Friday, October 10, 2008

Why Do We Hate Tim Tebow?

(from Deadspin)

The LSU-Florida game is tomorrow (provided that it isn't postponed for evacuation from Hurricane Ricky), so I've naturally been thinking about how much I hate Tim Tebow. Compared with anyone who has ever played for Auburn during my lifetime, my hatred for him is pretty tame. But I still yell all kinds of homophobic epithets I didn't think I had in me whenever he jump-passes or waddles between the tackles for a score.

Yesterday a blog called Cajun Boy by another displaced Louisianan explored the idea of the widespread hatred of Tim Tebow, not just in non-Florida southeastern states, but all across the country. The conclusion he seemed to reach and be satisfied with was "Tim Tebow's religious and that's stupid." I agree that Tebow is universally hated, but this guy's reason for it is laughably reductive. The South is chock full of religious people, both fervent and reserved, and at least a few people would be Tebow disciples for that specific reason. A lot of people don't care either way, and a lot of college football fans aren't even aware that Tebow does stuff like go on mission trips to circumcise young boys. People hate Tim Tebow because he represents everything we hate while appearing to represent none of it.

For example, Cajun Boy's problem with Tebow isn't just that he's a devoted Christian, it's that Tebow is in a position of power in which he could smash any and every Sunshine State coed he wants and chooses not to because of those religious beliefs. It's as if he's foolishly wasting a gift God has so obviously given him. What angers Cajun Boy is not any quality Tebow himself possesses. It's a contradiction of properties: what Tebow should do, and what Tebow does.

From the beginning of our hate affair with Tebow, these contradictions have been present. He was home-schooled throughout high school, but under Florida law, he was still allowed to play organized sports for the institution in the district where he lived. (He later sketchily moved to an apartment in Jacksonville in order to play for pass-happy Nease High.) So at once, he's the creepy home-schooled kid who is a bit too close to his own family, but he also becomes the Big Man on Campus at a major university and has a girlfriend who looks like Lucy Pinder. We should be able to revel in Tebow's awkwardness, except for the fact that he doesn't seem awkward at all.

Okay, not awkward except for the jean shorts. Anyone wearing those obviously didn't get made fun of enough in high school.

Even if the casual football fan doesn't know these personal details, he still senses the way Tebow occupies conflicting ideas. Few NCAA athletes get the media coverage and Ludquist love that Timmy receives, but his style of play offers him few pro options (literally, lolz). So even though he's the most famous and possibly best player in all of college football, all that serves as is a reminder of how temporal and misconstrued and foreign college football is. Tebow is a weird cognate for what would be effective in the national language of the NFL. Along those same lines, he's, by all accounts, a completely selfless guy, but he plays as a scrambling quarterback, which, better sense be damned, always seems selfish. It's what's given Black quarterbacks a bad name for decades. Once again, Tebow appears as one idea while actually representing another.

We're left with a guy who has every right to be conceited but is down-to-earth, a guy who should have a bright future but doesn't, a guy who should be awkward but is charismatic. Plus, he's left-handed, and who likes that in a quarterback?

Despite his best efforts, Tim Tebow makes himself hard to love. No circumcising young boys.


Rex said...

I think Tebow-hate comes from two places. First is the media's affair with him. He is a great story, don't get me wrong. But it is rare to see him criticized in the same manner as other players. While I am not saying Florida's problems derive from Tebow--I really don't know--the rest of the offense tends to get the blame for things. How do you run a spread without a tailback?

Secondly, I think if you dislike Urban Meyer, you dislike Tim Tebow. They are joined at the hip, and there are fewer bigger whiners in college football than Meyer. He really needs to shut his mouth. If you're going to talk that much, you need to be funny, like Steve Spurrier.

But we all know the real reason people hate Tebow is that the SEC is the greatest college football conference ever because in the SEC it's personal. Right?

Seriously, though, there's an entire book to be written about how the SEC has used outlets like ESPN and CBS to create the media-hungry beast we have today.

