In Defence of Tim Tebow (and Mark Sanchez, Kind Of)

by Kolby Solinsky
Editor, White Cover Magazine

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At what point does this stop being about Tim Tebow and start being about every other NFL player being a dick?

Not everybody likes the certain things that everybody else doesn’t like about Tim. For one, his religious intrusiveness. Not his religion, mind you, but the way he shoves it down your throat like Jesus was his Katie Holmes and he just can’t wait to get on Oprah’s couch and tell you. (Is that joke too old now?) For two, his inability to play quarterback the prototypical way. And, for three, his career path. He was viewed as a “non-NFLer” in college and, since then, everyone’s hoped to see him fail. Heading to Denver, he was inexplicably buried behind a couple quarterbacks who were not turning their careers around. After taking the Broncos to the AFC divisionals, he was shipped off to New York. And, if there’s a franchise anybody loves to dump on, it’s the Jets. It could be Rex Ryan. It could be Santonio Holmes. It could be Mark Sanchez’s GQ photo spread. It could even be Joe Namath’s now-over-40-year-old Super Bowl “guarantee”. (It could also be the video above.)

Either way, nobody likes the Jets. Nobody likes Tim Tebow, and that’s why his fellow NFLers rewarded him as their Most Overrated Player for the second straight year.

(*Oh, and Mark Sanchez. See? The Jets, man. The Jets.)

Sports Illustrated took a poll asking 180 NFL players to name the most overrated player in the league,” wrote NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal. “The winner in a landslide was New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow with 34 per cent. No one else got higher than 10 per cent, but Tebow’s teammate Mark Sanchez came in second with 8 per cent.”

This does beg the question, though… if Tebow was called overrated last year, and if every NFL analyst from California to Casablanca views him as a shi*ty pivot, then how can he be OVERrated? Don’t you need to be rated high in some people’s minds to be overrated?

Isn’t that like telling somebody to get off their high horse when they’re only riding a pony?

“Tebow won the hono(u)r for the second straight year,” continued NFL.com. “We wonder if he can pull off a three-pat in 2013 if the Jets don’t ever let him play. We’re reaching a point where it’s hard for Tebow to stay particularly relevant when he is the poor man’s Brad Smith.”

(*If you don’t know Brad Smith is, then that analogy worked.)

You can almost hear the players’ reasoning on this one:

“Congrats, Tim. You stole all our ESPYs. Even Jeter’s. Now, we dissed you in the most superficial, ego-stroking poll possible.”

After all… you are NFL players. You’re living the dream of millions of Americans – 330, in fact – and you’re still focusing on the lowest branch of the Easiest Insult Tree. (That was weak, yes.) NFL players shouldn’t be dissing their co-workers so openly and unnecessarily. But, if they are, couldn’t they find a more original choice than Tim Tebow?

And, besides, there are reasons to love the kid?

1) You can be sure Tim won’t even care about this poll, or even see it without somebody telling him. At the end of the day, Tim plays for Tim (and Jesus Christ, His Lord and Savior), and you have to admire that about him.

2) After watching the idiots in ESPN’s Broke documentary a few weeks back, you can be sure that Tebow will have bragging rights over the rest when his career ends. As in, “Hey, guys. You laughed at me then. But, I have all my money now.”

3) He genuinely seems to love people and love the game of football. Seeing as the rest don’t, that may be one reason to hate him.

4) Think of the people who have had their differences, or knocked, Tebow for certain things. John Elway. So what? Demaryius Thomas. A rookie. What about Brees? Manning? Brady? Little Manning? Rodgers? You could say it’s just a testament to those guys that they don’t typically speak out against other quarterbacks or players (except for Rodgers, but he’s a little full of himself right now), or you could say that Tebow’s enemies are nobody’s friends.

5) Conviction. No, not the Jesus kind. He’s committed to his craft, and he’s committed to the run. He can’t throw at a consistent basis, but he’s comfortable with his role. He’s never been a great thrower, but he fights through it and teaches himself. He’s the opposite of Tim Lincecum, but with the same limited skill set.

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