Monday, November 21, 2011

12 comments If Don't Like Tim Tebow It Is Only Because You Know He is a Better Person Than You

I find it interesting Jelisa Castrodale asks the question of why so many people don't like Tim Tebow and then proceeds to write an entire column which could be used as Example #1 of why some people don't like Tim Tebow. Castrodale says Tebow makes his haters feel bad because he makes them feel bad about their own lives. In reality, many people don't like Tim Tebow because there are columns written about how much better than you he is. It's a self-perpetuating cycle by the media. They write the columns about Tebow and then write about the reaction to the columns. It is also a cycle that Tebow hasn't done a whole lot to perpetuate himself, if I was being completely honest. Sports columnist after sports columnist writes a column about Tebow saying what a great and polarizing guy he can be. No one shuts up about him...including myself I guess. The haters of Tebow want him to be judged by his performance on the field and those who defend Tebow say the haters hate on Tebow because of his religion or because he's just such a darn swell guy.

Any criticism of Tebow isn't taken as criticism of him as a quarterback, but a criticism of him as a person. Naturally, the media keeps writing and talking about him because it is ratings and pageviews gold. If the sports media keeps talking about Tebow, then that this means they keep talking about how controversial he is and continue to irritate those tired of talking about Tebow.

When I was a kid, I was a seriously picky eater, mashing every home-cooked meal into an unappealing, untouched smudge in the center of my plate...I lived on JIF and grape jelly until until my mother noticed the laundry-faded Los Angeles Rams jersey I wore every day and said, “Jim Everett eats his vegetables. He wants you to eat yours.” She was close — most of the NFC fed him a steady diet of Anaheim Stadium grass that season — but it worked.

I imagine that somewhere in the Colorado suburbs, a harried mother is lifting a fork toward a reluctant elementary schooler, hissing through clenched teeth, “C’mon. Tim Tebow wants you to eat your vegetables.”

If you are wondering whether this story has a point other than to refer back to this story at the end of this column...the answer is "no," it really doesn't have a point.

And I’m sure he does. If asked politely, he’d probably make an appearance in their kitchen with a glass of milk, an orthodontically enhanced smile and a passage from Corinthians.

Tim Tebow cares about your kids. Though I am not sure what a Bible verse has to do with eating vegetables, but a sportswriter is contractually obligated to mention a chapter of the Bible when talking about Tim Tebow.

After everyone’s plates were cleaner than his reputation, he’d politely excuse himself, returning home to spend the evening hand-carving a set of wooden prosthetics for a limbless orphan.

What's so ironic is the very question, "Why do people hate Tim Tebow so much?" is answered in this very passage. Because shit like this gets written about him. You wrote this column and this is the 5,000 column like this written about Tebow. That's why some people hate Tim Tebow. It is the same reason people don't like David Eckstein and Darin Erstad. A certain part of the public doesn't like reading the superlatives about a person over and over.

I’m only half-kidding. He’d probably opt for Galatians instead.

Haha! Again, this is why some people hate Tim Tebow. The pedestal many in the media prop him up on and then ask that he doesn't be judged by his performance on the football field. JemeHill wrote a column about it was offensive for Stephen Tulloch to "Tebow" over Tim Tebow after sacking him. This act was seen by her as an affront to Tebow's religion, not Tebow, which is ridiculous. The world wants to judge Tim Tebow separately from his religion, but the sports media just won't allow this to happen. There's no word from JemeHill on whether her co-workers are mocking Tebow or his religion when they get in the same pose Tulloch did. I am sure when ESPN employees do it then it is all out of good fun and isn't meant to harm.

It should be impossible for anyone to dislike Tebow, the person.

I would bet no one dislikes Tebow as a person. He seems like a great guy. This is the core of the problem. The sports media can differentiate criticism of Tebow's football skills and criticism of Tebow. Here's a great example:

He tweets individual fans to thank them for coming to his book signings, he takes Special Olympics participants to rock concerts, and is deeply involved with the foundation that wears his name, the one that raises money for orphanages and pediatric cancer centers.

So there should be no mocking of Tebow because he does all of these other great things? This is at the very heart of the problem. No one dislikes Tim Tebow, but any criticism of him is met with "look at what a great person he is!" It confuses the issue. Few hate Tim Tebow as a person, they just don't think he is a great quarterback. The problem is any criticism of Tebow is taken as a personal attack and is met with a litany (see above) of all the great things he does. Castrodale doesn't want you to dislike Tebow for who he is as a person, but she will sure defend his ability to play quarterback by describing to you how good of a person Tebow is.

