It’s always fun to watch ESPN the morning after your alma mater wins its fourth major national sports championship in three years. That’s pretty much all I’ve been doing today, listening intently to the talking heads as they continuously lavish praise upon the University of Florida Gators football team and their great, fearless, immortal leader, Tim Tebow.
“Does Tim Tebow now belong at the top of the list as the greatest college football player of all time?” they argue, some believing it to be true, others holding off judgment for another year.
“Tim Tebow carried his whole team on his back and willed them to victory,” others proclaim, turning this 21-year-old man into, as one woman put it, a “demigod.”
“Tim Tebow is beautiful inside and out,” gushed Steven A. Smith.
Yes, Tim Tebow…he’s been compared to everyone from Chuck Norris to Jesus Christ. He’s won the Heisman Trophy and two national championships. He spends his spare hours saving lives in Bangladesh and counseling hard-time prisoners at Starke, the hellhole down the road from Gainesville where Ted Bundy was executed. He’s a 21-year-old legend who doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the words “quit,” “lazy,” and “beer.”
I will never get sick of hearing about him.
But as person who loves to criticize the American news media, I am inclined to point out that they give him way too much credit for the success of the team.
Tim Tebow wasn’t the one who intercepted Oklahoma on the goal line to prevent a touchdown. That was…hmm, I don’t remember who it was, but I’m pretty sure it was Major Wright or Joe Haden. I’ll have to look it up, because no one in the media is mentioning it.
Tim Tebow wasn’t the one who tackled Oklahoma’s running back on the one yard line to prevent another touchdown. That was Torrey Davis, but I haven’t heard his name mentioned once this morning.
What about the guy who stole the ball from Oklahoma on an interception, preventing a likely score? Oh yeah, that was Ahmad Black. No one’s comparing him to Superman this morning.
Percy Harvin, without whom the Gator offense would have been almost entirely stagnant, did eke out one interview on ESPN.
If you take away any one of those four players, Florida loses. Just like they lost four games last year despite Tim Tebow’s Herculean efforts.
There are probably 100 players on the Florida football team, but Tim Tebow gets almost all the credit in the media when they win, because Americans love to believe that one person can single-handedly be responsible for a large group’s success. That’s why CEO’s make so much money and why presidential elections cost so much money. Instead of baseball, maybe our national pasttime should be switched to “Follow the Leader.”
I love Tim Tebow. (Though I almost killed him in a parking lot in 2006 when he took a corner too wide on his scooter while not wearing a helmet and I simultaneously took the corner a little too tight in my car.) But I would bet any amount of money he wishes that more people would get acknowledgment for his team’s success.