NPF: BLACK JESUS

I'm going to ask that contrary to the usual NPF-about-sports rules, you do NOT skip this one just because you hate sports.

So. TebowManiatm has taken America by storm. Tebow, a highly successful college athlete, is now having a run of success with the Denver Broncos and the media are absolutely enamored with him. Among the general public he's a more polarizing figure though. Many people see him as too much of a goody-goody to root for. Imagine Ned Flanders playing quarterback, constantly reminding everyone about his celibacy and teetotaling and abiding love for Christ. There's something off-putting, at least to some portion of the population, about a guy who starts out every single interview he's ever done with "First I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." But at the same time this is decidedly NOT off-putting to a lot of people as well. They think he's the bee's knees: clean cut, patriotic, religious, and good at football. That's like the perfect person to a lot of Americans.

Anyway, in the spirit of that wonderful "What if the Tea Party was black?" piece from a few months ago I was planning on doing a "What if Tebow was a Muslim?" thing. Of course Americans would still love him if he was celibate, clean cut, patriotic, good at football, and began every interview with "First I would like to thank Allah and his one true prophet, Mohammed." Right? Yeah, of course they would. In any case, someone beat me to it (and did a great job with it).

But let's take it in another direction. Would we even be having this conversation if Tebow was black? Football fans out there, answer me a question: What becomes of college quarterbacks who arrive in the NFL wearing adjectives like "athletic" and "physical"? Who are known for their running skills and strong arm but lack sufficient accuracy to hit the broad side of a barn from 20 yards? Who have big physiques usually associated with positions like wide receiver or running back? I think you get my drift. If Tebow was Black Tebow, would the world have accommodated his demand to keep playing QB rather than change positions?

In my mind this is another tire to throw on the fire if you hate Tebow. If his overbearing Ned Flanders-ness and mediocre passing ability aren't enough, you can fixate on how he represents the racial double standards that permeate American sports. If only someone had moved Tebow to RB, so we could laud him as a "throwback" or "a real gamer" with "a lot of heart" and all the other stock plaudits for white skill position players. Maybe we could even compare him to Mike Alstott! That would be novel.

(I guess this was Sorta Politics Friday. But Tebow! Also Tebow.)

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49 Responses to “NPF: BLACK JESUS”

  1. Turok Says:

    If you're going to play the race card, Tebow gets trash talked all day by prominent football analysts who swore he didn't have what it takes for the NFL. Back when he was 2-1 or even 4-1 as opposed to 7-1, the "experts" got off to taking shots at him.

  2. Bill Murray Says:

    well Turok, since Timmeh has not played particularly well, why shouldn't the experts accurately describe his play, rather than fellating him.

    Also, Black Tim Tebow in most ways is out there right now. Cam Newton, big, athletic, national champion, Heisman winner and record setting NFL passer (well rookie records), but without the defense and awful opponents deciding to play prevent in the 4th quarter, Newton doesn't seem to get much publicity

  3. Comrade Luke Says:

    A religious, Heisman-winning QB of mediocre talent, but black?

    Ladies and gentlemen, Charlie Ward.

    Don't remember there being quite the same amount of coverage.

  4. Daniel Says:

    Don't forget Charlie Ward played for the Knicks too. The funny thing is that John Fox is clearly annoyed by being forced to trot out Tebow every week because of his success. It's even funnier that the Broncos winning these games makes Fox look like some sort of coaching wizard because he's winning with such an awkward QB. The defense and running game is carrying that team along with Marion Barber losing leave of his senses at such an inopportune time.

  5. Daniel Says:

    are*

  6. Rosalux Says:

    Okay, now I don't particularly care for Tebow's 24-hour evangelism or this freakish media circus but as someone who bleeds Broncos orange, I cannot fail to point out here the obvious: the kid just wins. Yea our defense is sweet but where were they in the first half of the season? He inspires, motivates, keeps the offense on the field, and has big brass balls in the 4th quarter. Just look away when he winds up to throw. The kid just wins, so don't be hatin.