So what does he get in return? A @WhyTebowSucks twitter account, infrequently updated websites such as and and an Official “I Hate Tim Tebow” Facebook page.

Tebow is the first quarterback to be spoken of negatively. What a martyr he is!

Even Hulk Hogan took an afternoon away from taping an episode of his wrestling dwarf reality show to bash Tebow on "SportsNation."

Hulk Hogan, and I can’t believe I am defending him, did not bash Tebow for who he is as a person. He based him for his ability to play quarterback. There is a difference. This is much of why people are tired of Tebow. His media defenders don’t want you to judge him for being a Christian, but they will sure as hell throw his religion and good nature in your face to defend him.

Hogan ripped a Tebow jersey in half, made a comment about how big Tebow’s legs/arms and said Tebow had not won anything yet. This hardly qualifies as saying harsh criticism of Tebow. Especially coming from a guy like Hulk Hogan who probably has the IQ of a squirrel and has made a career out of professional wrestling.

Tebow is, obviously, a good guy. A great guy. But he’s also been propped up as the personification of virtue, spending the past five years as an archetype more than an athlete

By people like you. By people who write the following about Tebow:

After everyone’s plates were cleaner than his reputation, he’d politely excuse himself, returning home to spend the evening hand-carving a set of wooden prosthetics for a limbless orphan.

You are partially responsible for making this archetype.

The NFL’s other backup-turned-starters don’t generate this type of negativity. There’s never this kind of eye-rolling reaction to, say, Minnesota’s Christian Ponder,

Only the sports media could shove Tebow’s personal life down the public’s collective throats and then wonder why there has been a backlash against his personal life. Do you know why there is no eye-rolling about Christian Ponder? It is because Christian Ponder hasn’t been shoved down the public’s throat as sport’s answer to the Pope. It is because no one brings up Ponder’s personal beliefs and then has Skip Bayless and some other brainless talking head debate them for 15 minutes.

The personal attacks and angry facial expressions that follow Tebow seem to have less to do with Denver’s 1-4 record than they do with Romans 1:16, which reads “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.”

Not true, they have much to do with his performance on the field. Writers turn this criticism of Tebow on the field into what they see as a personal attack against Tebow. Also, when did angry facial expressions become a personal attack or even somewhat close to the same level as a personal attack? So angry facial expressions at athletes are no longer tolerated? I would bet $100 the “personal attacks,” whatever the hell those are described as, don’t have anything to do with the Broncos or Tebow’s beliefs. The “personal attacks,” which apparently ripping a jersey and criticizing a player now qualifies as a personal attack, result having to read sentences like the very next one:

That’s one of the verses Tebow inked beneath his eyes at Florida, during that season when his eyeblack had more Scripture than the bedside table at an airport Sheraton.

We get it. If you don’t want this to be a story, don’t make it one.

Then there are those who sit with their hands hovering expectantly over their keyboards, just waiting for what they'll see as his inevitable misstep. They want to catch him sneaking into The Human Centipede or illegally downloading The Human Centipede or actually building a Human Centipede.

Unfortunately, unlike sports columnists many people don’t sit at home and have visions of Tebow dancing in their head. The irony of all irony in this statement is while Castrodale blames the fans at home for wanting to see this, who do you think would be the quickest to jump on the “Tebow is a hypocrite” bandwagon if Tebow as finally seen as a fallible person? The sports media.

Yeah, the constant platitudes for his teammates and pledges to work harder and cloyingly positive attitude can make you shout "CAN IT, DUDLEY DO-RIGHT" at your television screen,

This is the part Castrodale doesn’t get. It isn’t Tebow’s actions that drive the public crazy. It is the media’s reaction to Tebow’s actions. JemeHill writes a column saying Stephen Tulloch was mocking Tebow’s religion by “Tebowing” and Woody Paige speaks as if those who don’t believe in Tebow’s ability to play quarterback in the NFL like non-believers in a religion. This pedestal Tebow is placed upon isn’t completely by Tebow’s doing, it is also by many of his defenders inability to separate Tebow the athlete from the Tebow the person.

Maybe it's hard to like Tebow because he makes us feel worse about our lives. Not in an MTV Cribs "I'll never have a pair of solid gold pants" kind of way, but because he's held himself to a standard that we know we can't reach

If you want to know why some people don’t like Tim Tebow, read these two sentences again. Then read them again. Then read them again. These two sentences are exactly why some people are negative towards Tim Tebow. The anti-Tebow crowd isn’t reacting only to the saturation of the media’s coverage of Tebow's religion or the media's knee-jerk reaction to make any criticism about Tebow’s game as criticism of Tebow on a personal level. No, these people don’t like Tebow because he is just that much better than you are and you can’t stand the reality of this.

