to play being implemented, etc. And, if you really think the state will not come in and take over, please pay close attention to what is going to happen in places like Bellaire, which needs to make big cuts.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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