Without a doubt Tim Tebow is the most polarizing figure in the entire sporting world. And the main reason isn’t his overt Christian faith, which he publicly displays as if he were receiving royalties for every mention of the lord, or even anything inherent to his personality.
I don’t think Tebow himself is worth hating. Sure, none of us really know him, but his public facade seems like a nice guy. We don’t know who he actually is but he seems a decent sort. Sure, he’s home-schooled, and those people are usually creepy and simplistic. But I think he generally means well even if he isn’t exactly bright.
However, I don’t find him likable at all. In fact I think he’s an annoying one-trick-pony, but that’s different from being detestable. There are other people connected to Tebow who are much more detestable.
Before examining this further, you have to first deal with the elephant in the room. Of course, I’m talking about Tebow’s non-stop public display of his Evangelical Christian faith. It’s not that he’s a Christian, it’s that he seems to have defined himself as a Christian first, second, and third-127th. When Kurt Warner says you should tone it down, you know it’s over-the-top.
People don’t like PDA (public display of affection) and public display of love for Jesus can be just as annoying. You have freedom of choice to worship as you please. You can believe in any invisible always watching you sky man that you want. Or you don’t have to believe in any of them. It’s up to you. And your beliefs are protected by law from persecution.
But your religious or non-religious beliefs aren’t protected from being made fun of.
Tebow’s non-stop “hey I love Christ” bit is just so incessant that it seems like something an over-compensating atheist/agnostic would do. It’s kind of like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch to say “HEY LOOK AT ME I LOVE KATIE HOLMES! I’M SOOOOOO NOT GAY, I LOVE A WOMAN, I’M REALLY NOT GAY, LOOK AT ME JUMPING FOR JOY TO SHOW I’M NOT GAY!”
Tebow comes off a little like that- but that’s not enough to truly despise him. He’s far from the most spiritual guy in the NFL; the Steelers Troy Polamalu actually prays before every single snap of every game.
What makes Tebow hated by so many is how the media acts as his de facto promotional vehicle. And that he keeps winning and getting all the credit while his teammates get little to none.
We’ll start with the first one- the media throwing all objectivity and professionalism out the window when reporting on Tebow. ESPN cementhead Skip Bayless is right in lockstep with the rest of the lamestream media that SLURP Tebow constantly. In fact he might be the worst offender of all. Or maybe the worst offender is NFL Network’s Michael Irvin who literally sings songs about Tebow’s greatness when his team’s highlights come on screen. And referred to him as “God’s son” on the air. Meaning he literally thinks Tebow is el nino the Christ child.
I don’t know who the worst offender is, there’s so many of them.
And it started when he was with the Florida Gators, when he was constantly deemed the GREATEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER OF ALL TIME every Saturday. Tebow even thanked CBS and ESPN in a college football end of year awards banquet for all they had done for him. I seriously doubt he meant the comment in the same way I took it, but nevertheless it’s out there. All media have inherent bias- to cover that which “moves the needle” in a way that will move that needle over and over again. So I get why Tebow gets so much coverage, he’s extremely popular/hated/polarizing. But 1.) the media helped create this monster by constantly showering Tebow with publicity and 2.) they can cover him without canonizing and sometimes even defying him.
While this phenomena is charcoal grey, the other reason is very black and white.
In football the quarterback gets all the glory with a win and all the blame with a defeat. If that phenomena were cocaine than Tebow’s situation is crack; more concentrated, powerful and lethal. Fortunately, he was surrounded by a NFL level defense and running game at the University of Florida. With the Denver Broncos he has a running game and defense that is among the league’s best. He keeps winning because he’s surrounded by so much talent. And all the kudos goes to him; not Von Miller or anyone else.
To say he’s hated because he wins is somewhat true but very simplistic. It’s like saying people hate Duke because they’re always winning. What Duke haters perceive is a bunch of spoiled, entitled, trust-fund baby white boys always winning.
People don’t hate Tebow because he wins, and wins ugly. People hate him because he wins ugly largely due to his very talented supporting cast, who never get any credit while the media continue to fawn over him.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.