  7. A.B.A.B.D. Says:

    Fuckin' Tebow… I always thought defensive coordinators were relatively good at their jobs, but why these idiots go into a prevent defense during the last 4 minutes of the game (which shall forthwith forever be referred to as "Tebow Time" [tm]) that allows him to succeed after they've completely shut him down for the first 50+ minutes of the game is beyond me. As Daniel mentioned, the Broncos are being almost completely carried by their defense–I bet Kyle Orton wishes his teammates started living up to their potential a few weeks earlier… We'll see what happens when Tebow gets in a game he needs to win by throwing the ball accurately for more than 2 drives.

    To his credit, I will say that Tebow does work extraordinarily hard at something he isn't that good at. And above all else, I must admit that I am glad that the Broncos will probably face either the Ravens or the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs. Hopefully Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs or James Harrison and Troy Polamalu will get several opportunities to properly welcome Timmy to the NFL.

  8. Bears Fan Says:

    Please don't compare Cam Newton to Tebow. Newton doesn't have the most accurate arm, but you don't cringe watching him throw the ball. Tebow just wins? Did he kick the 60 yarder to tie the game? Did he inexplicably run out of bounds, when falling down in the field of play would have all but assured victory, then fumble in OT when his team was in field goal position. There isn't a single NFL QB out there that couldn't do what Tebow did last Sunday in the final 5 minutes. There was literally no pass rush and the Bears played a ridiculously soft version of the prevent defense. Of course the d they played for his first score was understandable, because no coaching staff would ever anticipate a veteran running back running out of bounds on 2nd down with about a minute and a half in the game and the opponent out of timeouts.
    The fact remains that the Broncos needed a couple of miracles and OT to beat the Bears who were without there very crucial starting running back and had a QB that had 5 less starts in his career than Timmeh. His over the top religiosity, does not bug me. He just isn't any good and has been incredibly fortunate so far. It's possible that he may improve in his accuracy and become a competent QB, but I doubt it. My guess is that with all the extra hits he takes by running the ball as if he were a running back instead of a QB, his arms and shoulders will take such a beating that his accuracy as a passer will never improve. I would feel bad for Denver, because this run will probably come crashing down in a hurry, but they are one of the teams, along with the Cowboys, the Dolphins, and the Steelers that have traditionally received more than their share of the calls, particularly when playing at home.

  9. cromartie Says:

    The career options for black Tebow are as follows:

    Canada
    Wide Receiver/Running Back
    NBA

    The career options for white Tebow are as follows:
    Canada
    Safety
    Evangelical lecture circuit

    ***
    To the main premise of the article. I think religion plays much less of a factor in this issue than a lot of people make of it. I think the actual issue is that there is a certain not insignificant percentage of the sports consumer that has come to rightfully resent the amount of hype given to any athlete. It started with the constant fellatio performed on Michael Jordan and snowballed to the point where people wanted Brett Favre to lose just so fawning fat white baby boomers would shut up about how great of a player he was (look at that gunslinger!)

    I see it manifest itself in sports coverage, where ESPN constantly hypes every athlete with even a modicum of success that has some personality trait that it thinks can hold the attention of a sliver of it's audience. This time in the cycle, it just happens to be a home schooled eccentric with a horrendous throwing motion that loves the Jeebus too much.

    In short, we are sick of the hype machine itself, regardless of who happens to be the center of it, especially when we can see the guy's physical talents are unworthy of the hype given. Vince Young is an example of a similar type athlete who wasn't worthy of the hype for different reasons. Tebow is a symptom of a larger problem.

    Football is the prime sport for this type of coverage because 1) this is where ESPN invests the bulk of it's rights fees and 2) there are so few games that every game is a stage.

  10. cromartie Says:

    Someone in this thread should take a moment to celebrate the actual player arguably most responsible for this Broncos run; Von Miller. Who is awesome.

