Sensationalistic sports mediots blame @TimTebow for them making him a “polarizing figure”

Posted by: ST on December 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

It’s hard to believe (or perhaps not), but sometimes the politically correct sports media can be even worse than the mainstream media when it comes to anti-Christian bias and rabid sensationalism.  The NYT’s Toni Monkovic provides sterling examples, while being one himself:

The Tim Tebow success story, puzzling to some and entertaining to most, seems to have one obvious drawback: the injection of religion.

Or more specifically arguing over religion.

Arguing is not a problem in sports. Sports talk radio might not exist without it (WIP in Philadelphia might combust). Whose career has been better, Tom Brady’s or Peyton Manning’s? Have at it, no problem.

But arguing about religion – who needs it?

Michael McCarthy, USA Today:

Jewish Week is apologizing for a controversial column about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow that said a Super Bowl victory by the Evangelical Christian QB could incite others to burn mosques, bash gays and banish immigrants.

For such a nice guy, Tebow has been a polarizing figure in the N.F.L. for a while. Last season, he  helped film a controversial Super Bowl commercial for a conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family, which strongly opposes abortion.

Last week, after the Broncos rallied to beat the Bears,  Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post had this nugget: 

“Tebow came to me and said, ‘Don’t worry about a thing,’ because God has spoken to him,” linebacker Wesley Woodyard told me in a quiet corner of the Denver locker room.

Extra point  If Tebow and the Broncos keep winning, we’ll be discussing topics like: If Tebow were Muslim, would America think God was on his side? You may not be a fan of Bill Belichick, but if New England wins today in Denver, the talk may return to football — on who makes the playoffs, not on who qualifies for heaven. For one day, is it enough to make you a Patriots fan?

TebowingIt’s interesting.  From what I’ve read of interviews with players, sports pundits, commentators, etc, it’s mostly the sports media who have turned Tebow into a “polarizing figure” – not Tebow himself.  How? By doing what the media, sports and non-sports alike, do: Sensationalize an issue to death with wall to wall saturation coverage, debate, “analysis” in our 24-7 news network coverage world.   In a world prior to 24 hour cable news networks, Internet columns, Twitter, and Facebook, the issue of Tim Tebow being a man of faith and trying to walk the walk accordingly would definitely make headlines, but it probably wouldn’t have turned him into a “polarizing figure” because there would be no 24 hour news vacuum cycle to fill.  Yes, the sports mediots would still try to pull negative quotes about Tebow out of the behinds of football players who really only want to talk about, ya know, football and themselves and how great they are, but by the time the stories were published, the Next Big Issue would have popped up and everyone would have forgotten about what Jake Plummer said about Tebow.  But we live in a techno-savvy, communications-rich, insta-news environment where every minute not filled with advertisements must be filled with “newsworthy” commentary designed to draw viewers, readers, ratings and ultimately sponsors.

They would never admit it, but this young Christian man has been a blessing (pun intended) to the sports media community for those reasons alone.

But you want to know what irks me more about the sports media outside of their need to generate controversy in order to bring in the viewers, readers, and ad dollars?  The fact that, with a few exceptions, they’ve essentially ignored and in all too many cases propped up for decades the arrogant “culture of me” mentality that permeates every facet of pro-sports, whether it be the bad “F— you” attitudes,  multi-million dollar player salary disputes, lavish after-game parties and other sports gatherings where drinking, drug use, steroid abuse, and serial adultery – and in some instances, sexual harassment –  are often ignored or overlooked because “that’s just the way it is in sports”? How many coddled, pampered,  sports player prima donnas have we all wished we could knock out  simply because they act like they’ve got it so bad, when in reality they’re being paid handsomely and treated like royalty simply because they know how to throw a football or hit a homerun?

Think about how a convicted rapist and all around thug like Mike Tyson gets treated by the sports media.  He “joked” recently on an ESPN-affiliated radio network about the idea of Sarah Palin being raped — to the howls of laughter of the shows’ “hosts.”    Here’s one of the despicable statements Tyson made that the hosts found so hysterically funny:

“Glen Rice is a wonderful man,” Tyson said. “He’s a wonderful guy. You want her [Palin] to be with somebody like [Dennis] Rodman getting up … in there. Pushing her guts up in the back of her head!”

