po•lar•ize [poh-luh-rahyz] verb, -ized, -iz•ing.
1. to cause polarization
2. to divide into sharply opposing factions
The most polarizing athlete I have ever seen is Tim Tebow. For those who are not American or live under a rock, he is the second year Quarterback of the Denver Broncos, an American football team. He is the wildly controversial and exciting player that has America scratching their heads after an incredible season where he has been the talk of the league all year. The head scratching results from a season of inexplicable last second and overtime victories that were both improbable and unbelievable. Tebowmania, as it’s being called, has gripped America. Love him or hate him, you can’t help but watch and go one way or the other. He is currently the most polarizing man in America and truthfully the most polarizing athlete I have ever seen, anywhere.
To put it into perspective for my foreign readers, Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese and Real Madrid scoring machine is polarizing. You generally either love or hate him. I hate him but there is little doubt he is exciting to watch. He is polarizing because his arrogant personality, appearance and selfish play cause people to be turned off but you’ve never questioned his skill or desire to succeed. He is polarizing in a way that Tim Tebow isn’t. Ronaldo is a Playboy, he makes stupid and controversial statements, he dates Russian supermodels, drives Ferrari’s, uses a ton of hair gel and has a fro-hawk. Anything he does is seen as arrogant. He is also seen as not a good guy. Tebow is not this way.
Tim Tebow is a religious nut to put it mildly. He truly believes in God and his faith and openly talks about it and prays on the field. He does so in a way that somehow doesn’t irritate most people although many people do get annoyed. Religion is the one topic that people really hate having thrown in their face. Many view this as him on his high moral horse but this is simply not the case. The media is who puts this in our faces day after day, not Tebow, and this is because there has never been anyone like him. His story touches on the two most touchy subjects in America; religion and race; and everybody has an opinion about him. However, the three underlying themes are you cannot question the man’s’ integrity, competitive drive and flare for the dramatic. Again, he is the most polarizing figure in global sports today.
Tim Tebow’s pedigree is he is widely considered one of the greatest college football players of all time if not the best ever. He is a former Heisman trophy winner and three time finalist. He won two national championships at the University of Florida and is renowned for inspiring his teammates and those around him. He is also widely thought to be a virgin and openly talks of his high moral values. His religious views came into full national attention because he was always the best player on the best and most visible team whilst in college.
He was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos and many saw this as a big mistake as his skills wouldn’t translate into the NFL. It was believed that his erratic arm and running strengths wouldn’t work in the NFL. Perhaps he would have to change positions and utilize his athleticism over his Quarterback skills. This was conventional thinking and the way it had always been with Quarterback’s of his mold-traditionally represented by black Quarterbacks.
Many people argue that he would have never been given the opportunities he has received had he been black because historically those types of Quarterbacks hadn’t even been drafted, let alone given a chance in the pros. It was also thought that his skills weren’t nearly as good as some former Quarterbacks who hadn’t made it in the NFL. So this brought race into the equation; again nothing Tebow has ever instigated.
If you live in America and watch sports television and even mainstream news these days, Tebow is everywhere. Everyone has their opinions and there are tons of haters. The haters seem to get to be less and less each week as the guy keeps winning, keeps competing and people finally accept that he’s simply just a good guy going out there and competing. So what if he believes in God and openly talks about his relationship with God.
I am not a religious person and hate when people talk religion as much as anyone but this guy doesn’t talk down to people. He is constantly asked by the media about it and he just answers the questions. He is the most scrutinized athlete I’ve ever seen. He has had his ups and downs, his statistics are awful and that is undisputed. However, he possesses an “it factor”. He has intangibles that have never been seen before in the NFL. He never stops believing and saves his best for last. You never turn off the TV when Tebow is on and the game is close late because that is Tebow time. You just wait for something special to happen and it has a lot this year. It’s been an incredible ride. I went to a game in Denver in December where they had an unbelievable come from behind victory against the Chicago Bears. It was an amazing night that I will never forget because of Tim Tebow’s heroics.
Yesterday, the Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tebow had the best game of his professional career leading Denver to an improbable overtime victory and sets up a rematch against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady (The guy married to Brazilian Supermodel Gisele Bundchen) next weekend. I guarantee you, with all the amazing sub-plots, this will be the most watched game in recent memory.
As for Mr. Tebow, he will go about his business, he will politely answer the question the media asks him and he will compete next weekend versus the best team in the AFC. Win or lose, Tebow will give his all and people will love him or hate him but talk about him as they always will. People and pundits will debate his skills until the cows come home but the bottom line is this; Tim Tebow is must see TV. He is the most talked about athlete I have ever seen in this manner. This has been the year of Tebow and I am continually in disbelief and I love it. He is the most polarizing man in America and this is an election year!