  11. buckyblue Says:

    Good grief, John Elway doesn't even like the kid. But, what the hell, if you're winning with him taking snaps, go for it. I think the glory days will be over when they take the field this weekend against the Patriots. There is something seriously wrong with NFL defenses this year, of which Tebow is a lucky recipient. It looks like barring injury or Tebow's God, three quarterbacks are going to throw for more than 5K yards. The Packers are running the table with one of the worst, if not the worst, defenses in the league simply because they can pile on the points because no one can stop them. And that's without any semblance of a running game. I think all of the worries about late hits on the quarterback (don't fart too close to Aaron Rodgers or your getting flagged, and I'm a Packer fan), the helmet to helmet hits over the middle that are now illegal and the general don't touch the receivers has wossified defenses and QBs are taking advantage of it. OH yeah, and Tebow, he stops getting miracles and he's no longer the quarterback. Black or white, the NFL wants to win games, and Tebow can't keep this up.

  12. GuyFromOhio Says:

    I sat down to write what buckyblue and Bears Fan have written. Instead, here are "Things I have learned as the Broncos stand to win the AFC West":

    – Cam Newton and Andy Dalton can throw for more yards in a single quarter than the Broncos put up in a whole game. T.J. Yates wants in, too.

    – If the winning score comes on a field goal of more than about 35 yards, its the kicker that wins the game, not the QB.

    – Building a team or a team's expectations around a single player can only end badly. See Colts, Indianapolis.

    – The road to the Superbowl goes through the AFC North. Should the Broncos prevail and win the West, they stand to be crushed like bugs by the Ravens or Steelers defense. Both of these teams have had recent trips to the big game, and know what it takes to win in the playoffs. Mediocre offensive stats and a string of victories over weak opponents may look good on paper, but will not save your ass in the brutal crucible of January.

    The whole "What if so-and-so was black/muslim/alien with purple tentacles" is wasted breath. The wretched sports press will sing the praises of winners, period. See Williams, Serena.

  13. squirrelhugger Says:

    Here's a what-if: what if sports were primarily for children who aren't imaginative enough for unstructured play, and secondarily for adults who need to work out their aggression and bonding compulsions in pretend combat. I haven't quite figured out why anyone would want to watch any of this, much less pay to watch it, but I don't think you'd agree if I did propose something. So I think maybe we can agree that you were wrong to recommend not skipping this, and I was wrong to take you up on it.

  14. c u n d gulag Says:

    Before he thanks Jesus, he ought to thank his defense for keeping the game close enough for him to be out there in crunch time.

    And then he needs' to thank opposing defenses who, in the last few minutes, seem to think it's Peyton Manning, Dan Marino or Joe Montana back there, gonna sling one down their throats.
    WTF are you thinking Defensive Coordinators?

    I mean, I hate the Jets, but at least that fat blowhard Rex Ryan had the right defense called at the end of the game! But then the idiot f'in Safety didn't play contain to his right, and went running up the middle on a left-handed QB who, if he had to throw the football at it, couldn't 'thump the Bible' he loves from more than 3 feet away, and was looking for his first option, his best option, and some would say his ONLY option, which is to run it himself. Jesus Kee-rist in a jock strap, if a HS Safety did what the pro did, he'd have been called to the sideline after the play, and cut right there on the spot, and told to pick-up a bullhorn and become a male cheerleader like our former Dictator, Little Boots.

    And as for his low interception ration, well, that only proves that Sex Ed is working in schools, because no one wants to catch an STD – Sinking Tebow Duck! Or even can!

    As a QB, he'd make a Hell of a Tight End!
    But, then, like unmarried sex and cursing, he'd think being a Tight End is against his religion, too! Because if you catch too many passes as a Tight End, I guess he thinks he'll end up a Wide Receiver (an old joke, but still a decent one).

    If the Denver defense blinks a few times this weekend, Brady will put up a score that Jesus himself carrying the football and riding a dinosaur in a saddle, can't come back from.

