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Off-Topic: Why are there so many Sports articles about Tim Tebow?

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The most talked about 3rd string QB in sports history. Photo AP via businessinsider.com

Seriously?

The 3rd string quarterback of a mediocre NFL team is in the news, literally every day.  Multiple times per day.

Why is there so much press surrounding Tim Tebow?

Just this week, we learned he broke up with his girlfriend, that he’s disappointed about being passed over for the starting gig the last week of the season, that he could have run the wildcat if asked, that he may be heading to Jacksonville, that some ESPN analyst thinks he’s a fraud, that the Jets should just cut him now, and that he would have done whatever his coach asked him.  Of the 50-someodd articles in my RSS feed just now, there were no less than 10 related to Tebow.

Why??  Why is he constantly in the news?  Is it because he plays for the Jets?  I didn’t realize the Jets were such a newsworthy football team.  Is it because he’s in New York and there’s just more sports media per square foot there than elsewhere?  Possibly.  Is it because the closest city to ESPN headquarters in New York and ESPN employs far too many columnists and analysts?  Possibly.  Is it because Tebow is a former Heisman trophy winner?  Doubtful; there’s been numerous Heisman winners who were awful in the pros.  Is it because he’s amazingly talented and people really thought he’d be the savior of the NFL?  I doubt it; every analysis piece I read seems to come with stated opinions of just how mediocre a player he is.

Can it stop?  I’m really, really tired of hearing about him.  Most ardent football fans couldn’t name the backups of most NFL teams outside their own rooting interests; why does sports nation need to know the every move of Tim Tebow??

Written by Todd Boss

December 26th, 2012 at 10:52 am

Posted in Non-Baseball

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13 Responses to 'Off-Topic: Why are there so many Sports articles about Tim Tebow?'

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  1. I think it is (i) virgin + hot girlfriends, (ii) unorthodox style of play and (iii) last year’s team success. I expect that we’ll see him on Dancing With the Stars soon when he is out of football. Maybe Survivor.

    Wally

    26 Dec 12 at 1:38 pm

  2. I think a lot of it has to do with his being a hard-core Christian. He is/was a heisman-winning QB who dominated his college football world and put bible references on his eye black. The fundies in Colorado went all crazy over him and his “praise Jesus for a completion” business; they think Jesus really cares about football. Anyway, that’s like 30% of the country who will read anything at all about him. he’s the one saving us from those godless people who want to give us The Gay.

    kevin r

    26 Dec 12 at 2:29 pm

  3. I forgot the fundamentalist angle. Duh. Makes perfect sense.

    Todd Boss

    26 Dec 12 at 2:45 pm

  4. “I forgot the fundamentalist angle”

    Bingo we have a winner. ;-)

    Really you forgot that? They did a SNL skit that I saw on the internet with Jesus in the locker room with the Bronco players. It was actually kind of funny. Try this link.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/18/tim-tebow-saturday-night-live-skit-jesus-broncos_n_1156393.html

    Tegwar

    26 Dec 12 at 7:09 pm

  5. I just wasn’t thinking of that angle, thinking of sports. When I read about sports, I’m not thinking of any religious aspects.

    Can we think of another sports figure for comparison purposes? Another fundamentalist who draws significant media presence simply because of this fact?

    Todd Boss

    26 Dec 12 at 8:20 pm

  6. Todd I was just joking around with. There was so much coverage of him from the religious angle I was surprised you missed it.

    There have been a few overtly religious sports athletes in the past like Kurt Warner, Reggie White and Josh Hamilton but most of them just credit their faith with a change in their life. Tebow was a little more over the top with bible verses in his eye black and his patented kneel. Winning 6 games in a row most of them in the 4th quarter helped make it a good story. Evangelicals love a good miracle story, most of them think or hope that Jesus will come back in their lifetime even tho the rest of us will die. Got nothing against Tebow and I guess it does no harm probably put more pressure on him.

    Tegwar

    27 Dec 12 at 12:19 pm

  7. Fundmentalist angle or not this just proves ESPN is no longer a true sports network. They only focus on narrow topics and beat them to death. Tebow should have been an irrelevant topic all season due to his lack of time of the field but they drum up anything and everything about him because they think everyone in the world cares. I don’t even turn on sportcenter or 90% of their programming unless it is a college sports event.

    PDowdy

    27 Dec 12 at 12:35 pm

  8. ESPN is to sports like MTV is to music these days.

    PDowdy

    27 Dec 12 at 12:35 pm

  9. Seeing this trend everywhere… if it gets views/clicks, it gets coverage. One of the funny things I learned while doing this year’s Rule 5 posts is that there is a conservative blogger that has figured out that if you want to get million hits in less than a year, you have to have periodical cheesecake pictures (he called it the Christina Hendricks rule). Sadly, not only do I believe this to be true, there’s probably a functional equivalent when it comes to Nats blogs, which is why every other post is about Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, or both.

    Luke Erickson

    27 Dec 12 at 3:12 pm

  10. PDowdy/Luke – I totally agree with you. I don’t know where the future of actual news is headed, regardless of the format. It is becoming one gigantic popularity contest.

    ESPN is nothing but an advertising distribution network the days. I know that I sound like one of those old guys who yell ‘hey you kids, stay off my lawn’ but i think it is getting pretty hard to find legitimate discussions across all news spheres.

    Wally

    27 Dec 12 at 3:31 pm

  11. No no, you were right. I can’t believe I didn’t think of his heavily religious standing when considering why he’s constantly in the news. I have been thinking its simply because its New York.

    I actually called into a radio show once because I was so irritated with the whole Tebow line. The question the sports talk guys were asking was whether Tebow or Jeremy Lin was a “bigger story” (this was right when Lin-sanity had just happened). Tebow was the heisman trophy winner for crying out loud; its not like he came out of nowhere. Meanwhile Lin was undrafted, cut by two other NBA teams, and was in the d-league a year ago. His meteoric rise has been nothing short of amazing.

    Todd Boss

    27 Dec 12 at 4:00 pm

  12. I don’t even have a click monitor installed on this blog :-) I have no idea if I have 5 readers or 1000. I count my dad as at least one reader :-) I know I get almost all my traffic by virtue of being listed on Zuckerman’s blogroll though, so thanks much to him.

    I will readily admit; one of the regular sports blogs I write does exactly this; every single post includes a shot of a celebrity in a swimsuit. And I click on the damn picture sometimes. What can I say, I’m a guy.

    Todd Boss

    27 Dec 12 at 4:02 pm

  13. I have a couple of rising concerns with ESPN generally (both of which have been well documented):
    – they some times “sit” on stories that are detrimental to leagues with which they have broadcast contracts. They’re being compromised as a news organization and their sense of independence is skewed.
    – their opinion makers are purposely antagonistic in their views to drum up interest, kind of like a blogger putting a fake picture to get hits or like a shock talk radio host doing something provocative just to get listeners.

    Todd Boss

    27 Dec 12 at 4:24 pm

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