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Tebow for President

[ 83 ] January 12, 2012 |

As some of you know, the Sidney Hillman Foundation gives out its monthly Sidney, in honor of exceptional journalism. It’s a great thing to follow; sometimes it honors stories at major publications, other times more obscure pieces.

Inspired by this, although depressed by the nature of it, I feel like there should be an award for worst column written each month. We can call it the Bobo. Like the Hillman, the competition is brutal. Think about all the terrible columns you read each month. Then think about all the ones you are lucky enough to miss. How to choose?

Well, I think January is pretty well locked up by Matthew Dowd for his “Tebow for President” column at ABC News
:

I do think this Tebow boomlet is about faith. And it’s about confidence. And leadership. And humility — a humbleness born of strength and conviction. It is about Tebow’s faith in his own teammates. It is about his faith and confidence in his own organization. It is about him acknowledging his own weaknesses and failings and mistakes and understanding that if his team looks good, then he looks good.

Obama, and so too the Republican candidates for president, can learn a lot from what is going on in the Mile High City. Our economy, and this country, are struggling with huge deficits of confidence and faith. We need a leader who can bring us together, exude confidence in us as a team, and lead us to where we need to go in the 21st century. A leader who is willing to admit mistakes and approach politics not by pointing fingers or scoring points but by helping us all be better people.

Take a look at Obama’s latest interview. It does not make you feel better about where we are heading. You don’t feel like we are going to win under his leadership. He points fingers and refuses to admit his own mistakes or weaknesses. I often wonder where is the Barack Obama of the 2007 and 2008 campaign. That Obama was much more like the leader we need at this time. He offered hope, he had soaring rhetoric, he offered a change from the bitter politics in Washington, and he made us feel we could win.

Tebow is the kind of leader for his football team that our country needs at this crucial moment in history. Yes, the Denver Broncos streak will probably end, and the odds are a team like the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl. But no matter the outcome, Tebow has shown what faith, and confidence and humility can do for a team of limited skills that was losing consistently before. This is exactly what President Franklin Roosevelt and President Reagan understood about leadership.

The stupid really burns here. The idea that a quarterback and a president should be compared. That Obama can Green Lantern the nation into doing what he wants. That Tebow is even remotely humble as opposed to a narcissist hiding behind a cheap veneer of evangelicalism. That Tebow is a passable quarterback. I mean, if Obama really should be Tebow, wouldn’t that actually make Obama the new Warren Harding?

But Tebow is now serving as a metaphor for conservative white people and their dreams. Isn’t Tebow as right-wing politician the most obvious retired athlete career move since Michael Jordan became a plutocrat? We already have Tebow laws being crafted by conservatives. I can only imagine the next step is a constitutional amendment lowering the age of presidential eligibility to 25 so that Tebow can run in 2016.

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  1. Jeffrey Kramer says:

    And humility — a humbleness born of strength and conviction. It is about him acknowledging his own weaknesses and failings and mistakes and…

    Brian Tim IS the Messiah! Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!

  2. TBogg says:

    Isn’t there already a Skip Bayless Award for deep-throating above and beyond the call of duty?

    • mining city guy says:

      So you too have been watching Skip Bayless glorify Tebow for the last couple months. It has been jaw-dropping. And now I understand that ESPN will soon devote an hour to all things Tebow. I would say that perhaps the apocalypse is upon us but I am sure that Skip would maintain that Tim would be the right man to combat the forces of the apocalypse

  3. patrick II says:

    Tebow and Michael Vick have another thing besides being left-handed running quarterbacks. They both scored 22 on their combine Wonderlic test. He’ll eventually be able to figure out where the second receiver is, but I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to figure out foreign policy — unless confidence and being able to run with the ball helps.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      What would Bush have scored on the Wonderlic? Never being able to figure out foreign policy certainly never stopped him.

      • patrick II says:

        Before or after thirty years of hard drinking? Supposedly his high school sat’s indicated an iq just above 120. His pettiness and refusal to learn hurt him more than his native intelligence.

    • Jeffrey Kramer says:

      I think Dowd’s point is that if Grit and Heart and Humility and Teamwork can make a Winner out of a quarterback who has no passing skills, then the same qualities would make a Leader out of a president who couldn’t find India on a map.

      (And if you’re getting a feeling of deja vu, it may be because of all the times Peggy Noonan typed up the identical column on behalf of W.)

      • patrick II says:

        I agree that Dowd only describes faith, confidence, etc. as qualities for leadership and therefore applicable to a president. However, I also agree with Erik that implicitly there is an obvious career as right-wing politician beckoning Tebow. And, if so, we may someday be politically blessed with someone who’s IQ is 20 points lower than Bush — but probably considerably higher than Gohmert.
        By the way, a 22 Wonderlic equals 104 IQ, or about average intelligence. If Bush’s IQ was 120, then his Wonderlic score would have been 30 (since 2W + 60 = IQ).

