Monday, December 12, 2011

Is it Possible To Appreciate Tebow's Results Without Buying Into the Hype?

I had stepped out last evening to work on the outdoor Christmas decorations, only to learn from my wife that "Tebow had done it again." (And as an avowed Denver Donkey hater, that was a tough pill to swallow for her.) And for the umpteenth time this season, Tim Tebow had pulled a victory out of the fire. Any more, football fans have to set their alarm to to watch the last ten minutes of any Denver game the rest of the season.. if only to see what seems to be inevitable.

The thing is that this week, it wasn't really Tim Tebow winning the game. More like Matt Prater booming two huge field goals thanks to a couple of huge mistakes by Marion Barber of the Chicago Bears. But Tebow is the talk of the world...and no other sports figure seems to be as polarizing as Tebow.

I admit that during his Florida days, I wasn't a big Tebow fan because I disdain the overhyped player.  I was never a huge Marlon Lucky fan thanks to the expectations that the Bill Callahan clusterfool hype machine laid down prior to his arrival in Lincoln.  I tend to root for any golfer not named Tiger Woods for the same reason. That's not necessarily the fault of Lucky and Tebow; they aren't result of the hype that others lay on them.  (Hello, Thom Brennaman)  And I'm still not a fan of Tebow; he's not your typical NFL quarterback, though I do admire the guy for showing that you can play this style of quarterback in the NFL.  And as Trent Dilfer proved, NFL teams do not need a great quarterback to win as long as there is a great defense to keep the game close.

Is there something with Tebow to hate?  Well, he doesn't throw the ball particularly well prior to the fourth quarter.  That could be any number of factors:  defenses going into prevent mode late or maybe it's some sort of character/leadership thing that causes Tebow to step up late.  Of course, if he would only play that same way earlier in the game, the comeback wouldn't be necessary in the first place.

Is there something that is out of line with Tebow hating?  When it comes to his Christianity, it seems so. Granted, he's a bit overboard with it, but he doesn't claim that God is behind his comebacks. He's just expressing his gratitude to his Lord and Savior. I guess that's a problem to intolerant people. That being said, I'm also reminded of Matthew, chapter 6, where Jesus admonished his followers to not attract attention with their prayers and thanksgiving.  So I'm conflicted there, especially when I think of how Ron Brown mixes his Christianity with athletics.

Somewhere in the middle of this is the truth: there's no denying that Tebow's insertion as starting quarterback in Denver has led to the Bronco's success in recent weeks. But football is a team game, and there are many other players that probably deserve more credit than Tebow does.

1 comment:

TMF said...

Kneeling on the sidelines and pointing to the sky is "[going] a bit overboard with it...?" I'll have to politely disagree (though I agree with a lot of what you wrote).

I think a big part of what his detractors dislike is that there is, in fact, nothing to dislike. He's given a legitimate face to a belief system that can usually be discredited through a stupid quote, comment, or scandal by a high-profile person (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and many others). You said it yourself: He doesn't claim God is behind his comebacks. Furthermore, he hasn't provided that lightning rod-moment of controversy that would allow critics to write off his legitimacy.

Who are the real culprits? In my view, it's the overexposure by ESPN/media and a viewing public that gets antsy when a little bit of religion is injected into a game we prefer to be athletically exciting yet sociologically bland at the same time.

Or maybe I'm just crazy and adding more to a spectacle I don't understand.

Anyway, I enjoy your blog. Just thought I'd add two cents for the first time.