Jan 162012
Authors: Chance Johnson

Tim Tebow is a good person. But how do you possibly criticize someone who has a reputation for being so flawless? Simple. Tear down those very character traits that make him the positive person he is. When you can’t dig up dirt on someone while trying to hurt their reputation, the last resort is to mock their lack of negative character traits. In the process, though, all you are doing is tarnishing your own character.

It is always interesting being on the outside looking in. As someone who is not a sports fan and rarely a spectator, I only catch snippets of sports news here and there. With that in mind, I have never witnessed a professional athlete become the subject of such ridicule since the NFL pre-season began last August. All of a sudden, I noticed people who previously cared less about football than me becoming sports analysts. These new quarterback experts could tell you every gaffe and mistake that Tebow made, especially during a loss.

It didn’t take me long to realize where these criticisms were coming from. How dare someone, like Tim Tebow, have the nerve to so publicly display his Christianity? Robert Sobel from Examiner.com goes to the trouble of digging deep into Tebow’s childhood, labeling him as “sheltered” for being home-schooled as a child. This apparently led to Tebow only having the capacity to share the views of his parents, turning him into a “radical, far-right” conservative.

What are people so threatened by? Why has it all of the sudden become cool to tear someone down who has done nothing but shown us that they are a positive influence? So far, there is no evidence that Tebow uses drugs, is a womanizer or is a partier. He even had the courage to admit that he is “saving himself” for marriage when asked about his virginity at a press conference.

So let’s mock his religion. Tim Tebow forces us to question our own actions and behavior, which makes us uneasy. We get off on celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, who are constantly in the public eye for the negative things they do. This is because celebrities such as Lohan and Hilton make us feel better about ourselves in comparison to them.

I don’t follow sports, but I pay attention to the news and current events. People have been much harder on Tim Tebow for his lack of bad behavior than they were on Tiger Woods for cheating on his wife with more women than even he can probably recall. The most significant thing about that story was that people were disappointed that Woods could longer be a positive role model for their children. Now you have a great role model in the form of Tim Tebow, and the guy still can’t catch a break.

Athletes are constantly getting juiced up on steroids, bringing guns into night clubs and are accused of spousal abuse, while Tim Tebow is parodied as an ignorant Bible-thumper on Saturday Night Live.

Recently, late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon performed a song as a Tim Tebow and David Bowie hybrid. I guess Fallon figured it would not be financially wise of him to not jump on the Tebow bandwagon.

Tebow is not doing anything to try to get a reaction out of anyone — he is just being himself. He is not forcing his beliefs on anyone, just showing that he is not afraid to proclaim his faith and humility in front of those who will make fun of him.

With the Broncos losing in the playoffs this past weekend, it will be interesting to hear all of the reasons why it was Tim Tebow’s fault. I’m sure we’ll hear a handful of “Where was Jesus on that one, Tebow?” because that never gets old.

I believe that even if he took the Broncos to the Superbowl, it still wouldn’t have been satisfactory for those fans that were “rooting for the Broncos, not Tebow.” It’s now plain to see that it takes much more courage to so openly display one’s faith than it does to mock it the way so many have.

Chance Johnson is a junior journalism major.

 Posted by at 3:47 pm

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