If Pee Wee Herman played professional football, he would somehow end up winning everyone over and saving the day. And getting the girl.
Film sessions would be in his cozy basement. Chuck would be in charge of the exercise bikes, Amazing Larry has the orange slices and Large Marge would coordinate the transportation. Pee Wee would be the quarterback, Francis a tight end and the “Satan’s Helpers” motorcycle gang would serve as his line.
How could he lose?
In his quest to find his stolen bicycle in the film Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Pee Wee encounters touble in the form of the confused prison escapee Mickey, the rail-riding, sardine-eating hobo John, a very large jealous boyfriend named Andy and a group of bikers in bar, the afore mentioned “Satan’s Helpers”…
…he hitchhikes to Texas on the advice of a jaded old fortune teller only to find that she jobbed him. When he finally does find his bike, everything comes together and everyone who were once enemies come to appreciate his dedication to finding something that he totally cared about.
And then Pee Wee and the perpetually enamoured, would-be girlfriend Dottie ride off into the glare of the screen at the drive in, leaving the audience curiously certain that absolutely nothing happened between the two.
And this from a 5′ 5″, 98 pound bow tie-wearing delusional salad tosser. If he can find his bike after going through so much, shouldn’t a 6′ 3″, 245 pound Heisman Trophy winner be able to find a job in the National Football League?
Well, he’s found one, and the media and fans alike are weighing in on the biggest hot-button topic to hit Foxboro since Bill Belichick fired Wes Welker.
Amid wild rumor and speculation, former Broncos’ and Jets’ quarterback Tim Tebow was signed by the New England Patriots on Monday, but nobody really knows what to make of it. On one hand you have the “Mario’s Magic Shop” crowd, who think that Tebow could come in and run some Wildcat formations or other trickery…
…while on the other you have the people who laugh out loud at the notion, like when Pee Wee thought the Alamo had a basement, as the fortune teller had told him, and he was forced to endure their scrutiny.
In reality, it’s somewhere in between the two, because Tebow’s presence alone must be game-planned for, whether on the football field or a quick attempt at an incognito trip to Subway, the logistics of which would be an unmitigated nightmare.
Far from the creepy persona that actor Paul Reubens portrays in the Pee Wee Herman brand of comedy works, Tebow is nevertheless a controversy magnet, his every movement followed like the multitudes following Jesus – so it will be interesting to see how the conservative cloak and dagger, NSA manner of controlling information that the Patriots employ as standard operating procedure is able to shield Tebow from the outside world…
…because that’s what he needs. There is no place in the civilized world or Canada that the charismatically churchy Tebow can go without being recognized - and his spectrum reaches far beyond simple football fandom, which can be very disturbing to people like Belichick who want to control everything.
Which begs the question, why bring him in? Some speculation goes to the Florida/Urban Meyer connection, doing a solid for his good buddy who thought of Tebow like a son, while still others accuse Belichick as feeding his own ego and signing Tebow just because he could.
Again, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle – but make no mistake: The Patriots do not need Tim Tebow – which is exactly why New England is the perfect place for Tim Tebow, because at the end of the day this is just a good coach giving a guy he respects an opportunity.
Not just an opportunity to make the football team - especially since there really doesn’t seem to be a place for him – rather, an opportunity to work on his game and to learn from Belichick and Tom Brady under the secretive umbrella that the tight-lipped Patriots provide.
Because Tim Tebow needs the Patriots – and by all accounts, he’s willing to do whatever Bill Belichick asks of him – which speaks to what we already know of the Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida, the ultimate team player…
…and somewhere down the road, when a Hollywood producer decides to do a film of the life of Belichick, the Tim Tebow signing will be made into a turning point in the fortunes of the eccentric head coach, where either he’s finally gone too far and laughed out of the NFL or he turns the entire football world on it’s ear and the Patriots’ dynasty regenerate.
Either way, perhaps James Brolin is available to portray Belichick, just as he did for Pee Wee Herman – punching in a cryptologic sequence of numbers into a key pad which sets in motion a series of incandescent lights and switches, the ivy covered wall to the practice facility opening slowly to reveal Belichick’s shiny whistle…