Earlier this week, we published Part I of reader e-mails with your thoughts on TebowMania and the insane amount of coverage of Broncos QB Tim Tebow. AA has always been an open forum for sports fans to voice their opinion on announcers and the sports media and with TebowMania so out of control, we wanted to give you a say. With Patriots/Broncos tonight, TebowMania will either go into hibernation with a New England win, or we are transplanted into an alternate universe where Tim Tebow is the unquestioned master and ruler of the world with a Denver win. I don't think that's an overstatement. With that realization approaching, we asked you for your thoughts on TebowMania and the coverage of Tim Tebow. As always, these are real e-mails from real readers...
I just wanted to comment on Tebow and the media's fascination with him. I really like Tebow and I have ever since he was at Florida. I think he is a great role model for kids and it's nice to see athletes who can be positive influences instead of the Pacman Jones' of the world. But I can't stand ESPN's non stop Tebow coverage. I don't watch Sportscenter or First Take anymore because of it. I find myself rooting against a guy who I normally would root for just because I don't want to hear about him. I'm a Panthers fan and there are many obnoxious Steeler fans in our area but I found myself rooting for them so that I wouldn't have to boycott ESPN for the next week.
I have no problem with Tebow's faith and I think it's pretty courageous that such a high profile athlete isn't scared to back away from his beliefs just because it's such a sensitive topic. I do have issues with fans who attribute all of his success to the fact that because he is deeply religious he is being rewarded. Being a Panthers fan I've had to watch another deeply religious man, Thomas Davis, suffer through 3 ACL tears in 3 years. He's not as high profile but it's kind of ignorant to say Tebow is only a winner because he is a true believer in God.
I am happy to see a guy like Tebow win but I wish ESPN would give more credit to the coaches and teammates for winning as a team instead of Tebow getting all the credit.
I've given a lot of thought to why I root against Tim Tebow. It used to bother me, that I felt any antipathy toward - by all accounts - a well-mannered, polite, and nice young man. But I think I've pinpointed my problem.
I thought his throwing mechanics were goofy at UF. I got tired of hearing how pious he was. I didn't want to hear about the eyeblack controversy. But I respected him as a player and wished him as well as any other player not on my team.
I rolled my eyes before the draft when the Worldwide Leader treated us to footage of Tebow correcting his loopy-ass throwing motion in hopes of improving his draft stock. (Remember that? That was a thing. Ball's back at his hip again, now) I resented ESPN trying to force-feed me one player over another.
So, why now do I actively root against this good guy? My parents love him (if only for the fact he's a Christian and they're the type to forward 'War on Christmas' outrage emails), my in-laws think he's great, and people I respect go out of their way to praise him.
It's not a religion thing. I'm Christian. I think Kurt Warner - another religious NFL QB - is terrific. The reason religion is dragged into it is because a lot of Tebow fans are pretty pissy, frankly. If you make fun of him - even in a positive light - his fan base gets really wound up and lashes out, portraying the slight as an attack on his beliefs. This makes a lot of fun-pokers go from poking fun to active hatred, desperate to see him fail if for no other reason than to see his obnoxious, self-righteous fans unhappy.
I root against Tebow because of the hype. I root against Tebow because his career has been manufactured by the media, chiefly by ESPN. I've been a football fan all my life. I'm no expert, but I do know how to identify a good quarterback. And when ESPN breathlessly tells me that a guy with a passer rating south of 73 is a great quarterback, that insults my intelligence. When ESPN and media perpetuate the term "Tebowing" like the guy invented praying, that insults me as a Christian. When the media makes a show of his religion, that brings me to question at what point you stop glorifying God and start glorifying yourself. Ostensibly, that's not what he's about, but I don't hear him asking them to tone it down. And if the media took Mike Vick (another Christian QB) and parsed his stats to imply some sort of divine providence (316, 31.6, etc), you'd better believe we'd hear about it from evangelicals. "Blasphemy" they'd call it.
Influenced? How about they are the whole reason for my distain for him. I feel bad since I'm sure Tebow is a nice guy, but going back to college, all we hear about is how Tebow should be enshrined in Canton already when his mechanics are comparable to a softball pitcher. In fact for 6 weeks now I have been protesting espn but not watching a single show of theirs that isn't a live sporting event. I was mostly rooting for Pittsburgh (which is very tough for an Eagles fan such as myself to do) just so espn would shut up about him. But then again that's just my opinion.
I've been paying close attention to the Tebow situation in the media and, I gotta tell ya, it's way out of hand. The overattention that many in the media, especially ESPN, spend on Tebow is ridiculous. The TebowCenter that ESPN had last month was an especially out of hand example. I don't understand how Skip Bayless could still be employed by ESPN when he is horribly biased towards Tebow. But it's not just ESPN. NFL Network also spends an outrageous amount of time discussing Tebow. I understand he's a great story, but it's gotten way out of hand. That's all I have to say about that. Thanks for your time.