P.T. said...

I actually think Tebow has a legitimate shot at a long pro career. His throwing mechanics have improved greatly (ok, not so much during the Miami and Miss. games), and he's able to hit moving receivers while scrambling to either side, Romo-style. He seems shorter than he is, but if you're above 6 feet, your draft stock can improve by a few rounds (ask Chris Leak). Before the season started, he was a mid-first round pick on But of course he's going to come back for his senior season-- that's the most Tebow thing possible.

Michael said...

Tim Tebow (pronounced like Tim Thomas)

ReedRichards said...

I will never undertsand why people think Tebow won't make it in the pros.

If guys like David Garrard and Ben Roethlisberger can be so successful in the pros Tebow is going to blow the roof off the dump.

I honestly believe the people who say Tebow won't make it in the pros don't even watch Tebow or understand football. Tebow doesn't run because he can't throw.. he runs becasue ther eis no decent runner on his team. especially for short yardage situations. And Tebow throws as well as an QB in the game right now as well.

As for why Tebow is hated so much.. I think the answer is simple. Tebow is a white player hyped as much as any athlete could be. what makes this unusual is that Tebow is hyped for his athleticism not just his skill. In this day and age that is unique. I believe that black superstar athletes don't receive the same kind of blatant hate a white player does, because the football fan base, which is largely white, can't hate black players the same way they can white players. It could be perceived as racially motivated.

I see the same thing in women's tennis with the Williams sisters. It really stands out there because there are so few black tennis players. You see how fans are afraid to take them to task for poor behavior the way other women in the sport are. The Williams sisters can get away with a lot more for this reason.

It sounds trivial but I really think this is a huge part of the Tebow hate.

Tank said...

Reed, your point about Tebow's race is interesting, and I can see how it would be a factor.

But I do watch Tebow and I do understand football, and I still think he doesn't have much of a chance in the pros, no matter where he's drafted. Half of what makes him so special is his running and overall athletic ability, which is irrelevant with the ever-increasing speed of NFL linebackers and skill of defensive coaches. If coordinators could figure out how to contain Michael Vick, they can figure out Tebow. The spread, the system that makes Tebow so great, could never be implemented in the pros, just as you'll never see a straight-ahead option offense there either. Thus my point about how different the leagues are. You would be drafting Tebow as a pure pocket passer, and I don't think he has enough value on that side of his game to be successful, although he has improved greatly since his freshman year.

ReedRichards said...

"""But I do watch Tebow and I do understand football, and I still think he doesn't have much of a chance in the pros, no matter where he's drafted. Half of what makes him so special is his running and overall athletic ability, which is irrelevant with the ever-increasing speed of NFL linebackers and skill of defensive coaches. If coordinators could figure out how to contain Michael Vick, they can figure out Tebow."""

There are 2 HUGE differences between Tebow and VY or Michael Vick.

Tebow is a better passer and far far more durable. Tebow also runs the 40 dash in the exact same time as Vince Young, which I think most people wouldn't believe... but it's true.

Tebow's extra gears running the ball and passing puts him on a completely different level than Vick or Young. It doesn't just make Tebow a little better.. it makes him exponentially better.

Tebow could operate as both a pure passer on the pro level and a pure runner.

Vick and VY couldn't operate in either of these roles. Tebow can do both at a pro level.

This is why David Garrard is so successful right now compared to Vince Young. Garrard also has that durability and athelticism and throwing ability. I think Tebow will be a lot better than Garrard or Ben roethlisberger though.

The other huge thing I think you are missing is that being a pocket passer is even more dangerous than running in this era. I see pocket passers taking the worst hits. Tebow is taking more hits trying to be a pocket passer than running in college too. I would rather be a moving target than a sitting duck. I truly believe the era of the pure pocket passer is over. Look at the wildcat formation taking off all of a sudden. Defenses are too fast and too strong these days. There is too much athletic parity to dominate with a pure passing game anymore. Having a QB that can take a pounding like Tebow or Ben Roethlisberger or David Garrard isn't a luxury anymore.. it's a necessity and Tebow seems to be the toughest of them all.