  4. patrick II says:

    that should be “another thing in common”. That’ll teach me to be snide.

  5. rea says:

    Ah, yes, the Tebow law, which allows kids to play high school football without, however, contaminating themselves by attending high school. Clearly, there is a pressing need for such laws.

  6. c u n d gulag says:

    “The Bobo” is a great award title for worst, most insipid, and insane column.

    But, really now, shouldn’t “The Kristol” be the platinum standard?
    He’s all of Bobo, and wrong 100% of the time. That’s a record not soon to be matched. Bobo’s ruined that streak a couple of times, like when he criticized the Republican candidates last year.

    As for Tebow, the guy can’t handle a passing offense, he’s supposed to handle foreign and domestic policy?

    And if he lobbed a nuke at Iran, isn’t it just as likely to hit Iowa?

    Besides, if Tebow wanted to maintain his Christian purity, he would have demanded to stay in the shotgun.

    He lost the anti-homo vote the minute he stuck his hands under another mans ass and went “under center.”
    Wtf does “under center” mean, eh?
    I really don’t want to know – but I’m sure the result is a lot of Santorum.

    • rea says:

      Having played center in HS . . .

      The QB approaches the center from behind, the center bends over, the QB puts his hands between the center’s legs and . . . wiggles his fingers to let the center know he’s there and ready. VERY homoerotic, but then, it’s football.

    • As for Tebow, the guy can’t handle a passing offense, he’s supposed to handle foreign and domestic policy?

      And if he lobbed a nuke at Iran, isn’t it just as likely to hit Iowa?

      Besides, if Tebow wanted to maintain his Christian purity, he would have demanded to stay in the shotgun.

      Funny stuff, c. u.

    • Uncle Kvetch says:

      But, really now, shouldn’t “The Kristol” be the platinum standard? He’s all of Bobo, and wrong 100% of the time.

      The crucial difference is that otherwise intelligent and reasonable people take Bobo seriously, because he’s successfully branded himself as the thinking-person’s conservative. Kristol is too transparent a shill to pull that off.

      • Stag Party Palin says:

        I prefer similes. Bobo is a warm turd in the road, slowly melting in the sunlight. Kristol is a scorpion on a dessicated turd in the middle of the Sahara. I say we need *two* awards.

    • efgoldman says:

      And if he lobbed a nuke at Iran, isn’t it just as likely to hit Iowa

      FTW!

  7. HororableBob says:

    The idea that a quarterback and a president should be compared.

    The author is talking about leadership.

    I have seen little criticism of Obama and this administration on this board. It’s as if he’s perfect and has made no mistake. He’s made lots of ‘em, but you seem to think your job as a blogger is to protect Obama.

    Is it?

  8. Anderson says:

    Look, I think we should be supportive of the effort to get Tebow in a job he’s more qualified to perform than NFL QB. Like president of the United States.

    All y’all wanna do is bitch, bitch, bitch!

  9. Njorl says:

    Just think how much better the country would have to be. Though even if it were better, Kenya would probably pick Obama up on waivers and beat us in a war on the last day of the season.

  10. Hogan says:

    From now on Matthew shall be known as “Dowd the Lesser.”

  11. Walt says:

    You know, ever since the Tebow phenomenon happened, I’ve been making Tebow as the Republican nominee for President jokes in my head. I was just sad I’d have to wait years for someone to argue it for real. Thank you Matthew Dowd, for making the wait such a short one!

  12. Jeffrey Kramer says:

    What if Tebow’s opponent is Derek Jeter? Everybody knows you can’t beat Jeter for leadership and intangibles!

  13. Uncle Kvetch says:

    If flamboyant, pharasaical displays of “faith” masquerading as humility have such transformative power, why isn’t Dowd walking the walk? What could be stopping him from acknowledging his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at the start and finish of every column?* If it works in football and politics, why not sportswriting…and everything else for that matter?

    *ABC News wouldn’t like it? That’s where the fun starts! Cause célèbre, baby!

  14. putnam says:

    If nearly half the Broncos had announced at the start that their primary goal onfield was to get Tebow fired as quarterback, and they refused to practice plays with Tebow, and dropped the ball when it was thrown to them, and refused to give him any credit for his successes on the field, would that show that Tebow was a poor leader? And if he pointed out the obstructionism as a problem with the team’s chances for wins, would he be “pointing fingers” instead of “leading?”

  15. Jaime says:

    Wellll – the nuclear launch codes are carried in what’s colloquially referred to as ‘the football’…

  16. Jaime says:

    Oh – and doesn’t that there Good Book go on about false Messiahs who look good at first impression an’ shit?

