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Tim Tebow: ESPN's Outside the Lines examines why he's so polarizing

Categories: Tim Tebow

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Several NFL teams don't even list a third-string quarterback on their depth charts. The Broncos, however, have the most and least popular third-stringer in the history of the league.

Over the weekend, ESPN aired a piece on Outside the Lines discussing why Tim Tebow is so discussed.

Tebow is a lot of things, but not a starting quarterback or a player whose off-the-field behavior is excessively noteworthy. Yet Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles' starting QB, who spent two years in prison for operating a dog fighting ring, is the only other quarterback in the league who generates the amount of publicity Tebow does.

Tebow speaks about his faith, runs a foundation, does charity work in impoverished countries and starred in a Super Bowl ad about abortion that didn't mention the word "abortion." But he's hardly the first famous athlete to be openly religious or charitable. Kurt Warner was a very religious quarterback with a much more successful NFL career than Tebow, but he was never encountered the animosity Tebow has.

Tebow represents so many of the cliché intangibles that many sports fans get all misty-eyed about: leadership, heart, work ethic, a team-mentality, a clean criminal record and virginity. He's possibly the most decorated college football player ever and shows none of the ego and arrogance that so many fans hate to see in athletes. That's perhaps why Tebow's jersey was at one point the NFL's best-seller.

But the "Tim Tebow Crying" Facebook page has over 14,000 "likes" and the "Tim Tebow Sucks" page has nearly 3,000. As the ESPN piece points out, there are also multiple anti-Tebow Twitter accounts and websites such as TebowHaters.com. On this site you can view perhaps the most over-the-top Tebow hate from Daily Show correspondent and comedian John Oliver. A video clip on view below shows Oliver telling a joke in which he compares his distaste for Tebow to that of Osama Bin Laden.

The Outside the Lines piece focuses on Tebow's religion and how any public proclamation of his faith can be interpreted as forcing it on the public. Tebow is shown in college, when he wrote bible verses on his eye black, and speaking to prisoners whom he told: "If you have Jesus Christ in your heart, you are going to spend eternity in Heaven. If you don't, you're going to spend eternity in Hell."

But some of the noise surrounding Tebow actually stems from the field. Despite his vast college success, many analysts and fans simply think he can't play at the pro level. ESPN's Merril Hoge has been Tebow's most vocal critic. But enough fans want to see him try that some plan to buy billboards around town advocating Tebow be the starter.

Surely the excessive media coverage of Tebow, his multiple endorsements and general teacher's-pet vibe have something to do with Tebow-mania and why people feel so strongly about him. Rest assured, ESPN is not making a nine-minute feature on any other third-stringer.

More from our Sports archive: "Denver Broncos' glass isn't half-full despite gutsy 24-22 win over Cincinnati Bengals."


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16 comments
S. Book
S. Book

I don't know Tim Tebow, although I admire that he is not ashamed of his faith.  For some reason, he was given an opportunity to be some sort of public figure and he just openly talks about what he is most passionate about, not caring what others think.  The media just loves that, no matter who you are.  I do have to say that it's quite interesting that you use the word polarizing. As it says of Christ's followers in 2 Corinthians, "we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life." There will be those who like what you have to say and how you are living, and there are those who won't.  To me, Jesus is the most polarizing figure in history.

Tim Tebow is no Jesus Christ.  He could very well be a phony, but all of this is public speculation.  You can take him for what he is or dismiss him for what he is.  As a Christian and a football fan, I do wonder if this guy is really for real, but time will tell if that is the case. If he is a phony, then sooner or later, all of this will be revealed. 

Trautfly
Trautfly

Who are we kidding, we all know what this is about. Themedia, Hollywood, the major news papers, the 3 letter TV networks, the"Social Elite" have had it in for "Real Christians” (meaningthose who are out spoken about Jesus Christ)for a long time. It is hard for meto understand the irrational hatred and fear of these folks. Tim Tebow seemslike a very caring person of good character. I believe that he would be thefirst to admit that he is nowhere near perfect, all “real Christians” know theyare no better than anyone else. They are just different because of their faithin Christ. How is it that the media can hype and praise arrogant, immoral, low characterplayers but keep taking pot shots at a 2nd year, second string QBwho is just the opposite.

