Rarely has a man who does so many things right been regarded with such rancor. Rooting for or against Tebow is seen as a ballot box on secular or Christian mores. We chide him for being so singular in his beliefs, for saving his virginity for marriage, for swearing off swearing, for being so accessible and decent.
The MiLB Resurrection of Tim Tebow: A Technical Guide
Maybe he would be better served by saving some of his more controversial views to himself. We lament the NFL for its cadre of criminals, then we abhor someone because he wears God on his sleeve.
The last 12 months have been a haunting montage of malfeasance. Tebow has literally traveled the world to help the less fortunate. It wasn't just enough to talk about football or the Denver Broncos anymore. It had to become something more. The quarterback position, the SEC, religion, evangelism, sex, social issues, whatever. And neither Tebow —or whatever we've turned him into — nor the sports media has been the same since. Not to get all philosophical on you, but if Tebow has become a caricature of every quality he's represented, is it really Tebow who's become too big to forget, or is it the idea of Tebow that has become unforgettable?
That kind of legacy produces an out-sized interest in whatever he does, certainly if it includes potentially returning to football, but it extends far beyond that. The base of people who find him more polarizing is massive, too. Because of that out-sized interest coming from all sides, the media sees huge audience numbers when it covers Tebow, so it becomes a virtuous — some might say vicious — cycle. Around the time we started to essentially objectify Tebow, people couldn't stop talking about him or it.
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A s Klosterman wrote in , "I feel compelled to write about him, even while recognizing that too much has been written already. As a result, Tebow has become something bigger than any quarterback with a career NFL passer rating of Logically, you'd think it'd be easier to forget about a person than a symbol, which might help shed some light on why many of us are still obsessed with Tim Tebow. When breaking down why we support athletes, sports psychologist and author Bruce Coopersmith believes it's primarily about identification.
Tebow clearly fits the first profile, probably fits the second one and the jury is still out on the third. And that might be the primary reason why people are having so much trouble shaking him from their brains. Had Tebow given up and committed to television or another stable post-NFL job a year ago, Coopersmith suggests he'd have already begun to lose his status as a national celebrity.
But as NFL Media's Albert Breer detailed in a recent story based on a discussion with his trainer, Tebow doesn't plan on giving up anytime soon. He spins the ball better than he did and he's much more accurate than he was. I think he's ready. And if we're counting down toward the end of Tebow's time in the limelight, that workout with the Eagles reset the clock.
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Lathan has a similar view, summing it up in a way that causes me to think of Tebow, somewhat ironically, as someone in career purgatory. But it's funny, because while Tebow and his many loyal followers believe he's still got unfinished NFL business, we once again discover a national divide when it comes to his career status. Coopersmith believes that a lot of the people who want to see Tebow give up on his NFL dream and fade from the public consciousness aren't Tebow haters, but instead those who aren't in his corner.
They don't identify with Tebow, rendering his story irrelevant. But why do folks want Tebow to disappear if all they are is simply indifferent about him as a person and player? It could be that because Tebow has stolen so much of the spotlight, many feel slighted on behalf of whomever they better identify with.
The bad news for those people is that Tebow is only 27, and he plays a position with a long shelf life. That position also happens to be the most important one in football, and he has a specific skill set that could be appealing to desperate teams for years to come, not to mention the potential boost he offers in ticket and merchandise sales.
If indeed Tebow is as dedicated as the evidence indicates, he could remain on NFL radar for years to come, extending his time in purgatory as well as the celebrity sphere. Scary as it sounds, as Shanoff points out, he could continue to be an exception to all of the rules we've bought into regarding fame. That makes no sense to me, because it is impossible to ignore the exceptionalism at play here. He was in as a freshman, in as a Heisman winner, in as a national champ, in as his sport's greatest storyline, in as the NFL draft's most polarizing figure ever, in during his wild run with the Broncos, all during an unprecedented rise in media accessibility and fan interaction.
That accumulation is not typical, and therefore neither is the continuing fan interest in him. Twitter followers: Tim Tebow vs. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose.
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