This is really how sportswriters like Jelisa Castrodale see it and it just amazes me. She honestly believes people hate on Tim Tebow because he reminds them of what terrible people they are compared to him.

He wouldn't ignore the elderly woman struggling to push her groceries to her car. He wouldn't make snap judgments about NFL sophomores who play two time zones to the left.

Again, sentences like this are why people react negatively to the mention of Tim Tebow. How can Jelisa Castrodale not see this? She is making him to be a perfect, infalliable deity when we all know that isn’t the truth. Then Castrodale wonders why there is a backlash to Tebow.

Maybe that's why it's easier to embrace a me-first NBA player who calls himself "King James" than to accept the humble NFL-er who quotes King James.

It is ridiculous to suggest LeBron is a more popular athlete than Tim Tebow. LeBron James is one of the most hated athletes in sports. Of course bending the truth or pretending like Tebow is very much hated is the best way to prove the point of how much people hate Tebow. Who cares if it is the entire truth or not? It fits the narrative to bring “King James” and an athlete who quotes King James together in a sentence.

Speaking of garbage, the Denver Broncos finished with a franchise worst 4-12 record last season and have sputtered to a 1-4 start, thanks in part to Kyle Orton’s 58.7 completion percentage. Other players would’ve turned water to whine by now, speaking out of turn, criticizing the coaching strategy or strongly suggesting that they get a chance to start.

I’d like to have Jelisa Castrodale quote one backup quarterback who has complained about the coaching strategy of his team or suggested he should get the chance to start. I would guess she could only come up with 3-4 instances where this has happened. Again, deceiving the audience into believing these types of things happen regularly is the best way to get her narrative come true. Who cares if the truth gets exaggerated? She wants other backup quarterbacks to complain about their playing time on a regular basis so she can compare Tebow’s attitude favorably to these quarterbacks. Another reason there is a backlash against Tebow is the constant insistence by the media to show how much better than anyone else Tebow is.

Not Tebow, who stood supportively on the sidelines, ears tucked beneath a mesh-backed hat as he reminded himself that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s playing time.

Not any other backup quarterback either. I am sure there is 1-2 instances where a backup quarterback has complained about playing time or strategy, but it is easier for Castrodale to pretend this happens more frequently in order to show why you hate Tim Tebow. You don’t hate him because he is made to be greater than he is, but you hate him because the facts as they are distorted show him to be greater than he is.

Tebow had one college start at the Dolphins' stadium, when he and the Gators collected that championship over Sam Bradford’s Oklahoma Sooners. Tebow completed 18 of 30 passes for 231 yards, and Noah-approved pairs of TDs and INTs.

You don’t want him judged by his religion, yet you keep bringing his religion up.

First-year coach John Fox will just be relieved not to see the words “Jake Delhomme” on his depth chart.

We wouldn’t want facts to get in the way of your argument. John Fox really liked Jake Delhomme and Fox was the one who kept Delhomme at the top of his depth chart.

And Kyle Orton will sit sullenly on the bench, ignoring Tebow’s worn copy of Chicken Soup for the Second Stringer’s Soul.

This is the second-part of the Tebow narrative. This is the part most popularized by Woody Paige. Tim Tebow sits on the bench and is a good teammate while Orton starts in front of Tebow, while Orton sits on the bench and pouts while Tebow starts in front of Orton. What a great guy Tebow is compared to that sullen, cry-baby Kyle Orton? Who cares if it is true? It doesn’t matter because the truth is secondary to putting Tebow up on his pedestal. For Tebow to be the protagonist, there has to be an antagonist, regardless of whether it is true. A little exaggeration, lying, and misleading is all for the sake of worshipping Tebow.

He closed his post with “GB²”, his acronym that stands for “God Bless, Go Broncos.” That’s as perfect a summary of Tebow as you can get: He’s a Christian first, a football player second.

To sports fans he is a football player first, Christian second. This is also why the “Tebow is better than you based on his devout religious beliefs" narrative creates a hostile reaction.

That won't change whether Tebow wins or loses, whether he starts or stands, whether you love him or hate him. He is who he is, and I'll always respect him for that.

You don’t need to convince anyone that Tebow is a good guy. That’s not the issue about why there is a Tebow backlash. Re-read your own column. The summary of the great deeds Tebow performs isn’t the point of the haters. It isn’t about him as a person, it is about him as a football player and how certain members of the media combat criticism of his ability on the football field with his religion off the field.


jacktotherack said...

