Get your hate on

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Get your hate on

My mother taught me that one should never hate people.  That whatever negative effect that emotion might have toward the target would be equally doled out upon the emitter.  She’s right, too.  I try not to hate anyone.

But, man, I cannot stand Tim Tebow.  I think I really might hate him.

He offended my sensibilities right from the start.  In 2006, as a true freshman, you would have thought he was the team captain.  Emotional.  Fiery, even.  Completely over the top.  Gator fans ate it up.  As #12 Chris Leak was leading their team to a national championship, Florida fan after Florida fan went all-in with #15. 

At this point it was an annoyance.  There was no lore to speak of.  There were other football stories out there.  Tebow Fatigue had not yet set in.  My ire was drawn by mostly trivial things.  The stupid assed way he slaps his hands out of the shotgun like some self-congratulatory seal after successfully begging for an anchovy.  That, and the way he absolutely goes berserk after a four-yard run for a first down.  Springing up off the ground, ball in hand, and imploring fans to get up and cheer.  This in itself sounds pretty harmless, but it’s just the way he does it.  Herky-jerky, almost rigid from the exertion, vein bulging visibly from his neck, with zero doubt of a matching one on his forehead hidden behind his helmet.  Shit, man, just go back to the damn huddle.

I probably could have handled my disdain for Tebow if things had ended there.  But nooooo, he had to go win the freaking Heisman.  As a sophomore.  ON A TEAM THAT LOST THREE GAMES.

Granted, he did have a pretty decent year, breaking SEC records for rushing touchdowns in a season (23) most touchdowns accounted for (55), and was the first player ever to rush for at least 20 touchdowns and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in the same season.  As a by-product, he demolished the record for the post-touchdown-glance-skyward-accompanied-by-the-earnest-point-to-God maneuver. 

Because of this performance, he was able to steal the Heisman from Darren McFadden.  The irony being, of course, that McFadden was essentially the player who gave Tebow the opportunity to win.  McFadden, the runner up in 2006 as well as 2007, effectively greased the wheels in 2006 for Tebow’s victory in 2007.  Clearly the most dominant player in 2006, McFadden lost first and foremost because he was a sophomore, and also because Troy Smith, the senior quarterback from undefeated (at the time) Ohio State, had already been anointed as the next recipient.  After Smith was exposed against LSU in the BCS National Championship Game, some began to question the informal tradition of awarding the trophy to upperclassmen only, opening the door for Tebow in 2007.  Hopefully Tim at least sent Darren a thank you card.

Any hopes that Tebowitis was in remission during the 2008 season were eradicated during a press conference following the Gators home loss to unranked Ole Miss.  Later in the week, in typically understated Tebow fashion, the Savior from the Sunshine State made an emotional, heartfelt, voice-cracking vow that no team, no player would ever play harder than he and his Gators would for the rest of the season.  And, of course, they did, winning out and winning the BCS National Championship.  Gator fans undoubtedly remember just where they were when they first heard Tebow’s promise.  Similarly, fans of others schools remember just where they were when they first considered violence toward an electrical appliance as a means of escaping that damned speech.  One year later, and it’s still getting played ad nauseum by ESPN.

How in the world can you top a teary-eyed performance in which you essentially call your shot, Babe Ruth style, and then execute it?  What could Tebow possibly do in 2009, and how deep would he have to dig to make my hatred for him further develop?  Simple.  He went all CDC on us.  That’s right.  Tim Tebow got the swine flu. 

Not really.  It was later reported that Tebow was suffering from an unspecified respiratory illness that was not H1N1, but this came out only after Tebow was flown to the Gators’ game against Kentucky in an aircraft separate from the rest of his team.  Really?

Apparently that wasn’t enough, because during the game Tebow suffered a concussion after a brutal hit caused the back of his head to strike the knee of a teammate.  The impact knocked him unconscious, and he was motionless on the field for several minutes.  After getting back to the sideline, Tebow began vomiting.  On national television.  Upon the decision to take him to the hospital for observation and testing, camera crews gave viewers a shot through the back window of the ambulance as it pulled away to verify that, yes, it really was Tim Tebow in there. 

Really, what more is there?  Aren’t his fans even getting a little tired of it at this point?  Seriously.  In spite of Tebow being, by all accounts, a genuinely good guy as well as a fierce and worthy competitor, aren’t people just a little bit over all of it?  Even if you like him, aren’t you sick of him after four years of this?

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the Age of Mallett to begin.  Hopefully it begins tomorrow in Gainesville.  Tebow’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir squaring off against Mallett’s Eminem.

I know which one I’d rather listen to.

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