December 27, 2012

Blog: Media built Tebow up just to tear him down

The Express-Star

— New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has been in the media (what else is new) recently, but this time, he's receiving criticism.

Anonymous reports out of New York stated that Tebow told coach Rex Ryan not to use him in the team's Wildcat formations, because he was upset that third-string quarterback Greg McElroy was picked to start over him.

ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge led the media chastising of Tebow after the reports came out, calling him, among other things "phony as a three-dollar bill". All of a sudden, Tebow is the villain.

I don't think Tim Tebow is a good professional quarterback. I wouldn't want him starting on my NFL team. I don't have a problem with any of the criticism of his football performance.

What I have a problem with is the way the media was so eager to take one mistake (if the reports are true) and use that to define his entire character.

It is widely publicized that Tebow is a devout Christian. It's one of the things that has made him so famous in a world of athletics where morality is often put to the side.

For the sake of transparency, Tebow's faith, which I share, is a large part of the reason I feel compelled to defend him.

As a result, it's disappointing to me that a player who, by all accounts, has been a model citizen and teammate his entire career, falls victim to a collective media "Gotcha!" because he allegedly got frustrated with a situation.

It's a dangerous standard to set to have more grace when looking at athletes who are publicly, admittedly and intentionally flawed than toward a man who strives for a higher standard.

Every human is flawed in some way, and every human will make a number of mistakes in life. Those who are verbally abusing Tebow for this situation need to understand that a mistake doesn't make a moral person a hypocrite any more than consistent, unapologetic sin makes someone a person worthy of praise for being genuine.

Tebow denies that the anonymous reports are true. Whether they are true or not, the media shouldn't make it easier to settle for being bad than to try to be good.