Monday, December 12, 2011

Enough Of This "Tebow-itis"!

Matthew 6:5-7: “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret"

The whole pro football world, and the media that supports it, seems to have gone off the deep end now with Tim Tebow-itis. We are now informed (by Broncos' linebacker Wesley Woodyard), in today's Denver Post, that Tebow informed the team before the game yesterday afternoon with the Bears - in a "quiet corner of the locker room" - that all would be well. "God has spoken to him and has said 'don't worry about a thing".

After the game, as reported by Denver Post sports columnist Mike Kiszla, Tebow acknowledged the power of his deity in the game: "I believe in a BIG God, and special things can happen!

Really, Tim? And how big is your God? As big as the solar system? The galaxy? The Local Group of Galaxies? The whole universe? (Including all the dark matter and energy?) Sheesh! Give it a rest, boy! You and you're team are pulling out these last minute wins not because of the interference of some "Almighty" exclusively wearing Broncos' blue, orange and white, but because all the teams you've faced and beaten: a) Have had serious injuries to key play makers, and b) the remnant teams have all made the same mistakes!

There is no divine action or engagement in football, Tim. Get over yourself. Even if a divinity does exist, and that's never been proven, it would arguably have better things to do with its time than mind the Broncos' games each and every Sunday and respond to your "Tebowing" to interfere to cause a field goal miss or an opposition fumble (like Marion Barber's yesterday in OT) to make sure you guys win!

So, is it really true that there's such a thing as "Tebow time"? Nope, not even close. What's happened in three of the last minute come from behind wins by Tebow and his crew is that the opposition began playing lax coverage, or what football aficionados refer to as "prevent defense": dropping into into soft pass coverage and allowing Tebow to complete passes at the expense of the clock. But it didn't work for any of the victims: the Dolphins, the Chargers, the Jets, and lastly the Bears yesterday. With the game literally on the line, and with only a one score (7 pt.) lead, the Bears made the same basic, disgusting error as the Dolphins, Chargers and Jets and gave Tebow room to work. He thereby threw for 191 of his 236 passing yards in the 4th quarter and overtime.

Even Bears star Linebacker Brian Urlacher admitted to the laxity, saying in a post-game interview: "We just didn't finish. We got into our zone defense at the end and they down the field and scored on us". Uh, yeppers, Brian, you could say that! One would have thought that at least the Bears would have closely watched the other teams' defeats at the hands of Tebow to see what they did wrong and not emulate it. But evidently not.

Meanwhile, the one team (Detroit Lions) to have demolished the Broncos (45-10) with Tebow, see, e.g.

played hard core, man to man defense until the final whistle. No wimpy, pussyfooting zone coverage or "prevent" for them. Let's also bear in mind that the Broncos have benefited by playing teams in those wins where key players were injured. For example, running back Adrian Peterson - the best Vikings offensive player- was missing from the Minnesota game and a huge reason why the Broncos pulled it out at the end (if Peterson had been in, the Vikes could have likely run out the clock). Ditto with key players missing from the Jets, and we know both RB Mat Forte and QB Jake Cutler were missing for the Bears in their Sunday contest. In each case, the Broncos have been major beneficiaries.

But, of course, the argument can be made that all teams suffer injuries, especially at this time of year. Heck, the Packers lost their star wideout Jennings in yesterday's Raiders game, to a torn medial collateral ligament. Ryan Pickett also went down with a concussion and is doubtful for the next game.

Thus, it's even more critical for teams not to make basic mistakes when facing the Broncos and Tebow - to prevent them from becoming a legend in their own minds. I mean, haven't we had enough of "Tebowing" and "Tebow-tizing" - the parody of the Christian baptism for any offending players who enter Mile High stadium, uh.....the new Mile High ....which is much closer to heaven, to hear the Bronco-maniacs.

Meanwhile, Tebow kool aid drinkers in the media typically have the wrong take. For example, Patton Dodd ('God's Quarterback', WSJ, Dec. 10-11, p. C1) correctly notes most or many Americans, are uncomfortable with displays of petty piety on the football field (or in baseball stadiums or on basketball courts, for that matter). We don't want to see any signs of the cross, or pointing skyward after a key or winning play because....why? Well it's fucking hypocritical! So when the same guys boff plays, drop balls, miss FGs and lose games....what's with that? WHOSE fault is that?

If you're going to point skyward following a great play or after an eventual "W'", shouldn't you be shaking your fists at the sky for a failed play, or a drubbing (like Detroit delivered)? Or wait, do you assume "me bad" for the failed play but not "me good" for the great one? Jeebers, at least be consistent, if you can't stop being full of false piety! And what about when you play another team laden with "believers"? If God is fair shouldn't the two teams always have games that end in ties? Or, is God less in one team than the other, and how exactly do you tell? Inquiring minds want to know!
Another canard trotted out by Dodd is that we distrust those like Tebow, because we "can't trust goodness". But wait! what exactly IS "goodness"? How is it defined or measured, and HOW do we know Tebow has it apart from his words, or claims? Do we see him curing the sick? What about even helping them out, say by devoting a tenth of his money to charities? What about giving up football altogether and traveling to Africa like some Peace Corps workers have done, and setting up potable water stations for thirsty villagers and their babies, so they don't have to suffer dysentery or other water-borne diseases? THAT is what I call genuine goodness! Self-sacrifice in the interest of others.

Meanwhile, Dodd offers up that Tebow met a young woman with brain cancer at Disney World for an Awards ceremony and offered to be her date for that event. He made her day! But is that on a par with a Peace Corps or other aid worker risking life and limb to build a fresh water aquifer in Congo or Botswana? I'm not demeaning Tebow's goodwill gesture, only saying we shouldn't conflate sports figures' moves or minor goodwill gestures (which also delivers positive PR - and likely many more commercial sponsorships) from a general sense of decency with a person truly sacrificing himself for his fellow man. Maybe I'm blind, but I don't see that from Tebow.

In any case, I see the Tebow train getting derailed next week when they play New England. These Patriots (their name) haven't been held to fewer than 31 points since the first week of November. Meanwhile, they've scored at least 30 pts. at least ten times this season. And the Broncos? They've score 18 or fewer points in six of Tebow's eight starts.

Let me put it this way: If Tebow and the Broncos manage somehow to pull this one out against the Pats, I will publicly "Tebow" in front of my house for 10 minutes right after the game- and I will have wifey take a photo of it and post on this blog! Howzzat?

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