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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student


No Mo' Tebow

So can we get back to actual football now?

For almost the past three months in sports media, it has been Tebow Mania, Tebow Time or whatever you want to call it.

Compelling divisional races, record-breaking play from quarterbacks, the sudden fall of the Indianapolis Colts and other NFL stories were all overshadowed by a national obsession with every aspect of Tim Tebow’s life.

No, that’s not entirely true. As much as the most minute details of the man’s life are endlessly dissected and discussed, his on-field play sometimes falls between the cracks. We hear about Tebow the person and Tebow the winner, but rarely Tebow the quarterback. Even after another improbable Denver Broncos victory, the focus is on the fact that the team won, not the fact that Tebow was mediocre.

It’s a shame because the style of football that Tebow plays is the most fascinating facet of the man. Dual-threat quarterbacks’ running styles have nearly always been predicated on speed or at least shiftiness. Contact is avoided at all costs.

Tebow, on the other hand, has the body of a fullback and runs accordingly, taking would-be tacklers head-on. This is what makes him different; this is the aspect of Tim Tebow worth talking about.

And yet, this continues to be overshadowed by a media-fueled celebration of the so-called Mile-High Messiah. Tebow has become a religious caricature, celebrated as a devout Christian in an unholy professional football landscape.

Despite being lauded as the first of his kind, Tebow is not unique. Kurt Warner wore his religion on his sleeve for his entire career, .

Warner, though, always managed to push his religion to the back burner with his stellar play. Is it possible the reason we so often discuss Tebow the evangelist is because his on-field play, though different, is often mediocre?

Even players, such as Chad Ochocinco, who has made headlines for his behavior, have been allowed to do so by performing on the field.

Tebow has not done this. If he must use his visibility as a vehicle for his religion, that is ultimately within his right. However, he needs to earn this spotlight instead of having it handed to him by an obsessed media.

At this point, I need a break from Tebow, but that is probably not in the cards. He reportedly might join CBS as a guest studio analyst for the remainder of the playoffs, and Broncos President John Elway will continue to be asked about his quarterback’s role next season and beyond.

The best we can hope for is a renewed focus on the NFL’s on-field product, be it Tebow’s game or the teams still playing.

Either way, please do not drop to one knee and pray for it.

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