Tim Tebow

“Tim Tebow is everything his critics say he is and everything his fans think he is.”

Why is it that Tim Tebow engenders so much passion from both his detractors and supporters. On the surface what’s not to like? He’s handsome, charasmatic, passionate and yes as we are so often told, he is indeed a winner.

Tebow’s iconoclasm is nothing new, it plays out in every walk of life.Human beings tend to place people in nice neat little boxes. We have an idea of what certain things should look like. Black people listen to rap, white people listen to country. Asian people are smart, etc… (I’d love for my race to have that sterotype)Anytime someone jumps outside of our prepackaged boxes, it is as if the America’s collect brain can’t comprehend it.

Marshall Mathers(could he have a whiter name) better known as Eminem, is as talented as anyone in the rap game, yet he was intially(and still is by some) rejected by hardcore hip hop fans. The same thing happened to Larry Bird and even Jason(white chocolate) Williams. A white man in a black man’s game. It works the other way around too. Why has Tiger Woods become the international icon he has? Dominance? Somewhat, but Jack and Arnie were dominate too. Tiger stands out because he’s a person of color playing the ultimate white man’s game. We are such creature of habit, slaves to the normal that we are often unable to handle deviations from the status quo.

A bi-product of this phenomenon is that if these men experience sucess they instantly become superstars. How many unatheltic white guys, who spent their entire childhoods being picked last on the playground and still get schooled at the gym by the “brothers”, lived vicariously through Larry Legend? How many black guys watched Tiger win the masters and felt like it was a blow to Whitey, a pay back for every time they were stopped by police or followed in a store?

Whenever ever someone crosses a genre the people within that genre automatically reject the genre crosser. It’s not just a racial, either. Singer Jewel recently released a country album. How that work out for her? Tim Tebow is one of the rarest of genre crossers, the running white quarterback. Tebow turns the paradimn on its head, he is a white man, in a black sport, playing a white position like a black man.(still with me?) Tebow stirs up emotions, stereotypes and even religion. Its no wonder the sports world doesn’t know what to make of him.

After years of expecting white quarterbacks to stand in the pocket like statues and black quarterbacks tap dancing through it like Sammy Davis Jr., no one knows what to make of Tebow.

To add even more fuel to the fire, here comes a lighting bolt from heaven. Tebow is an Evangelicals dream. He doesn’t smoke, drink and is a self professed virgin. If there is a more powerful motivator and argument starter in our society than race, its religion. Tim Tebow is the Christian superman, a son of Christian missionaries who two summers ago traveled to the Phillippines to help with the poor, even circumcising a young child in need. Tebow is manna from heaven for the Christian sports fan. Sports are already superstitious on their own, you add the irrationality that relgion can bring and you have a Category 5 hurricane on your hands.

It doesn’t help that Tebow’s “it” factor is off the charts. He’s everything you want your son to be and your daughter to marry. Except I’d have taught my son how to throw a football. Tim Tebow has undoubtedly always been the biggest, strongest and fastest on the field. He’s similar to his biggest fan Lebron James. The king praised Tebow via Twitter, following his come back win over the Dolphins “Congrats to @TimTebow for that comeback win today. Impressive! He’s just a winner.”

This is not the first time Lebron has used the Twittersphere to stick up for Tebow. Perhaps Lebron sees a bit of himself in Tim. He should. Tim and Lebron are proceeded by such legends as Shaquille O’neal and Wilt chamberlain. Men of immense talent who didn’t get the most out of their god given abilities. In this case with the three basketball players, none of them pushed themselves to improve their weaknesses because their atheltic abilities allowed them to coast. Shaq has four titles you say? Can you really picture Shaq winning anything without Kobe or D-Wade. Two men who are revered for their work ethics?

Tim Tebow learned at a early age that he’s physically more gifted than just about everyone else that he steps on the field with. The problem is, athleticism will take you a lot further in basketball than it will in football. Football is a far more technical sport. To make matters worse for Tebow, he plays the most technical sport in all of sports.

Lebron, Wilt and Shaq couldn’t shoot but could still average 30 points a night. Tim Tebow not dominate the NFL on physicality alone.

A quarterback must step into a huddle and reel off incredibly tongue twistingly complex verbiage, step to the line of scrimmage,read the defense, adjust his offense to whatever presnap indicators the defense presents. He must then call out a cadence(one that must vary, the defense catch on to it and get a jump on the snap)Next he drop back into the pocket with perfect footwork , all the while going from his pre snap read to his post snap read. Finally as he plants his pant foot he must deliver the ball on time and on target. Oh yeah, he’s supposed to do all of this(from snap to throw) in 1.5 seconds.

The question is why is Tim Tebow, a high school and college All-American is so devoid of the technical skills necessary to make him successful at the NFL level. Winning, the win at all cost mentality that is prevalent from college all the way down to Pop Warner.

Even at the earliest stages of development coaches have begun to teach systems instead of fundamentals. We don’t need to teach kids how to take a snap and a hand off. We can run the spread option. The result is the worst quarterback play the league has ever seen. Somewhere along the way a coach had a chance to improve Tebow’s throwing motion. They didn’t, why? Because it would take too much time, it could cost them a game or two. Our society no longer rewards patience and development, even in places where it should.

Tebow is that kid in school who memorized his times tables, and aced math until he got to long division, he never learned the basic principles so he struggles. In life, short cuts always catch up to you. For Lebron, and Wilt, the NBA finals was their day of reckoning. For Tim Tebow that day is coming very soon.