By Dylan Lewis, News Correspondent
I wasn’t a fan of Denver Bronco’s quarterback Tim Tebow all season. Now I’ve figured out why. It’s not his fault.
Could I do without the religious references in interviews? Yes.
Does his eternally thankful attitude sometimes seem so inspired and naïve that it comes across as suspiciously disingenuous? A little.
What bothers me about Tim Tebow is probably the very thing that bothers Tim Tebow about himself; the media’s coverage of Tebow and the Broncos this year. When the Broncos win, the story is that Tebow won, it’s rarely reported as a team effort. Tebow attempts to correct this in his interviews, always being sure to identify teammates for their contributions and rarely taking credit, but to no avail.
Surely after the Broncos left Foxborough with their tails between their legs this Saturday, the story would be about the Denver defense’s inability to contain the Patriots’ passing attack, or the Broncos’ anemic offensive efforts. But no, the Yahoo! homepage had an article on Monday with the headline “Tebow not done with playoffs just yet?” which went on to reveal CBS has started talks with the Tebow camp about having him as a guest analyst for the AFC Championship game broadcast this weekend.
Headlines after the Broncos’ wildcard round victory over the Steelers read “Mapping Tim Tebow’s Road to Super Bowl XLVI: What Would God Do?” “Tim Tebow, Broncos Shock Steelers in Overtime,” and “Tebow’s Heroic Play May Have Been Illegal.” Tebow played well, but his overtime pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas would not have gone for a score without the wideout’s extraordinary after-the-catch effort. Even further, no mention of the Broncos overcoming running back Willis McGahee’s costly late fumble that let the Steelers back in the game, or Denver defense pushing the Steelers out of field goal range with three sacks during the final drive in regulation.
Sadly, the media firestorm surrounding Tebow is what makes me resent him. It doesn’t matter where you go, you can’t get away from him. News articles, Twitter, Facebook. Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. It doesn’t matter the subject, hearing about something non-stop will eventually wear on you.
This is especially true when the articles shift the focus off of football and branch into the ludicrous: Biblical connections being made to Tebow’s passing numbers against the Steelers, stories of “halo-like” cloud formations over Mile High Stadium during Broncos games. Google them if you don’t believe me. The more preposterous the headline the less I want to hear about him.
I’ve experienced this type of media infatuation with athletes before, most notably ex-Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre. The seemingly never ending “will he/won’t he return?” saga grew thin on my patience. There were even ramblings (initiated by the former No. 4) that Favre would listen to offers from the Chicago Bears to fill in for the injured Jay Cutler this season. But while Tebow and Favre both serve as buzz-words for ESPN’s talking heads, there is a principle difference between them. Tebow enjoys the limelight, but doesn’t seek it and generally uses it as a platform for benevolence. Favre thrives on it and uses it to feed his own ego. Feeling forgotten, Favre fights to remain relevant.
I should like Tebow. He really is a rare exception to the modern athlete archetype. Yes, it is incredibly ironic that this opinion piece about Tebow was published in a newspaper after it berated the media for its over-coverage of Tebow. Much like a Denver win, the prevailing thought in this piece shouldn’t be about No. 15. It should be about fans and the media. Don’t let story-desperate news sources turn you sour on a true winner.
– Dlyan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.