Tim Tebow is the most polarizing athlete since the term “polarizing” was invented. It’s a word that seems invented for Tebow and the clichéd men and women who litter essays and headlines with the word that is so synonymous with him. He’s a man who entices other men to hysterically, yet not truthfully, declare the end of the modern offense, the way Harold Camping decrees the end of days.
I don’t know where I stand with Tebow, and I feel like I have to pick a side. There are more than two sides with Tebow supporters/detractors; however, none of which I feel comfortable giving my allegiance to.
There are those who see Tebow as a righteous soldier of the Christian faith. Consequentially, there are the people who believe Tebow is being unfairly criticized due to his religion. My dad is one of those people, and we constantly debate the merits of that argument. I feel it is just evading the real reason why people dislike Tebow, and is instead just an excuse for his lackluster skills.
Others have brought up this issue on a larger scale, and it’s not an argument that can really hold up due to the faulty persistence that the media is made up of liberal anti-Christians who see Tebow as impressing his faith on us. It’s just not true, although it is sometimes easy to perceive it that way.
There are those who believe Tebow to be a waste of sperm, a quarterback who wouldn’t find a place in a backyard football league if he wasn’t able to move laterally. There are those who just find Tebow entertaining, a sideshow freak to the generally plain landscape of NFL quarterbacks. There are those who want Tebow to succeed to stick it in the face of the detractors. There are those who want him to fall on his face miserably, and are legitimately mad at his successes and the way his fourth-quarter comebacks only elongate conversation of his being a “real” quarterback . There are those who use him solely as column fodder, which I may or may not can be accused of.
I believe Tebow to be highly entertaining, but I also find him to be a below-average quarterback. When he has to play the Jets on Thursday, there is a good chance his boyish excitement could move a few notches below “YAY." They are a team that will suffocate Tebow in not only the pass, but likely the rush. If the best Tebow could do passing-wise against the Kansas City Chiefs was 2-of-8, even Antonio Cromartie will be excited to play against him.
The good thing about Tebow is that if he is playing, you are watching. Whether you hate him or love him, you’re watching. To criticize or high-five him, you gaze mindlessly at the TV, only to remark whenever he throws a wobbly spiral or runs for a first down. He is the easiest player in the league to have an opinion on, mainly because even people are are non-fans can have a take on him.
He doesn’t look like he should be playing the position he is, and as society as always taught us, it is easy to comment on those different from the social norm. We are not used to a quarterback who is run-first, the way we weren’t used to Stephon Marbury as a “shoot-first” point guard.
Tebow can also be accused of never really answering his critics. He has never showed the ability to play quarterback and has instead turned the Denver offense into something a Pop Warner team would run.
But he stands tall in adversity, something that even the haters have to give him, right? He stands in the face of endless criticism and less than taunts, never resorting to “Why have you forsaken me?” He can be repulsive yet enchanting.
That is my problem with this whole Tebow thing. I feel the need to take a side with him, but it troubles me. I find it hard to be really mad at him because he’s a nice person who does nice things and can occasionally make a spectacular play. He also can be a quarterback with little quarterbacking skills.
My allegiances lie in various factions of the Tebow spectrum. As said, he’s an interesting specimen. As said, he throws a football with the viscosity of a middle aged man recovering from shoulder surgery. I don’t know where to go, and I feel the need to go somewhere, as somewhat of a football writer.
Why can’t I just have my tentacles in all parts? I would like to. Can we make this happen, without me being ridiculed for taking a cop out?