Monday, June 10, 2013

Tebow + Patriots = Fun!

Well, I wasn't planning to post anything new here until Wednesday. At that time, the Boston Bruins will begin their battle with the Chicago Blackhawks for Lord Stanley's Cup. I have someone lined up to make a bet with the same rules as the bet that Michelle lost and has made good on. But something just happened (or, at least, was announced as going to happen) that has my sports fan soul all hot and bothered.

The New England Patriots are signing Tim Tebow.

I think it's a fantastic fit. Tebow is a winner, plain and simple, and Bill Belichick has brains enough to utilize his skills in ways that Rex Ryan and the hideous New York Jets never even considered. I'm looking forward to some serious fun whenever Tebow hits the field this fall.

Most everything I had to say concerning Tim Tebow was said in a post here 18 months ago. Here it is again (with small addendum at the end.)


Tim Tebow is my favorite athlete. And I don't mean just right now. I mean ever.

I grew up with the eventually-tragic Tony Conigliaro as my sports hero. I've had others whom I liked, a lot: Babe Parilli, Larry Siegfried, John Havlicek, Murray Oliver, Steve DeBerg, Dunc Wilson, Rajon Rondo, Doug Flutie, and Tim Wakefield, to name those that come immediately to mind, have all had a special place in my heart, for various reasons I won't go into here. Tebow, though, is something entirely different and special.

There's a lot to like about him as a football player, of course. He's a fearless runner, with a fair amount of speed, and defenses have to plan to contain him in that regard. He's not a stumblebum when it comes to passing, despite what some critics of his would have you believe. He may not have the most beautiful throwing motion, but if you give him the opportunity to drive a stake through your heart, by showing him open receivers, he'll kill you just as effectively as any of the more highly-touted quarterbacks in the league.

However, it's more than performance that makes him my favorite. He's also intelligent, personable, gracious, and humble. He always defers to his teammates and coaches, never pointing toward himself with a "Me! Me! Me!" as so many football players and other professional athletes do. He's a fantastic role model for kids; a non-drinking, non-drugging, non-womanizing college graduate. And he's just plain fun to watch.

And it's also undeniably tasty to see people who criticize him floundering about whenever he wins.

The biggest problem that some people have with Tebow is that he's a Christian, and a very vocal Christian at that. When a microphone is thrust in his face, he first takes that opportunity to thank Jesus Christ. He then answers whatever questions are asked of him, in a polite manner, usually praising his teammates, coaches, parents, or whomever else he feels like showering with love at the moment. And, as I say, some folks have a problem with this.

Why? I'm not truly sure. It seems like a waste of energy to me. But Tebow engenders absolute hatred from some corners. And the people who hate on him come off as the sort who would kick a puppy. Tebow does absolutely nothing to deserve such treatment, other than declaring his religious values in public. I can understand where it might become tiresome to hear him say such things, but the viciousness of some commentary is amazingly vitriolic. And that puts it over the top for me. I'm a sucker for almost any underdog, and Tim being batted around in the media, in on-line commentary, and kicked around by blowhard pundits, just makes him all the more loveable to me as a fan.

Here's the kind of kid he is. Your reaction to the following says a lot about you.

Chicago Bears linebacker, Brian Urlacher, following Chicago's loss to Denver, was asked what he thought of Tebow's play. He said:

"He's a good running back. He does a good job running for them."

(Tebow is a quarterback, not a running back, so that's what you'd call damning with faint praise. If you don't understand that, you don't understand football.)

Tebow's response?

"Coming from a really good player, that means a lot."

He could have gotten righteously indignant. He had, after all, just completed EIGHTEEN passes against Urlacher's team, in the fourth quarter alone. Instead, he was gracious in victory.

Even better was his response to the Detroit Lions.

The Lions croaked Denver. Demolished them. It was not a pretty game for Tebow or his teammates. During play, one of the Detroit players, following a sack of Tebow, got down on a knee and mocked Tebow's now famous posture of prayer. Asked about it in the locker after the game, Tebow said:

"He was just celebrating, having fun with his teammates, and I don't take offense to that."

