Article Title
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Tebow Tebow Tebow

by Lewis Krell

I have been in love before. I have known what it’s like to fall for another person. I’ve experienced the dizzying highs and the stupefying lows that come with the territory of love. I have however, never known love like this before. I love Tim Tebow with all my heart. I love watching Tim Tebow play and I love cheering for him to keep pulling out these miraculous wins.

I used to love watching the Peyton Manning’s and Aaron Rodgers’ of the world because of their absolute mastery of the quarterback position. I used to despise Tebow because of his complete lack of any ability to play that same quarterback position. In fact, I hated him more than virtually any other athlete in the world. I have never had such a massive change in feelings about a player in such a short time but my God (sorry Tim), I’m loving every minute of it.

When Tebow was the quarterback at Florida, I loathed him. Almost everyone I know did, too. The media slurped his balls like no athlete I have ever seen. If you read any paper or website and watched any sports news at all, the only thing you would hear was how great this kid was. What a winner! So tough! Celibate! Circumcises children in Africa in the off-season! Participates in the hajj to Mecca just for fun! It was wall to wall coverage and there was no opinion to the contrary. He was the only athlete I can remember getting universal acclaim from every single person covering him.

I hated how every story discussed how nice of a kid he was, peppered with phrases like ‘impossible not to like’ and ‘most charming athlete I have ever met’ which fostered my hate to grow. He was never criticized for anything in a world where everything is criticized by everyone. He said the right thing, did the right thing, and worst of all he never lost.

But there was nothing I could really say because he was living a charmed life. I remember waiting in breathless anticipation for the day that he would get to the NFL and be exposed for the quarterbacking fraud that he is and maybe for some type of gay sex scandal, too. I waited patiently for him to graduate so the myth of Tebow would crumble and he would fade from the national consciousness. Things haven’t exactly played out that way.

I screamed for joy last Sunday when the Chargers' Nick Novak missed a 53-yard field goal which essentially won the game for the Broncos. I nearly jumped off the couch when Christian Ponder threw an interception in this Sunday’s game to set up another Broncos win. I am not a Denver fan and never have been but the last 7 weeks have been a glorious rollercoaster ride where the whole football world has been turned upside down. Since Tebow got to the NFL, the coverage has been a complete 180. All you read and see is about how he can’t be a professional QB. Tough kid, nice kid, great athlete, but he can’t possibly be an NFL starting QB. Even after wins he just gets ripped apart. Former players (mainly QBs) have lined up to rip the guy and even his own coaches and teammates haven’t exactly been supportive. Can’t throw, not smart enough, letting his genitals and sexual prime go to waste, too fundamentally flawed etc.

This was everything I hoped for when I watched him in college but as he kept winning and winning (and winning over his locker room) it became apparent to me why I liked him: I love watching experts be wrong. Whether its stock pickers, gambling advice columnists, or, best of all, the sports media, when experts are wrong we all win. Especially pompous asshole experts, which are pretty much the only type of experts that exists on television.

Week after week announcers and columnists are flabbergasted at his success. They continue to tell the viewing public that this will all come crashing down and it very well may but in this brief glorious moment where every expert is wrong, I’m going to bask in it. Watching your typical ESPN talking head dissect every aspect of every game takes some of the fun out of it because they all take themselves so fucking seriously. To watch these guys sit there and be oh so wrong week in and week out has been an absolute pleasure.

It seems that a lot of professional sports over the past decade have become divided into two camps, the traditionalists and the stat guys. Maybe the best part of this whole Tebowmania has been that this is a very, very rare instance where everyone is wrong. Stat guys said he was going to be awful and every metric ever created backed up those predictions. Traditional guys broke down tape and came to the same conclusion.

What is truly wonderful is that they have both been absolutely right and it doesn’t matter at all. His stats are horrendous and his game-film is usually horrendous, too. He looks horribly uncomfortable, he makes brutal throws, and his box score at the end usually looks abysmal. But he is now 6-1 as a starter and the Broncos are tied for first place in their division. Tebow continues to show those intangibles that make us love and watch sports like toughness, improvisational skills, leadership and an ability to somehow be successful in a job that you are technically, horrifically unqualified to do.

In a strange way, I think Tebow has reawaked the inner fan in a lot of us who used to just watch games as a kid and not worry about the story line or the fantasy implications or what ESPN was saying all week leading up to the game. Every Sunday in the BT era (before-Tebow, or as Anno-Domini if you prefer), I would watch games and obsessively track stats and follow what was happening around the league. However, in the Tebow era, I never change the channel and I never check his stats. They simply aren’t important to me anymore.

Nothing makes sense in the Tebow era. You know what? Sports aren’t supposed to always make sense. Big-time sports have been hijacked by an army of people who want you to believe that they can predict everything with precision with enough scouting or enough statistics but I assure you that no scout and no statistician ever could have predicted that the most exciting player to watch in all of football would be this technically and statistically deficient. I also guarantee you they never thought the most exciting QB in the game would be a virgin. Thank god his Mom didn’t abort him.

Photo courtesy of Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images North America via Zombio

Lewis Krell is an ex-Canadian staff writer for The Inclusive. His work with a more maple leaf-styled slant can be found at Fifty Mission Cap. Get in touch with him at lewis.krell [at] theinclusive.net