  17. Furious Jorge says:

    I do think this Tebow boomlet is about faith. And it’s about confidence. And leadership. And humility — a humbleness born of strength and conviction.

    And the whiteness. Do not overlook the whiteness.

  18. Jeffrey Beaumont says:

    Tebow is obviously a Manchurian Candidate. 2024, mark my words.

  19. witless chum says:

    I love how in Dowd’s stupid reality everyone on the teams that Tebow plays must be lacking in humility, faith, awesometude, etc.

    Honestly, I’d rather have an NFL made up mostly of atheists to root for, but somehow I don’t think practically everyone who makes a good play is likely extending one finger to the sky to say they love Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

    Tebowing is just normal athlete showboating minus the fun.

  20. Davis says:

    So he longs for the Obama of 2008. Can he name a politician whose actions matched their rhetoric?

  21. david mizner says:

    Bet against Jesus and on Tom Brady. Pats will cover 13.5 and them some.

    • witless chum says:

      Uh…Brady doesn’t play DB, anymore than Tebus does. I think the Pats will win, but I wouldn’t count on a thumping.

    • calling all toasters says:

      I have it on good authority that the Broncos won’t even get that far. The Steelers minus 8 is a lock, I read.

      • R Johnston says:

        A defensive gameplan that includes putting nine in the box without rushing the quarterback at all to totally sell out to stopping the run can overcome mortal locks, even with Tebow as quarterback.

        A below average high school quarterback hits that same 80 yarder for the win.

        • Richard says:

          And those passes in the second quarter? Jeez, I’m no fan of the Jesus stuff but Tebow played a hell of a game last week and was the ONLY QB to get 300 yards passing all year against the Pitt defense. I think the Patrios will win (experience and all that) but it might be close.

          And most high school QBs would find the open man in overtime but not hit him in perfect stride so he can go 80 yards

          • R Johnston says:

            While the overtime play was the most egregious example, the Pittsburgh defensive game plan all game involved selling out to stop the run and not bothering to defend against the big pass play. Tebow’s not even a little accurate for an NFL passer, but he has an arm and if you routinely let receivers get wide open deep and don’t pressure the quarterback he will hit some big plays.

            That defensive gameplan by Pittsburgh was worse than Thomas’s dissent in Smith.

            • Please.

              If I’d written at 2:00 last Sunday that Pittsburgh’s game plan would be to bring the safeties up to stop the run and contain Tebow, and leave receivers in man coverage, forcing the “shitty,” “atrocious” quarterback to beat the Steelers with his passing game, there wouldn’t have been a single comment saying that was a bad game plan.

              • Richard says:

                So he beats the best pass defense in the NFL, which used a defense in the game based on the way Denver played in its last three games, and he’s no better than a high school quarterback? Give me a fucking break.

                Tell you what. Give me 15 points for this weekends game and lets bet $20?

              • R Johnston says:

                Sure there would have been. To anyone who watched Tebow it’s obviously a ridiculous plan.

                Leaving receivers wide open deep is a horrible plan against Tebow. You leave then wide open short and Tebow will complete 50% of his passes short because half of them are overthown into the stands or are five yards wide in the dirt; that’s fine. You leave them wide open deep with no safety help over the top and Tebow will complete the same 50% of his deep passes with tons of YAC. He has an arm and it’s easier for a receiver to adjust on the inaccurate deep throw than the inaccurate short throw. It’s especially bad to leave receivers uncovered deep and to not actually rush the quarterback.

                If Tebow keeps getting the unpressured chance to chuck the ball deep to an uncovered or loosely-single-covered receiver and hope for the best he’ll be the “best” quarterback of the week every week. That’s playing to his strength as a passer. His deep passing game is reasonably good; it’s his short-to-medium game that’s laughably bad.

                One thing to remember about Tebow is that his run game is vastly overrated. You scramble for 8 on third and twelve all the time and build up pretty averages, but you’re not helping your team win when you do so. You don’t beat Tebow by selling out against the run; You beat Tebow with pressure up the middle, containment on the edges, disciplined linebacker play, and safety help to protect against the deep ball.

                • Richard says:

                  So he can’t run and he can’t pass and any coach with half a brain can defense him. So take me up on my offer – give me 15 points and lets bet $20?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, the defensive plan was weak.

          But, in addition to the offensive injuries to Mendenhall, Pouncey, and Big Ben, they lost Starks for part of the game. The defensive also suffered injuries to Keisel and Hampton during the game, and Lawrence Timmons. And, Ryan Clark could not play. So, you are essentially working with an entirely different D-line, and two key losses on the O-line.

