Most of the time, Super Bowl ads are either cute, funny, sexy, over the top, or a combination of the above. Rarely do they preach any particular social awareness message – in fact, in the past oftentimes when advocacy groups have tried to place such ads during the Super Bowl they’ve been shot down by the network airing the SB.
This year’s a little different. CBS has “moderated” their policy on advocacy ads and as a result, Florida Gators QB and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother Pam will be featured in a Focus on the Family ad in which Mrs. Tebow will discuss the time when she was pregnant with Tim and how she decided to keep him – in spite of doctors telling her to abort him:
He was the first sophomore in history to win a Heisman trophy. He was the first college football player both to rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season. Last year, he led his college team, the Florida Gators, to their second national championship in three years. At 6 feet 3 inches and 245 pounds, Tim Tebow may go down in history as the greatest college football player who ever lived.
And to think none of that would have happened if not for a decision his mother made nearly 23 years ago.
That is the message of a controversial new ad starring Tebow and his mother, Pam. Paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, the ad tells the story of Bob and Pam Tebow, who was pregnant with their fifth child when the couple travelled to the Philippines on a missionary trip.
While there, Pam contracted amoebic dysentery and the medicines used for her recovery threatened her unborn fetus. Doctors advised her to abort the fetus. Pam ignored their advice and gave birth on Aug. 14, 1987, to a baby boy. That boy was Tim Tebow.
Now arguably the highest profile player in college football for the past several years, Tebow cites his mother’s decision as a key reason he chose to participate in the Focus on the Family ad, which created a mild uproar after CBS agreed to air it on Super Bowl Sunday.
“I know some people won’t agree with it,” said Tebow of the 30-second ad at a press conference in Mobile, Ala., on Sunday, in preparation for next weekend’s Senior Bowl. “But I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe. I’ve always been very convicted of [his views on abortion] because that’s the reason I’m here, because my mom was a very courageous woman.”
Of course the feministas are going nuts and are demanding the ad be pulled:
Jehmu Greene, president of Women’s Media Center, asked CBS on Monday not to air the commercial, saying, “An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sporting event of the year.”
The Women’s Media Center is coordinating the effort to have the ad pulled with support from the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation.
An ad that “uses sports to divide”? LOL. I wonder if Ms. Greene – or any other “feminist” who has objected to this ad – also objected to the “Super Bowl abuse” ad that aired before the 1993 Super Bowl which reported an outright false statistic about how men supposedly abuse their wives or girlfriends more on SB Sunday than on any other day of the year? Something tells me they didn’t.
I know most people – including most political junkies like you and me – tune in to sports to get away from politics for a few hours, and some may have concerns about the possibility that a wave of advocacy ads will hit future SBs but I wouldn’t worry about the Super Bowl becoming one pro or anti ad after another. Most advocacy groups don’t have the money it takes to pay for ads for the SB (they go for over $2 mil). And the few ads like that that do run, well, they’ll (hopefully) make everyone think – think about how ridiculous the left’s ads are and how the right’s ads make so much sense
NOW is looking at the pro-life issue backwards. Women should be reminded that they are strong enough and smart enough to make decisions that allow for career and educational opportunities while still giving their babies a chance at life. In my own home, my daughter Bristol has also been challenged by pro-abortion “women’s rights” groups who don’t agree with her decision to have her baby, nor do they like the abstinence message which she articulated as her personal commitment. NOW could gain ground and credibility with everyday Americans, thus allowing their pro-women message to be heard by more than just their ardent supporters, if they made wiser decisions regarding which battles to pick. They should call attention to and embrace the Tebow’s message, instead of covertly and overtly disrespecting what Mrs. Tebow, Bristol, and millions of other women have chosen to do (in less than ideal circumstances).
My message to these groups who are inexplicably offended by a pro-woman, pro-child, pro-life message airing during the Super Bowl: please concentrate on empowering women, help with efforts to prevent unexpected pregnancies, stay consistent with your message that for too long women have been made to feel like sex objects in our “modern” culture and that we can expect better in 2010. But don’t let your double standard glare so vividly as to undo some of the good to which you could contribute.
And CBS: just do the right thing. Don’t cave. Have the backbone to run the ad.