    My fear is that Tebow keeps winning, because soon, as religiously crazy as this country is getting, we'll all be forced to wear little goalposts around our necks, and bow while praying to Denver.

  15. anotherbozo Says:

    As someone who doesn't exactly hate sports but is just bored out of his mind by them (at least the spectator variety), and who thought Tebow was how you record TV programs:

    Thanks for informing me that the double standard still exists in sports, in spite of the fact that there are now black quarterbacks and black managers and black coaches and from an outsider's point of view it all looks so egalitarian. I guess I was dreaming to think that team sports were the vanguard of the post-racial society. I shoulda known.

  16. JMG Says:

    There IS a black Tebow!! It's Vince Young. And he's found his niche as a backup. The pro-Young comments when he was coming out of college, all variations on the "he's a winner" theme, are exactly what you hear about Tebow today.
    The spread formation is so dominant in college and (especially) high school football these days that there will be many more Tebows of all races, creeds, etc., playing quarterback in the NFL as time passes.

  17. Chris Says:

    As an atheist, I find Tebow's constant god-praising somewhat overdone.

    That said, I'd probably root for the guy if he played for any team but the Bronco's. Or the Jets.

  18. sluggo Says:

    Actually, Jesus hates Tebow. Jesus doesn't give a crap about football, and sick of evangelical christians putting words into his mouth.
    Jesus was into chariot racing big time and was even known to visit the coliseum, at which he would root for the lions against Tebow.

  19. Chris Franczek Says:

    Aside from the spot-on insight that is the basis of today's blog entry . . .

    People want to talk about impressive QBs? Aaron Rodgers is a fucking machine on the field, he's the salt of the earth by all accounts, his teammates love him & love playing with him. Who the fuck is this Tebow kid? (Clearly,) I don't get the whole Tebow mania thing.

  20. Brandon Says:

    Well, to be fair, Aaron Rodgers is getting plenty of media love, quite deservedly so, for his amazing season.

  21. Jimcat Says:

    I'm not quite on the same page as squirrelhugger, but I do hate some sports more than others. Football is the one from which I keep the greatest distance. The article itself was worth reading, but as a non-football-fan, many of the comments were downright incomprehensible (due to lack of context on my part, not any failure of writing ability).

    For those of us who don't follow the football scene, we don't actually know the answer to your rhetorical question 'What becomes of college quarterbacks who arrive in the NFL wearing adjectives like "athletic" and "physical"?'

  22. Ed Says:

    They are moved to a different position.

    Until ~1980, black quarterbacks were automatically moved to a different position because they "weren't able to handle the mental aspects of being a QB."

    Seriously. People said this with a straight face for like 50 years. Warren Moon had to start in Canada because every NFL team wanted to make him a tight end.

  23. johnsmith1882 Says:

    right, ed, but it's not 1980 anymore. warren moon is in the hall of fame; pointing that out not to excuse the reason he had to start his career in the cfl, but to show that that is so long ago that his 20+ year career and requisite waiting time before hof eligibility have passed, five years ago. there have been many black qb's since then; randall cunningham (shoulda could woulda won a super bowl), doug williams (won a super bowl), vince evans (ok, he was terrible, hey bears fan, remember him? (i'm a bears fan too)), jim plunkett (won 2? super bowls), charlie batch, the guy who also played basketball with the knicks, kordell stewart, rodney peete, daunte culpepper (another coulda shoulda woulda super bowl winner, haha vikings), and others i'm probably forgetting.

    and today there are vince young, michael vick, donovan mcnabb (well, until about three weeks ago at least), the guy on the buckaneers that i can't think of his name right now, cam newton, etc. the posters above who pointed out vince young and cam newton as the aptest comparisons to timmy tebot, imo, are correct.