In an ideal world, the advocating of a sexual assault on on a woman coming from anyone, including a world-famous controversial sports figure, would rightly generate nationwide condemnation and outrage from mainstream media types and sports media gurus alike.  But of course it didn’t work out that way because we don’t live in an ideal world.   What ended up happening was that, again with few exceptions, the only people outraged enough about not just Tyson’s comments but more importantly the show hosts’ perverse reaction to them to write about them were conservatives like myself.  Simply put, we live in a world where “tolerance” is given to prominent figures who represent the worst in our society, because those types of figures pull in ratings and ad cash – and in the rare instances they are taken to the woodshed it’s not because of what they said, but the target(s) of their comments.  For example, had Tyson made those comments about Hillary Clinton, we’d have never heard the end of it.

And think about the various sexual abuse scandals coming out of colleges, like Penn State and Syracuse.  Sports columnist Jason Whitlock has been all over the Syracuse Post-Standard’s handling of the allegations against Bernie Fine that Fine has molested young boys.  In a recent column, Whitlock wrote:

On Wednesday, Michael J. Connor, the executive editor of the Syracuse Post-Standard, published his rationalization on why in 2003 his newspaper did not turn over to police the tape recording in which Bernie Fine’s wife expressed concern that her husband had a sexual attraction for young boys and seemed to indicate he molested Bobby Davis. Connor acknowledged that Davis made the tape at the request of the newspaper. Connor explained that the information on the tape did not justify publication of Davis’ allegations against Bernie Fine. Connor’s explanation made sense. Laurie Fine’s statements were not clear-cut proof.

What was clear was that Davis’ allegations needed to be investigated by professional investigators.

“To us, though, our role has always been clear: to investigate with a goal to publish,” Connor wrote. “To us, handing over to police materials we didn’t feel confident enough to publish was unimaginable. Look at it another way. When police or the district attorney gather evidence and decide they don’t have enough to charge someone with a crime, do they deliver their evidence to us and say, ‘Here you go, we don’t have enough to prosecute but you might get a heckuva story out of this’? Of course not. We have separate and independent purposes, and are often locked in an unsteady dance around information that one has and the other wants.”

Let me translate Connor’s statement: There was nothing in it for The Post-Standard so The Post-Standard had no interest in handing over its information to the police. The Post-Standard investigates with the goal of landing the big scoop and winning journalism awards. It’s the police’s job to protect the community.

The Post-Standard (and ESPN) could’ve used the media spotlight to force the police to investigate Davis’ allegations. Had Connor taken the tape to the police chief in 2003 and said, “You have a month to look into these allegations or we’re running the tape and exposing your unwillingness to investigate this matter,” it would’ve been far easier to find the truth and protect any other potential victims.

“Imagine how quickly we would lose the trust of sources we rely on and readers who turn to us if we turned from watchdog of government agencies to lap dog at their call,” Connor wrote.

[…]

In their hunt for the big scoop, Internet clicks and ratings, [ESPN & the Syracuse Post-Standard]  concealed evidence from the police, unfairly released one-sided, inflammatory stories that convicted Bernie Fine in the court of public opinion and now they don’t have the courage to apologize.

At least Joe Paterno expressed regret he did not do more to stop Jerry Sandusky. Can we really blame the public for losing faith in the Fourth Estate? We might be the most arrogant and delusional group on the planet.

Advocating rape doesn’t generate non-stop outrage and coverage.  Allegations of sexual molestation don’t generate wall to wall outrage until someone finally decides to break the stories after they’ve been sat on for years. Then sports media outlets have to make up for lost time.  Same same for allegations that five-star Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks have either sexually harassed or raped women.  And stories of chronic drug and alcohol abuse by sports players rarely make the news, because the issue is so widespread that it’s almost not looked at as “newsworthy” anymore – if in fact it ever was.

