So, I have to admit that I've never watched a game of College Football in my life. I can just hear the howls and screams from my friends who loooooove College Football, but its true.
All that said, a 30 second Super Bowl Ad that hasn't even aired yet, has everyone talking. Last week, I talked about how Joy Behar had to cheapen it with her ugly comments.
Feminists are screaming and picketing, pro-life groups are cheering and amazingly CBS isn't caving to the pressure. Amidst all the dust, Tebow is getting some unlikely defenders like pro-choice Sally Jenkins who says, Tebow's Super Bowl ad isn't intolerant; its critics are.
So, why does a controversial Super Bowl Ad so impress me? Jemele Hill explains why:
In today's sports climate, expressing an opinion often results in serious backlash. In some cases, an athlete's choosing to do what Tebow is doing might be professional suicide.Do you see that last line? Thats what always wins my loyalty, being real and taking a stand for what you believe in. Tebow has and continues to do that, no matter what the cost. That is rare in this world, and it ought to be celebrated and applauded. I, for one, am standing up and cheering!!
Tebow's decision to appear in this ad should be considered just as courageous as Muhammad Ali's decision to not enter the draft, or Tommie Smith's and John Carlos' black power salute at the 1968 summer Olympics.
No, I'm not kidding.
And yes, I'd say that if Tebow were appearing in an ad that advocated a pro-choice position.
Ali, Smith and Carlos championed their views at a time when not everyone supported the idea of equality, and when refusing to serve your country was considered blasphemous. Their views, to put it mildly, were thought to be inappropriate, militant and, in Ali's case, completely anti-patriotic.
And while abortion has been legal in America since 1973, it remains a toxic issue in our society. A large percentage of women will tell you they don't like anyone telling them what to do with their bodies. People have lost their lives fighting for and against abortion, and now here comes a college football player and his mother joining the emotional debate.
I don't care if you're pro-choice or pro-life, conservative or liberal, God-fearing or atheist, you've got to admire Tebow for standing with conviction, even as he's opening himself and his family up to criticism.
We often commend athletes for taking a stand -- as long as it's a stand with which most of us agree. The minute they start pushing a social agenda that conflicts with our own, we tell them to shut up.
We acted like Tiger Woods and LeBron James were the second coming of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi because Woods voiced his support for President Barack Obama and James condemned the war in Darfur. I don't mean to belittle their opinions, but supporting Obama and condemning genocide isn't exactly joining the Black Panther party.
It's far more impressive when a person in Tebow's position chooses a lonelier path. I'm not trying to turn Tebow into a martyr -- plenty have already tried that -- but I can't imagine the difficulty of putting yourself in front of millions of people and telling them something that at least half of them vehemently oppose. It seems like a certain way to be labeled as some kind of zealous, religious nut job.
There is little doubt that Tebow can be an influential spokesperson, whatever he endorses.
I understand the concerns that the Tebows might be crossing a culture line by intersecting politics, sports and religion on the biggest day of the year for Americans to come together to celebrate a treasured event in sports.
But I'd rather see an athlete behave with conviction than degrade himself to make money. I'd rather hear Tebow talk about what God has done for him than read another story about an athlete who beats up his wife or girlfriend.
Tebow could use his platform strictly for financial benefit. Instead, he's chosen to use it to speak openly about his Christian beliefs -- even if it means admitting to the world that the big man on campus is a virgin, as he did at the SEC's media day last summer.
Some people prefer that their athletes just make tackles, hit home runs and drain 3-pointers, and keep quiet about what they believe is right and wrong. And while I'll concede that not every athlete is suited to push a social agenda, I'd like to think we live in a society where the right to speak your mind is still valued -- regardless of whether you throw a perfect 30-yard rope or can run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. We're not always going to agree with each other, but we shouldn't feel comfortable promoting the idea that athletes shouldn't bother us with their silly opinions.
I'm a big fan of people who live the way they talk. You may not believe Tebow will become an NFL quarterback. You may think the media fawns over him way too much. And you may think he's overrated.
But the one thing you can never say about Tim Tebow is that he's a fake.
He also prayed at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday!