Finally, a place on the internet has been carved out to have a discussion about Tim Tebow.
It's all Timmy Time at the 'bag this week. I'm on record with the belief that religion has nothing to do with the recent success of Tebow and Broncos, and some folks (as you are about to read) really disagree. That's OK, it's their right to rip away, same as it is mine to question what God has to do with Marion Barber III fumbling or Rex Ryan electing to go into a prevent defense.
The larger idea, I suppose, that has gathered steam and bothers me is this: God wants Tebow to win. He's playing a role in these (admittedly nutty) Broncos victories. Come on. I have no clue what waits for us at the end of this whole thing (if anything), but I really can't believe that a Higher Power is worried about the AFC West.
To the 'bag we go ...
Tim Tebow just believes more than any other player on the field that he can win - no matter what! It's this belief in God, himself and his teammates that makes the difference in the final minutes. Can the Broncos keep winning like this - no way. But the really exciting part is that Tim is just getting started, he has improved every game and with a full off season (with the tutelage of one John Elway) he will only be better next year.
A: This is where you lose me. You're telling me that Tebow's belief in God is really the reason he completes a third-and-8 in the fourth quarter but can't do anything in the first three quarters? I'm sure there are players on the Bears, Vikings, Dolphins, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs and Jets that all believe in God just as much as Tim Tebow. So why did they lose to the Broncos? And I'm sure Tim Tebow believes in God as much as any player on the Lions. So why did the Broncos lose that game 45-10? Did God decide to just arbitrarily root against Tebow that afternoon? Come on, if it really does work, it doesn't work that way.
The Tebow hype owes its existence to a small bubble. The bubble will pop, hopefully this weekend, and the air will begin to leak out. (Remember when Tom Brady was perfect in the post season?). It's a good story for now. Tebow may disappoint the media most if he not only doesn't become a superstar but also remains strong enough to keep his life from becoming a train wreck after the fall.
A: I think you hit on something. There is no doubt that the media has built Tebow up with some (maybe not all) hoping for a spectacular fall from grace. Look, Tebow could be the real deal, the one true beacon in a dirty sports world. I guess that's possible. But you'd have to be a tumbling, tumbling moron (or work at ESPN) to just blindly assume that everything Tebow says is the truth. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but come on -- what's past is prologue with these athletes. They can run faster and jump higher but at the end of the day they are just like us. I think we've got enough evidence to be sure of that. And it's borders on insanity to treat them otherwise. But yeah, if it is ultimately revealed that Tebow spends his nights texting pictures of 'Lil Timmy to members of the Society for a Better Atheism, there is going to be some victory laps from the media. It's bitter, it's ugly, we all act disgusted by it, but it sells newspapers, gets views online and TV ratings. And you better believe ESPN -- the President, Vice-President, Cabinet and Congress of the Nation Of Tebow -- will be kicking and punching with the most fervor.
If Tebow slows down a step or two, he's done. Once teams figure out how to keep him in the pocket, and keep him from running, he's done.
A: That sounds swell in theory, but how many teams have the athletes to consistently keep Tebow in the pocket? And he's 24 years old -- when exactly is he going to slow down? I have no clue -- none -- if Tebow is going to be a successful starting quarterback in this league. He's off to a terrific start, but we've seen that before. But I do feel we've seen enough from the guy to at least acknowledge that there might not be some easy answer to slowing him down.
"Personally, it rubs me the wrong way. I have zero interest in a football player talking about his relationship with God, just as I have zero interest in a politician talking about his relationship with God or the guy in line at Dunkin' Donuts talking about his relationship with God. To me, it's private, and just because Tim Tebow has a large platform doesn't mean he needs to use it. "
But, you writers are all pretty quick to reward a sports reporter for coming out of the closet like we should all care about sexual orientation. We don't. It, too, is private, and should be kept that way.
Now...I know my post will be deleted by moderators... so have at it
A: "You writers" is a broad brush, isn't it? Look, I have as much interest in the sexual orientation of media members as I do in listening to athletes talk about religion -- zero. I was very happy personally for Steve Buckley and thought it took a lot of balls to write his Coming Out column 11 months ago, but I don't care that he's gay. Liked and admired him a great deal before, like and admire him very much still. I understand the comparison you are trying to make but it's a reach. A columnist writing about his life is simply different than Tim Tebow talking about God when he's asked a question about a 3-4 defense.
I for one am glad we have a player standing up tall for what he believes in. He is being a role model for our youth with his attitude and behavior on and off the field, why can't we appreciate him for that? Would you rather another Penn State or Syracuse story? A wife abuser? A drug addict? A dog abuser? A bankrupt guy who made millions in sports story? Another suicide story by a top athlete or former one? Give me a break, refreshing to hear a guy take a stand for purity, love others, and humility. He is a sinner who has fallen short, but I'd take him over a million others who have the spotlight each week. Thanks Tebow for standing for something with all your heart, soul, strength and mind.
A: This is what I mean. You can't argue against someone who feels that way. This is how we used to view athletes in the 1950's, before the curtain was raised. I get that there is something appealing about that, but I think it's incredibly dangerous and naive. Maybe Tebow is totally genuine. I'll tell you what, he's Christian catnip right now -- I get the feeling that he's probably a member of the Grand Old Party, and if he endorsed one of these guys in the next week or two it would actually be a factor in Iowa.
"I don't think God cares about NFL scores, etc" I agree, I might have a different opinion if there weren't a lot of players, singers etc., who didn't win, that had just as much faith as the ones who did win. Did God throw them under the bus?
A: God must be able to store 500,000 hours on his DVR, because evidently he watches everything. I don't know, I'm just never comfortable with it. Mostly I feel these athletes and entertainers are thanking God because they think the viewers will believe they are great, meaningful, thoughtful people. Just smells phony to me nearly all the time. And that's why it's hard for me to accept that Tebow is really this personification of purity.
Tebow's pastor, who's probably read the Bible 100 times, preached sermons for years and sees God at work in people's lives says God helps Tebow win. Sports writers, sports radio guys __________ (insert name) say God doesn't care about the NFL. Who do you think is more "dialed in" to the almightly?
A: Does that same pastor feel that God is helping others lose? I care about a pastor's opinion on what makes a successful NFL quarterback about as much as I care about an NFL quarterback's opinion on what makes a successful pastor. It's insulting, it really is. Why can't Tim Tebow just be a hard-working, talented kid who is proving millions (I'm one of 'em) of people wrong with his play? Why does it have to be more than that? I'm sorry, I just don't think God has anything to do with making a linebacker miss a tackle.
Tebow is in your face? Seems to me he mentions his faith once per speaking event. Media provides opportunities, blame them.
A: Yup, you're not going hear me defend the media on this one. We have created the monster. It's easy business, and Tebow is easily the most polarizing athlete in the last 10 years. Not even close.