The sports media is always looking for the best new story that they can base a hour long special around and spend time breaking down something that does not require that much time on. Usually it will involve a team or player who the public will gravitate towards either for admiration or purely hate. They do this for each of the major sports sometimes creating stories when there are none. The one player they are now talking about is the college superstar Tim Tebow.
The Broncos have been virtually forced into starting Tebow by the fans after a 1-4 start to the season. The chants of “We Want Tebow” could be heard in week 1 while then starting Quarterback Kyle Orton was attempting to lead the team down the field in a game where the Broncos were still in the game. Orton was benched during a loss against the Chargers where he played poorly with the team being down by multipul scores and the reins were given to Tim. Tebow made a valiant comeback in the final minutes and were within a hail mary throw to winning buy failed bringing the final to 29-24 Chargers. But the fans got what they wanted.
Tebow mania was a buzz when during the bye week John Fox announced that Tim would be starting Week 7 against the winless Dolphins. Every major media outlet seemed to talk nonstop about his first start of the season and what would happen. Would he be the savior of the Broncos season, leading them to a playoff run and with luck a super bowl? One website stated that the entire world was watching his first start for the 1-4 Broncos against the winless Dolphins. Yeah, sure.
All of the publicity and attention towards Tebow deserving or not cant be blamed on him. He is virtually just along for the ride, dealing with the positive and negative attention and publicity that should be pointed at a experienced veteran, not a second year player who really hasen’t preformed on the next level yet. Yes he has had his share of attention in college, winning the heisman in his sophomore year, and dealt with it with class and respect he has always has, but the expectations because of what he did in college that are placed upon him are almost unreachable for someone so early in his professional career. The combination of his performance on the field and his beliefs such as his religion make him such a notable person in sports.
The problem for players like Tebow is that the media builds players that they know people will pay attention to and will keep them in the public eye even when the situation they are in is not as important or the timing of the story is not at the appropriate time. Talking about a second year quarterback starting for a 1-4 team facing a winless team in 2 weeks should not be the lead in story on sportscenter. This would never be talked about so soon unless the quarterback was someone they know people will want to see.
Being a Buffalo Bills fan, when I see all of this time being used hyping Tebow up as time that could have been used on talking about other teams that have been playing much better than the Broncos, teams like the Bills, Bengals, Lions, and 49er’s.
So the week came for Tebows first start of the season and he played very poorly until about 5 minutes left in the game when he led his team back to tie the game throwing 2 touchdown passes and running in a 2 point conversion and winning in overtime on a field goal. The media exploded. Tebow was everywhere being hailed as the next best quarterback and praising the broncos on the success of the Tebow experiment. Doing countless interviews for every tv station, magazine, newspaper, and website talking about the “success” he had in the game, forgetting about the poor performance during the majority of the game.
People kept talking about Tebow until his next game against the Lions. The result was a blowout loss for the Broncos and a horrible performance for Tebow.
The media jumped off the Tebow bandwagon overnight. Analysts who praised Tebow one week were now criticizing the flaws that they overlooked in the past. Some went as far as suggesting they should release him and start over after 2 games with him leading the team.
The mainstream media has always had a bad habit of getting too high and too low at times with certain teams and players to make a story sometimes out of nothing. Tim Tebow is just another popular player put under a extremely close microscope that he will have to deal with for the rest of his career good or bad. The over coverage of Tebow is hurting his career as an NFL quarterback more than helping it.
The verdict on Tebow is still out for me, if he can have time to grow as a NFL quarterback and fix the problems that he has he has a chance to make it, but if the media continues over coverage of him when he plays well and writing him off when he has a poor game he won’t have much of a chance to improve.
by Andrew Isaac