Do you really want to denigrate a guy who says stuff like this? Really? You may not agree with his religion, or his way of displaying it, but I think the world would be a much better place, overall, if more people had the attitude that Tim Tebow displays. And if your mileage varies, that's truly sad for you.

The best thing about Tebow, though, the absolute best thing, is when a stunning coincidence occurs, such as happened yesterday when Denver beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

The winning play came in overtime, an 80-yard Tebow touchdown pass to teammate DeMaryius Thomas. With that completion, Tebow ended with a total of 316 passing yards. Now, if you don't immediately get why this is so delicious, consider this photo from Tebow's college days...

Notice the inscription on Tebow's eye black? While at Florida, he often would write such messages, touting one scriptural passage or another, knowing that the cameras would be on him. A favorite was John 3:16, which reads...

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Following Tebow's team winning the national collegiate championship, during which he displayed that message on his eye black during the telecast, there were over 94,000,000 hits on Google for "John 3:16". It pays to advertise!

He can't write such messages while in the National Football League, as they prohibit that sort of thing. But yesterday, on the biggest stage he's thus far been given, during a playoff game, his final winning pass brought his total yardage to 316.

Do I believe this is a message from God? To be truthful, I heard the number and didn't think anything of it. However, a whole bunch of folks in the media have latched onto it, and I suppose, if God really did care about sending messages via football games, that would be a pretty dandy way to do it.

(If you want more fun, tell a hater that the very first shot on TV, after those of the players celebrating, was of JOHN Elway, Broncos legend and current executive. Get it? John? 316? It's all too marvelous for words, really.)

Anyway, it's just great to hear the venom spewing from so many folks this morning. There was a fun article about the 316 yards and Tebow, written by a Boston blogger. Find it HERE. Good read, just fun stuff. But scroll down and read the comments. Yikes! You'd think this guy had just pissed on somebody's mother, by the tone of some of them. And every time I watch Tebow, and see him do something well, I know that there are thousands and thousands of these angry and miserable people pulling their hair out and gnashing their teeth.

You can't get entertainment value like that from any other athlete in the world.

God bless you, Tim Tebow (well, He does already, Tim, but you know what I mean.)

Soon, with more better stuff.

P.S. Yesterday's win by Denver brings them to play my New England Patriots next Saturday. Only one of them can win and move on, of course, and I'm a bit torn. I suppose, in the end, I'll be rooting for the Patriots, and I do see them winning rather handily over Denver. If Tebow pulls off another improbable win, though, I won't be heartbroken (or totally surprised.)


Here's the addendum: The Patriots beat the tar out of Tebow and the Broncos. He was sent packing to the New York Jets. The Jets had no earthly idea what to do with him (starting him in place of Sanchez would have been the obvious move, but they're the Jets and they haven't done anything right since Super Bowl III.)

The Patriots won't start him, of course. They have Tom Brady. It would make no sense to start Tebow. What they will do is find spots for him to totally and completely drive opposing teams round the bend. Belichick, and coach Josh McDaniels, will spot him as a RB or slot receiver, with an option always available for him to pass. Oppositions will have to gameplan for those possibilities. And that will make Brady all the more effective. This is going to be amazing. Trust me. If this deal happens - as it seems it will - we're likely to see a revolution in offense unlike anything previously seen in the NFL.

Thanks for this, God. I can't wait.

Soon, with more better stuff.


lowandslow said...

Couldn't agree more. He's a wild card that can sneak up and hurt you many different ways. Very smart move picking him up. Can you see him as a tight end? Ouch!


Jeni said...

Like you, I just don't understand all the hate generated at Tebow and it is mainly all pointed at the fact he is very religious. Frankly, I think people who criticize him for his methods, his prayers and such, should be ashamed of themselves. More people should use him as their role model.

Chris said...

Timmy's already on record saying he only wants to be a quarterback. Unless he changes his stance on that, he's simply going to be a cap-and-clipboard guy in New England. Mallett would get the nod if something happens to Brady, for sure.

