Monday, December 12, 2011

On Race, Talent, Christianity, etc...

People seem to either love or hate Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, I suspect because he is overtly Christian-y. But then again, Green Bay star Reggie White was also overtly Christian-y, and he was universally loved and respected as a player, though he harmed his image later with some ridiculous statements, if I recall correctly.

So my question is why the difference in treatment? Is it that White was regarded as a better player or is race somehow a factor? Any theories?


DRG said...

It is that Tebow is a terrible quarterback yet keeps winning. He had a total of 3 completions in the first three quarters this weekend. He would be a joke no matter what religion he was. But because he is so religous, it gets covered by a wider range of news sources and not just places like espn or sports talk radio. It is not to often you see a sports story on drudge, but he has been following the Tebow story.

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks for your comment DRG. So those who don't like Tebow don't like him because he is a lousy quarterback who wins? To win while being lousy at something suggests that he is lucky. Do they resent his good luck?

Also DRG, you mentioned the extensive coverage he gets because of his religiosity. I think that is true but is not controlled by him. Do people resent the attention paid to a lousy, lucky quarterback?

Do you suppose that if Reggie White was a lousy defensive lineman who lucked into a bunch of sacks and victories and attention, that he would be similarly despised?

Denis Navratil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BradK said...

I think there are more differences than what's on the surface. The fact that he's not very good for three (or more) quarters isn't helping, but there's a difference between preacher and preachy. Whether it's deliberate or not, or perception or not, Tebow comes off as "preachy" and Reggie as a "preacher". You may notice that every time Tebow is asked, he attributes none of his football success to God because "He has better things to do" (or something like that). That doesn't stop ESPN or that idiot on Sunday Night Football (you pick) from suggesting as much.

No sports reported ever suggested that God willed Reggie White's success (that I recall).

Also consider that as much as it is a team sport, the superstar is usually the quarterback, and a laser-lens usually focuses there either way.

Denis Navratil said...

Brad, thanks for taking a shot at my question. I admit I haven't spent much time listening to either Tebow or White so I can't evaluate your suggestion that Tebow is preachy while White was like a preacher. Perhaps you could expand on that a bit as I thought the pejorative "preachy" derived from preacher which suggests to me little or no difference between the two.

Regarding your second point, Tebow should not be held accountable for the stupid things a sports analyst has said about him.

And yes, it is true that football focus is often quarterback-centric, which would account for the quantity of Tebow coverage but not for the polarized nature of the reaction to Tebow.

I admit to being somewhat perplexed by the differing reactions to Tebow and White. I wonder if race is a factor. Perhaps it is easier to criticize the white guy while the black guy is protected by political correctness. But I am not satisfied with that theory either because my own anecdotal recollections are that even private (unencumbered by notions of political correctness) conversations about White suggested that he was well liked.

I just can't seem to figure this one out which was why I threw it out to my handful of readers and commenters.

GearHead said...

They cut White a lot of slack because of his demonstrated greatness. It was the price a sportscaster had to pay in order to interview him. His color indeed helped because of the PC reference you made. Jennings, Driver or pretty much anyone else could wear their religion on their sleeve as well, and nobody would bat an eye.

Tebow hasn't risen to the rank of greatness, although he has demonstrated an unearthy ability to win (at least this season.) But my suspicion is he will always be vilified, regardless of what level of greatness he rises to. The die has already been cast. Unfair? I think so.

Sean Cranley said...

Yeah right, it's about race. You guys kill me!

Let it be understood, we be white, we be good, we be full of victimhood!

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

nuff said