That being said I want Tim Tebow to succeed. Partly because he is now the Bronco's starting quarterback, and partly because of who he is. He is a man of faith and it is neat to see fellow believers succeed. So it is for that reason I found this commentary by Brian Phillips interesting.
Here's how I think it works, this Tebow madness.
- Somewhere within all our reptilian hearts lurks an instinct for trial-by-combat. This instinct tells us that when a person is strongly associated with an idea, we can use that person's success or failure within the sphere of competitive athletics as a legitimate indication of the quality of the idea. Did the green knight kill the blue knight? Then the queen must be innocent!1
- Tim Tebow has, for various reasons and despite the presence of many other religious athletes in the NFL, become the avatar or champion of evangelical Christianity in football.
- In doing so, he has managed to take on outsize significance in the league despite largely failing to excel on the field and despite the fact that the NFL already reads culturally like the result of a right-wing blogger shotgunning a wine cooler and deciding to "make things fabulous."2
- We all know that this is ludicrous, but we all kind of feel it anyway.
- As a result, it's basically impossible not to see Tebow's ability or inability to complete a 15-yard out pattern to Matt Willis as a referendum on the Book of Deuteronomy.