Should be interesting though . . . Belichick dealing with the Tebow drama.

silly rabbit said...

I believe the anger toward him is really aimed at his being Christian. People just go off about Christians as if they were all made in the same mold. Christians, like any other group of people have good ones, so-so ones and some bad apples. But the vast majority of real Christians are wonderful people.
What bothers me is that it seems to be okay to be a Christian hater! Perfectly acceptable by society. Animosity toward other religions is very frowned upon... as it should be. It bothers me that many of the Christian haters are liberals who would fight for other groups to be free to believe as they like. These are otherwise very nice people who believe in freedom of religion.
I do not get it. Nope.
Good for Tebow for not giving an inch on his belief. Good for the Patriots for ignoring the flak his belief has caused and taking him for what else he is... a good player.

Jackie said...

I am a New England Patriots fan now!!

joeh said...

The problem is that many Christians vote Conservative and are thus reviled by many Liberals. Many Christians particularly vocal Christians are against Gay marriage and Abortion. Tebow is a vocal Christian and therefore disliked by many on the Liberal side of the isle. I have never heard Tebow do more than confess his faith, I do not recall him proselytizing conservative issues.

He should be judged on his behavior and his talent. His behavior is exemplary. His football talent in the NFL is still in question. I agree with Sully, if anyone can capitalize on his raw talent it is Belicheck, and yes, the Jets never even tried to use him. I dislike the Patriots, but I will be rooting for Tebow! And he will always be a winner.

Sueann said...

I too love Tim...he is very talented and so humble and genuinely sincere! I hope the utilize him this year. I mean last year, the Jets were so mean-spirited towards Tim...hateful even. It was so sad and it shows what kind of players and coach they truly are! Piss poor!
I too expect to hear exciting things.

The Broad said...

I remember this post and your wonderful defence of him. The Patriots sound a good match for him and I'm looking forward to your keeping me up to date on what happens!

Buck said...

I have an irrational and inexplicable dislike for football teams from Florida, including the U-of, Fla State, and Miami. That said, I enjoyed watching Florida's games when Tebow played there. As you said, he's fun to watch.

messymimi said...

Yes, yes, and yes. It's going to be great to watch -- he's one of the few i keep up with no matter what.

Sandy Kessler said...

He certainly has been maligned for no reason sort of like Republicans !!

Sandy Kessler said...

NY Jets too one dimensional It take s an in depth mind.

Craig said...


I left a long, multi-faceted comment here that disappeared at the moment of posting it. I hate when that happens.

I'll just say that I'm not sure whether or not he can ever be a successful NFL quarterback, but I'm sure pulling for him. And the Hoodie-genius just might be the best possible situation for him to get his best shot. Just so long as it doesn't turn into another three Super Bowls for the Pats, and more idol-worship of Tom Brady (who, I have to keep reminding my friends of the Wolverine persuasion, they couldn't wait to shove aside for Drew Henson, back in the day). . .

That said, I do not understand the vehemence of the visceral loathing he seems to inspire from some quarters. As others of your commenters have said, it's hard not to take it as the sports-page version of Christian-bashing. Honestly, I thought some folks were going to blow their brains right out their ear-holes when he and his mom made that anti-abortion ad that aired during the Super Bowl a couple years ago. Sheesh. . .

Bill Yates said...

Jim, I'm interested in how this will impact Ryan Mallett, our former Arkansas Razorback star quarterback. Since the state of Razorback Football has been in a bit of shambles ever since Bobby Petrino decided to take his girlfriend on an April Fool's Day motorcycle ride, we all hold out hope that Mallett will get a chance to shine as a backup to Brady. If they decide to make Tebow the backup, I hope they will trade Mallett to somebody who can use him.

Daryl said...

interesting, mr tebow once again is a qb on a team with an already seasoned qb... i wonder if he will ever play ... ok, thats it for me with sport comments

Hilary said...

Sports + Repeat = Nuh unh!


(but I do remember reading it the first time)

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