Is There a Limit to Our Sports Obsession

Former Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis coined a phrase that has become familiar to all, regardless if you spend your evenings watching whatever game is on ESPN.

He said, “Just win, baby!”

Just win.

Many of us have ascribed to this philosophy when it comes to our favorite teams, whether it be the professional or collegiate ranks. (For the purposes of this column we will focus primarily on college athletics.) We want the thrill of victory and will accept almost anything to be victorious when the game is over.

Sports is about winning and there is nothing wrong with wanting our teams to win. It is part of what makes sports fun and enjoyable. I have often told my wife that if West Virginia University ever wins a national championship in anything besides rifle that it would be one of the happiest days of my life. She got a brief taste of this excitement in 2010 when West Virginia advanced to the Final Four and I immediately ran out of the house screaming for joy. Continue reading “Is There a Limit to Our Sports Obsession”

The Curious Case of Tim Tebow: How an Athlete is at the Center of a Polarized Culture

Tim Tebow is an interesting case study.

He is the kind of guy you want your daughter to date. Tebow is a strong Christian who is rooted in God’s love. We’re not talking about the celebrity form of Christianity, in which one claims to be a Christian but you never see any fruit. Tebow is authentic in his faith and charitable in his care for others.

Yet, Tebow is the last person you want starting for your favorite NFL franchise. Sure, Tebow managed to lead the Denver Broncos to a postseason victory over the Steelers, but he is much maligned for his style of play. His style is more suited for the college game, which Tebow was, perhaps, one of the best ever winning a Heisman and two national titles. Tebow’s biggest weakness has been his ability to accurately throw a pass, which is something a quarterback is expected to do.

This week, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets after the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning. It has led to usual discussion that accompanies Tebow in the NFL. On one side, you have those who believe Tebow is not a starting quarterback and should change positions. On the other side of the debate are those who believe Tebow has been unfairly criticized because of his faith and that his record shows he can play in the NFL.

It is a debate that will not go away with Tebow moving to the country’s media center. With this maybe another question needs to be asked. Why is Tebow such a polarizing individual and what does it mean for all of us? Continue reading “The Curious Case of Tim Tebow: How an Athlete is at the Center of a Polarized Culture”