Essays, Sports

More Tebows, Please.

Most people think my man-crush on Tim Tebow is a joke. Like some kind of lame, ironic love that you have for an informercial product. But I am incredibly sincere in my respect for and support of the lightning rod leading the Denver Broncos on an unlikely playoff run. First off, let me get it out there that Tebow is the best thing to happen to the NFL in the past ten years. No player – probably ever – has caused such a frenzy of both love and hate from the league’s fans (and, more surprisingly, people who don’t even care about the sport). It has made for an insanely exciting season. So, at the least, we have to thank Timmy for that one.

Now, I’m a Patriots fan. So my expectations for the quarterback position are quite high. Is Tebow the next Brady? I doubt it, and even if he is, he hasn’t earned enough props to be included in the same sentence as Brady (the second greatest quarterback of all time, in my opinion, behind Montana). But Tebow is about more than completing passes. Here’s a guy who was told he couldn’t be a quarterback through his entire high school and college careers, even when he was busy winning the Heisman. And when he finally got to the NFL as a surprise first-round pick (I think it’s funny that nobody has mentioned Josh McDaniels through any of this), it was more of the same criticisms. Now, I didn’t really care at the time, as he had yet to finally lead an NFL team.

But then he got the chance to kick some ass. And he’s been doing just that. He’s taken the Broncos to 8-5 and a division lead. He’s led four fourth-quarter comebacks. He’s won five games on the road. Three overtime wins. The man has defined clutch this season. And he still has his dissidents, which I completely understand. He hasn’t destroyed Goliath, his completion percentage is under 50%, and he doesn’t follow the same outline as your typical, elite quarterback.

But, so what? The NFL today is filled with assholes who are worshipped. Michael Vick. He kills a bunch of defenseless dogs for no apparent reason and is now the King Leonidas of Philadelphia (only with a much worse spiral). He absolutely sucks as a quarterback, has a disgusting past, and yet we are still overjoyed to watch him play. Big Ben. Sexual assault, apparently, is also something to model yourself after. Sure, he’s got two rings, but surely we can follow a player for different reasons.

And much of the criticism is simply unfair. Have some strange events – some claimed to be ‘divine intervention’ – helped the Broncos in their recent wins? Sure. But welcome to the NFL. Hell, Mark Sanchez needs twelve God-induced events to win on any given Sunday. Anybody remember Eli Manning’s absurd toss in the Super Bowl that was somehow caught on David Tyree’s helmet? Do we all hate Eli Manning and the entire Giants organization because of that fluke catch? Not more than Tebow, apparently.

But here’s my point – the NFL needs more Tebows. Players who are genuine, honest, respectable, and damn talented at what they do without being complete assholes. Players who play for the team on the front and not the name on the back. Hate him because of his apparent faith? You’re an idiot. A stupid one. Hate him because such a religious and prudent guy can have a girlfriend that looks like his? You’re a loser. Hate him because his completion percentage is less than stellar? Get over it. He could bench-press your entire body mass and then steal your wife just because he’s bored. The point is to win games, and the man has done just that. I can’t say how the season will end for Tebow, but it’s been an absolute blast watching him ball. So, shut up. Sit back, enjoy the show, and show some love for one helluva football player.

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