    this isn't to show that timmy isn't a brutal qb –he is–, it's to show that his color isn't the determining factor. john fox and john elway _did_ want to move him to tight end. they trotted him out there to show the bronco fans that were clamoring to see him just how terrible he is. you can visibly see the pain on their faces when the broncos pull another win out of their collective butt with timmy at the helm. the broncos putting this streak together is literally the worst case scenario for fox and elway. their plan went like this: put timmy out there so that he is exposed for the fraud that he is, this provides them the cover to draft another qb next year, do whatever with timmy– keep him as back-up qb, move him to tight end, run some trick plays a la antwan randal-el with the steelers (another black qb who i didn't include because he's never been a starter), whatever.

    now, fox and elway have to wait until next year for timmy to get exposed (and he will get exposed, if he hasnt already). this pushes their plans back a whole year, and makes next year the wasted year that this was supposed to be, on top of this year being a wasted year because timmy won't beat any playoff-caliber teams.

    now, is timmy's whitebread-ness a factor? as in, if there was a super-religious black qb who first thing thanked his personal lord and saviour after every win, would he be as popular? no, he wouldn't. you are right about that. timmy's whitebread-ness works into the whole thing with his fans, who are whitebread themselves. i just don't think that his whiteness factors into the decision to keep him at quarterback, and not move him to another position.

  24. Nom de Plume Says:

    I've been saying the same thing elsewhere: if you are white and mediocre, and happen to get on a winning streak, Sportsfan America will go apeshit over you every time. You'll notice that Aaron Rodgers is playing completely out of his mind, but is not getting the same amount of love right now. That's because everyone expects it of him. In contrast, everybody is shocked by Tebow, because they know perfectly well that he doesn't have NFL talent.

    Obviously it won't last. His debut in the playoffs is gonna be avert-your-eyes ugly.

  25. Surly Duff Says:

    I never like the "What if…" games, and as ESPN provided earlier in the year with "What if Mike Vick was white", they largely don't reach any particularly thoughtful conclusions.

    Tebow is such a polarizing individual. His outward and obvious evangelism are part of the issue, but the media fawning over him is arguably my biggest problem. I can appreciate that he has faith (however misguided and creepy his faith may be. I'm sorry, but when you feel that your faith calls you to circumsize boys in the Philippines, I say that is creepy) , conviction, and the appearance of a stong work ethic. But the fawning over his persona, the discussions of his "transcendence" or the"He just wins" comments are simultaneously inane and grating.

    I appreciate that he has brief success, but the kid has beaten gone 7-1 against a pretty bad slate of teams. Of the teams he has beaten, only the Jets and Chicago were playoff-level teams and that was before Chicago lost its entire backfield to injury. Detroit is also going to he playoff, but they destroyed Denver 41-14. The wins have come against teams with a combined 39-52 record, and they have won those games by an average of 5 points. Five of those teams also have defenses that are considered some of the worst (20 or lower) in the NFL. What has happened is not really as shocking as it is being made out to be by fans and pundits. Yes, Denver's defense has played better than the first, but explain how Tebow gets the credit for that again? Denver required a 59 and 51 yard FG in the Chicago game. Again, how did Tebow make that happen?

    The Denver Broncos are succeeding because a confluence of Tebow limiting his mistakes, better defensive play, bad opponents, excellent kicking, ball & clock control, and luck. Tebow is part of that current run of success, but by far from the only reason.

  26. Rick Massimo Says:

    Tebow seems nice enough himself, as evangelicals go. He really does credit his defense and kicker. And yeah, it would've been nice if the Broncos (coincidentally, it's the Broncos) had shaved their playbook down to only the plays Marlin Briscoe could've handled, but they didn't. So that kind of rankles, but then again that stuff happened all the time and it was a long time ago.

    My entry in the "What if Tebow were Muslim" sweepstakes, the thing that gets me riled, is this:

    If Tebow were Muslim, and probably if he were black, no one would allow guys who are paid hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars a year to watch football games and tell the entire nation how and why one team beat another, that "there is no football explanation for what's happening here" as I heard someone say on ESPN on Monday.

