Let me start by saying….
I’m not the biggest fan of Tim Tebow. I think Josh McDaniels made a huge error reaching for him in the 1st round 2 years ago. I think he’s limited in terms of measurables when it comes to what it takes to be an “NFL” quarterback. The throwing motion, defense recognition @ an NFL level, the lack of top end speed….it all adds up to a limited package. (That’s what she said!)
To utilize his talents, I feel that a team would have to be sculpted around his talents and the entire team, from owner to the trainers, would believe in him and his ability to succeed. Speed backs, small quick receivers, a mobile offensive line similar to what Shanahan had back in the days of Clinton Portis, Olandis Gary, et al. and an offensive scheme that relied on misdirection, play fakes and the occasional bit of trickeration and chicanery. A college offense (The day that happens? I’m moving to a very safe bunker somewhere in the center of the country, with rations and munitions. If the world’s gonna end, I’m not going down without a fight!)
However, that’s not the main point I’m trying to make here. My big issue is with the media ripping Tebow a new one because of his loss to the Detroit Lions this past Sunday.
The media backlash concerning Tim Tebow feels nastier than usual. As if his mere existence in the league is a black eye toward anything and everything football related. And I just don’t get that. I know he gained one helluva a following fresh out of college due to him being the face of a Florida Gator team that ran through the SEC his entire time there. He also became popular due to his willingness to be public and outspoken with his Christian beliefs.
And I think that’s why Tebow’s getting a lot of his backlash. His Christian beliefs.
He’s being praised more for his Christian beliefs than his football talents and the success of his team, the Denver Broncos. And there are those who are not happy with that. The NFL is a game that’s visually stimulating and the average NFL fan wants to see something exciting. The big hit from the linebacker on a RB in the flat.. The massive stiffarm from an RB. The deep bomb from a strong armed QB to a WR streaking down the field. And the powers that be feel that you should be measured by these wow plays. Not your Christianity.
Which is justified. You want the player to be judged by what he does on the field and how much trouble he avoids off the field, not who he believes in.
But in Tebow’s case, this is out of his hands. This is fandom at its highest point. At its most irrational. Turning a person who may be a middling talent (by today’s NFL standards) into a trending topic in the NFL is something the fans have done. Tebow’s not bringing this attention to himself by mugging it up for the cameras. wearing faith-based clothes, or endorsing a special brand of the Bible. The fans have raised this man to his current status and he can’t do anything about it. All he can do is be positive, practice as best he can and then try to make that work for him on the field. What can he really do here? Tell people to kick rocks? He has to understand what inspiration can do for others as a missionary so there’s no way he wouldn’t take on that responsibility. His religious NFL fans will continue to support him loudly and proudly because he represents something to them. They don’t care if he doesn’t throw spirals or hit receivers in stride. He represents success on a grander stage to them, so they will buy his jersey and wear it around Colorado and the rest of the world proudly because he believes in what they believe and they recognize him for it.
Funny how people in the media turned on him when Tim Tebow didn’t win one game against one of the most ferocious pass rushes in the league..
Yet, the NFL shows are the ones requesting him for all these pregame interviews. The football players who raved about him being a Heisman winner in college are now tearing him down because of his lack of production. Funny, because last week, when the Broncos were losing to the Miami Dolphins, 15-0 with 5 minutes to go in the game, Tebow brought the team back to tie the game and with his teammates, won the game in overtime. All you heard were religious buzzwords alongside Tebow’s name such as miracle. inspiration, and destiny. Which is pure hypocrisy.
I’m not speaking for every media member when I type what I type. I know there are PLENTY of people who ripped Tebow from day one and have never thought much of him as a player in this league. They figured he’d be a H-back, tight end or at his absolute pinnacle, the white version of Kordell Stewart with a limited package of plays on offense. From a scouting standpoint, I have no beef with those people because they analyzed him for the NFL game, realized he wouldn’t fit and said so, early and often.
This NFL game is always trying to find a way to put players from college into the roles that they have set (More on that in another post…). And Tebow’s no different. If he can’t succeed the “normal” way, by throwing the ball and being like the prototypical drop back passer, they’re going to destroy him in the media. Load up on him and fire away with the negativity like there’s no tomorrow.
My hope is that he gets the opportunity to show his true value in the best setting possible. Not because I want to be a fan of his but I just want him to get a fair shake out there. Where he can be supported by a team that believes in him (religiously??) and what he can bring to the table, not looking to the draft for that prototypical QB who won a whole lot of college games or who went to the same alma mater as one of the owners (Andrew Luck, anyone?). Where he has a coach who can be flexible enough to run plays for him that work to his strengths. Where the personnel is not loaded in such a way where it favors a coach’s style but where its a harmonious blend of offensive talent. That’s all I ask..
With all that said, the internet mockery of Tim is pretty hilarious. It pays to have a good sense of humor.
Even the Lions got in on the jokes, mid-game.
Anyone who says that’s a dig at prayer needs their heads examined…
And I’m gone…