If bench-warming hunk Brady Quinn entertained any fantasies about returning to the Denver Broncos next season, he should put them out of his mind.
Why? In a new GQ article, Quinn makes a number of impolitic comments about Tim Tebow that virtually guarantee he'll be wearing an orange-free uni the next time he takes the field.
"The Year of Magical Stinking: An Oral History of Tebow Time" by Michael Silver culls quotes from a number of folks, most of whom are smart enough to tip-toe around the subject of The Chosen One. But not Quinn, who hits one wrong note after another. First, there's this bottle of fine whine, which serves as a scene-setter:
Early in the season, there was a game when Kyle [Orton] got hurt and the coaches were calling for me to go in, but Kyle got up and finished the game out. So I was the second-string guy. Then, a few weeks later, they decided to put Tim in. I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that. Just 'cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I didn't have any billboards. That would have been nice.
Shortly thereafter, in a section of the piece keyed to the beginning of the Broncos' winning streak, Quinn suggests that Tebow's success was based less on skill than his ability to wear out opponents:
The entire game, the defensive line is chasing the quarterback around, and that wears down the pass rush. Meanwhile, the defensive backs are chasing receivers, but you only throw eight passes, so they start to feel lazy. It only takes that one play, that one big pass, for a touchdown.
What about that out-of-the-blue victory over the Bears? Quinn's take: "We've had a lot of, I guess, luck, to put it simply."
Then, as if he hasn't burned that bridge to enough of a crisp, Quinn takes a shot at the phenomenon known as Tebowing:
If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me. When I get that opportunity, I'll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?
No, Quinn isn't the first person to have said things like this, nor will he be the last -- but he may be among the least credible. After all, he came to the Broncos via one of the worst trades in the team's history. As most fans are still trying to forget, team-destroyer Josh McDaniels picked up Brady from Cleveland in exchange for running back Peyton Hillis, who went on to tear up the league for the woeful Browns while Quinn sat and looked pretty.
During this past preseason, Quinn had a few moments -- but when it came time to actually challenging Kyle Orton for the starting job, he reverted to the inconsistent, panicky hurler he's been ever since joining the NFL. If anyone believes he would have racked up more wins than Tebow had he been inserted into the starting lineup after Orton was yanked, they've been spiking their Gatorade with moonshine. The kind capable of leaving a guy blind, impotent and screaming in agony.
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True, most of us can't say that Tebow is the long-term answer for the Broncos. But we know with absolute certainty Quinn isn't. Before this article, there was little chance he'd return to the squad for the 2012-2013 season. Now there's none.
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More from our Sports archive: "Top 10 sports stars who pissed us off by leaving Colorado."