I’m already in full rhetorical scramble, knowing that some readers are going to be charging furiously. My first linguistic stiff-arm is for Detroit Lions fans:
I’m not arguing that you are cursed or that God hates Stephen Tulloch.
Okay, there, I avoided the first tackle. Oh no, menacing religious reader in full tilt—I feel that grab on my writing shoulder pad, but I’m not going down.
I understand that religion is a serious subject and that by even mentioning curses, God and football in the same breath, I am making religion sound trivial at best and hateful at worst. I don’t want to do either.
OK, now I’m really moving, looking for a seam, trying to turn compositional defense into some forward movement. I’m Tim Tebow with a laptop, my biceps bulging with every key-press. Wait, someone grabbed my finger: “You write another article on Tebow before you do those dishes and I’ll break it!” My wife never gives up on a play, so down goes O’Neil for a loss of credibility.
If I’m going to write about Tebow again—heck, if anyone anywhere at any point in the near future is going to write about a guy who has turned third-string beat reporters into prolific front-page commentators—I need to say something approximating novelty. And right now, all he does is win; he wins so improbably that even teams that lose to the Broncos, like the Dolphins, are claiming that they came closer to God in the process.
Whether hanging by the coattails of his suddenly formidable defense or by his will to believe and have faith in his “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” his teammates and his own ability to hit open receivers when it counts (the credulity is strong with this one), he has found a way to win. That story is old.
So the freshest sports scoop I can muster is that Tebow lost. Remember the Lions?
First, let’s remember Remember the Titans, that sports film we all love. I don't recall the character’s name, but there was a neckless peacemaker who just wanted everyone in the town to get along and get over their stupid racism. Well, remember, when you cried when he got hit by that car (come on, admit it, we are among friends here)? That crushing blow was nothing compared to the anguish Tebow’s fans felt during that Lions trouncing, when Tebow was chewed up like a drumstick in the movie Precious (I haven't gone to a move in a while).
Not only did the Lions tackle Tebow with merciless rapidity, but Stephen Tulloch topped his Tebow-topple by Tebowing. That is the basketball equivalent of dunking on someone, hanging on the rim and...well, let’s keep this a family show, but the point is, it was bad! Subsequent Lions’ woes have ensued.
The sports world has a long history of propagating, repeating and then fully internalizing a whole host of superstitious conspiracies. The Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004 but I still would not whisper about the Curse of the Bambino in a Boston sports bar on Friday the 13th. I’m agile, but not that agile.
Hey Cubs fans, what about the Goat? If there is anyone left who does not believe in the whirlwind of bad karma you stir when you politely suggest that fans don’t want to sit next to someone who has no qualms about releasing its bowels in the bleachers (I probably opened myself up to a joke there about Bleacher Reporter, but I’m moving on), then throw your head way back and pretend that there is a flying, fluttering baseball in the air.
See it? Okay, now follow it down slowly...slowly, until...bam! It careens off the hands of Bartman.
So what do you think about a Tebow curse in the making? If we don’t believe it, would our kids one day believe it, or our kid’s kids, once there has been time for the facts to be fudged?
I can’t participate much because I have to do the dishes, but go ahead and duke it out.
Will the tradition of a Tebow curse, whether against the Lions or anyone else who messes with Jacksonville’s Chosen One, ever catch on?
What would need to happen for it to do so?
Finally, how would you break a Tebow curse?