There is a story that I have been watching for years that is beginning to play out in front of us. This is not a story of politics or policy, not even an issue of national security. It is however, a lesson about culture and where we are as a nation. It is a lesson from the world of sports…
So Tim Tebow is gone from the New York Jets. The New York media is ecstatic. Let me ask you a question. Two years ago Tim Tebow was the most popular, in a certain way. This is undeniable. Two years ago Tim Tebow was the most popular. I’m not saying he’s the best player, don’t anybody misunderstand. The most popular, the most intriguing player in the NFL. Two years later, poof, gone. Who was his agent? How in the world does something like this happen?
And now the New York media is all excited. The New York media is all excited because the first gay player of the NBA has come out. Hey, it’s a great day, folks. I mean, this really says great things about the United States of America. Do you understand what an enlightened, great country we now really are? Because an NBA player has come out gay, and it’s only a matter of time now before the NFL parades its first couple of gay players out there. The New York media is all excited that Tebow’s gone because now Tebow’s not gonna screw up the Jets locker room with all the Jesus talk.
Celebration of homosexuality of a black NBA player as a God-fearing man is kicked in the face by a bunch of fools:
Apparently the New York Jets couldn’t have hated Tim Tebow more. They dumped him on the first Monday after the NFL draft, knowing that other teams’ rosters will be filled and the chance Tebow finds another job in the league is bleak.
It wasn’t enough for the perpetually dysfunctional half of East Rutherford’s two football franchises to drop Tebow from its roster. It had to humiliate their backup quarterback on the way out the door, timing his release to come at the worst possible moment.
The coach who never seemed to like Tebow issued a statement on Monday that thanked him for being in shape, which coming from a man whose most salient comment in the last three years had to do with eating a “goddamn snack” seemed as backhanded a swipe as any. Rex Ryan couldn’t run Tebow to the curb fast enough. Then he had to jump on his head.
All of which would make sense if Tebow came pulling an arrest record or showed up late for meetings or cost the Jets the playoffs with a bad interception. Instead, the disdain with which the Jets threw him out the door after barely using him in a waste of a season – he appeared in just 77 offensive plays – raises a bigger question that speaks to the chaos of a franchise that never gets it:
Why did the Jets want Tim Tebow in the first place?
If there was ever an indication of how screwed up as a society we are, here it is. Caligula is laughing his ass off because not even nominating a horse for the Roman Senate is this messed up.
Back to my 2011 post:
The people who report on the NFL have never had a problem with athletes pointing to the sky and professing thanks to God after a big play on the field and then going out and proving the stereotypes of NFL players – having illegitimate children, getting popped for drugs and/or gun infractions, getting arrested for DUIs and wrapping a sports car around a tree or even being arrested for domestic violence. One supposes that they have no problem with it because the off the field behaviors by some of the athletes validate that those professions of faith are just window dressing, casual comments just like the “have a nice day” comment mentioned earlier. They consider that approach safe because it isn’t a real profession of faith, it is just something that we say a casual comment – it has no real meaning, nothing to worry about…until Tebow came along.
Now they have a problem with a star athlete dropping to one knee and saying a prayer of thanks in the end zone. Nothing flashy, no grandstanding, just a simple prayer.
The Tebow situation illustrates how we have become a culture opposed to the very things that built it, that we have reached a point where some seek to tear down the very type of person who should be celebrated as a role model – a good, ethical man who lives his life by a code that our debased culture sees as an anathema, a challenge to its Sodomite beliefs and its celebration of human achievement over that of the spiritual.
The NFL is often compared to the gladiatorial contests of ancient Rome and there are real similarities. The speed and finesse of the plays, the skill and raw physicality of the players, the uniqueness of actually making the teams – all are celebrated achievements. We laud our modern gladiators with multi-million dollar contracts and endorsement deals. The League uses gladiatorial imagery in its advertisements and we respond to them. We cheer at a particularly hard hit or a well executed play. It is our bloodsport.
It appears that our culture has actually turned into the bread and circus culture of Emperor Caligula after all. Apparently it has become fashionable to feed modern day Christians to the lions (in this case their contemporary substitutes – the sports media establishment).
What the NFL establishment has to conceptualize is a man who says things that he actually believes and orders his life and priorities in that fashion. They are having a hard time getting their collective minds around that concept and it almost seems that they are rooting for this “too good to be true” person to fail just so that they can give a hearty “see, we told you so” to America. I hope (and pray) that they never get that chance.
But he didn’t fail. Tebow is a living testimony of how God matters more than ever today. Tebow has been an underdog all is life and all the kid does is win. After he was released, he tweeted:
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding…
Tebow is not the loser. He is the only actor in this sick play who can walk away with his head held high.