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The Bottom Line: Is Tebow good or bad?

By Mike Abelson
On April 5, 2012


Back on March 22, Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets.

From the reaction of many Jets fans you'd have thought that the team had just signed an incarnation of Satan. Many disliked the trade because of Tebow's sub-standard play on the field. He completed 46.5 percent of his passes last season, and I can understand the feeling of a team making a questionable acquisition (Julio Lugo...cough cough).

The part I do not understand is the hatred directed towards Tebow the person. Based on observations on various social media platforms, I saw a fan base that was filled with a vitriolic hate towards a man who had done nothing wrong.

Yes, Tim Tebow is not the best quarterback in the league at the moment, but he is an outstanding individual. He has helped create two charitable foundations, done missionary work abroad, provided medical care to people in the third world and has helped build a hospital in the Philippines.

Heaven forbid we have athletes who are upstanding members of the community. One of the major complaints of Tim Tebow is that he is "too nice." Would you rather he shoots himself in the leg with an unlicensed gun like Plaxico Burress? Maybe sports fans would accept him more if he was accused of two sexual assaults in less than a year like Ben Roethlisberger. Donte Stallworth has been accepted back into the league after killing someone while driving drunk. All Tebow has done is reference God a few too many times on television and society readies its pitchforks.

Tebow is the latest example of athletes existing in the same universe as our pets.

My dog Sammy loves me. He will always be there to welcome me when I come home from school, and he'll always be there, with a smile on his face, when we go outside to play. Someday though, hopefully many years from now, Sammy will lose the spring in his step and have to be put down.

Tebow, like all star athletes, exists in the same place in the American psyche. Athletes "love" us by unconditionally performing at their highest level for us. We love them by cheering and purchasing their merchandise. Our athletes will always be at the top of their game when they grace our television screens. Yet, someday our favorite athletes will lose a few inches off their jump and their speed will slow down, but rather than being put down they will be sent off into the world of retirement.

You wouldn't think any less of your pet it was too giddy to see you after you got home would you?

However, when an athlete doesn't live up to people's perceived notions of what an athletes should be he/she is vilified. Kobe Bryant committed adultery and was arrested for sexual assault, but today he is a demigod to many basketball fans. So much for getting his nose rubbed in it after peeing on the rug.

We love our pets because they provide us companionship, but we train them to be obedient. We love our athletes because they provide us "companionship", but we will bend over backwards not to discipline them. The athletes that admirably serve their community should be commended; not condemned.

Tim Tebow is a talented athlete who has used his gifts to build a career for himself as a professional football player, and he has done it with class, grace and a humility that is missing from professional sports these days.

Who are we to judge him for that?

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