I’m both amused and a little perturbed at the amount of press this young man is getting. I didn’t really follow him in college, after all, he played down in Florida and if I have to follow an SEC team, it’s going to be that perennial powerhouse,VanderbiltUniversity. When Tebow came to the NFL, the haters started in almost immediately. He can’t throw. He can’t run. He can’t make it in the pros. I didn’t pay attention, considering that those same things were said about Joe Montana, who was marginally successful as a NFL quarterback. Who can say whether or not Mr. Tebow possesses that rare ability to overcome his physical limitations and just win football games? The Broncos have been playing a better game of late, and they are winning games, both by producing points when they need to, and by minimizing mistakes in close games. Unfair or not, it is usually the QB that receives the lion’s share of the attention when a club turns itself around. As a football fan, I’m happy to see it. Football fortune is fickle, and Mr. Tebow could commit a fatal rookie mistake and see it all come crashing down to earth. He wouldn’t be the first NFL media darling to experience that. The Denver Bronco/Tim Tebow story would be painstakingly covered by Bob Costas or Bryant Gumble, complete with slo mo video montages set to overly dramatic music. I look forward.
Apparently, that is just not enough. Mr. Tebow, it turns out, is a pretty outspoken Christian. He is a member of that growing number of young Christians that wear their faith on their sleeve, unable, it seems, to seperate luck or whimsy from God’s will. I have no doubt that the young Tebow boy feels that God hisself has seen fit to have him under center in Denver, and that he must let both his fans and his detractors know that he is simply God’s pawn, a mere servant, just doing the Lord’s will. I’ve seen this before. Anyone remember The Minister of Defense? Reggie White too was a tool for God to use to punish opposing running backs. It is not uncommon for professional athletes to have religion. (Or professional rappers, for that matter) Steve Young has it. Curt Warner has it. There are many athletes who believe in God and are thankful for their blessings.
Then, as always, the media feels it’s necessary to exploit this. Game-day directors love to shift focus to the young Tebow, kneeling in prayer, apparently asking God for just a little lift so the football clears the goalposts. Yes, I know, Mr. Tebow seeks this exploitation. I remember cringing when I saw the super bowl ad. But, that is to be expected. He doesn’t know any better. He was born and raised in an environment of evangelicalism. It is as much a part of his life as football, if not more. But members of the media do know better. That is probably why they do it. I wonder though, if some tall, muscular, good looking quarterback with an excellent passer rating were to roll out a sajjada and make himself prostate on the 40 yard line, would the camera pull to a tight focus? Would he even be allowed to do it?
So, until the wheels come off the Tim Tebow bus, we will be beset by non-stop marketing of this handsome Christian quarterback. Personally, I think it sucks for him, the NFL, and the non evangelical fans that tune in watch our best athletes play football.