Friday, February 10, 2012

Of Quarterbacks and Character

I was in the car listening to ESPN radio the other day. The announcer had some statistical data comparing Kyle Ortom and Tim Tebow. Based on his data he was making the point that Orton was actually better quarterback than Tim Tebow. He had an overall better pass completion percentage and a better quarterback rating. This seems to me to be an oversimplification of the data. Sure maybe Kyle Orton has a better overall rating. But I would be interested to see a more specific analysis of the information. How do those completion ratings change in high-pressure situations? Do the quarterbacking decisions result in points on the scoreboard when it matters most and when the game is on the line? I am not a football expert and the tale of the tape might reveal something different but it seems to me that Tim Tebow has something that most quarterbacks don't. An ability to perform at his best when he needs it most. To be fair, it does matter who we are comparing him to. He's not an elite quarterback like Tom Brady or Drew Brees; that seems to be self-evident. But does he offer a better chance to win then Kyle Orton? I think he does. I think he possesses something intangible and immeasurable. Tim Tebow is a fierce competitor. When the game is on the line he finds a way to make plays. He doesn't ever give up. He keeps fighting until the last whistle blows. I think this is the character that he possesses that makes him so popular. I think this is what ESPN sports analysts don't understand. In a world of high priced sports athletes who only are interested in themselves Tim Tebow stands for something greater than himself. He sees professional football not as a means to promote himself and make himself wealthy, instead he sees his position as an NFL quarterback as an opportunity to help others. He gives sick kids free tickets to watch him play. He uses his huge salary to build hospitals in the Philippines. He talks about being grateful for the opportunity to play a game instead of promoting his own talent. In a world of athletes who only talk about themselves and leave their team behind in the interest of making the most money Tim Tebow is a breath of fresh air. And I think Tim Tebow is a reminder for all those sportscasters of exactly what they are not. Selfless. Kind. Generous. Not self seeking not overly impressed with himself. The mass media wants Tim Tebow to fail. They criticized him. They tear him down, all because his greatest success is a reminder for them of their greatest failure. Tim Tebow is a role model. He might not be the greatest passer the NFL has ever seen, but he is certainly a better person than what the NFL has seen in quite some time. Perhaps his most ardent critics aught to take a page from his play book. And while he may not be great isn't all that bad either. And in the meantime he is given the city of Denver something worthwhile to cheer about

No comments:

Post a Comment