I read an excellent article by Andrew Sharp of SB Nation this morning on why it's okay to hate Tim Tebow. The thing is, I'm pretty sure everyone has already gotten that message.
While mainstream America has fallen in love with the guy, plenty of people had already turned on Tebow long ago.
There are atrocious theme songs. Historic TV ratings. Lady Gaga dropping F-bombs. The words "Tebowmania", "Teebus", and "Tebowing." The 43 percent of Americans who claim this is all about divine intervention. The Tim Tebow celebrity baby photo gallery. This gigantic USA Today interview. Essays about how Barack Obama could learn a thing or two from Tebow. This autotuned recap of his career.
It's like hearing a song on the radio and saying, "hey, that's kind of catchy," and then over the course of a year it gets played over and over again to the point where you have no choice but to hate it just because you're so tired of it. Think "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.
But while Sharp cites the abundance of Tebow everywhere and Tebowcenter on ESPN as the breaking point for why we need to be told why it's okay to hate Tim Tebow, those things have already done the trick.
I didn't come across anybody on Twitter excited about the fact that Sportscenter was an all-Tebow edition yesterday. Everyone hated on it and, by association, hated on Tim Tebow. The fact that Skip Bayless is his loudest and most prominent supporter is all some people need.
The fact is, people already hate Tebow. A lot. It's the cool thing to say that you hate him. Andrew Sharp is going to get nothing but praise from his peers for writing that, and rightly so. But it's not like it was a particularly bold stance.
It's okay to hate Tim Tebow. But folks, it's also okay to like him. Really.
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Here's what Sharp had to say.
And why is it alright [to hate Tebow]? Let's go down the list.
1. Because millions of people demand that you love him.
It's okay to like something that millions of people like. Even if the majority of people who like it are idiots. Even if you know it's bad. I enjoyed The Boondock Saints even thought it's mentally challenged and its biggest fans are moronic frat boys with two collars popped at the same time.
Why do we need to let other people's like or dislike of something affect ours so much?
2. Because the whole "underdog story" is complete BS.
True, for everything up until he actually made the NFL. But to look at Tebow now, throwing those God-awful lame-duck passes and taking 10 minutes to make a read, he really shouldn't be out there.
By all accounts of his skills, Tim Tebow is not an NFL quarterback. So the fact that he helped his team win enough games to get to the playoffs and then actually won a playoff game against one of the best defenses in the NFL, is underdog worthy.
3. Because he really sorta sucks at playing quarterback.
This sort of proves my point about why he's an underdog story, but it's a fair point as to why it's okay to hate him. If you really love good football and worship at the alter of Rodgers or Brady, Tim Tebow is not for you.
But if it's fun for you to see a guy who kind of sucks at playing quarterback improbably making plays and orchestrating comebacks, then it's okay to like Tim Tebow.
4. Because of his religion.
I'm a Christian, an outspoken one for someone who works in the media. But Tebow's religious beliefs are not a reason why I like him. Let's just say we're at two different ends of the same stick.
Yes, his beliefs can be off-putting to a lot of people, myself included at times, but I'm able to overcome that. It's the same reason I was able to root for Shareef Abdur-Raheem in the NBA.
Religion can be a viable reason to dislike someone, but it also doesn't have to be a reason to not dislike them. That made better sense in my head.
5. Because of what he represents.
That's a tough one to argue. So many people have taken Tebow and made him so much more than what he is. And that is not a glowing representation of us as a country. Tebow has definitely brought out the worst in us in many, many ways.
Justin Bieber is annoying. But Bieber multiplied by all his screaming, stupid, twitter-crazed fans seems like the devil.
Tebow multiplied by his worst supporters is a horrible experience.
But Tim Tebow by himself, a generally well-liked guy by his teammates, passionate on the field, doing things that by all accounts he shouldn't be able to do?
I like that guy. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.