Klavan On The Culture

Tebow Time

Time to say a word about Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos rookie quarterback. Very frustrating. I love the guy. I feel certain the media savagery against him is aggravated at least in part by his squeaky clean Christianity and its appeal to the fans. (The sight of him makes journalists despise themselves and they lash out!) Yet, unlike opposing teams’ defensive lines, the press can’t lay a hand on Tebow because he turns everything to the good. Even the theoretically snarky craze of “Tebowing”—taking a knee in prayer regardless of what everyone around you is doing at the moment—intended as mockery has instead become an inspiration due to Tebow’s delightfully cool and upbeat reaction to it. In fact, everything about the man is inspiring…

Uh, except his play. Which is the problem. Last Sunday against Detroit, the Heisman winner looked pretty much as I imagine I myself would look playing professional football. That’s not a compliment. It’s not entirely TT’s fault, I know. Fox color commentator John Lynch—a nine time Pro-Bowler who’s got major football smarts and could become the NFL’s Tim McCarver—kept pointing out that the Denver brain trust should be calling short, quick, three-step-and-throw passes to let the Teeb get his bearings. Instead, they kept pushing him to the long ball, which the Lions devoured. Plus the Denver pocket kept collapsing. Still, all that said, if Tebow is going to continue to inspire, he’s got to win, like Kurt Warner and Drew Brees. Like Lynch, I believe he can do it with proper coaching, but my faith was shaken Sunday. Don’t let the Philistine media triumph, Tebow!

(While I’m on the subject, my biggest NFL disappointment this season came when the Philadelphia Eagles put back-up QB Mike Kafka on the inactive list. Every time Kafka stood in for Michael Vick, I had high hopes some announcer would say, “Kafka suddenly—inexplicably—finds himself surrounded by strangers trying to hurt him…” Can’t imagine why this never happened. Now I guess there’s no chance of it.)