Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Tim Tebow Handles The Facebook Era

We live in a golden era for access to athletes -- for all the sky-is-falling lamentations about the state of newspaper sports journalism, the connection between fans and athletes has never been clearer:

Web sites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, obsessive 24/7 coverage of every little detail: Archaic newspaper vets may scoff, but this is an extraordinarily positive development in sports.

That's not to say it is without its pitfalls: There are plenty of folks out there who just want to try to cash in for a quick buck (or quick fame) using these tools and platforms.

There is a great article in the NY Times today by Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans, taking a look at how this phenomenon has hit the biggest rock stars of college football, including Tim Tebow.

The fact is: For all Tebow's ease in the face of traditional media pressure -- and for all his generosity with his time for fans out of the spotlight -- he still has to be careful.

The lead of the story is the best:

While shopping recently at Radio Shack, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was approached by a woman with a seemingly innocuous request to take a picture with him. But an instant before her mother snapped the photo with a cellphone camera, the woman tried to take off her shirt

“It’s happened four or five times,” Tebow said with a sigh. “Most of the time I just dive out of the picture. Some people can just be crazy.”
It's just one more thing to handle. Frankly, athletes today are so much better at this than athletes of even a half-decade or decade ago, let alone further back. Can you imagine the exploits that would have been revealed if we had today's communication tools in the 60s or 70s?

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