NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Jason Rivera was at work at Spotlight Hair Studio in New Rochelle when he heard the news: Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets.
"No he wasn't," Rivera said skeptically.
The 21-year-old barber dropped his scissors and picked up the remote control to turn to ESPN, then checked his mobile phone. As the news ticker ran across the bottom of the screen, his skepticism slowly turned to excitement.
"Tebow is the man," Rivera said. "I'm going to get a Tebow jersey. This is New York and we're going to love him over here."
However, the trade, sending Tebow to the Jets for a fourth and sixth-round draft pick, could be delayed due to a complication with the quarterback's $6.2 million salary advance, according to a report by ESPN.com late Wednesday afternoon. Denver already paid him $1.2 million of it, and the Jets would take on the $5 million left with this trade. The Jets believe Denver should pay it, ESPN reported.
If the two teams work out the situation, Tebow's presence on the Jets could galvanize fans, said two Iona College students waiting to get their hair cut at Spotlight Hair Studio.
"They'll probably treat him like (Jeremy) Lin," said Rob Martinez, a freshman at Iona.
Recent Iona graduate and Larchmont resident Matt Bender doesn't like the Jets to begin with, as a Giants fan, but said he thinks this is a bad move.
"I think Tebow is done. It was a one year thing," Bender said.
Bishop Purvis, manager of Comic Book Heaven in the White Plains Mall, is a longtime Jets fan and hopes Tebow can bring some of his late-game heroics to New York.
"I'm happy," said Purvis, a White Plains resident. "Strictly as a Jets fan, I want to see something happen.”
Purvis said he believes the New York fans will get swept up in Tebowmania, and that may just be enough to push them over the edge and into the Super Bowl.
In a poll posted early today, readers are split down the middle on the Tebow trade. While 14 percent want to wait and see what happens before making up their mind, 43 percent are happy with it and 43 percent aren't happy with it.