Note to ESPN: Chill with the Tebow Lovefest…Please.

If you even remotely follow college football, you have undoubtedly experienced the man-crush that ESPN has with Tim Tebow. While I am the first to admit that Tebow is a great football player and an overall great kid, I am seriously contemplating hitting the mute button before I tune in to College Football this fall.

Over the past three years, we have seen (and heard) compliments and admiration for what is – again – a good kid, but what has happened since Tebow’s famous post-game press conference

Tebow at his post-game press conference following the 2008 loss to Ole Miss

Tebow at his post-game press conference following the 2008 loss to Ole Miss

after the Florida Gators’ loss to Ole’ Miss has been over the top. While the message that Tebow delivered after that loss was inspirational and seemed to motivate his football team, the coverage and constant replaying of it on ESPN and every other major sports outlet was overplayed and overdone. In the National Championship Pregame alone, that press conference was played a total of 8 times (or at least that’s when I stopped counting).

What Tebow did not know that day in September was that not only would that speech motivate his team to another national title, but more importantly, the inspiratinal moment would turn many sportscasters into borderline stalkers.

At one point in the BCS National Championship game, one announcer said on live television that if one spends just fifteen minutes with Tebow, his or her life would be changed forever. Really? The kid is a college football player, no Ghandi or MLK. Again, I acknowledge that Tebow is a great football player and does a ton of work off the field as well, but some of the announcers are taking it a little far.

All I can picture is Tebow’s first press conference and the camera constantly panning to Kirk Herbstreet and Chris Fowler, sobbing hysterically like the thirteen-year old girl during Sanjaya’s rendition of “You Really Got Me” on American Idol. So far, Tebow has not had to issue any restraining orders, but if this season is anything like last season, he may want to give profiles of the ESPN crew to the Gainesville Police Dept.

Not only is the lovefest annoying, but it is unbalanced when it comes to the rest of the college football world.

The bottom line is that nearly every college football program has at least one “feel good” story and/or high character/integrity player, and I am an advocate of celebrating that. Let’s just work on a little more diversity.

On May 29, 2006, Colt McCoy, the starting QB for the University of Texas, swam 300 yards across a lake to help save the life of Ken Herrington who was having a seizure on a small dock that extended into the privately owned lake (wikipedia).

Evidentally, crying at a press conference and winning a National Championship is more moving than McCoy saving the life of another human being. The McCoy story was covered well, especially right after it happened, but the major media outlets didn’t play the story over and over again like Tebow’s press conference.

I am all for recognizing Tebow’s successes on and off the field, but also recognize that there are a lot of other inspirational stories in college football that could be covered in addition to this one.  Let’s give college football fans outside of Gainesville some new material.


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