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Another Day, Another Unbelievable Tale from Jets Camp

Jets owner expresses surprise over Tebow coverage that everyone else saw coming

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Aug 23, 2012  |  Updated 1:05 PM EDT
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Even Tebow finds the suggestion someone isn't aware of his appeal humorous.

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Jets owner Woody Johnson is a prominent political fundraiser, which means he spends a lot of time with politicians.

Politicians, regardless of which side of the aisle they're on, have a habit of saying things that aren't true when confronted with inconvenient facts. So it isn't all that surprising that Johnson would steal a page from the political scene when he was asked about the impact that the coverage of Tim Tebow is having on this year's training camp.

"I think the enormity of the coverage kind of surprised me a little bit," Johnson said. "I knew there would be press, there would be plenty of interest. But, even by our standards, this is pretty amazing"

Johnson likely meant that answer to be some kind of folksy, "gee whiz" kind of reaction (one he ruins with giddiness over all the attention paid to the team later in his meeting with the media) to the fact that Tebow is covered more like Kristen Stewart than like a football player, but it doesn't come off that way at all. It comes off like a guy who is either completely and totally out of touch with the world around him or a guy for whom the truth holds no more allure than a colonoscopy.

Since the Jets fielded and accepted a request from ESPN to set up a news bureau in Cortland for training camp and make Tebow available for two interviews a week, we're going to bet on the latter. That's two more interviews a week than other backup quarterbacks give and it is as clear a sign as any that the Jets' primary interest is attention.

They turned down HBO's interest in having another Jets season of "Hard Knocks" because there was a feeling that having the reality show in town would be too much of a distraction. Unless HBO uses particularly noisy cameras or employs people with especially hideous body odor, it is hard to understand why one cable network following you round the clock is better than another.

When fielding questions about whether another round of fights at Tuesday's practice suggests that the dysfunction of last year remains deeply ingrained in the team, Ryan bristled at continually having to answer questions about the past instead of talking about the present. It would be a lot easier to sympathize with his indignation if the Jets really were trying to do things a different way this time around.

They aren't, though. They are doing everything exactly the same way, which makes it more than fair to ask questions about whether or not anything is going to be different than it was during the last spin around the carousel.

If Ryan, Johnson or anyone else doesn't like that, they have an easy way to make it stop. If you actually make the changes you talked about making, people will stop wondering why everything feels totally familiar.

London 2012 is here. Get the top Olympic news, including what to watch, results and features on our local athletes here.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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