But what does generate hours, days, weeks, and months of outrage and pushback in the sports media? Tim Tebow is a Christian who openly prays on the sidelines.  He’s not shy about expressing his belief in God.  Sometimes he points up to heaven when standing on the field. He pats his teammates on the back, tells them not to worry about a bad game, that God is in control.  He’s claimed he wanted to save himself for marriage. And, worst of all, he’s upfront about being thankful his mother didn’t abort him.

For this, Tim Tebow is a “polarizing figure” to sports writers, players, and even some fans?

I weep.

Related Reading: Jen Engel – What if Tim Tebow were a Muslim?

(Tebow photo via Daily Mail/Tebowing Nation/Facebook)

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16 Responses to “Sensationalistic sports mediots blame @TimTebow for them making him a “polarizing figure””

Comments

  1. Ryan says:

    It’s sad that there’s so much Tebow hatred out there, especially considering the fact that there are so many bad apples in the NFL.

    I wish people would focus on the game, and the fact that it’s more Denver’s defense (in many cases) and schedule that is responsible for his success.

    Their last three wins have been against a San Diego club in a massive downward spiral, a two-win Minnesota club, and a Bears team without its starting QB and RB. That same Bears team scored a whopping 3 points at home vs KC the previous week.

  2. Ryan says:

    My point above being those things I mention are what sports writers should be talking about, rather than his religion.

    If they want to focus on religion, perhaps they should note that it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the usual nonsense coming from pro athletes these days.

  3. Sefton says:

    The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. – John 1:5

  4. Matt says:

    Ryan:
    While I’m sure there are many people who have a strong dislike, or even hatred, of Tebow due to his Christianity, I’d wager the vast majority of people who express dislike of Tebow do so because they (like me) are just so tired of seeing his face on the TV given that he’s so thoroughly mediocre as far as NFL quarterbacks are considered.

    If his Broncos actually were playing GOOD NFL teams (take a look at their schedule some time…if you know anything about the NFL, you know the teams that they’ve played during Tebow’s starting tenure are either doormats or the walking wounded, like the Bears), Tebow would never be in the position to pull off his late game heroics because they’d be behind by too many points. And Tebow wouldn’t be mentioned at all as a result.

    What Denver has done in the past couple months has been amazing in the sense that they’re managed to come from behind against some agonizingly bad defenses. Defenses that a good quarterback would never have been trailing in the first place.

  5. This may be your best post of all time. I’m not so mad at them picking on Tebow because they don’t like the Jesus thing, The bible tells us to expect the spirit of this Age to come against anyone that boldly proclaims the name of the Almight.

    It is the hypocrisy of the Penn State coverup that truly gets me. Quit knocking people like Tebow who EMBRACE righteousness, honesty and trying to DO better – while facilitating and winking at evil.

  6. Carlos says:

    Tebow is a blessing to the sports world not because of the “Jesus thing,” but because it’s a chance to move the spotlight from rapos, thugs and dopers to something more etherial.

    The arrogant attitude of most professional sports people today makes our Dear leader look like a piker, and even the college athlete is getting into that arrogant class of inherent privilege.

    I’ll take Tebow and his quiet histrionics anytime to a pro busted for trying to buy dope or a college kid driving down the highway at 118 mph just ’cause he can.

  7. Great White Rat says:

    If Tebow were Muslim, would America think God was on his side?

    Better qustion: if Tebow were Muslim, would this NYT idiot dare to write a single word of criticism for any on-field praise of Allah?

    Answer: of course not. Only Christians may be mocked for their beliefs.

    What is “polarizing” here isn’t Tebow’s authentic faith and devotion to the Almighty. It’s the left’s intolerance for anyone who has such faith and expresses it openly. That’s far too dangerous. Why, people might even think there’s a power greater than the state, and we can’t have that, can we?

  8. Drew the Infidel says:

    Remember the old Kris Kristofferson song about “everybody has to have somebody to look down on”?

  9. Drew the Infidel says:

    The brand of pantyhose was Beauty Mist.