"""The spread, the system that makes Tebow so great, could never be implemented in the pros, just as you'll never see a straight-ahead option offense there either."""

The sporead doesn't make Tebow.. Tebow makes the spread. IF what you were saying was true then Urban Meyer could have used Chris Leak just like he is using Tim Tebow.

People said Tebow would NEVER be able to run like he did in highschool in the SEC.. not only did he do it.. he did it well enough to win the Heisman.. without a running game playing with him as well. And this was just Tebow's first season as a starter.. he is still learning the 2 toughest positions at the same time - running back and QB. He filled both those roles himself last season.. in the toughest conference against the toughest defenses in the toughest scvhedule. This is unheard of.

I believe Tebow will be playing exactly like he is now in the pros.. he will make the players around him better in the pros just like he is in college. Look at the impact a over the hill Brett Favre is making in NY. Brett Favre might never have been the difference maker Tebow is because of Tebow's unique physical gifts and possbily equal intangibles.

"""Thus my point about how different the leagues are. You would be drafting Tebow as a pure pocket passer, and I don't think he has enough value on that side of his game to be successful, although he has improved greatly since his freshman year."""

My point is that I believe people assume that because Tebow runs so much he isn't a good pocket passer.. I am telling you.. this is totally wrong IMO. It's a stigma. It's a stereotype. It's a knee jerk reaction.

Tebow throws as well as anyone in the game right now.

It sound like you think Tebow couldn't throw in his freshman year. I think they just didn't ask him to throw in his freshman year. They ahd enough of a QB controversy as it was. If fans saw Tebow throw the way he was capable of throwing they would have had a full blown civil war.

Poeople are mistaking the Gators weaknesses as a team and attributing them to Tebow rather than attributing them to the team. Which again.. is just a baseless knee jerk reaction without any foundation of reality because people can't accept how good Tebow is.

It is the complete opposite of Vince Young when he was in college. Vince Young got all the credit for his team being so successful. And IMO he was massively overrated for it. Tebow is getting the blame because his team has massive flaws and he plays against incredibly tough competition and teams are gunning for him like crazy.

Just remember, people thought Tebow would be a bust in college, too. IF I had told you Tebow would win the Heisman as a sophomore, his first season starting, running the ball like he did in the SEC, before he did it, people would have locked me up for saying it. So obviously Tebow was underrated, yes? Massively so, right? Well, I am telling you Tebow is being just as underrated in how he is evaluated as a potential pro player, too. I am not just guessing IMO either. I believe if you watch Tebow and the team play closely you can see this. Tebow has carried his team inspite of his teams massive weaknesses. even now he is carrying them inspite of the opposing defenses keying on him like no other player in the country and his stats and perceived ability are taking a huge hit.

It's the same exact thing as people currently believing Eli Manning is a better QB than Peyton Manning just because Eli is on a loaded team. There is just no objectivity in sports. All that matters is results.

And Tebow is taking the hit for his teams failings. In spite of the fact that Tebow is the only current Heisman candidate with a national championship ring. Pretty ironic if you ask me.

But I digress. We will see who is right though.. this is just how I perceive things.

Hopefully Tebow has a little luck where he ends up. I think he will be a solid QB no matter where he goes. But to reach his potential he will need to go to a team that is willing and able to use him to his full potential. someone that is innovative enough.

Tank said...

Damn, dude. You like your Tim Tebow. Thank you for reading and for the devoted, dedicated comment.

I think you hit the nail on the head with your final point that you hope he goes to a team that will use him correctly. Half of the reason the NFL is made of traditional pocket passers is because the defenses are too good, half of it is because the offensive side is stuck in its ways. I can't see people using Tebow to the best of his (admittedly great) abilities, which is why I see him turning out a lot like Alex Smith, another product of Urban Meyer's system who is currently making $50 million to sit on the bench.