"Speaking of garbage, the Denver Broncos finished with a franchise worst 4-12 record last season and have sputtered to a 1-4 start, thanks in part to Kyle Orton’s 58.7 completion percentage. Other players would’ve turned water to whine by now, speaking out of turn, criticizing the coaching strategy or strongly suggesting that they get a chance to start."

Tebow is completing 44% of his passes. Thought that was worth noting.

Brilliant takedown of one of the worst articles I've ever read.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, that is very worth noting. I'm glad you liked it. It is clear I am bitter because Tim Tebow is a better person than me. That's the source of my "hate" of Tebow. "Hate" being defined as "reasonable criticism of his ability to play quarterback in the NFL."

rich said...

That’s one of the verses Tebow inked beneath his eyes at Florida, during that season when his eyeblack had more Scripture than the bedside table at an airport Sheraton.

I'm a Christian and I think it's admirable that Tebow is so open about it. However, if you do stuff like this (i.e. make it a public thing), you can't be surprised or upset about people who attack you for it. You made it public domain.

Even then, while the media was rampaging the Detroit play mocking Tebow's celebration... Tebow didn't seem to care. The media makes everything about Tebow a positive story.

It isn’t Tebow’s actions that drive the public crazy. It is the media’s reaction to Tebow’s actions.

This is absolutely 1,000,000% the truth. If I could etch this in stone and drop it off in the ESPN parking lot, I would.

Other players would’ve turned water to whine by now, speaking out of turn, criticizing the coaching strategy or strongly suggesting that they get a chance to start.

I think Tebow went about the situation in the right way. That said, who knows what Tebow was doing behind the scenes? How do you know he wasn't in Fox's office every day asking to replace Orton?

More importantly, at the time Tebow was the third string QB. If you're the backup to the backup, you have no ground to ask to start, absolutely none.

That’s as perfect a summary of Tebow as you can get: He’s a Christian first, a football player second.


You know why "student athlete" works? Because if you focus on one, it takes time away from the other. There is no trade-off between Christianity and football. None.

Of course this brings me to the reason I want to see Tebow fail: after every game, you see some mention of Tebow. Twice this year, Tebow's "legend" has been the subject of an ESPN front page story. I'm sorry, but if you've trying to tell me to not make "snap judgments," while writing articles about his "legacy" after a whopping dozen or so starts... sorry, you're a hypocrite.

That's what the media doesn't get. We don't care about Tebow the person. Mike Vick was a terrible human being an yet people still love watching him play. Eli Manning is a nice guy and people crap all over him when he says he's "elite."

The problem ultimately rests with the media. They refer to Tebow's legacy and his wins, despite the fact that the Broncos are barely averaging over 14 points a game with him at QB and that includes defensive points too.

You don't have to look any further than this week's win against the Jets. He sucks for 56 minutes (like he does almost every week), puts together a nice drive and the Broncos win. After the game, is the love for the defense that played lights out? No, it's about Tebow's one drive.

Keep in mind, the Broncos had, up to that final drive, an incredibly 120 offensive yards. Think about that 120 offensive yards in 55 minutes and the articles about the game are about what a "gamer" and a "winner" Tebow is.

Never mind that of the 17 points, 7 came on a pick six and 3 more came on a really nice PR that put them in FG range (Tebow managed to move the offense like six inches in the 3 downs after). So Broncos offense = 7 points, Broncos defense and ST = 10 points. Tebow's legacy?

It's like the pitcher who manages to have 15 wins or so with an 80 ERA+. Most fans will go "this guy sucks, he's been helped out by the offense," while the media takes turns writing articles about how he's a cog in the starting lineup.

So, to summate, I don't hate Tebow for who he is as a person, I hate the media coverage making it seem like he's the greatest QB in the league when the Broncos are winning in spite of his awful performances.

Martin F. said...

I like Tebow. I think he sucks as a QB. Far to many of his supporters couldn't draw a play up in the dirt and think criticism of his play is the same as attacking the man. They need to get a life.

Murray said...

No need for the shot at pro wrestlers. To get to the level he was at in that business Hogan had to be pretty damn smart

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I think Tebow is a great guy and I would never cheer against him doing well. I do, however, cheer against the sportswriters who breathlessly write about anything he does. So I guess in a way I am cheering against him as well. Articles like this are why Tebow is disliked.

What amazes me, and I mean it does amaze me, is Tebow seems unfazed by those critics around him. I probably couldn't do that. It's funny because he can ignore many of his critics since the media takes so many bullets for him. They stick up for him at times. It's the whole idea of saying, "Don't judge Tebow on his faith" and then an entire article about Tebow's faith is written by a sportswriter. The media wants it both ways with Tebow.

