Why is Tim Tebow constantly the target of gratuitous cheap shots?
It seems like every time you turn around, somebody is going after the current Philadelphia Eagles reserve quarterback. The latest salvo fired at Tebow is courtesy of New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford.
“I’m the biggest Tim Tebow fan in the world,” Weatherford said Friday on New York City radio station WFAN. “I mean, who wouldn’t want their daughter to date a guy like that? I’ll tell you what, I don’t want him taking snaps for my team.”
That “date your daughter” line has been used before by Tebow critics. It’s usually the sentence that precedes the kill shot. It’s a little disingenuous.
Is Tebow a great passing quarterback? Perhaps not. However, he’s worked very hard with quarterback tutors the last couple of years to improve his throwing. We will see if it helps this summer in Eagles training camp and the preseason.
But you know what? The last time he started at quarterback in the NFL he took over the 1-4 Denver Broncos in 2011 and led them to the playoffs and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC wildcard game.
He hasn’t started a game since that season during stints with the New York Jets and New England Patriots. Yet even though we haven’t seen him truly quarterback an NFL game in three years, the cheap shots towards the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner just keep coming.
In April, former NFL placekicker Jay Feely called Tebow “the single-worst quarterback I ever saw in my career in the NFL ” on Jim Rome’s Showtime program.
Why such venom towards a guy competing for a backup quarterback job? Do you hear this kind of talk about the other quarterbacks around the league competing for reserve jobs? What is going on here?
“Maybe it has to do with religious beliefs,” tweeted Jets fan Kevin Langan after the Weatherford comment. Langan might be on to something, in the opinion of Larry Taunton, the executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the public defense of the Christian faith.
“Jake Plummer said on a Phoenix radio station that he would like Tebow more if he would ‘shut up’ about his faith in Jesus Christ. And with that little comment, the cat, as they say, was out of the bag,” wrote Taunton in USA Today about Tebow, an Evangelical Christian.
“Plummer said what the commentators wouldn’t say,” Taunton concludes. “Their dislike for Tim Tebow is not, as they would have us believe, about his throwing motion or his completion percentage; it’s all about his open professions of faith and his goody-two shoes image. When it comes right down to it, we don’t want heroes who are truly good. We want them to fail the occasional drug test or start a bar fight from time to time. It makes us feel better about ourselves.”
If that’s accurate, it’s a sad commentary on the state of our culture.