Sunday, November 06, 2011
Any Given Sunday Sacrilege
Get in line to call me petty, but there's little more I enjoy on a Sunday than watching Tim Tebow take an especially rough hit on the field. And I know I'm not the only one.
Last weekend, Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch got into a minor amount of trouble for appearing to mock Tebow's in-your-face Christianity after sacking the crap out of him. Tulloch got down on one knee and assumed the position Tebow has become mildly famous for: an obsequious genuflection before God, which he performs at regular intervals seemingly for no other reason than the fact that he's just that overwhelmed with humility in the face of his heavenly father and must give thanks. For those who haven't been paying attention, it's even developed a name -- "Tebowing" -- and has become something of an internet sensation.
Obviously, Tebow's faith isn't something he's hidden under a bushel since assuming the spotlight; in fact, he rarely shuts up about how much he loves Jesus. From appearing with his beaming, cookie-cutter mom in a pro-life Super Bowl ad, to imprinting "John 3:16" on his eye black, to requesting that everyone bow their own heads in prayer at last year's NFL Scouting Combine (the response he got was one for the ages), to of course debasing himself in the presence of his Lord and Savior every time you point a camera in his direction, Tim Tebow may very well be the second coming (although I'd hope the Son of God would be better in the pocket).
I bring all of this up for two reasons: The first is that after Tulloch's little display, he swore up and down that he wasn't ridiculing Tebow's faith -- just poking a little fun at Tebow himself. This is both true and false. No, he wasn't mocking God; if history is any indication, there isn't an NFL player alive who'd do that. But he absolutely was mocking Tebow's self-righteous, middle-class white guy brand of hardcore evangelism, as well as the fact that it's simultaneously turned him into an inviolable hero to some and an obnoxious pussy to everyone else. Sorry, but the perfect little clean-cut kid who flaunts his piety is gonna have a target on his back -- no way around that. The second reason has everything to do with this, in fact. In response to the Tulloch Tebowing incident, CBS Sports writer Gregg Doyel put together a piece that's shocking in its willingness to confront Tebow's sanctimonious fans and, by extension, their particular faith in both God and his favorite football player. Doyel doesn't beat up on Tebow himself, but what he writes is fascinating stuff when you consider that he's working under the purview of CBS and is basically attacking a segment of the Christian faithful -- the people who whine that Tebow is a martyr for their god, that he's assailed for his effusive expressions of belief.
Doyel says it has more to do with Tebow's fans than with Tebow himself. I actually think it's both.
CBS Sports: Tim Tebow Can Thank His Self-Righteous Fans for the Heat He's Taking/11.2.11