Jen Floyd Engel over at Fox Sports writes a brilliant column (please read the whole thing) on the "let's pile on Tebow" fad and also the "Tebowing" phenomenon in light of last weekend's mockery of Tebow during the Denver vs. Detroit football game. Here's how the piece begins:
What if Tim Tebow were a Muslim?
Imagine for a second, the Denver Broncos quarterback is a devout follower of Islam, sincere and principled in his beliefs and thus bowed toward Mecca to celebrate touchdowns. Now imagine if Detroit Lions players Stephen Tulloch and Tony Scheffler mockingly bowed toward Mecca, too, after tackling him for a loss or scoring a touchdown, just like what happened Sunday.
I know what would happen. All hell would break loose.
Stinging indictments issued by sports columnists. At least a few outraged religious leaders chiming in on his behalf. Depending on what else had happened that day, they might have a chance at becoming Keith Olbermann's Worst Person In The World.
And there would be apologies. Oh, Lord, would there be apologies — by players, by coaches, possibly by ownership with a tiny chance of a statement from NFL commish Roger Goodell.
You cannot mock Muslim faith, not in this country, not anywhere really.
It is primarily a respect issue, because religion is sacred and should be off limits. Yet when Tulloch and Scheffler dropped to a knee to mock how Tebow prays — an action known as “Tebowing” that has gone viral among the public, too — we yawned and told Christians to lighten up. We blamed Tebow for making a show of honoring God rather than himself in moments of joy. We excused them because Tulloch said he was mocking "Tebowing," not God.
Tim Tebow has been the butt of many jokes, on and off the field.
Because ridiculing a man who chooses to honor God is so much better, right?
His religious fervor is an easy target for the vitriol spewed from those who dislike him, but the reasons are much deeper than that. From his advocacy of abstinence to his infamous “You will never see another team play this hard” speech at Florida, it is like he is too good to be true. He is too nice, and thereby we want him to trip up so we can feel better. We want him to be revealed as a hypocrite, and when that fails to happen, we settle for gleefully celebrating his failures on the football field. And why? Because he dares to say thanks?