The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Robert Kahne Rebuts

Robert Kahne: Rebuttal #5

[The RP’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #2; John Y. Brown, III’s Rebuttal #3; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #4]

I don’t mind Tim Tebow.  I just can’t stand his fans.

Tim Tebow is a man I have often hated.  Hailed as “The Greatest College Player Ever” by many, while he played for Florida, he was one of my most despised players ever.  Tim Tebow ended the greatest run of Kentucky football ever in 2007 when Florida defeated Kentucky one week after Kentucky had taken down then-#1 and eventual national champion LSU and eventually rose to #8 in the AP poll.  After the defeat of my beloved Wildcat at the hands of Tim Tebow, Kentucky started a downward trend which they are still striding upon.  I listened with malice in my heart as Thom Brenaman (perhaps my least favorite sports personalities ever) gushed over him during the 2009 Sugar Bowl, and was extremely frustrated when he was indeed selected in the first round of the NFL draft by Josh McDaniels (perhaps my least favorite person to ever have coached professionally).  But once he got to the pros, things changed a bit for me.

I am a fan of anti-heroes.  I think they give us a unique perspective to grapple with which makes a narrative much more thoughtful.  Tim Tebow has become one of the most interesting anti-heroes ever.  Football purists cheer against him with all their might because he doesn’t fit into their mold of what a quarterback should be.  I like Tim for this, because I think that if you find a unique way to find success, that should be celebrated, not demonized.  Many criticize Tim for being an outspoken believer in evangelical, conservative Christianity.  Though I don’t agree with him, I believe any individual in any line of work should be allowed to speak out about how they feel about any issue–and as long as people give you platforms on which to share, you are totally within your bounds to say whatever you will.  I will never begrudge anyone’s success–those who are given much are lucky bastards, and good luck to them.  I do, however judge what people do to success, and if I were in Tim’s shoes, I would be acting very similar to him, except for you can substitute my version of Christianity for his.

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The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Robert Kahne Rebuts

The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Ron Granieri Rebuts

Ron Granieri: Rebuttal #4

[The RP’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #2; John Y. Brown, III’s Rebuttal #3]

I have to admit that I have had a serious bias against Tim Tebow since his college days, a bias that has its roots in a fundamental theological difference.

You see, everything about Tim Tebow is an affront to my deeply held beliefs, as communicated to me through the Church to which I have belonged since birth.

I am referring, of course, to the Church of the Classic Drop-Back Quarterbacks.

How well and with such joy I remember sitting on Sundays in The Church of the Three Holy J’s [Jack, Joe, and Jim—three names holy to all Western New York football fans] as the priest opened each service with the Sign of the QB: “In the name of Unitas, and of Starr, and of the Perfect Spiral, Amen.” I can still recite entire passages from Scripture, such as this from The Sermon of Yankee Stadium, 1958 [John 19: 82]:

“Blessed are they who, when the game is on the line, can stand in the pocket and deliver the ball, for they shall win The Greatest Game of All Time.”

I also clearly remember the passages from the old Baltimore [Colt] Catechism:

Q. Why did God make the Quarterback?

A: He made him to read the defense, to identify the open receiver, and to lead that receiver to the End Zone with an accurate throw.

For one whose beliefs are as deep and traditional as my own, Tim Tebow’s style of play is nothing less than blasphemous. Of course, I am used to having my beliefs insulted by both players and an elite sports media that has rushed time and again to declare my beliefs antiquated and ill-suited to the present. How often have we been told that the “Quarterback of the Future” will be more mobile, less reliant on the Deep Out? Who after all can forget Sports Illustrated crowning Randall Cunningham as “The Ultimate Weapon,” the infamous “Slash Heresy,” or even the outburst of Flutopian Enthusiasm in my own home region? Of course, in each case, I have watched those heresies flower and wither, as championships continue to be earned by classic quarterbacks such as Brady, Rodgers, Warner, and Manning.

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The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Ron Granieri Rebuts

The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: John Y. Brown, III Rebuts

John Y. Brown, III: Rebuttal #3

[The RP’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #2]

To paraphrase George Burns, I’m at an age that if I kneel down to do “The Tebow prayer” I ask myself “What else can I do while I’m down here?”
So, for me, there is a practical, functional component that no one else has alluded to yet.