The media wants everyone to think Tebow is a great, faithful guy...but then they also want everyone to not bring that up about Tebow since they consider it insulting. THEN they want to make Tebow immune from criticism b/c of his faith. That's why I think any criticism of Tebow is taken so personally by the media b/c they are the ones who tie his career and faith together so strongly.

Martin, that's how I feel. If I say Tim Tebow probably can't run an NFL offense at this point, I am not saying he isn't a good person. That gets confused. Of course, he keeps winning, which is attributable (like Rich said) to the defense and not just Tebow. Would Tebow be a winner if his defense gave up 49 points? Probably not.

Murray, sorry about that. I am bitter b/c I had a roommate in college who watched wrestling and I had to watch MNF and a bunch of other shows elsewhere. I felt like wrestling was on every night of the week, so I grew a fierce dislike for it.

As far as Hogan goes, he was my favorite wrestler when I was little, but he was on a VH1 reality show. I think I have a bias against that.

conshy matt said...

"She is making him to be a perfect, infalliable deity..."

This is what gets me. I hear friends say that "Denver is God's team now", that "when your playbook is the Bible", and "when Tebow wins the Super Bowl it will prove that God exists."

I'm sure you've seen the Tebow "Jesus" jersey by now. It's the deification of Tebow that is most distrubing. I'm afraid that if Denver does win a Super Bowl that Teboism will become an official religion, with him as a living God. hell, it may happen regardless.

Ericb said...

Unfortunately the Broncos remaining scedule isn't that tough. The worst I see them doing in the remainder of the season is 3-3 so get used to Tebowtalk for the next 9 months.

Anonymous said...

Great article. Coincidentally Vince Young is now 1-0 as a starter of a bad team where he played poorly for 3 quarters and had one good drive. I don't like Tebow the media creation for all the reasons you stated about and I don't even care for Tebow the person because of his association with Dobson's anti-choice, anti-gay hate group. Poor Orton being cast as a villain. I don't see that from him at all. He knows he is Kyle Orton. I have decided to just be patient. Just like the Wildcat was figured out they will figure out Tebow's option and he will be out of the league shortly.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, I haven't heard Denver called God's team yet. That's really scary. The best criticism of this point of view came from one of the Panthers ex-beat writers. He was referring to Thomas Davis and John Kasay, two of the most religious and faithful people on the Panthers team. Davis has blown out his ACL three straight years and John Kasay kicked the ball out of bounds in the Super Bowl a few years ago giving the Pats a short field. He asked if we believe God looks out for Tebow and the Broncos, does that mean he doesn't care about Kasay and Davis? If so, that's ridiculous because they are as devout as Tebow is.

This goes for other faithful athletes as well.

Eric, it doesn't help John Fox is a great coach. He can straight coach the hell out of a defense and is a great situational coach. Unfortunately, he is also fairly inflexible and his offense isn't built to come from behind. I think Denver is in bad shape b/c they will have to start Tebow next year if he goes 3-3 the rest of the year. I just don't believe the offense is sustainable and the illusion of success may hold them back a bit.

Anon, there's no doubt that Tebow is getting the job done at this point. The real reason Tebow has been successful is the defense for Denver has been great. I don't dislike him as a person and I am sure he is a great guy. He's just a football player to me, no matter how much people want to make him more. Orton played terribly this year, but there has to be a villain in the narrative and he is that guy. I don't get how Orton is supposed to be upset he has been benched. He should be used to that by now b/c it happened in Chicago.

I have nothing against the Broncos offense, but at some point a team will make Tebow throw and make the Broncos come from more than 10 points behind (not including the Dolphins). That will be the real test.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Orton was praised over and over by Fox, Elway and the Bronco veterans all liked him over Tebow. I hope now that Orton is released he signs with Chicago and leads the Bears to the playoffs while Tebow helps old ladies with their groceries and knits shirts for orphans while Orton is in the playoffs.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, Orton is Fox's type of quarterback. I have a feeling the vets on the team like winning and they thought Orton could do that for them. Orton was terrible this year. I'm not sure why, but I didn't see him being that terrible.

I'll be interested to see how Orton plays wherever he ends up. I still think he is at best an average QB, but teams could do a lot worse as well.

If Tebow is knitting mittens for orphans you can bet we will hear about it.

In related news, the Cutler trade looks like Chicago won it.

They got Cutler and Johnny Knox for what amounted to:

Orton- now released

Richard Quinn- released (injury settlement

Seth Olsen- released

Robert Ayers

Bears 1st round pick- a lot of trades went down, but can be traced to the trade for Tebow/Decker/Thomas.

So the Broncos do have time to even it out a bit.