Tim Tebow Controversy: Getting REAL About the Polarizing QB

Allen Levin@@TheNBAllenCorrespondent IINovember 14, 2011

Tim Tebow Controversy: Getting REAL About the Polarizing QB

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    Tim Tebow is a 24-year-old man. He is a football quarterback. He is an advocate for the Christian faith. While he is revered by many, he is despised by just as many, if not more. When you combine all these elements you get by far one of the most polarizing figures in sports today.

    But why? Why do some people see him as a perennial winner with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, while others depict him as a religious phony who has no shot of becoming a legitimate NFL quarterback? The only way to get to the bottom of this is to get REAL.

    If you are a supporter of Tim Tebow it is most likely for one of three reasons: you are a Christian, University of Florida football fan and/or a Denver Broncos fan. If you fall into one of those three categories, there is substantial, REAL reasons to like Tebow.   

    If you are a Tebow hater, the reasons are usually the exact opposite of those who support him. There is merit in that depending on the circumstances and reasoning. 

    This article will express the REAL and FAKE reasons to like or dislike Tim Tebow. 

Tim Tebow's Football Background

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    Controversy first found Tebow his sophomore year of high school. As a home-schooled student (by his super-religious mother), he was forced to play football at Trinity Christian Academy. In order to play his preferred position, quarterback, Tebow moved to St. Johns County so that he could play for Nease High School.  

    The issue was raised that as a home-schooled student he apparently could have his choice at which school he wanted to play for, while other students were forced to play at the high school of the district they lived in.

    However, the issue was quickly forgotten as Tebow found great success his junior and senior seasons at Nease, winning a state title, as well as numerous awards and honors. He garnered all sorts of national attention, even being featured in an ESPN documentary that discussed his already-controversial story.

    After an intense recruiting process, Tebow enrolled at the University of Florida and from there most people know his story.   

REAL Reasons To Like Tim Tebow

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    If you are a Christian, Tebow is the epitome of what every follower strives to be. The man is steadfast and absolute in his faith. He loves Jesus Christ with all his heart and would do anything to further the religion, including frequent trips to a third-world country. Therefore it is very REAL to like or respect him because of his faith.

    Furthermore, he is one of the most dedicated, hardest-working athletes in not only America, but the entire world. He has portrayed his dedication on the field by winning numerous awards in both high school and college, including the Heisman Trophy. 

    In the Gators' national championship season in 2008, they suffered an early upset loss to Ole Miss, which was characterized by Tebow's postgame speech. Very emotional and near tears, Tebow famously said, "You won't see a team work as hard as we will the rest of the season." It would turn out that was exactly what happened as the Gators won out and went on to win the NCAA title.

    If you respect his work ethic and success as both a human and athlete, then there is a very legitimate reason to respect or like him. 

    Finally, if you are a member of the Gator Nation, you obviously have real reason to love him as he brought the university tons of success and national attention. 

    Respecting his faith, work ethic on the field and team affiliation (Gators/Broncos) are all fair and REAL reasons to like Tebow. 

FAKE Reasons To Hate Tim Tebow

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    A lot of people hate Tebow simply because of how flamboyant he is about his religious beliefs, whether it be praying on the field or thanking Jesus Christ in a postgame news conference.

    While there is some merit to disliking him for his outward showing of faith, there is no reason to completely discount the guy as a football player and human just because he takes pride in his beliefs. 

    Tebow received a lot of criticism because of a Super Bowl commercial he appeared in last year that advocated a pro-life stance. Obviously this angered pro-choice activists and seemed inappropriate at the time. But what most people don’t know is the story behind the ad.   

    During his mother’s pregnancy, there were major complications that led doctors to recommend an abortion. But because of his mother’s faith and belief she refused, and eventually gave birth to her already-controversial son.

    Therefore, it is very REAL for Tebow to have a pro-life stance. If not for his mother’s decision he would not be alive today and not have accomplished all that he has so far in his life.   

    So, to blindly hate Tebow for choosing to appear in a pro-life commercial (as well as for his overall Christian beliefs) is completely fake and uncalled for. I’m not advocating that pro-life is right or wrong. All I’m saying is that he has every right to take that stance if he so chooses, and it is FAKE to dislike him because of that choice.

