Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why People Hate Tim Tebow

This open is going to be ignored, of course, but I don't actually hate the guy. I have no rooting interest for or against the Broncos or anyone else in the AFC West, don't care about college ball, and have no axe to grind here. But since the guy seems like the biggest lightning rod in the league, let's have at it, shall we?

Here's the crux of the biscuit, and the thing that the media isn't getting, but the blogosphere is: there's a whole generation of people who actually think it's OK to hate conservatives. What if there were a middling NFL QB who was verbal about his believes on a woman's right to choose, or even if he filmed a television ad supporting that -- don't you think that he'd get some heat from Red State America for that sort of thing? I can see the Fred Phelps Brigade of Unquestionable Losers picketing their games, or his every appearance on the field being pre-empted by the words "controversial."

But, um, folks? Every state north and east of Pennsylvania is filled with people who have, for the better part of the last decade and much more, looked at parts south and west (at least until you get to the Rockies, or maybe even the Pacific) as a Tucky. These folks wouldn't move to a Tucky even if you employed them, for fear that their children will grow up be Tuckians. These folks also generally make up 40 to 50% of the country, and they don't much see why AM radio, reactionary religions and active contempt for the rest of the world has to be part of their life. And for the most part, it isn't, and it doesn't.

So there's that. And then there's the simple fact that what Tebow brings to the table as fairly undisputed strengths -- size, mobility, toughness, leadership, and a flair for performance under pressure -- isn't generally seen as revolutionary pieces to the puzzle. If Tebow, with that arm motion, velocity and inaccuracy, can be a successful NFL QB, then we should be dramatically increasing the number of guys who we think can play the position. And maybe that's a good thing in the long run, but in the short run? It can hurt the eyes.

(Speaking of hurting the eyes, it can't help even the Tebow fans to have Skip Bayless in their corner. I'm fairly sure that if Bayless came out in favor of breathing oxygen, occupying space and not dying of a painful disease, I might want to rethink some things. Moving on.)

There's also this. The number of people who went to the University of Florida? Fairly trivial, in comparison with the people who *didn't* go the University of Florida. The number of people who root for the Broncos? Similar story. The number of people who have Tebow on their fantasy team? No more than 8 to 10% of the people who play fantasy. The number of people who've bet against this guy for spreads and parleys? Much, much, much higher than the number of people who have bet with him.

The simple fact of the matter is this: there is *no* player in the NFL that a majority of the audience is rooting for. I'd go even further on this: this Beloved Player has never existed. Sure, there are guys that people respect -- Walter Payton, Drew Brees, Troy Polamalu, etc. -- but when the media starts to fluff for a guy like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady -- it just turns off a pretty substantial percentage of the populace. Of course, we also have to put up with the braying jackassery of yesterday's "heroes" that we didn't root for in the studios and broadcast booths. Anyway.

So anyone who doesn't understand why some people -- hell, maybe even a majority of NFL fans -- want this guy to fail are fooling themselves. And that's even beyond the very real possibility that Tebow is nothing more than a supersized Detmer, a fraud of the highest calling, and a guy that would have never, ever gotten the chance to play QB if he had been, well, black.

But that's a whole 'nother kettle of hate, isn't it?

1 comment:

Bill Becker said...

I think it has more to do with people not liking being told who should be their hero. Think back to the bowl game a few years ago when the Fox announcer said spending a few minutes with Tebow would change your life. Plus it's America's MO to tear down anything good after a period of time.

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