MM
MM

If you can show any proof that he's the "third-string quarterback", then do it. Otherwise, STFU.

Con Mah
Con Mah

Geez, that worked out well! Ya think?

Con Mah
Con Mah

I recently read some disparaging remarks regarding Tim Tebows ability to play professional football by former pro quarterback, Norman Julius Esiason, who obviously considers himself to be some sort of "expert" on who can be a success as a pro quarterback and who can't.

I looked up Boomer's first year pro stats for 1984 with Cincinnati for comparison to those of Tim Tebows first year with Denver in 2010. They can be found on the links below.

http://www.pro-football-refere...

http://www.pro-football-refere...

I think you will be just as surprised as I was by how close their first year stats were to each other regarding # of games played, # of starts, and completion %.

Where their numbers diverge is in the # of yards rushing, TD's scored, fumbles, etc.

I couldn't find any records showing the "Boomer" had broken any existing rookie quarterback records at Cincinnati to compare to those of Tebow at Denver which are numerous. I'm just saying...Con Ma

I recently read some disparaging remarks regarding Tim Tebows ability to play professional football by former pro quarterback, Norman Julius Esiason, who obviously considers himself to be some sort of "expert" on who can be a success as a pro quarterback and who can't.

I looked up Boomer's first year pro stats for 1984 with Cincinnati for comparison to those of Tim Tebows first year with Denver in 2010. They can be found on the links below.

http://www.pro-football-refere...

http://www.pro-football-refere...

I think you will be just as surprised as I was by how close their first year stats were to each other regarding # of games played, # of starts, and completion %.

Where their numbers diverge is in the # of yards rushing, TD's scored, fumbles, etc.

I couldn't find any records showing the "Boomer" had broken any existing rookie quarterback records at Cincinnati to compare to those of Tebow at Denver which are numerous. I'm just saying...Con Ma

I recently read some disparaging remarks regarding Tim Tebows ability to play professional football by former pro quarterback, Norman Julius Esiason, who obviously considers himself to be some sort of "expert" on who can be a success as a pro quarterback and who can't.

I looked up Boomer's first year pro stats for 1984 with Cincinnati for comparison to those of Tim Tebows first year with Denver in 2010. They can be found on the links below.

http://www.pro-football-refere...

http://www.pro-football-refere...

I think you will be just as surprised as I was by how close their first year stats were to each other regarding # of games played, # of starts, and completion %.

Where their numbers diverge is in the # of yards rushing, TD's scored, fumbles, etc.

I couldn't find any records showing the "Boomer" had broken any existing rookie quarterback records at Cincinnati to compare to those of Tebow at Denver which are numerous. I'm just saying...Con Ma

I recently read some disparaging remarks regarding Tim Tebows ability to play professional football by former pro quarterback, Norman Julius Esiason, who obviously considers himself to be some sort of "expert" on who can be a success as a pro quarterback and who can't.

I looked up Boomer's first year pro stats for 1984 with Cincinnati for comparison to those of Tim Tebows first year with Denver in 2010. They can be found on the links below.

http://www.pro-football-refere...

http://www.pro-football-refere...

I think you will be just as surprised as I was by how close their first year stats were to each other regarding # of games played, # of starts, and completion %.

Where their numbers diverge is in the # of yards rushing, TD's scored, fumbles, etc.

I couldn't find any records showing the "Boomer" had broken any existing rookie quarterback records at Cincinnati to compare to those of Tebow at Denver which are numerous. I'm just saying...Con Ma

I looked up Boomer's first year pro stats for 1984 with Cincinnati for comparison to those of Tim Tebows first year with Denver in 2010. They can be found on the links below.

http://www.pro-football-refere...

http://www.pro-football-refere...

I think you will be just as surprised as I was by how close their first year stats were to each other regarding # of games played, # of starts, and completion %.

Where their numbers diverge is in the # of yards rushing, TD's scored, fumbles, etc.

Kel505
Kel505

If the coverage of Tebow is "excessive," why are you writing about him? It's not like there's any football fan in the universe who doesn't already know that he's "polarizing."