Also, saying that Tebow is a great passer is different from him being one. No stats can back you up there, as his numbers are actually down from last year. But I guess that's just another case of his supporting cast not being able to help him out, and we'll see soon enough. I agree that he's a tough kid, and that can only help. He's also a great leader and seems to motivate his team when they need it most. I'm into saying he's not a great player. I just don't see a pro quarterback.

ReedRichards said...

To me, the Alex Smith comparison is completely groundless. And this is because Alex Smith played against weak competition.

To me, Alex Smith was to running QB's what Colt Brennan was to supposed pure pocket passers. Both were massively overrated by playing against weak defenses.

This is the complete opposite of Tebow. If anything, Tebow is being underrated by playing against great defenses.

I mean.. imagine if Tebow played in a soft conference? Tebow put up record breaking numbers against the toughest defenses in the toughest schedule. Imagine what he would do in the soft conferences where players have incredibly padded stats like Chase Daniel.

And as for Tebow's passing numbers.. yes.. they are taking a hit. But Tebow is also the hunted like no other.. and has a weak supporting cast.

Yet Tebow just set a record for the Florida Gators with 205 passes without an interception.

Last season Tebow accounted for 70% of the Gators entire offense.. in the SEC! This was unheard of. This shows you how the Gators are a one-man-team. Tebow had to fill the role of the primary runner because the Gators had no reliable runner. Tebow's ability to run between the tackles opened the offense for his team. He was second in the nation in passer efficiency too. How is that not a great passer?

As for Tebow's passing numbers going down this season.. this is because Meyer has decided not to run Tebow much early in the season. This is killing the offense.. because the Gators don't have a consistent runner outside of Tebow. This shows Tebow's value last season though.. because without another reliable runner other than Tebow the offense wouldn't have been able to function last season. Not only did they function.. they were arguably the best offense in the country. It was their young inexperienced defense that held them back last season.

But anyway.. as for making it in the pros. I think there is a lot more to making it in the pros than just being a good QB. And this goes for ANY QB. You have to be lucky and go to the right situation. You see QB's who were great in college fail in the pros.. and you see QBs who were bad or nobodies in college and then become great in the pros. This just shows how there is a huge amount of luck involved and you don't get many chances to prove yourself.

Look at Kurt Warner.. look how up and down he has been. This is a prime example of how precarious it is being a QB. Is it him? Is it his team? Who can know? This is just another example of the QB getting the credit and taking the blame IMO.

But I believe Tebow will be a very good QB no matter what. But I believe he will be legendary in the pros if he is in the right situation. And this is true of any QB if you ask me.

And I think he could be the guy that shows how the NFL needs to move away from pocket passers in the pros. Look at Tom Brady. He is a great pure pocket passer and has a steller Oline and a great defense.. a great coach.. great receiver in Moss.. and they STILL couldn't in the Championship last season OR protect Brady in the pocket in the Superbowl. This perfectly illustrates how the pure pocket passer era is dead in the NFL IMO.

But we will see! :) Just remember.. people said Tebow would never play his style in the SEC. Not only did he do it.. he dominated. Even now.. he has pulled back on the running.. but this isn't isn't because Tebow can't run.. it's just that if they want to win a championship they need the rest of the team to develop too.. and take pressure off Tebow. But I suspect we will see Tebow running the same as before in the near future as the games become more important.

Anonymous said...

uh, no homo?

Lori said...

i hate him because when i see his face, my stomach feels as though i just chugged curdled milk. that's why I hate him.

Anonymous said...

I hate TT because he is an arrogant a..hole. He may fool everyone else, but not me, he is arrogant and mean spirited on the football field and he and his team do not mind cheating to Christian is that? He buys into all the media hype, and thinks he is superman... I hope the next time he gets knocked out his clothes are "in style" when he wakes up!!! You can put an orange and blue uniform on him and give him a trophy but he is still a jerk. Do you think Urban Myers would have kissed him on the lips tonight if he wasn't wearing his helmet??? I do.

