Broncos and Jets: Ticking PR Time Bombs?

This blog post originally appeared on The Gutes.

You may have heard the news: Peyton Manning, who missed the 2011 season with a neck injury that many thought could threaten his career, has signed a contract with the Denver Broncos to be the team’s next starting quarterback. This is great news for Broncos fans everywhere because they haven’t had a popular starting quarterback since the John Elway days, right? Wrong…

After taking over a struggling 1-4 team, quarterback Tim Tebow led the Broncos to victory after victory last season, struggling for the first three quarters before “Tebow Time” took over late in the game. With an offense that quickly transformed into an option attack, and a defense that kept every game close, the Broncos eventually won the AFC West title. Tebow was also a major reason the team won their first playoff game in electrifying fashion against the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime.

The signing of Manning has caused some dissatisfaction in Denver and throughout Bronco Nation. The so-called “Tebowmaniacs” are demoralized at the loss of their savior and Tebow himself can’t be too happy with his sudden departure from the team that he resurrected last season, although you would never know by speaking with him. Even after signing one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Elway (now an executive with the team) has left a fan base divided, and this isn’t likely to change any time soon.

While Manning has the potential to lead the team back to the playoffs this season, one has to wonder how much of an injury risk he remains. Should something happen to the new face of the franchise, could we be looking at a potential PR nightmare in Denver?

Tick…tick…tick…

And what about Tebow’s new team. On paper, the New York Jets acquisition of the quarterback would appear to be a slam dunk for their fans. Already one of the most popular athletes in the world, Tebow brings his marketability and football skills to the center of the media universe. This situation has the potential to put him in LeBron James territory when it comes to his marketing value. But what does his acquisition do to the chemistry of the team? If he becomes the starting quarterback, will Tebow have the leeway to struggle as he originally did in Denver, while playing in the #1 television market in the country?

Tick…tick…tick…

Right now, the Jets now have the equivalent of two starting quarterbacks in Tebow and Mark Sanchez. The team just signed Sanchez to a three-year contract extension last week, a move that was met with a mixed reaction from Jets fans that have waited since 1969 for a return trip to the Super Bowl. Sanchez is 27-20 as a starter in the regular season and has a 4-2 record in the playoffs. Like Tebow, he’s led multiple game-winning drives and who can forget that he’s defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots three times over the past three seasons (something no other quarterback in the league has done). Will diehard Jets (and Sanchez) fans revolt if the coaching staff hands the ball over to Tebow as the starting quarterback in 2012?

Tick…tick…tick…

Whether its comments by Coach Rex Ryan, or issues involving players and/or fans, the Jets always seem to be in need of a PR makeover. Now, Tebowmania is about to sweep New York and one has to wonder what that means for the city. The team has always needed a “good guy” who can lead the team back to its glory days. Will the arrival of Tebow be the new incarnation of “Linsanity” that Jeremy Lin brought to the New York Knicks? Or are we looking at a quarterback controversy that will bring on a PR nightmare in New York?

Tick…tick…tick…

From a public relations standpoint, both the Broncos and Jets will be interesting to watch this season. You have to wonder what happens to the Broncos if Manning gets hurt. How quickly will the backlash come from the fans? How soon will you hear the “I told you so’s” from local sports writers? How will the Broncos be able to save face?

Tick…tick…tick…

And what about the quarterback situation in New York? Will Tebow be the starting quarterback? What about Sanchez? If Sanchez starts the season as the team’s quarterback, and struggles, will the coaching staff be forced to make an immediate change? What if he plays well? Will fans still demand increased playing time for Tebow?

Tick…tick…tick…

Both camps are walking on thin ice right now with fans due to their recent moves. As with any trade, the sky’s the limit for the potential. Who knows? The signing of Manning and trade of Tebow could end up being great for both franchises. But, if something goes wrong, you could easily be looking at a major PR nightmare in both cities.

Tick…tick…tick…BOOM!

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2 Comments on “Broncos and Jets: Ticking PR Time Bombs?”

  1. sandy1961 Says:

    I hope Tebow does well. What a situation they have made for the Jets. Sounds like a long hard battle for the quarterback. Don’t wish bad for either man,but still a Browns fan.

  2. Honeydog Says:

    Have no idea what’s going on here (neither Team are among my favorites, so I don’t follow their news) but just for the heck of it, thought I’d throw in that one of them once was, a long time ago, in the old days, when Joe Namath played. I don’t know… just something special, and real, and down-to-earth about Football, and those times, back then.


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