Religion & Philosophy

Miracle on Turf: Believing in Tebow

OK, it’s pretty well documented that I am a non-believer in the Miracle at Mile High. I think he is the second coming all right, but the second coming of Bobby Douglass and much of his success is due to the fact that Bobby Douglasses only come along every fifty years or so, and thus profit from novelty. Look at the old footage of Bobby reading the defensive end, and faking the hand off to the running back, then racing up the middle or throwing a wobbly duck twenty yards down the field, and it looks just like Timmy. Same size, same left-handedness, same same.

And that’s OK. It’s clear now that Tim is a fungible NFL quarterback. He threw for 316 yards (yes, yes, John 3:16 and all that) last week against a pretty good defense. 300 yards is 300 yards. The guy threw for 300 yards against a quality NFL defense. I was wrong. He is an NFL quarterback. A great one? Probably not. But Bobby Douglass had an eleven-year career. His teams went 13-31-1. His passing stats were never very good, but he was famous for setting up a quarterback rushing record which stood for over thirty years. That may well be what we see from Tebow: a solid career with a few bright and shining moments, and a bucket full of rushing records. If you’re a Denver fan,having Tebow as a QB probably condemns you to perpetual mediocrity, because 8 and 8 teams exist in NFL purgatory–not good enough to go to the SB and too good for high draft picks, but it sounds as if most Denverarians are OK with that. Good for them. There aren’t enough Staffords and Lucks to go around anyway.

One more thought on his Tebowness. I watched part of that game with a high school coach from southern California who coaches for a Catholic school and is devout himself. And he made a pretty darn good point. Many of those who don’t like Tebow don’t like him not because of his football skills, but because we don’t like his aggressive stance on religion (and the fact that he jumped several queues to get to where he is due to the evangelical-good-old-boy network.) But is Tebow’s stance on religion more objectionable than Roethlisberger’s off-field behavior. Probably not. Tebow may be a pain, but to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t been accused of sexual assault. Twice.

Tebow is probably not the great quarterback his believers think he is. But then again, he clearly not the disaster I thought he was going to be. And all things considered, maybe he’s not so bad for football either.

3 replies »

  1. I think your sense for what St. Timmy is going to be is pretty plausible. I can see a string of 8-8 seasons, with some 9-7s and maybe even a 10-6 in there. If the goal is to run a marketing machine that occasionally makes the playoffs, he’s the man.

    I’m betting against Super Bowls, though.

    In the aftermath of Sunday’s game (where TT played very well, btw) I started hearing from any number of friends and acquaintances and the dominant theme was “you’re stuck with him now.” Also, from his fans, messages along the lines of “HAH! See, he CAN throw the ball.” My answer was simple: mark down January 8, 2012. That was the day the Denver Broncos won the battle that cost them the war.

    Ultimately I don’t get too emotionally involved in big dollar sports. And I’m just fine shifting my attention to my other favorite team, the Carolina Panthers. Go Cats.

  2. I will admit that his constant barrage of “Thank you, Lord”s and “my savior, Jesus Christ” is annoying and grating, but when I think of all of the worse things he could be known for – womanizing, doing drugs, or sexually abusing people – I am jilted back to reality and realize that, dammit, he’s a pretty nice guy that loves what he’s doing. Maybe it’s that boyish naivete that flies in the face of the tuff-guy attitude of the NFL that upsets people, but these are all ultimately terrible reasons to dislike someone.

    I will hit on the religion one more time, though. Do you really think that if a god exists, he would give a flying f**k about football when so many people in the world are suffering and the planet is dying? Would he really pick sides and help one team win?

    It’s either an extraordinary display of arrogance, or the result of a lack of critical thinking, to credit a deity with your performance on a football field versus another team of (probably all) believers, when what is on the line is money, fame, and a chunk of metal. If it’s true, then god is as petty as the Old Testament makes him out to be.

  3. Well, a lot of high-profile, devout evangelicals have gone a long time basking in the glory of the lord before we found out that they lied, stole and/or paid for male prostitutes and meth. So, no, Tebow hasn’t been accused of anything but i don’t see his act as a reason to believe he’s wholesome.

    I think Nick nails the religious aspect that’s so grating.

    As for football, there are quarterbacks who’ve had much more impressive seasons this year. Mathew Stafford is only 23 and threw for 5000+ yards in his first injury free year. Drew Brees was considered too small and all that coming in and look at his season…and career. But we’re stuck with the guy who prays, because he prays.

    That being said, i like the potential that Tebow represents. I find NFL gameplanning boring, so the hybrid offense that Denver has installed is intriguing to me and wonder if it will open the door to some creative thinking by NFL OC’s.