Tim Tebow: wrong about abortion, right for the NFL
I get why so many people hate Tim Tebow. The laziest explanation would be to simply say that it’s because of his Christianity, but that only tells half the story. After all, a ton of football players are religious, and sometimes they even blame God when they drop the ball. No, the problem is that Tim Tebow is a super-duper-mega Christian who smiles all the damn the time, and can’t go a minute without reminding us just how awesome Jesus is. You get the feeling that if you sat down with the guy, it would take him about 10 seconds for him to ask if you’d been saved.
The fact he did an anti-abortion commercial where he tackled his mother, for some reason, didn’t help either. Still, while Tebow’s extreme Christianity may be grating, he’s still easily one of the more decent human beings in the NFL. It’s a easy to call him a misogynist for his anti-choice views, but consider this: Tebow has also never been accused of sexual harassment (like Peyton Manning), or been accused of rape (like Ben Roethlisberger). Tim Tebow might not be partying at Gloria Steinem’s house anytime soon, but compared to some of the other fine gentleman under center in this league, he’s probably more respectful to women than we give him credit for.
But enough about his religious/political views. What we care about is what he does on the field, and in that regard he doesn’t get near enough respect. In college, he was one of the greatest players ever — a true leader if there ever was one. No matter how much you picked on for him for putting bible verses in his eye black, or claiming to be a virgin (seriously, he could have fucked anyone in the entire state of Florida! Either he’s the truest of the true believers, or he’s beyond full of shit), he could always shut up the doubters.
Then, for no reason, everyone decided that his career was over. The old line that his skills wouldn’t translate was beaten to death, and everyone kept bitching about his (admittedly awkward) throwing motion. I never understood why that mattered. J.P. Losman has a stronger arm than Tom Brady, and it never did him any good. Everyone wants to deny the inevitable: that Tim Tebow is going to be a great quarterback. For quarterbacks, instincts tend to matter more than skills. Just look at Bills Qb Ryan Fitzpatrick — he’s not particularly strong, and his throwing motion is the only one that rivals Tebow’s in terms of sheer ugliness, but he still has the Bills at 4-1. Why? Because he knows how to make plays. Tebow’s the same way, and no matter how sad it might make the folks at NARAL, and decent people everywhere, he’s going to be doing the same thing pretty soon.
So, why do scouts, coaches, and commentators continue to deny his obvious talent? It could be because they rely too much on things like arm strength and throwing motion, which don’t mean anywhere near as much as we think. But it could also be because for all the reasons stated in the first two paragraphs, the dude is just annoying. Look, I’ve never met him, but if he wound up being insufferable, it wouldn’t surprise me. He just seems like the guy who seems nice enough, until he slowly lets you realize how much he hates gay people. Not to say that Tim Tebow is homophobic (he’s never said anything, on record, to indicate that he is), but he has all the traits of the smug self-righteous Christian kid you went to high school with. At least he hasn’t started a shitty Christian rock band yet.
The thing is: Tebow’s way-too-enthusiastic Christianity has nothing to do with his performance on the field. The dude is a gamer, pure and simple. He finally got to play this Sunday in the 4th quarter, and he promptly scored two touchdowns. The Chargers didn’t have much of an answer for him, and I doubt the rest of the league will either. If you want to hate Tebow for his anti-choice views, or his perpetual smile, be my guest; I’ll probably join you. But you can’t hate the effort he puts on the field. The NFL is full of unlikable players and religious zealots, but very few are as fun to watch as Tebow. Like it or not, he’ll be around for awhile.