On the first night of the 2010 NFL draft, the millions who watched saw the Denver Broncos trade up to snag the 25th pick to select none other than Tim Tebow.
Ninety-nine percent of people watching stood up and applauded Tebow while they expressed feelings of admiration and happiness.
I, however, fell into the other one percent of the population who, instead of gushing over the Florida Gator’s Heisman winner, thought to myself “what a dumb [expletive] pick.”
What absolutely astounds me is that at the end of the collegiate football season last year, Tebow was projected to be a late second, early third round pick.
Since that time, Tebow’s draft stock has increased with each passing day, and it has only done so because of the media.
Never in my life have I seen the attention a player gets in the media result in that player being drafted rounds earlier than he should be.
After completing one of the greatest careers in college football — 88 passing touchdowns, 57 rushing touchdowns, two national championships and a Heisman trophy — many believed that Tebow would not be able to play the quarterback position in the NFL due to his poor throwing mechanics, lack of experience in a pro-style offense and poor decision-making.
Now, like in college, it appears that everyone is rooting for Tebow.
People want to see the perfect athlete/perfect person combination — so rare in the world of professional athletics — succeed on the biggest stage of sport.
For many, the admiration for Tebow goes well beyond appreciation of his athletic ability.
In the last several years, “Tebow-mania” has taken hold of the country and he has been elevated to mythical status.
During his college years, announcers would often drool over Tebow’s football ability and, most of all, his character, as the bias for Tebow was evident in every broadcast that Florida was a part of.
The golden-boy-glow that surrounded Tebow was created by the media, and it was done so purely to create an icon of college sports that everyone could root for.
It seemed ESPN was the Tim Tebow network at times, with anchor after anchor oozing accolades for the Florida quarterback.
Many experts truly believe that Tebow will succeed. Recently, John Gruden, ESPN football analyst and former NFL coach, worked out Tebow for an ESPN pre-draft segment. After the workout, Gruden had this to say about Tebow:
“He’s the strongest human being who’s ever played the position. Ever. He will kick the living [expletive] out of a defensive lineman. He’ll fight anybody. He is rare. Tebow is the kind of guy who could revolutionize the game. This guy here is 250 pounds of concrete cyanide, man. And he can throw. He throws well enough at any level to play quarterback.”
In other words, Gruden believes that Tebow is the second coming of Jesus Christ himself.
I mean honestly, the support for Tebow in the media and around the country at times can be sickening.
I understand the public rallying behind a clean, pure, well-spoken athlete in a world where athletes are constantly committing transgressions.
But in this case, the public and all those behind Tebow-mania are trying just a little too hard.
The worst part about Tebow-mania is that it isn’t even the guy’s fault.
Ninety-nine percent of the world drools over him, yet all he did was work hard, be well-spoken and play great football.
The media took it from there and made Tebow into a god-like figure in the world of sports.
It may come off that I personally have something against Tim Tebow.
On the contrary, the case is quite the opposite.
I am wholeheartedly rooting for Tebow to succeed in the NFL and would love nothing more for him to shut me up.
The purpose of this column is not to slam Tebow, it is to slam ESPN and all the mindless disciples who kneel at his feet.