Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tebow: Kryptonite for Fan Cynicism?

I just linked to a provocative column by college journalist Zach Zimmerman of the Stanford Daily that he's tired of Tebow. Made me think. Here is my reaction to his column:

Zimmerman makes a fair point, but he seems pretty cynical for a college kid -- Zach's theory: Tebow's seeming absence of problems doesn't mean he won't have problems in the future.

I guess if you're a college-aged sports fan, your formative sports memories began when you were 10 or 11 and McGwire and Sosa were dueling in '98 -- and it was nothing but disappointment and dissolution since.

They have never known anything but sports in the 24/7, instant-history Internet Era, where hyperbole is the norm and what happened yesterday must be some superlative "greatest. thing. ever." (I made a living off that philosophy for 4 years.)

But isn't it possible -- just possible -- that Tebow's remarkable ability to maintain a consistency of performance (on and off the field) is very real... once-in-a-generation?

Hyperbole and instant history have deadened -- perhaps cheapened -- our sensibilities. I think fans have a hard time separating the sensationalized from the superlative.

Maybe, after hearing "Best. X. Ever." so often, they are rightly skeptical whenever they are presented with a REAL candidate for "Greatest of all time," as Tebow is making the case.

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I think the earnest belief in Tebow's superlative ability and character is the antidote to the cynicism and skepticism pervading sports right now.

So now Tebow is single-handedly counterbalancing cynicism and skepticism in sports? One more thing to add to his list of accomplishments.

Or, for Zimmerman, one more thing to get fatigued about.

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha, I like your last line.

    It's more fun for me to enjoy and admire an athlete than to stare him over for flaws. The pleasure of admiration is worth getting taken in once in a while. But I think Tebow is genuine.