With media hubbub going into overdrive over the announcement of Tim Tebow as the Denver Broncos new starting quarterback, I couldn’t help but wonder: why? No expects him to be good; he wasn’t that high of a draft pick; and no one really cares about Denver. After much brain-racking, I arrived at the following reasons people are giving so much of a shit – and maybe why they shouldn’t.
Teebz was certainly an ace QB at Florida. His war chest of accolades from college is stunning. Among them: two BCS National Championships, two first-team All-American honors, two Maxwell Awards (best NCAA player), a Davey O’Brien award (best NCAA QB) and a Heisman Trophy. But Tebow circa 2011 isn’t a college player; he’s an NFL player and past college success has never been a reliable metric for gauging pros. Want proof? Over the past decade, there have been Maxwell miffs (Ken Dorsey, Jason White, Vince Young, Brady Quinn) and Davey O’Brien duds (Eric Crouch, Brad Banks, Troy Smith) aplenty. We have time to go over the NFL achievements of Heisman winners Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Jason White, Matt Leinart and Troy Smith, but why bother? Fact is, all of the aforementioned flops had storied college careers but none garnered the hype of a Tim Tebow. Nevermind the fact Young, Leinart and Quinn were all higher draft choices.
He was drafted 25th overall in 2010. Six years before, J. P. Losman was drafted three spots earlier. Not that anyone remembers the electricity of Losman Watch 2005 in his second season.
Tim Tebow is big (6’3, 245 lbs.) and can run. Problem is, the term “dual-threat” implies he can do more than run. ESPN analyst Merril Hoge and Dallas owner Jerry Jones (while drunk!) are among the legions of critics who think Tebow’s mechanics and throwing motion aren’t close to salvageable. For the fun of it, here are some other notable “dual-threat” QBs: Cade McNown, Akili Smith, Eric Crouch, Quincy Carter, Seneca Wallace, Adrian McPherson, D. J. Shockley, Reggie McNeal, Omar Jacobs, Brad Smith, Tavaris Jackson, Tyler Thigpen, Troy Smith, Isaiah Stanback, JaMarcus Russell, Andre’ Woodson, Josh Johnson, Dennis Dixon, Kevin O’Connell, Pat White, and Stephen McGee. Revolutionary work, guys!
Ah, here’s the big one. In a country where most Christians are lazy to the point of hardly being Christians, Tim Tebow is the excpeption. His level of zealotry inspires the same gawking, zoo animal curiosity “Jesus Camp” or the Creationist Museum does. When you throw in scandalous tidbits like how he should have been aborted and his hilarious virginity, his tabloid faith gets even wackier. Of course he does nothing to quell this, but why would he? TT’s brand of scary God-lust is all about prosthelytizing. Here’s his controversial “Thanks for not Aborting Me, Ma!” 2010 Super Bowl ad brought to you by the monsters at Focus on the Family:
Let that be a message to teenagers, welfare moms and rape victims: give the fetus a chance, he could eventually win a Heisman!
While Teebzey’s vision of Christianity is loud, it’s not the least bit novel. Any sports fan can point to countless God gestures, tattoos and proclamations in a given game. Most post-game press conferences are essentially a giant big-up to the Big Man. If you follow any athletes on Twitter, you know they don’t pour a bowl of cereal or take a shit without giving props to J.C. God even dictates specific plays to Packers rookie Randall Cobb! So yeah, let’s scratch this one off the list, too.
So why is there such Tebow hysteria? In terms of personality, he’s a boring Billy Graham; his most-exciting moment came via a prank haircut. Brian Wilson, he is not. In terms of play, he’s a faster Ben Roethlisberger. Except he can’t throw worth a damn and wasn’t drafted nearly as high. In searching for a grandiose conclusion to explain Teeberino, I’m at a total loss. I do know this much: whether he’s a bust or a star, we’re not escaping the suffocating over-saturation of Tim Tebow coverage anytime soon. People care a helluva lot about the young QB – even if they’re not sure why.
- by Jay Boller