I am so sorry this took my a few days to get to anon! Thanks for sending this great question! So here are my thoughts and sorry in advance if it gets really long!
I am going to make as good as a guess when it comes to how Tim feels about his fans and in regards to his career. I believe when he was on GMA (I could be wrong about him mentioning this on GMA, but I know he made mention in a taped interview recently and I can’t in the life of me find it at the moment… if I do find it, I promise to link or post it) earlier this year he made mention to something along the lines that even if there are doubters out there, there are more people that think positive about him and he greatly appreciates that. I am not so sure Tim looks at his fans like the media or other people do in terms of them derailing his career. I believe in Tim’s mind he just loves the support he gets from his fans and to him whether they support him because of their religious and/or football reasons, it doesn’t much matter to him. I think for Tim in the end his exposure helps him impact people that follow him. Whether that is inspiring them to follow his example as a role model or even look at their own faith and see how they can better themselves. Where outsiders (people that I do not consider fans of his) do place blame on Tim’s fans because they are so extreme in either their praise for Tim’s religious beliefs and/or their are passion about Tim and his football career. I do see how the ‘outsiders’ can take either party and see it destroying Tim’s football career regardless. But I will go as far to say it was never the fans totally that got GMs to be stubborn about Tim. But back to the main point… I don’t think Tim dislikes his fans, I will wager a guess that is more the unnecessary attention given by the media that has amped up his exposure to cause teams to not like what he brings with him and that is what he may find disheartening.
It really upsets me that basically whomever handles Tim, or maybe even Tim did this on his own (in the SI Long form article the author talks about how Tim told people close to him and former players not to answer any questions from reporters after he left the Jets, because he just didn’t want the media putting his name out there unnecessarily so that attention would be kept at bay) , but either way… essentially told him to “lay low” as if though he was a criminal that did something bad and disappear from the limelight so that GMs could basically clean their slates in regards to their thoughts on him and then go back and look at him anew. Which to me is ridiculous. Tim never did anything bad himself. It is the damn attention he gets. Never does anyone see him flaunting himself around trying to get attention, yet it is a news story every time he goes out and does something like any normal human being does. You would think GMs would be more impressed that despite the attention he gets as such, he still somehow remains grounded, professional and is able to keep his head above water despite all the pressure, etc. Anyone whom can handle such attention and pressure off the football field should be a bonus, but with Tebow, it is for some strange reason the opposite. It never made sense to me, at all.
I am in the same camp you are, anon, in regards to the media. It is the media that fed the frenzy, then fans, haters, commentators, and everyone’s grandmother had an opinion that basically drove the entire ‘circus’ around to Tim to the absolute brim. GMs lost sight of the real football player and instead started to believe the Yeti like myth that was created around Tim. Which is completely unfortunate. As you smartly mentioned in the second half of your message, he has everything a Front Office and coaching team could work around and fine tune. It is beyond baffling to me. Why was Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, and Colt McCoy (just to name a few) given more then a year to work the kinks out, but not Tim, who played better then all those guys in college? This is where the media in my eyes hindered him greatly. Out of those guys mentioned, did Stephen A. and Skip Bayless have numerous shows and debates devoted to those guys and their technique and missteps? No. It astounds me that Mark Sanchez had the worst season in his football career as a pro when Tim was on the Jets, yet it was Tim who took the heat and downfall for that disaster, which to this day bothers me greatly. How was it Tim’s fault that Mark Sanchez ran into the backside of his own lineman causing the Patriots to score in a 20 something second timeframe THREE times, or that Mark had interception after interception and also couldn’t move the chains down the field, yet it was Tim’s fault simply because he was a presence in the locker room? To me it was an excuse. It was an excuse for players to not take the responsibility on their own that they were not playing up to par, thus giving blame to the guy who wouldn’t fight back in the media and would only answer with a smile and “God bless and good luck.” It was easy to place blame on a guy who played all of four minutes for the Jets, etc.
I find it amazing that when TMZ is waiting for players to come of the airplane, the first thing they ask is their feelings on Tebow, when those players have never even played a day with him or were on his team! Like come on! It is like the media can’t let Tim go, even if Tim himself could careless either way. I am done with people saying Tim doesn’t have the talent to make it in the NFL when they are usually basing their thoughts on what the media has falsely put out there on him.
But that was my ridiculously long thoughts on your message. Long story short, I agree with you and think that even if Tim wasn’t brought in as a starter, there is too much attention as a back-up for anyone to take Tim serious enough. Even if he is willing yet again to take the backseat and fight for the starting position. It’s a shame because there really is a whole hell lot of talent there to go around.