Anonymous said...

he's averaging a shade over 4 yards a carry and he's the first guy to touch the ball...that's pathetic. The other night he ran it damn near 30 times for what, 70 yards...again, pathetic. Or perhaps his seasoned veteran O-line who were with him left and now it's just tebow...his stats are so, so not Heisman worthy. Voters are riding on last season which kills the prestige of the trophy. Against Ark it wasn't some last minute heroic 80 yard march down the was a 69 yard drive that can be attributed to some goofy calls by the referrees for more than half of the drive. That was anything but a Heisman candidate drive, Jimmy Clausen's drive against a far and away better team was impressive...Tebow was expected to have that game in the bag. And I'm not a ND fan but for what he's working with I consider that Heisman material. After all, the Heisman is not for the best player on the best team. The media loves Tebow and is destroying some of the traditions of College football...Heisman being number 1. I don't hate the guy but I hate what the media is making him out to be and what it is doing to college football.

He'll be a fullback or something in the nfl. He lobs passes...he's rarely a thread-the-needle passer. A couple here and there but his accuracy is so-so. C'mon, 5 for 10 against kentucky? Sheesh. 24 carriers for 76 yards against TENNESSEE?????? If anything, the amount of time Urban Meyer has demanded Tebow stay in against crap teams I'm surprised the NUMBER 1 heisman candidate doesn't have near the numbers other Div. 1 QBs let alone running backs have. Why in the world was Tebow in the second half of the KY game...duh, padding stats and they aren't even that padded truly and honestly.

I think the number one reason you won't see him go quickly in the draft. NFL franchises don't want their most expensive, talented, and important player to be going head first into the likes of veteran NFL linebackers in the open field like he showed us against Berry in the TN game...seriously stupid, when you're the backbone of a team you protect yourself a bit, going helmet to helmet with defensive backs is boneheaded...NFL coaches don't want a guy like that behind center.

Wahid said...

man reading these posts helped me out alot lol i searched "why do people hate tim tebow" well the reason i dont like him is cuz of the media. it pisses me off so much that they are on his nuts. its ridiculous and i honestly think the 2 things that make him seem hes so good is his team and his size. but neither of that is gonna matter in the nfl

Trevor said...

The reason i hate tebow so much does stem from his bible thumping, and ends with the fact that he is the single most overrated player in the history of the ncaa. He is the definition of a system quarterback and has no merit as a professional. comparing him to rapelissburger is ludacris, seeing as he can actually throw a ball better than my sister. seriously who looked at his throwing mechanics and said this kids a quarterback. there are real quarterbacks with real talent that will get drafted below him, not get any endorsement contracts for being a career backup and hell have you met any homeschooled kids? thats reason enough to hate him

Trevor said...

and reed richards you are an idiot, vince young sucks and is a better quarterback, and you should be slapped in the mouth for even uttering the name micheal vick in the same sentance. vick oozes talent in every facet of the position of quarterback, while time tebow has an arm much akin to a flacid cock

Jennifer said...

I think people who spend so much time and effort hating Tim Tebow should concentrate that hate somewhere else...on something constructive. Maybe then, you will get somewhere in life. That's exactly what is wrong with our nation today. Tim Tebow is a great athlete. How can anyone say he won't make it in the NFL? He hasn't even been given the chance! Just because he makes his religious beliefs known doesn't mean he is trying to criticize others who don't believe the same as him. He's simply giving thanks for all that he's been given and stating what's important to him. Why should he change that to satisfy people like you? Go ahead and waste your life waiting on this guy to fail. I would just rather spend my time doing something to better my life instead of spending my life hating someone I don't even know. Heaven forbid anyone criticize athletes who actually commit crimes and are still allowed to come back into the NFL and receive million dollar contracts and are somehow respected by people!?!? Why is that ok? That is completely insane. My thoughts...Get a freaking LIFE!!!!

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