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It was a great night for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. For Patriot Nation, it was a night to enjoy and exhale after three straight playoff defeats. It was also a night to reflect on what was a great season for Tim Tebow. I wrote last week that the media has embraced a culture of negativity. I grew up with a media whose role was to create discussion and debate. They were there to tell a story to the people. Now, there are far too many personal agendas interfering with the conversation. So I want to call out a few people in the media who took such gratification in someone else’s defeat. I say defeat, because to Tim Tebow, it was a football game, nothing more.
But, first I wanted to state that I am a Catholic, not a devout Catholic, but a Catholic. I believe in God, but like many I question some of the dogmas and doctrines I was raised upon. In my religion, that might makes me a hypocrite. I can live with that, my religion is a part of my life but does not define who I am. However, I never condemn anyone for their own religious beliefs and don’t have any tolerance for anyone that would question mine. As long as your beliefs aren’t hurting anyone else then I believe under the First Amendment you have the right to worship at a podium or in a church.
The sports media has tried to hide its prejudice toward Tim Tebow. They have tried to make their taunts about what THEY perceive is a lack of talent and not ideology. I don’t believe those who say it’s all about Tim Tebow, the football player. There have been players who achieved similar success but never are the target of such acrimony.
Tim Tebow is a leader, Tim Tebow is a believer, Tim Tebow is a winner and most importantly, Tim Tebow is someone that tries to improve people’s lives. To all those that condemn him for sports or anything else, how many lives have you improved? The media wants to separate the player from the religion and attack both, but you can’t: he’s a package deal.
In 2001, Tom Brady won a Super Bowl. He was shut out for a half in the divisional playoff round. Brady finished strong in the game, ending up with 312 yards passing. He was injured the next week and did not play a majority of the AFC Championship, and in the Super Bowl passed for 146 yards. That was in his second year. Tim Tebow is in his second year, and he took a 1-4 Broncos team to a 9-9 record. That’s 8-5 if my math is right, including a winning TD pass against the Steelers, who were 12-4.
But the Steelers were beat up as Ron Borges keeps telling us. Sure, and so were the Packers last season, and they won a Super Bowl. Even beat up, the Steelers defense had more talent than the Patriots defense and still, Tebow put up 316 yards. I hate to agree with Mike Felger, but to the anti-Tebow coalition, you lost the argument this year. He was a success, put the claws away. Fans are fans, they root for their teams. The media is supposed to have some sort of integrity. When it comes to Tim Tebow, I find very little integrity or objectivity. So I wanted to call out the particularly pathetic who couldn’t help but run to their computer or microphone to say how right they were.
I’ll start big picture with the national perspective and then move down:
If you’ve never heard of it, it’s because your political beliefs don’t lean to the left. It’s the homepage for the Uber-Liberals, headed by Arianna Huffington, whose claim to fame was marrying rich. Well, their headline post-game was “Tebow Destroyed.” Really, that’s your headline? You see Saturday, I saw a story about Tim Tebow making a difference in the life of Bailey Knaub. Bailey Knaub, a 16-year old girl who has had to endure 73 surgeries in her life because she suffers from granulomatosis, an immune disorder that cost Bailey her lung. Tim Tebow has not only shed light on this relatively unknown disease, but he’s helped bring joy to a girl who’s more than earned it.
So when does your ideology outweigh your humanity? When I see headlines with the word “destroyed,” I expect to read about tornadoes or earthquakes, not quarterbacks. The Huffington Post doesn’t lead with many sports stories, so there was a lot more to this headline than a quarterback with accuracy issues. This is a headline attacking Tim Tebow because he is vocal about Christianity. When did that become so bad?
It’s a conservative, but very popular website for those who lean right of center. Tim Tebow is not a pawn in a political chess match. He’s a football player, and a terrific young man. Making him headline number one is wrong, unless you’re going to make football the lead story every week.
Taking it local, because we are a local website…
These two couldn’t wait to start tweeting and bashing on Tebow following Saturday night’s game. They claim it’s strictly football. Scott Zolak said he’s a football “purist.” I thought that was a strange comment considering Denver won all season on running and defense. Isn’t that the purity of the NFL, as opposed to 400-yard passing games?
It’s not easy to go on the road and win a divisional game; ask Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. The Broncos beat a 12-4 team and then traveled cross country and lost the next week to a Hall of Fame coach and a Hall of Fame quarterback whose team had made it to the divisional round 7 times in the last 11 years. Zolak didn’t come off last week as a commentator but more of a jealous ex-player who probably would kill for the achievement that Tebow has accomplished, on and off the field.
Andy Gresh, meanwhile, said a few weeks ago that Tebow wasn’t as good as Kyle Orton. He often comes off, at least to me, as someone who can’t admit when he’s wrong. I don’t expect him to be the better man and actually give credit to Tim Tebow. However, to start tweeting like a 5th grader 10 minutes after the game showed really how small a person he can be. Andy Gresh works for the New England Patriot network and the New England Patriot team. This is a team whose founder was married to a woman who was all about charity and giving. Andy, step outside your flat world and instead of running down Tim Tebow, accept him for the person he is, and the winner he is on and off the football field. Insecurity and humility do not have to be mutually exclusive.
These men are among the many local media figures taking pleasure in Tebow’s loss Saturday. You didn’t prove that Tim Tebow couldn’t play in the league. Something tells me he’ll be in the NFL another 10 years at least. Whether Tebow will be a Super Bowl quarterback or just a role player, I don’t know, time will tell. But, if he does become a great quarterback, don’t forget to tell us all how wrong you were.
As for the game itself, well, it was an important step for the Patriots. Come Monday, the same fools who ridiculed the Patriots all week will ridicule this victory because of the opponent, and that’s fine. As I said last week, that’s the new media. Negativity and hatred gets a bigger rise out of the audience and more ratings. Everyone still loves a good stoning.
I don’t know what it says about us as a culture though. We live in a world where Charlie Sheen, Snookie, Kim Kardashian, Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick are admired and Tim Tebow is attacked. It wasn’t always like that. I doubt it will ever turn around. I have hope, and how can you not when see perseverance from people like Bailey Knaub. It’s easy to point fingers and push people down, but it’s those that prop people up that we should truly admire, people like Tim Tebow, who just finished his SECOND NFL season.