The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Rod Jetton Rebuts

Rod Jetton: Rebuttal #2

[The RP’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1]

Jonathan has some great points on Tebow that I agree with. I’m an Evangelical Baptist preacher’s son, and I admit I have found myself rooting for Tebow this season.

There are two reasons I have become a Tebow fan:

First, he made games exciting. I am a Green Bay Packers fan and a huge Brett Favre fan. I loved rooting for Favre because he gave 100%, and you never knew what would happen. He sometimes lost, sometimes threw a pick, but more times than not, he did something unbelievable and won the game.

Tebow is like that too. Yes, he has some terrible throws, and makes some really bad plays, but you never know whats going to happen in a game. While it’s too early to compare him to Brett Favre, like Favre, he has won more than he has lost. He gives 100%, and his first year reminds me of when Favre first started for the Packers in 1992. Coaches, critics and fans all wondered if Favre, and his unconvential style, could ever produce consistent wins.

Well, we all know how that story ended. He worked hard improved and started having more good plays than bad and in 1995, 1996 and 1997 was the NFL MVP, including 2 Super Bowl apperances, one SB win, and one of the highest winning percentage of any quarterback in leauge history.

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The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Rod Jetton Rebuts

The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Artur Davis Rebuts

Artur Davis: Rebuttal #1

[The RP’s Provocation]

I’m a Tim Tebow fan–I like his tenacity, and his ability to consistently turn ridicule and derision into motivational points, and I think its good for football that he shows a path to win without the conventional quarterback’s skill set. He’s an underdog who makes good–that itself makes him a legitimate role model.

I’m untroubled by the intensity of his faith; actually, as a Deep South native, I don’t even find it terribly eventful. I come from a culture where the kids in the high school football game pray not just to avoid injury, but to win, and to let their individual talent shine, and see nothing sacrilegous about asking God to be a football fan for an evening.

But I recognize that there is a major segment of the national community that hasn’t seen Tebow style faith in action, certainly not by a pro athlete, certainly not by a 24 year old who is about to become fabulously rich and famous. If you are a conservative, its all good. The fact is that evangelical Christianity can use a voice that is conservative and relentlessly congenial and optimistic at the same time; its a helpful thing, that his faith seems as engaged with compassion for disabled children as it is with the pro-life life movement that he has embraced.  

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The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: Artur Davis Rebuts

The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: The RP Provokes

Over the past two weeks, we’ve launched a new tradition at The Recovering Politician: a great virtual debate on the issues of the day among our recovering politicians; with provocations, rebuttals, responses, and defenses.  Our first discussion focused on presidential leadership; our second on legalizing marijuana.

This week, the RP goes where no progressive has gone before:  a liberal defense of Tim Tebow.  The RP starts off with his provocative article from The Huffington Post.  Tune in every half hour to read what other RPs have to say.  

SPOILER ALERT: There will be fireworks.

The RP‘s Provocation

Like much of the spiral-pass-challenged intelligentsia, I’ve held a high-school-rooted grudge against many of America’s handsomest sports heroes; they too often remind me of the spoiled jocks who applied wedgies, received special treatment in the classroom and always got the girl. Fortunately, Tom Brady (the supermodel-marrying quarterback of my beloved New England Patriots) helped relieve me of this affliction. (Click here to read my ode to pretty boys I begrudgingly admire.)

Tim Tebow, of course, presents a different and, indeed, unique case.  (The 24-year-old virgin isn’t exactly stealing and breaking the hearts of other guys’ girls.)  Tebow instead plays to a different one of my childhood insecurities — that of being one of the few Jewish kids in my Bible Belt home of Lexington, Kentucky.

Certainly, there’s no athlete in recent memory who’s worn his Christian faith more on his sleeve — and sometimes even his eyeblack — than Tim Tebow. Tebow’s constant public declarations of devotion to Jesus Christ remind many of us non-Christians and Christian liberals of the small — but much-over-publicized — collection of angry tele-evangelists and hypocritical politicians who manipulate religion to multiply support by fostering division.

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The RPs Debate Tim Tebow: The RP Provokes

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