    Many people hate him because they don't think his playing abilities warrant him as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Some think he was just handed the starting job in Denver and never really earned it. While it is fair to criticize his mechanics and unorthodox style at QB, it's fake to make a judgment that he's not worthy as a NFL starter at this stage in his career. 

    Tebow is only a second-year player, so it is still way to early to place all this hatred and criticism on the guy when he could easily still develop and mature into a starting-caliber quarterback. Throughout his football career he has always done one thing, and that is win. It's not always pretty or the "right way" to do it, but he just always seems to find ways to win no matter how much doubt and negativity surrounds him.

    It is just plain FAKE to hate the guy when he hasn't failed yet.

REAL Reasons To Dislike Tebow

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    No matter what happens in the future of Tebow's career, there will always be people that hate him. But if you do hate him, do it for REAL, legitimate and logical reasons. 

    If you are one of the people that are against his hardcore religious beliefs, it's legitimate to feel a lack of respect for him if you view that Tebow forces his religion down people's throats. Some go as far as to say he may even be a phony or somewhat disingenuous. Not everyone likes to be preached to, so it's fair to be agitated in that respect by his pastor-like approach. But as mentioned before, disliking him purely because he is religious is FAKE. 

    Another real and logical reason to dislike or have a lack of respect for Tebow is the glorification by the media that he hasn't fully earned. So far, Tebow hasn't accomplished much in his short NFL career, while the media, at times, portray him like the next John Elway. 

    His headlines are usually overplayed and far too reactionary, which is a good and REAL reason for you to feel annoyed and ultimately lose respect for a guy that really hasn't accomplished anything yet.

    Additionally, it is questionable as to whether he has the proper technique to be a successful NFL quarterback, which is another logical reason to dislike him as a player. Tebow's throwing mechanics, footwork and ability to go through multiple reads are questionable at best and subject to a vast amount of criticism. For that reason it would be REAL to dislike him as a player since he does not possess the qualities of your prototypical NFL quarterback.

    Finally, if you are a fan of a team like Oklahoma, Florida State, Georgia or another Gator rival, then you obviously have legitimate reason for hating him as he had success against your favorite team, which is a very REAL reason to express dislike towards him. 

FAKE Reasons To Like Tim Tebow

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    Just like there are real and fake reasons to dislike him, there are real and fake reasons to like him as well. 

    Some people blindly like Tebow purely because he is a religious nut. Devout Christians may like him just because he stands up for their religion. However they have never really followed his career as a football player and use his faith as the reason he will undoubtedly succeed regardless of his many criticisms.

    Therefore, if you are crazy over him only because of the way he portrays his belief, that is fake. You have to take into consideration the entirety of his situation, before you just blindly follow him. 

Conclusion: Tim Tebow Is Polarizing

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    At the end of the day, people will have their own opinions and thoughts on Tim Tebow. You may love him, you may hate him.

    But, you should think about all the factors before you do so blindly or on impulse.

    Tebow is a polarizing figure. He is loved for being a Christian, and hated for being a Christian. He is revered for the success he has had in football so far, but is bashed and ripped apart for his "flawed mechanics." He is essentially loved and hated for the same reasons.

    If you don't want to buy into his outward showing of his religious beliefs or don't respect the media's glorification of him or hate his mechanics as a football player, then go ahead—dislike Tebow. Those are all fair and REAL reasons to not agree with him and not respect him overall.

    However, look at him as a human being. He is a man who helps less fortunate children, takes time to go on missionary trips even with a busy schedule, is consistent with his faith and is the epitome of a hard-working American. I'm not advocating to respect him as a football player or even as a person, but it is fake to deny all the positives he does for his community and society.

    He is a guy that strives to make himself and his teammates better. Look at athletes that are constantly criticized—Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and LeBron James are all players that have been knocked for "giving up" on their teammates in the past.

    Tebow is someone that refuses to give up and takes a genuine care in getting better and winning. He appears to be selfless. Those are qualities that at the very least you have to admire.

    Dislike him for legitimate reasons that you can logically argue; don't hate the guy based on pure flamboyancy for his religion. 

    When it comes to Tim Tebow, you can really love or hate the guy for the same reasons. But, if you do hate him, hate him for REAL, logical reasons—not simple-minded, easy-way-out reasons. Otherwise, you are being FAKE to hate a person that really does contribute to society in a positive way and has done nothing but succeed so far in his life.