I openly root for Tim Tebow and I’m not ashamed to admit that, but he needs to remind the world why we even know his name. This reminder needs to take place very soon.
Why do I confess my admiration for Tebow as if I’ve just admitted to something shameful?
It was in jest, but appropriate because many fans carry a healthy dislike for the 25-year-old. It appears the root of Tebow haters’ disdain doesn’t go beyond the fact that he gets too much attention.
This is a pattern of human behavior that is as old as time, but yet it still perplexes me.
That, my friends, is the definition of a polarizing figure.
Even with all the passionate feelings fans have for Tebow, it is only a matter of time before his popularity wanes. This process will be sped up if Tebow doesn’t have a team in 2013, or if he latches on in another meaningless role like the one he played for the New York Jets in 2012.
There are only so many stories to be cooked up about a guy who isn’t doing anything on the field, or anything bad off of it.
Unfortunately for Tebow the competitor, Tebow the public figure has become increasingly more comfortable as the inactive celebrity athlete. His fame has afforded him countless off-field opportunities and he is smartly taking advantage of them.
Headphone endorsements and rubbing elbows with other A-listers is just part of the spoils of Tebow's commercial appeal.
These non-football associations are great for him monetarily, but not so promising for his football career.
The prosperity away from the field coupled with the sustained rejection from the NFL will only make him more resigned to a non-football existence. It is hard to blame him if he indeed has lost some of his fire for the game.
He’d be right to be bitter.
Tebow proved more in 2011 with the Denver Broncos than Oakland Raiders projected starting quarterback Matt Flynn has in his entire career.
Tebow’s 1,276 passing yards in his breakout season are more than Flynn has had in his five-year career. Beyond the stats, Tebow guided that Broncos team to the playoffs after it seemed they were going nowhere before he was named the starter.
I’m not saying Tebow is one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL; and I’m not tabbing Flynn as a Pro-Bowl measuring stick.
However, the latter not only has a job, but he’s also set to begin the first year of a two-year, $11.5 million deal.
Meanwhile, Tebow sits jobless and smiling as he hopes someone will give him another chance to succeed. Even a man with Tebow’s will and determination could see his spirits weakened in this situation.
While Tebow continues to try to handle his struggles the right way, he becomes more of a joke to his critics. He’s a laughable mascot for media and public sensationalism.
Not SportsCenter hits us with one of the thousands of Tebow jokes you can find on social media daily.
LeBron fouled out AND Mariano Rivera blew a save. If Tim Tebow gets a NFL job, the world is done for. Luckily that will never happen. Ever.— NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) May 29, 2013
The Broncos' success in 2011 was what made Tebow’s unorthodox, winning-ugly style compelling. Purists had to turn away as Tebow consistently broke most of the rules NFL quarterbacks are supposed to obey in and out of the pocket.
Will Tebow ever play in the NFL again?
But because his team was winning, he became must-see TV.
In 2012, Mark Sanchez’s ineptitude made the prospects of Tebow again saving the day a realistic topic to discuss all season.
That storyline has dried up since Tebow's release in April. There isn’t much to talk about when it comes to an unsigned free-agent quarterback that no NFL teams seem to want on their roster.
At some point, Tebow Mania is going to be over—unless he can somehow find his way onto a roster and onto the field to prove his critics wrong again.
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