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A brief evaluation of Tim Tebow

Opponents shouldn’t be soiling themselves fear over Tim Tebow. | David Duprey~AP

Opponents shouldn’t be soiling themselves in fear over Tim Tebow. | David Duprey~AP

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Updated: January 8, 2012 2:28AM



I love the double-page, glossy, front-of-the-mag Jockey underwear ad in the Jan. 9 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

There’s an extreme closeup of somebody staring through you on the right page. On the left page, the copy reads: ‘‘4TH QUARTER . . . DOWN BY 10 . . . IT’S TEBOW TIME. . . . YOU’RE GONNA NEED TO CHANGE YOUR JOCKEYS.’’

Really?

What’s the defective quarterback gonna change? His Spanx ‘‘Look-at-Me’’ seamless leggings?

S peaking of the passing-impaired Tebow, whose Denver Broncos play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL playoffs Sunday, his legend largely was created by one man: Bears running back Marion Barber.

Remember the Bears-Broncos game Dec. 11 in Denver? That
was the game in which all Barber had to do to ice the victory was not run out of bounds in the fourth quarter and/or not fumble in overtime. He did both, and the Bears lost 13-10.

Tebow was praised as a miracle worker. Yeah, he did a nice job. But the Lord works in mysterious ways. For instance, all anybody on the Bears had to do was tell the apparently thought-free Barber this: We are ahead. They have no timeouts. They can’t stop the clock. DO NOT RUN OUT OF BOUNDS!’’

Good job, quarterback Caleb Hanie, offensive coordinator Mike Martz, offensive teammates and, most of all, mute, petrified head coach Lovie Smith. If you run the team and you have a player as dumb as Barber and you can’t put your lips together to whisper, ‘‘Stay in bounds, son,’’ shame on you.

How much did the Cubs need the public announcement that All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro is the subject of a rape accusation?

Not much, we can all agree.

President Theo Epstein and his genius pals just sent the bubbling volcano called Carlos Zambrano out of town, eating $15 million to be rid of him.

Castro, whose lawyers vehemently denied his guilt, is only 21 and last season became the youngest player in Cubs history to have 200 or more hits. He’s the kind of player you can build a franchise around.

Or could have.

Those moments when he would drift into the clouds and seemingly forget he even was involved in a baseball game now appear a bit more troubling than mere youthful erraticism. It’s so rare that the Cubs develop a superstar from the minor leagues on up that to have Castro already burning up is troubling, indeed.

Do the Cubs dump the incredibly talented, incredibly immature Castro to maintain their clean-up, rebuilding act? Tough call.

Lovable losers?

The second part, for sure.

I know Rip Hamilton is a member of the Bulls. He was brought in from Detroit to be the two-guard shooter the Bulls desperately need to take the scoring pressure off Derrick Rose.

But does he ever play?

The downside to picking up Hamilton was the fact he is aging (he’ll be 34 in a month) and his stats have declined (only 1,498 minutes and 14.1 points per game last season, compared with nearly 3,000 minutes and a 17-points-or-above-average for the 10 previous years).

Groin pulls happen easier when you’re old and brittle. Let’s hope he’ll be back and play every game from here on out. If he can’t, he’s the dud that will haunt the Bulls in this championship-seeking season and make fans wonder where Keith Bogans went.

The “Car Bomb’’ has detonated.

That would be Blackhawks ‘‘agitator’’ Daniel Carcillo, the tooth-challenged goon the Hawks brought in to clear the ice for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

It can’t be easy being a thug in the NHL — think of morning coffee over fresh stitches, tooth stubs and the knowledge you’re gonna have to fight again tonight — but what Carcillo and his ilk do is sometimes barely human.

Yes, the league wants it. Which is pitiful in itself. But when Carcillo hit Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert from behind last Thursday, knocking him into the boards in a way that could have broken Gilbert’s neck or cracked his skull, it was like watching a cowardly mugging in an alley.

The Car Bomb, who hurt his knee in the collision, has been suspended for seven games. But the mere fact there are rewards in pro hockey for ‘‘athletes’’ like him, or that every team secretly covets a morals-free suicide bomber, is disgusting.

All those hockey enforcers who recently have been diagnosed with brain damage or who committed suicide — I guess that hasn’t really gotten anybody’s attention.

I LOVE GREAT NAMES.

A kid named Barkevious Mingo will be playing for LSU in the BCS title game Monday. I’ll put him up there with some of my favorite athletes through the years — Wonderful Monds III, Cletidus Hunt, Kewame Pipkens, Nimrod Deiss-Yehiely, Larry Derryberry, Paris Drain, Napoleon Lightning, and Redonia Duck.

But not with the immortal Budweiser Hawkins, a Pepperdine basketball player whose brother was named Falstaff.

True.



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