Granpeg42
Granpeg42

What is everyones problem with Tim Tebow.  I'd rather have him preaching than weilding a gun late night in clubs or fathering babies with 5 or 6 different women.  I don't think he's a phony, just a breath of fresh air compared to all the cry baby athletes making entirely too much money when the rest of the country is working their butts off just to keep their homes.  Shame on America.

Phacetious Plebbe
Phacetious Plebbe

S. Book, you actually make use of a fundamental point that Jesus himself provided us with: "By their fruits ye shall know them." Your point could not be more telling. I too am a Christian, and I admire Tebow for his outspokenness on his faith. He is outspoken, but I am yet to see him trying to ram it down anyone's throat. People try to ram atheism and secularism down my throat every day. We mention something about Jesus in a positive way, and consider the negative comments that come our way.

I hope that at the end of the day Tebow gets a shot at the starting job, and that he does well, either with Denver, or with another team. I think McDaniels did him a disservice by taking Quinn and keeping Orton. There was too much speculation. I have seen Tebow throw some great throws already. He should do fine, and I think he needs a chance, like everyone else.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Very interesting post, S. Book. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Erwin McNair
Erwin McNair

I saw this video on ABC Now and thought about his former coach who is Catholic and clearly knows where Tebow stands. He didn't trash Tim. This is to be expected by the media elite who think of those who have placed their trust in Christ, as silly, unwise fools. In the end, if you believe the bible by faith, the rich man found out that his belief system was totally inadequate to take care of his(our) sin problem. So let them continue to denigrate Tim and fellow believers like him. we can only pray that they find Christ before they step into eternity.

Koolai Jones
Koolai Jones

"all “real Christians” know they are no better than anyone else"

I've never read a more false statement in my life. 

If you don't think Tim Tebow is arrogant, then there is no sense trying to explain it to you.  I will instead just sigh and point you toward the autobiography that Tebow "wrote" when he was the ripe, wisened age of 24. 

Like the author of this post says in the beginning, there are plenty of faithful athletes out there that garner none of the negative reaction Tebow does.  Do you think maybe that's because he comes off as a sanctimonious phony?  That he takes full advantage of his loyal flock of evangelicals for his own profit (i.e. "writing" a book to sell to the hundreds of thousands of them)?  And that he allows others (i.e. the Denver Broncos pretending he would start the season so that those same hundreds of thousands would go buy his jersey) to take full advantage of the same flock of goons? 

Jesus himself would be rolling his eyes at Tebow so hard it would cause him a migraine.  Nowhere does Jesus advocate flipping faith into profit.  Nowhere does Jesus advocate the unreal sense of entitlement and ego Tebow displayed in training camp.  And nowhere does Jesus advocate that a terrible 3RD string QB start a football game just because a bunch of crazy christian sheep have deluded themselves into thinking Jesus will help Tim Tebow win a Super Bowl (or something.  that's probably on the low end of delusional Christian grandeur). 

Maybe non-Christians wouldn't get so worked up like I have here if those like Tebow would just quietly go on about their faith (as Jesus advocated), instead of writing books, giving speeches, taking endorsements, doing commercials, and going on talk shows to talk about how awesome and pious they are.  I lump Tebow in with the Sarah palins and Michele Bachmanns of the world.  Anti-Science, anti-gay, anti-fact nutjobs hell-bent and drunk on faith. 

I know you're in love with Jesus.  Just shut up about it already. 

Eric
Eric

Well, I guess if 2 coaching staffs have determined he can't play, if you have Quinn warming up on the sidelines, and the "3rd guy" is running pass patterns wearing receivers gloves, the "3rd guy" is probably the "third string quarterback".

You STFU..

Trautfly
Trautfly

You made my point, irrational hatred and fear. It’s okfor the whole world to write and sell a book but for Tebow it’s wrong. Somehow Christiansare to keep their mouths shut and stay poor, but atheists can talk and write asmuch as they want. Your understanding of Jesus and the Bible is lacking. Jesusadvocates hard work and providing for one’s self. It’s ok for Obama, Michael Mooreand others to write a book and make an “evil $” on what they believe but forTebow it’s immoral. Everyone but Christians are allowed to talk about what theybelieve, the double standard is beyond the pale. Irrational hatred and fear.

Eric
Eric

Wow.

Koolai Jones, you hit every point, great job.

Excellent post!.

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