    I don't necessarily think the evangelical community would be up in arms screaming "OMG you're ENDORSING HIS MUSLIMNESS by saying that!" (although they might; anything to be a victim with that crowd). But I think without the possibility that Evangelical Jebus is involved, people would keep their senses and think "Oh, come on; switch your brain back on and look at some more film" instead of leaping to "It's a MIRACLE!"

    Put it this way: Here in New England, we know something about backup quarterbacks taking over and the team going on a huge run. (And people forget that 2001 Tom Brady was no one's idea of a league-leading passer.) But no one knew what Tom Brady's religious convictions were – I don't even think we know now. But no one was saying "Maybe he believes in Jesus! It's the only explanation!"

    The other thing is, I will give Tebow points if he thanks Jesus after a crushing defeat. Maybe he will; I don't know. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. But he'd be the first outspoken evangelical Christian athlete I know of to do so, and that's proabably the major thing I can't stand about outspoken evangelical Christian athletes.

  27. Elle Says:

    If Tebow were Muslim, and probably if he were black, no one would allow guys who are paid hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars a year to watch football games and tell the entire nation how and why one team beat another, that "there is no football explanation for what's happening here" as I heard someone say on ESPN on Monday.

    Because the more rational explanation is that the Creator of the universe, Rescuer of the sinful unfortunate from an eternity of hellfire, has decided to pick which of His followers he prefers out of an entire league of sportsmen and allied professionals, and has manifested His favour by helping that guy's team to a series of only mildly remarkable victories?

    I'm an atheist, but I think if I was an evangelical Christian I would be moderately offended by the recasting of the Lord of Hosts as a mid-level sports psychologist/trainer.

    I'm also a little bit puzzled at the narrative of Tebow-as-underdog. I don't follow American Football, learned everything I know about it from Friday Night Lights, and it isn't reported on in Europe except in specialist media. I've still seen 54235425423523 pictures of Tim Tebow with verses scraped into that black stuff football players have under their eyes, and managed to pick up that he was a QB for the University of Florida. The fact that he can play a little bit cannot surely be a crashing surprise. It's not as if the Broncos are fielding someone who rolled into the stadium in a wheelchair and was miraculous healed at halftime.

  28. JazzBumpa Says:

    Next year at this time, if anybody mentions Tebow, it will be in the context of "Whatever happened to . . .?"

    The Vince Young comparison is pretty good. Young has a worse QB rating at 60.8 compared to Tebow's – something around 82, only slightly under the league average. Google gives a wide array of stats available for this absurdly inconsistent QB whose rating rises to 110 in the 4th Qtr – thanks to dump offs and soft D's.

    Some number around 60 is a reasonable expectation for Tebow's career.

    It's amazing that people are hyped over a QB whose team regularly wins on a long, late Field goal, while scoring under 20 total points against poor to mediocre teams.

    Or reeling teams like the Bears, who gave Denver two chances for their Kicker to be the hero. Does anybody ever hear the kicker's name? He's the real winner here.

    Cheers!
    JzB

  29. lfv Says:

    Tebow clearly has had a positive effect on his team's running game and defense; where was that running game and defense when Kyle Orton was starting? Of course he isn't a great passer, although he has been more effective than people think; an 82 rating isn't great, but it is far from horrible; combined with his effectiveness as a runner and his effect on the rest of the Denver running game, and he clearly has been a quality player thus far. Now, maybe that doesn't continue; it probably doesn't, but who knows?

    That said, where is this "there has been no criticism of Tebow" coming from? Josh McDaniels was overwhelmingly criticized in the media for drafting Tebow. Until the past few weeks, the media overwhelmingly laughed at Tebow. It's only because they keep winning in ridiculous fashion that people in the media have come around on him, and they'll be quicker to turn if the Broncos start losing. And even then, nearly the entire media takes great pains to point out how great their defense and running game has been.

    I mean, you clearly have a point about how he would be received if he was a Muslim. But you clearly weren't paying attention until the past couple weeks if you think the media has been fellating him for the past 2 years.

