The Broncos' decision to sign Peyton Manning -- a move expected to be made official at a 1 p.m. press conference today -- has been lauded by plenty of NFL experts. But KHOW radio host Dan Caplis isn't celebrating.
Caplis, who said last August that Tebow was the victim of biased media coverage, dubbed the day "Black Monday" and spent much of yesterday's show arguing that the Broncos' apparent coup was actually an enormous mistake. He explains why below.
"What it comes back to is what I focused on from the beginning -- the facts," Caplis says. "My opinion in this thing shouldn't matter at all, but the facts do matter. They should matter to everybody. I was able to predict Tebow's success by following the facts, and if you're logical and rational about this, and follow the facts, too, they tell you the Broncos have a much better chance of winning now and long-term with Tebow rather than Manning."
One such fact involves Tebow's completion percentage -- well under 50 percent, making him the least accurate starting quarterback in the NFL last season by a wide margin. But Caplis argues that folks who cite this digit "are ignoring all of the more positive statistics that show Tebow is a very high-caliber passer. They're ignoring touchdown passes per attempt, a huge statistics where Tebow for his first sixteen games is way ahead of where Manning was. He had far fewer interceptions per attempt than even Manning did in the last season he played. And his touchdown pass to interception ratio is enormously important."
Besides, he goes on, "even though Tebow has a lower completion percentage than many quarterbacks, he had a better win-loss percentage than a lot of them. That proves completion percentage is a less important statistic than many other ones. And Tebow understands that. He's smart. He realizes that keeping interceptions down is more important than a flashier completion percentage, so he throws the ball away when he needs to -- because he'd rather win games than pad statistics."
Numbers don't mean everything to Caplis, a proud conservative who's very public about his faith. "I would not care so much about this if Tim Tebow wasn't a great person and a great Christian leader," he acknowledges. "But just because he's a great person and a great Christian leader is no reason to be unfair to him. And what I've tried to do is bring to the table all of these facts that get buried by most of the rest of the media -- facts that show he is truly a great quarterback of historic proportions on the field."
Not that he's a Manning hater. "I love Peyton Manning," Caplis says. "My kid wore Manning jerseys for three years before Tebow got here. But what you don't get from the local media except for our show is that for all his regular season greatness, Peyton Manning's style usually doesn't hold up well in the playoffs. And that's what it comes back to for me. The stakes are so high here, and I just want people to be fully informed -- and I don't think the media consumer is getting that information right now unless they're listening to our show.
"As a fan, I want the Broncos' decision to be rational, based on the facts, and not a Hail Mary pass when you don't need one. And I view this as an unnecessary Hail Mary."
Page down to continue reading Dan Caplis's take on Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning. In Caplis's view, "Tebow brings to the field something nobody else can right now. He's not only performing at a higher level than most of the great quarterbacks in NFL history at this point in their career, but he brings the promise and potential of fifteen more years of this. And that's unique. Denver's already won Super Bowls, but I thought the point was to become a dynasty -- and Tebow gives us the potential to become a dynasty. No matter how great Peyton Manning is, he's at the tail end of a great career, and he doesn't offer that potential."
Nonetheless, the Broncos have committed to Manning and are reportedly planning to trade Tebow at the earliest opportunity, much to Caplis's chagrin. His radio partner, Craig Silverman, argues that if you love Tebow, set him free -- meaning it's kinder to give him a chance to start for another team rather than force him to sit on the bench and watch Manning. Caplis, though, sees things another way.
"If the organization's goal is to win, then the only rational thing to do is keep Tebow," he says. "He is off to one of the best starts in NFL history and has a tremendous future in front of him. Where are you going to find a backup who gives you a better chance to win if Manning gets hurt? And Tebow could emerge from this unnecessary apprenticeship in a stronger position, and with a stronger team. The Broncos are likely to build up the team for Manning in a way they weren't doing for Tebow, so that would mean Tebow would end up with a better team afterward."
What about team dynamics? Wouldn't the continuing presence of Tebow breed division especially among his most loyal fans?
"I think there's a legitimate concern that with Tebow here, and his proven performance on the field, that if and when the Broncos start to falter with Manning, people are going to want Tebow back on the field," he says. "Last year, the Broncos told us the best way to win was with Kyle Orton, and our show and the fans said, 'No. Tebow gives us the best chance to win.' And we were proven right. And if it's all about winning, wouldn't you want to keep the best talent you could and not worry so much about everybody's feelings?"
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
As for his own emotions, Caplis is confident he'll be able to rein them in should Tebow be sent packing.
"If the Broncos are truly going to throw away a fifteen-year future with Tim Tebow, that's going to be very sad and I'm not going to forget it," he concedes. "But I am a positive guy and I love the Broncos. I've probably missed seeing ten Broncos games on TV in the past 35 years -- ten max. So I'm going to be positive about this and root for the team, and for Manning's success. And I know Tebow is going to be successful wherever he goes."
Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Sports archive: "Tim Tebow's catapult throwing motion & other sights from Broncos training camp (PHOTOS)."