  10. Kate says:

    We just can’t have a clean, cut All-American image in football anymore. Does anyone remember the old days? Of course, you probably would be called an old geezer. After Joe Namath donned the infamous pantyhose and became Broadway Joe it all went downhill!

  11. Carlos says:

    @GWR: The polarization of our society isn’t due to anything Tebow, Christians in general or the TEA partiers do, it’s because anyone from left-center out to loony left views anyone or anything that stands for belief in something other than the state as supreme knows the danger that belief presents to both the state and to their own particular brand of human bondage through state-run superiority.

    ‘Course, they’re also too stupid or too willfully blind to accept that Islam is much more a danger because, when it’s all stripped away, Islam is nothing more than a modified version of totalitarian socialism reserved only to the “true believer.”

  12. Lorica says:

    Jewish Week is apologizing for a controversial column about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow that said a Super Bowl victory by the Evangelical Christian QB could incite others to burn mosques, bash gays and banish immigrants

    LOL Didn’t they say the same thing about “The Passion of the Christ”??? I love how the Jewish radical left can’t let go of things that they know are obviously untrue.

    For such a nice guy, Tebow has been a polarizing figure in the N.F.L. for a while. Last season, he helped film a controversial Super Bowl commercial for a conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family, which strongly opposes abortion.

    Odd how the stand for life is “controversial” and “polarizing”, but murdering your baby in the womb… ehhh no problemo!! Such a ridiculous statement. We can have people burning flags or stripping naked in the streets as political free speech, but crucify the guy for talking against abortion. LOL Okay!!

    As far as Tyson goes, he is an ex-con who was sent to prison for rape. It is still my personal opinion that he should be castrated too, and his comments about Sarah Palin only prove me right. Such a lowlife puke. He has the inteligence that God gave a gnat and why anyone would even care what he thinks is quite beyond me. What good has he done for the world, nothing. His presence off of this planet, and him roasting with Kim Chong only makes this a better world. – Lorica

  13. Great White Rat says:

    @Carlos:

    anyone or anything that stands for belief in something other than the state as supreme knows the danger that belief presents

    My point exactly. It’s why the left is generally anti-religion, since they worship the State on earth and not a God in heaven.

    As for their blindness to Islam, I think it’s an alliance of convenience. You know that in Islam, the religion and the state become one and the same, so the left isn’t as opposed to it. Add to that the fact that since radical Islam and our leftists have the same enmity for personal freedom, they’re on the same side for now. If they ever do jointly succeed in wiping out liberty, then they’ll doubtless turn on each other.

  14. Carlos says:

    Heck, GWR, the left is so self-absorbed and self-centered that, given the right set of circumstances, Soros would turn on Barry!

    Now, if we could only create those circumstances before the donkey convention next year.

  15. Steph says:

    We just finished watching Monday Night Football. Since we live in the Bay Area, we have been 49er fans for decades BUT we also like the Pittsburgh Steelers. So we were quite torn. The point of this post in relation to the topic is this: did any of you happen to catch Rothlisberger on HIS knees and head bowed at the beginning of the game? I was SO proud of seeing him do that and there was little mention of it by the ESPN talking heads. So why is Tebow so polarizing and Rothlisberger not? That I don’t get. Maybe because he does take a stand like he did for Focus on the Family? I don’t know but both of these guys are true heroes in my book. Not to mention Rothlisberger played to bitter end with a hurting ankle…true he didn’t play very well or at least at his best but understandable. We NEED more Christian athletes to stand proud about their faith and talking heads should be ashamed of themselves…particularly the lowlife Tyson.

  16. Carlos says:

    Unfortunately, Steph, a lot of people read the sports pages and watch the sports shows to see who has been busted for selling dope, or using dope, or bar-brawling, or attempted murder, or murder, etc. It’s kind of like watching NASCAR for wrecks.

    And that’s the kind of society we’ve descended into, which the libs/statists understand so aren’t worried that Obhammud dismisses the white middle class because it fits his idea of re-election due to class warfare.

    After all, he believes no single group deserves less and gets more than white, upwardly mobile young people because that reflects badly on “his people,” so is inherently unfair.