  30. San Erino Says:

    I think the opening of Drew Magary's Thursday Jamberoo (at Deadspin) pretty much nailed it on the head in that the sport media is making it seem that this Heisman Trophy winner, 2-time National Champion with the Florida Gators and 1st Round Draft Pick is some kind of underdog. Also, that same media ignoring the defense & kicking and attributing nearly everything to "something" about Timmeh.

    As some funny person said on Twitter Sunday afternoon: I wish I had a 9-5 job where I could sleep until 3pm, work really hard the last 2 hours & have everyone love me.

    Tebow isn't the problem. It's shit like ESPN pulled dedicating their entire 12/5 6pm SportsCenter to Tim Tebow. It's mostly the media that's making me sick of the kid.

    If Denver does end up hosting a playoff game the opening week against the Steelers, I think Tebow will get killed. People seem to forget what a fast & aggressive defense did to him and that offense around Halloween.

  31. Amused Says:

    Is Tim Tebow's god such a petty god that he takes sides in a football game?

  32. Rosalux Says:

    I agree that Baltimore or Pittsburgh will murder Tebow in a playoff game – maybe literally.

    All I'm saying is that he's got the most important intangible – leadership. That won't show up in your stats. I'm not claiming that he will ever win a super bowl or even succeed very much past this year, but for the time being he's fun to watch and he helps his team win, so suck it haters.

  33. leon Says:

    @ JazzBumpa: Prater. The kicker's name is Prater.

    As an atheist Bronco fan living outside of Denver, it's all been something of a mixed bag (coulda said 'blessing', but didna). I'm glad they're winning right now, and that Timmy's such a story that I get to watch the games from the comfort of my home without resorting to an expensive cable sports package, but as for the 'lord and savior' stuff, it rubs me the wrong way. Any lord and savior worth His salt cares more about impoverished children needing food than a football game. To attribute a win to Jebus is disingenuous at best, sacriledge at worst.

    That being said, I watched the Chicago game: is it possible that God doesn't so much love Tebow as he hates Marion Barber. What did that guy do to be so smoten???

    In the end, I look forward to Tebow's good works after the NFL, and cringe any time I see the Te-Bow.

  34. ladiesbane Says:

    Mmm, don't know about the current race situation, but the most serious work I can quote on the subject is the 1977 collection of Tank McNamara cartoons titled, "God Intended Blond Boys to be Quarterbacks!" Sigh.

    But Tebow-mania? That's a snap. He's humble. WASP culture despises victory dances, prideful displays, and braggadocio of all kinds. Humility, being such an unpopular trait, associates Tebow with all manner of unproven and possibly unearned virtues, from perfect pitch to excellent periodontal hygiene. THERE's a guy who isn't going to get a rape charge or fail his UA!

    Since people who enjoy sports often cherish the notions of good sportsmanship, fair play, and gracious behavior in victory or defeat (which are wonderful things), they sometimes get carried away and think being a pro player is a heroic calling. Playing sports can teach very important life skills (teamwork, leadership, responsibility, resilience, on and on) — but it doesn't make anyone a hero. It doesn't even make anyone a good guy.

    P.S. though the movement referred to as "muscular Christianity" has changed since the Victorian era, I'd recommend looking it up. It influenced our modern outlook on sports and gave it the strange tie to religion.

  35. Karlo Says:

    Yes, Amused, Tebow's God is a petty god. He's spiteful, wrathful, full of fire and fury and petty as only a god can be petty. That's because his word is inerrant as defined in the Protestant King James bible and he doesn't brook any holding back of those who praise him – even those who put those weird verse numbers under their eyes. But don't hold your breath about Tebow – statistics win in the end and if he's not any good his run will end. Or not, as the great god of Statistics ordains.

  36. Death Panel Truck Says:

    @johnsmith1882: Jim Plunkett isn't black. His parents were Mexican-Americans.

