For a few years now, I’ve avoided writing about sports on this blog. After covering sports in high school (specifically girls soccer, volleyball, girls basketball, and softball…yeah, I picked those on purpose), I was a little burnt out and decided to turn my hand and mind into the world outside of sports.
But, the last few weeks has shaken that, mainly in my disappointment over the NFL Labor Agreements, Peyton Manning’s original contract stalemate, and now the “Tebow Thing.”
This summer, the world has gotten a really interesting look at how Christian’s operate across all different facets of news. Whether it’s the debt ceiling and debt deal, politically motivated prayer rallies (and there is a GREAT sin in a politically and not Jesus motivated events), or sports, Christian’s have tipped their hand that they will support anything that wears a cross on its sleeve, perhaps simply in fear.
The Tebow Thing is no exception. Christians have rallied behind him because he is an outspoken leader in the Christian sports world. When former NFL player and current analyst Merril Hoge ripped Tebow via Twitter over poor mechanics and a simple lack of NFL Signal Calling skills, pastors, Christian celebrities, and believing bloggers ran to Tebow’s side in defense. Even LeBron James got in on the action (and for what it’s worth, he is a supposed believer as well.)
But let’s get the facts straight. Tebow has not been, is not currently, and may never posses the simple mechanics it takes to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL. His elongated throwing motion, stuttering footwork, lack of pocket presence, and overall lack of understanding of NFL coverages are perfect examples of how not to play QB in the National Football League.
Sure, Tebow is a great athlete, but name a college QB with his style who has succeeded in the NFL (if you even can) and I will name off three dozen who didn’t make it (Eric Crouch being the head of that department).
Intangibles are important, and Tebow possesses all the needed ingredients to be a great locker room warrior, but it’s a big hint when his team doesn’t support him and wants Kyle Orton (who, although statistically is solid, isn’t a Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, or shoot, even Jay Cutler, whom Orton replaced a few seasons ago).
What has been even more embarrassing than Tebow’s time on the practice field has been the Christian response. People who never played sports, don’t get how teams operate, and who have probably never seen an NFL game are now saying Denver Broncos head coach John Fox, and former Super Bowl Champion and executive VP of Football Operations John Elway have no idea how to run a football team. Excuse me?
As believers, we need to stop putting our hope in worldly idols. Tebow is a great man,someone to look up to, and is one of the few athletes who actually live out their faith in Jesus…but that doesn’t make him Jesus. Christians tend to root for believers simply because they say their Christians. As a Colts fan, I’m extremely guilty of this. But just because Jacob Tamme is slightly more outspoken about his faith than Dallas Clark, doesn’t mean I’m going to be screaming at head coach Jim Caldwell for playing Clark over Tamme. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s football, it’s a business, and it’s about winning. Leave the “the love of the game” and “everyone wins” mentality and crap with your 12 year old son playing peewee please. And for crying out loud, Orton is a great role model as it is. He isn’t like Matt Leinart or a handful of other sports stars who claimed to be great guys, who get public support (Michael Phelps) only to get caught drinking and driving, smoking weed, and partying it up at strip clubs.
Orton is a quiet guy to the media, and Broncos fans and Christians need to relax. There are plenty of great Christians in the NFL who have just as much impact on the sidelines as they do on the field.
I’m tired of Christians backing guys up just because they have the same faith. Burn me at the stake for this one, but George Bush didn’t pan out as a great world leader, and in my opinion, hasn’t shown evidence and authenticity of his faith after office. And on that note, Rick Perry should be questioned all over. Using a prayer rally as a rally to gain political support for his announcement to run for President is a little embarrassing and all together disappointing. Forgive me for not voting simply for the three single biggest and crucial issues to conservatives (pro-life, anti-gay rights, and home defense). If those are the only three things good about a candidate, they don’t win my approval…and on that note, I would only out rightly vote for pro-life laws anyways – and even then I’m fairly liberal about it).
Just like in politics, don’t expect me to vote for Tebow because he loves Jesus. I’ll take a proven passer in Orton, whom with a better defense and a better rushing attack can thrive under John Fox. No one expected Jake Delhomme to be a great NFL quarterback, and he only led his team to the Super Bowl under Fox. So let’s put the WWTD bracelets away, and hope Tebow uses his popularity as Tony Dungy has instead of whining back at reporters.