Fran Tarkenton, whom I always liked and respected, joins the chorus of idiots making a spectacle of themselves condemning Tim Tebow for supposedly making a spectacle of himself:
The prayer was always pretty much for the same thing: Let there not be any injuries, let everybody play a good game—anything except to win the game. No one ever asked to win the game, probably for fear that God would punish us for asking. After this moment of devotion, the team would all shout in unison, “Now let’s go kill those S.O.B.’s!”…
Does anyone else feel like this is suspiciously similar to the scene in ”North Dallas Forty” where the late great John Matusak says those exact words after the team priest gives the invocation? It could be a case of art imitating life, since author Peter Gent was an ex-pro football players and presumably based the book on personal experience.
However, the anecdote is just a little too pat and the exact line being used leads me to believe Fran, (whom I loved as a scrappy scrambler cursed with a lot of bad teams and bad luck even in Super Bowl years) has had his memories coloured by the movie and back-constructed the tale and might even believe it’s true. Little too ‘on the nose’ for me to swallow, however.
The point is, I’m a little sick of people calling attention to themselves (I haven’t thought of Tarkenton in years) by deploring the attention Tebow is getting. He’s luckier than good, which is a blessing for him (no pun intended), but his luck can’t last forever. He’ll settle down to mediocrity soon enough and all the haters will smugly enjoy their schadenfreude and the hoopla will die out. In the meantime, there seems to be a cottage industry of assholes trying to rain on his parade for no good reason other than their own self-aggrandizement and the bitter hatred of religion and religious people. We should ignore and shun these people. They are far more guilty of the sin of pride and ostentatious piety than Tebow.
Notice how Fran establishes his bona fides as a a spokesman for religious athletes by invoking his devout upbringing, as if that somehow legitimizes his attack. “Hey, I was as much of a holy-roller as anyone before I got too cool to play along anymore. Even I got hip to the idiocy of Christian faith over time!” while name-dropping noted reprobate Dandy Don Meridith, on whom Mac Davis’ foul-mouthed, druggy, over-sexed North Dallas Forty character was reputedly based.
Tebow, take note! This is how your career should progress, as you become truly enlightened! You’ll drop all that Jesus-jumper crap once you realize how empty and hedonistic the entire pro-athlete experience is!
Strikingly, there’s a scene in North Dallas Forty where Davis helps corrupt an ostentatiously religious rookie quarterback, getting him drunk then steering him into a wife-swapping orgy with a team booster and his wife. The next day he encourages the rookie to lie to his wife about where he was last night and revels in how he has demeaned and destroyed the guy, making a mockery of his earlier earnest Christianity. Earlier in the film Davis’ character mentions how the rookie’s religiosity bothers him and he wishes he could crush the stupid bastard, and he accomplishes that.
Tarkenton, figuratively at least, seems to wish he could bring about Tebow’s debasement the same way. Funny how he claims to be such a devout Christian himself, yet he is so bothered by someone else’s personal expression of faith that he writes a newspaper editorial denouncing the guy. So much for “charismatic before charismatic was cool”, huh Fran?
Even the famously devout Kurt Warner (whom Tark invokes) sniffs he wouldn’t put on such a vulgar show of piety as Tebow does. Well Kurt, it’s not very Christian of you to publicly castigate a teammate in the fellowship of Jesus. Same to you, Franny.
Let each worship according to his lights, and let no man throw a stone who is not himself without sin. More like, the polarization and partisanship that permeates every facet of our lives makes even cultural events, like movies and sports, part of the battle. If Tebow keeps winning, then by extension religious people and Republicans and conservatives are winning, and the left just can’t let that stand. When Tebow finally falls from grace (so to speak), expect the Bill Mahers of the world to crow and jibe and jabe and take great satisfaction, because when Tebow fails, Obama wins. When any religious or conservative figure falters, liberalism gains.
Except that’s bullshit, and little empty victories like that are usually Pyrrhic in that they bother people who are basically apolitical or truly neutral enough to shift them away from the assholes who make a big show of attacking Tebow for what is, actually, a pretty modest show of respect for his faith.
But let them keep on. Liberalism’s greatest impediment to becoming more widely accepted and powerful is that it’s greatest advocates are, to a man (or woman), exclusively represented by douchebags, jerks and sanctimonious assholes. Tebow might be overtly religious, but he’s not sanctimonious. For all the attacks on him, he has turned the other cheek and not responded in kind. People _do_ react positively to that kind of class, and that’s why he’s recently polled as the most popular athlete in America.
The Godless MSM, of course, paints it that he’s the most polarizing athlete in America, but that’s just because the left must vehemently hate anything mainstream America loves, in knee-jerk fashion. I don’t really follow football much anymore, but I damn sure have more affinity for Tim Tebow’s brand of Christianity than I do Fran Tarkenton’s sour grapes spitballs from the peanut gallery.