  37. Bears Fan Says:

    There has been some talk about Aaron Rodgers. You know what I think about Rodgers? I think he sucks. I despise his very essence. I hope that he gets blindsided by a defensive end, breaks his neck, and on the way to the hospital the ambulance plows into a tanker truck and he dies a fiery death. And as a Bears fan that is the highest compliment I can give him……….that guy is f 'in good. One day I may hate him as much as I hated Favre when he was a Packer.

  38. Dirk Gently Says:

    First, let's dial back the "Tebow sucks" stuff a bit. In eight weeks he's gone from a passer who literally threw the ball ten yards out of bounds and over the heads of his receivers, to a guy who is (with just a few miscues) basically throwing the ball about as well as any mediocre to decent backup quarterback. Eight weeks ago, he couldn't even consistently take the snap from center, and now it's a non-issue. Meanwhile, he is also not only a good runner, but possibly the very best running QB in the league–I'd say his running instincts and patience are better, even, than most running backs. Also, it isn't just that he is "terrible" in the first three quarters–his receivers are also bad and in all but a few games the running game hasn't done much in the first half, either. Lastly, he HAS beaten a team with his arm this year: the Vikings. He passed effectively the whole game in a shootout. So give the guy a LITTLE credit.

    Now, does he "just win" without a stout defense, incredible kicking game (don't forget punter Colquitt's astounding ability to pin teams back), and unbelievable luck (Barber)? Nope, those are all losses. And he's always the first to acknowledge this.

    But we're not having this conversation, at all, if the team loses. This is a story because the Broncos are winning both DESPITE Tebow, and BECAUSE of him making plays when he absolutely has to at game's end. If he were one extreme or the other here, or merely just blandly adequate as quarterback, this is not a national obsession.

    As for "if he were black", I don't really think that's an issue, although we'll get the chance to find out next year or the year after with Robert Griffin III: Heisman winner, awesome runner, good "intangibles" and leadership, and humbly devout. Mind you, he can also sling it, so perhaps the comparison is moot.

    I think the "if he were Muslim" is a far more interesting question, and I do think that would put to the test precisely how many of Tebow's fans love him because he "just wins" with a stellar attitude and character despite his obvious drawbacks, versus how many love him because these wins are seen as a form of proselytizing for Jeebus.

  39. buckyblue Says:

    Aaron Rodgers is a machine this year, but even I'm getting sick of all the gushing praise. When they start out broadcasts by saying, "What more can we say that hasn't already been said? " I agree with them, how about just calling the game. They did the same Favre. I'm just hoping he doesn't get herpes from Ryan Braun, that would be tough to explain.

  40. bb in GA Says:

    Education time, maybe…

    Why 'Jeebus' instead of the most common reference Jesus?

    I understand the Orthodox Jewish proscription against saying/writing the name of false gods/idols but many of 'Jeebusites' proclaim atheism.

    An allied question on the ban – does the false god/idol issue only apply to those that currently have adherents or for all time and does that present any practical issues?

    Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto are unlikely to have any current worshippers. Pluto is also a Disney Dog, Mars is a candy company, and my neighbor, Mr. Rodriguez answers to Jesus.

    //bb

  41. Andrew Says:

    Jeebus

    Ever since Homer Simpson exclaimed "Save me, Jeebus!", it has been part of the popular vernacular.

  42. Bears Fan Says:

    I believe that "Save Me Jeebus" was preceded by Homer declaring "I can't be a missionary, I don't even believe in Jeebus," which is why it was so freakin funny

  43. Major Kong Says:

    Jesus is a lot like Elvis. I love the guy, but the fans can get pretty creepy.

  44. Mrs. Chili Says:

    Unrelated to the post, but I couldn't figure out how to email or message you privately: In honor of our finishing grading for the semester, I offer you the first of my student push-back http://teacherseducation.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/the-nerve/

    Enjoy

  45. bb in GA Says:

    Major:

    Thank You…Thank you very much…

    //bb

  46. Pope Guilty Says:

    I'm kind of pleased with this.

    http://i.imgur.com/Ux0im.jpg