Thursday, September 3, 2009

More Wrong Tebow Backlash/"Hater" Myth

I do not understand the lead paragraphs of this Fanhouse column about Tim Tebow from David Whitley:
T-minus three days until the most beloved and hated player in college football history begins his final act.

It's easy to understand the love for Tim Tebow. But why so much hate?
I'm not sure Tebow is the most beloved player in college football history -- or anyone who has tried to argue that. The most talked-about? Perhaps.

I am definitely sure Tebow is not the "most...hated" player in college football history.

Hunh? Most hated? "Why so much hate?" I follow the Tebow phenomenon as closely as anyone, and I would not only say that "hate" is entirely the wrong word, but "dislike" is even too strong.

Whitley's "evidence?" An anonymously posted "Yahoo Answers" description of Tebow, which is like heading into a blog's comments section and using that to "prove"... well, anything.

In fact, if you read the columnists, bloggers and message-board posters, the overriding sentiment is something akin to "begrudging respect."

Do fans think he is overexposed? Probably. Are they sick of hearing about how great he is? Probably. But they will usually admit that he has earned it. And that they would be thrilled if he played for their team. Again: Begrudging respect.

More contrived lunacy from Whitley:
What we have here is a case of Tebow Derangement Syndrome, or TDS. It largely springs from Tebow's Christian faith.
Again, I am as attuned to Tebow backlash (or people claiming there's a "backlash") as anyone, particularly about his demonstrative displays of his religious values.

In fact, the opposite is true: Yes, Tebow wears the "Phil 4:13" or "John 3:16" eye-black, but more often than not, his discussion of his faith is restrained to audiences that want to hear about it.

More likely, he is apt to talk about community service more generally. Or about putting your faith or your family ahead of football. That's hardly in-your-face proselytizing.

Whitley also mentions that people are suffering "burnout" because they keep seeing Tebow on magazine covers or TV.

Actually, he's on TV and magazine covers precisely because people want to see him. The same is true of Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford.

Most fans are willing to concede: When you're talking about the best player in the country coming back to play for the best team in the country, media attention follows.

Whitley closes with more absurdity:
Instead he raises money for orphans, doesn't sleep around, carries a 3.7 GPA and tries to help convicts go straight.

I can see why people hate him.
Actually, that's exactly why there ISN'T a backlash. Why there isn't a noticeable level of "hate." Tebow is admired -- either explicitly or begrudgingly.

This notion of "hate" -- this notion of "backlash" -- is a myth, a straw man propped up by sports columnists awkwardly trying to be contrarian.

1 comment:

  1. I think there is the Tebow person and the Tebow phenomenon. Can you hate the phenomenon and still admire the person? I do.

    Honestly, I avoid this blog because of the overplayed nature of the Tebow phenomenon and only read this particular post because I was curious about the "backlash angle."