Monday, November 21, 2011

Football Wrap Week 11 (Part 1): Tim Tebow vs. Vince Young [Bringing Some Reason Into Idolatry]

It’s about time I break down this Tim Tebow phenomenon a bit more. After reading Kordell Stewart’s take on him and considering what Bomani Jones was saying on Twitter, I think I’m ready to tackle this false idolatry in depth and why it’s insulting.

First, let me give props to Tebow for that 95-yard game winning drive. Trucking Darrelle Revis? Money. That 20-yard TD run? Grown man running. He’s 4-1 this year after I saw him nearly beat my Chargers last year and this year.

What you expected more? Lest we forget that dude was making Mark Sanchez look like Tony Romo most of the game – even including that pick-6. I come not to praise Lord Tebow but to bury his fans in truth and perspective.

I know what they’ll say. Oh Tebow’s a winner? Oh Tebow just plays so hard. Tim Tebow’s a hard worker. And the most offensive to me? Divine intervention and God’s will. Remember folks, I’m a Christian man and that bothers me to no end (I’ll explain later).

Well let me re-introduce a little comparison with another quarterback who had similar mechanics issues and yet won and won big. He too was a first round pick and had to deal with plenty of critics but still put up a winning record.  Heck, Skip Bayless is even on his jock just like Tebow.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Vincent Young. You remember him right? Won a national title like Tim Tebow. Similar accolades. Had one of the greatest college performances in one of the greatest games ever.

VY’s rookie year: 8-5, six straight wins, 4 fourth quarter comebacks. 1st time in NFL history a rookie had two 14-point+ comebacks. A 43-yard OT run to win the game vs. Houston. All he did was win despite having the 2nd worst QB rating in the league.

Sounds a bit comparable to what Tebow is doing in Year 2 right? Game winning run? Fourth quarter heroics? Oh did I mention Vince beat the eventual Super Bowl champions who were 10-1 at the time? Remind me who Tebow beat that was worth a darn?

Vince Young had some bad mechanics and Tennessee did have to simplify the playbook a bit (Again sound familiar?) but all VY did was win. And just if you think VY’s rookie year was a fluke and teams figured him out, check what he did in 2009 after being relegated to backup status in 2008.

VY in 2009: 8-2 as a starter. 1st time in NFL history a team won 5 straight after losing their 1st six games. 99-yard drive to beat Arizona. Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year. His W-L record in Tennessee? 30-17 with 42 TD’s and 42 INT’s.

In case you forgot what he can do, just watch the highlights of what he did Sunday against the Giants in that comeback win.

To be fair, the only edge Tebow has on VY is work ethic. Early in his career, VY didn’t show much initiative to learn the playbook and evolve a bit. He just had incredible gifts and a knack for winning (Notice the trend here?). Tebow also has a coach who adapted his offense to fit him – something Tennessee never did for Vince Young or for that matter any team did for any dual-threat quarterback.

And that’s my problem. Why is Denver doing what Kordell Stewart, Andre Ward, Michael Vick, Charlie Ward, Doug Flutie early on and Eric Crouch (the fastest White QB I’ve seen this side of Steve Young) didn’t get? Tim Tebow can’t throw for jack crap yet Denver is willing to run the option while a lot of mobile college quarterbacks didn’t get that benefit. Tebow is out there scrambling to everyone’s praise, but folks were ready to criticize Mike Vick doing the same thing. Both were smart in doing it but guess who got glory.

It’s not a racial thing per se but it’s insulting that Tebow is being praised while Vince Young was run out of Tennessee and we always talk about seeing if a Black QB can be a pocket passer, not just a runner. VY contributed to that with his immaturity and attitude problems. But if we’re talking strictly on the field, Vince Young should be a starter based on his resume if Tim Tebow is one.

For the record, I believed Vince was better served being a backup this year just like Mike Vick was when he came back to the league. But I’m only saying that people didn’t make that many excuses for Vince Young and if they did, they were spoken to deaf ears.

Tebow is getting excuses made for him because of his college pedigree, his faith, his incredible fan base and hype. Him being White plays a big role in that because that’s just the nature of people loving White QB’s and it being seen as their position. Black QB’s have to work twice as hard and face just as much as criticism if they don’t play a certain way. Tebow is no different than Vince Young minus the attitude issues.

Tebow’s faith is endearing and sincere but it’s insulting that we always have to hear about White Christians being elevated in sports. Is Derek Fisher’s faith less admirable? Even Kurt Warner didn't get elevated this much despite WINNING. This is a question I want the media and fans to answer because I believe faith can be a divisive pawn used by the media to elevate a certain narrative. And don't get me started on those Jesus jerseys that I find sacrilegious and disrespectful.

Just seeing this disgusts me. My Savior isn't on the football field and joking about it isn't funny. 

So as I keep hearing folks making excuses for Tebow, just ask yourself why you won’t make them for Vince Young. At least, Skip Bayless is consistent is praising them both. But I will not stand for this heathen worship as groundbreaking when I watched Michael Vick and Vince Young do it much better with more success on the field and the stat sheet. I've seen several Black QB's be forced to play WR or another position in college or the NFL. Guys who were better than Tebow but didn't have the luxury of a team change their offense to suit them.

*It’s a sign of progress that Cam Newton isn’t hearing too many critics since he’s proven he can throw and pass. A good sign for Robert Griffin III, who has a great arm, size, poise and speed and should probably win the Heisman*

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