Friday, August 26, 2011

The Tebow Fever


While he was at Florida, Tim Tebow gained the
nation's attention not just by how he performed
on the field, but his pride in religion as well.
I've never been a big fan of Tim Tebow.
While he was in college, it seemed as if the entire sports world revolved around him. Heisman winner, national champion, Sports Illustrated coverboy - he was everywhere, and everyone had the Tebow Fever. I'm usually not a big fan of overblown favorites (see: New England Patriots, post-2002) and this guy from Florida was no exception. But that was coming from my personal side. From my journalism side, this kid was a gold mine. 
He was homeschooled. He was religious. He did missionary work in the Philippines during the off-season. Anyone in their right mind covering sports would know just how many newspapers and magazines this guy could help them sell. So they went ahead and blew him out of proportion. 
That's not to say he wasn't a great college athlete - with 9,286 passing yards, 2,947 rushing yards and 145 total touchdowns in four seasons, the numbers speak for themselves. He also won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and finished as second runner-up the following season, in addition to a career 176.0 passer rating.
But Tebow isn't as well-known for the stats he put up in college, the awards he collected or the amount of wins he had by the end of it all. In fact, during the course of his college career, Tim "The Saint" Tebow is how most fans view him, especially because that's the image sports media wanted to portray. He wrote Bible verses on the eye black he used to wear under his helmet and in a 2009 interview, maintained that he was still a virgin due to his religious beliefs. 
But now that he's in the NFL, all of that has changed.
In college, he made it look easy breaking Southeastern Conference and University of Florida records. In the NFL, there's a much more level playing ground. Tebow can't dominate competition anymore. In fact, he's currently listed as the third-string quarterback for the Denver Broncos. There's nothing wrong with that though - he's still young, learning the game and trying to adapt. But instead, the media has gone from almost annointing Tim Tebow as the next savior to heaping masses of garbage on him by the truckload. 
Experts and analysts say Tebow can't play and that he never will - that he "doesn't have the intangibles to play quarterback" - and that may all very well be true. But that's not why he's receiving such harsh criticism. 
Tebow let down the media. Not by his own faults or accord, but because sports writers and those in the industry put this kid up on such a high pedestal, that they feel betrayed because he hasn't panned out immediately. Tim Tebow is arguably one of the best college quarterbacks of all-time, but right now he probably wouldn't crack a top-500 list of current players in the NFL. So just as praising Tebow while he was at Florida was the trendy thing back then, experts and writers have given up on him and now bashing him seems to be the cool thing to do. 
It's amazing to see how, in just a few years, someone can go from such high esteem to such low regard. So Tim Tebow is no longer an overblown favorite. He's simply an underdog now, trying to prove his doubters wrong. It's a cliche angle, but I can't help but root for an underdog. The NFL season starts in two weeks, and then we'll see what happens.
I've never been a big fan of Tim Tebow. That is, until now.

In his rookie season for the Denver Broncos last year, Tim Tebow played in nine games,
three of which he started. He completed 41-of-82 passes for 654 yards and five touchdowns
with three interceptions. He also ran for 227 yards and five TDs.


3 comments:

  1. glad nfl is gonna happen this year looked like it was doomed for a while

    ReplyDelete
  2. still not feeling him myself but interesting to see your view changing

    ReplyDelete