The Denver Broncos have a bye this Sunday, so for one more week the nation can ponder quarterback Tim Tebow’s ascension to the team’s starting QB spot. By ponder, I mean either celebrate his promotion or rip the heck out of the guy. Curiously, with Tebow there is no in between. When the Broncos announced that Tebow would be replacing the ineffective incumbent Kyle Orton for their next game, there was a frenzy of opinion from both the public in chat rooms, and the media—particularly ESPN pundits. “Tebow’s spent his time on the bench—he deserves to be on the field” said a few. “Tebow will fail miserably, and the Broncos will regret ever drafting the clown,” said even more.
I’m puzzled over why Tebow is so polarizing: sure, he wore his religion on his sleeve (actually on those litte pads under his eyes—John 3:11) while setting records at Florida; he is uncomfortable with NFL-style offenses (but can’t he learn them?); and being the Jockey underwear spokesperson may rub people the wrong way. But he’s never been caught for dog fighting, either. I asked Mike Paul of MGP & Associates (and who has represented athletes) why people get so riled up about Tebow. “Tebow being named QB and a leader on the Broncos is like the NBA’s Michael Jordan when he was in Chicago and Kobe now in L.A.” says Paul. “You take a chance to build a winning team around him and have faith in him, ironically the same way Tebow has faith in God.” It’s the God thing that just might annoy people. but it goes both ways, says Paul. “Ironically, Tebow’s strong Christian faith is a lightning rod for some and a breath of fresh air for others. Remember, America has many evangelical Christians and that base is powerful,” he says.
Whatever the reasons, like Jordan and Kobe, Tebow is one of the most talked about athletes on the planet—but with zero pro championships under his belt. I, for one, will be rooting for the guy to win one of those soon.
—Scott Van Camp