          They should have still won, but their play was hardly surprising to me.

  22. Alan in SF says:

    The stupid doesn’t just burn, it’s a damn thermonuclear blitzkrieg.

  23. Gator90 says:

    You can lead a horse to water. Tim Tebow can make it drink.

    • A says:

      Except that Tebow already turned that water into wine, and now we have a drunk horse to deal with.

      • mds says:

        Fortunately, the horse isn’t drunk, since being a fundigelical, Tebow presumably turned the water into nonalcoholic grape juice, just like Jesus actually did. [No, I'm not kidding. Fundamentalist Baptists actually believe this, while still maintaining the inerrancy of the King James Version that calls it wine.]

        • Erik Loomis says:

          I’ve always found the whole inerrancy of the King James Bible to be so bizarre. Why that particular translation? It’s not as if King James himself was some sort of proto-fundamentalist saint.

          • Hogan says:

            I don’t know whether this will answer the question to your satisfaction, but it’s freakin awesome.

          • Malaclypse says:

            having been brought up by Fundamentalist Baptists on my mom’s side, and Mormon’s on my dad’s, this is not actually true.

            Fundies do not believe the KJV is an inerrant translation. That said, they are convinced that pretty much any translation post 1800 or so was done under the pernicious influence of liberal theology. So it is not that the KJV is perfect, merely that it is the best (although some actually do prefer Tyndale).

            • John says:

              Evangelicals actually aren’t all in agreement about this, though. The most popular Bible with Evangelicals is actually the NIV. The King James Only crowd is a minority.

              Among them, I do think that there’s some who genuinely argue that the KJV was inspired by God, and that all other translations are flawed, although some take the more moderate position you outline.

              • Malaclypse says:

                True, but remember that actual fundamentalists tend to reject the label evangelical. The people I went to school with taught that wicked evangelicals were ushering in the era of the Antichrist by making peace with the Whore of Babylon residing in Rome.

                And even they did not believe in the divine translation of the KJV.

                However, they do definitely and particularly hate the NIV.

        • Ed says:

          [No, I'm not kidding. Fundamentalist Baptists actually believe this, while still maintaining the inerrancy of the King James Version that calls it wine.]

          A relative of the Mormon persuasion made the same case to me once. Someone should ask Oven Mitt about it. (Huntsman, I understand, indulges in alcohol and caffeine, much to Pappy’s displeasure.)

          • Malaclypse says:

            That prompts me that I forgot my second paragraph. One of several Mormon conundrums is that the BoM was translated directly by God through Joseph. The BoM quotes whole chapters of the Bible, which was not at all Joseph’s way of padding the text like a sophomore research paper. Joseph’s divine act of translation, by a remarkable coincidence, was almost exactly word-for-word the KJV. This is taken as evidence that James’ translators must also have been divinely aided, and proof that this translation must be best (except for the parts Joseph changed).

            The plausibility of this is left as an exercise for the reader.

    • Spokane Moderate says:

      Tebow can lead it across the water.

    • Furious Jorge says:

      Too many people in this stupid state actually believe that.

  24. d says:

    Erik – you forgot to note that Tebow is ineligible for the presidency (so there is a God, hooray). He was born in the Phillipines, so he’s not a natural born citizen. He must be some kind of Filipino socialist!

    • Hogan says:

      Nah.

      Some might define the term “natural-born citizen” as one who was born on United States soil. But the First Congress, on March 26, 1790, approved an act that declared, “The children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural-born citizens of the United States.”

      • commie atheist says:

        Oh, yeah, right. Next you’ll be telling me that Hawaii is part of the U.S., or that people born in the U.S. to one parent who’s a citizen and one parent who isn’t is eligible to be president. Pish.

  25. Shalimar says:

    I can only imagine the next step is a constitutional amendment lowering the age of presidential eligibility to 25 so that Tebow can run in 2016.

    Might as well. Unless his skills improve dramatically, Tebow should be looking for a new profession by then.

  26. bobbo says:

    Did you know that “humility” is “humbleness”? Deep.

  27. Dowd’s a hack, sure. But I’d be willing to bet that Tebow is now being, or will be immediately after his season ends, lobbied to endorse one or more of the not-Romney candidates. Maybe the NFL has rules about political entanglements, but there are ways of signalling support without making public statements, and all the not-Romneys need all the help they can get to become The One Not-Romney.

    I can’t believe, with all the attention he’s getting, that the campaigns haven’t considered it, sent out overtures….

  28. Mike Schilling says:

    That Tebow is even remotely humble as opposed to a narcissist hiding behind a cheap veneer of evangelicalism.

    Why all the hate? Tebow’s a mediocre passer, but he seems like a perfectly nice kid.

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