Friday, February 5, 2010

On Tim Tebow

This morning I woke up to a message from my friend Lindsay. Lindsay wants me to  write out some thoughts on Tim Tebow.

While writing about abortion first thing in the morning (with a hangover, no less) isn’t the greatest idea, I have to answer to Lindsay in person next month (we’re meeting up in Shanghai, nbd) so I damn well better do what she asks.
 
Tim Tebow. 

For anyone who doesn’t know why they should care – here’s your 10 second refresher: Tim Tebow is a young, gifted football player. Quarterback. He won the Heisman trophy in 2007. High hopes rest on his professional future.  Recently, Tebow aligned himself with a pro-life organization called Focus on the Family. Through the support of private donations, Focus on the Family sponsored an ad featuring Tebow and his mother that will air during the Superbowl on Sunday. The ad allegedly features Tebow’s mother speaking on how she became ill in the early stages of her pregnancy with Tim and was advised to abort the baby. Mommy Tebow didn’t listen to her doctors and gave birth to healthy boy. A son who grew up talented, handsome and most importantly (soon to be) riiiiich.

We all make choices in life. Tebow is a public figure making choices. I like to talk about famous people who make choices.

Let’s do this.

I believe taking a stand on something. I believe in speaking out about things that matter to you.

What I do not believe in is a budding athlete choosing to speak on an issue that splits the nation during the freaking Superbowl.

In my opinion, Tim Tebow needs to keep his goddamned mouth shut.

Choosing the Superbowl as a mouthpiece is truly idiotic. It's beyond stupid. Still, I can’t bring myself to hate on Tebow that hard. He’s a 22 year-old football player. Knowing what I know about young football players, I can say with some authority that Tebow’s probably as stupid as a brick wall. As such, I suspect puppet mastery at work here *cough* mommy *cough*.

Tebow must be dealing with some seriously hare brained communications people. Hare brained and selfish communications people who are using Tebow to fuel their own agenda without considering how it’ll affect the kid’s future.  

Is pro-life really your 2.5 million dollar issue, Tim? Do you want to be that guy? I wish someone with some goddamn sense could have gotten to Tebow before Focus on the Family did. A sensible person would have said to him, “Tim, you’re a great kid with a bright future. You’ve got an opportunity to influence a lot of young kids with your actions. Pick the one issue that’s most important to you and run with it.”

Tim: Okay. I think abortion is wrong.

Communications person: Um. Something to do with sports, Tim.

Tim: Ohhhh, gotcha. Right to play?

Communications crisis averted.

As soon as you align yourself with something as derisive as the pro-life/pro-choice debate, you alienate half of the country. Just like that. I heard that sponsors love athletes who speak their mind. The more contentious the issue, the better. Nike actually encourages Roger Federer to voice his feelings on the Canadian seal hunt, but Roger gets camera shy.

Which athlete (circa October 2009) was the ideal spokesperson? Tiger Tiger Woods y’all. Why? Because he didn’t say anything about anything. He just dominated his sport for a decade. Nobody knew how Tiger felt about politics. 

People don’t care who celebrities vote for. People really don’t care where athletes stand on abortion.

At a time when Tebow should keep his head down and focus on his career, he’s doing exactly the opposite. It’s never a good idea to alienate potential fans or sponsors in the year before being drafted into the NHL. At least wait until AFTER you have a contract to say a bunch of stupid shit.

The reason this will affect Tebow so deeply is because the commercial was a calculated, thought-out, rehearsed communications message. If Tebow mentioned his stance on abortion as a passing comment, I wouldn’t think any less of him. While I disagree with his opinion, I respect his right to it. The fact that he wanted to speak on this issue during the Superbowl means he is fucking serious about pro-life. He is serious and wants the free world to know it. And now, Tim Tebow will forever be known as the anti-abortion guy. Idiot.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Who drafts Tim and who sponsors him despite his political agenda. I think he'll be okay if he never speaks about prolife again. Move on, Tim. Silence will save you.

Hey, think we'll ever see an athlete endorsing his pro-choice beliefs at the Superbowl? Of course not, but it’s kind of funny to imagine.
 
"It’s why pencils have erasers!"

That was fun. Next week, we’ll talk about this:
 
Juuust kidding. I'm not touching that.

6 comments:

  1. Religious conviction, you can't mess with it. He doesn't give a shit about sponsors in comparison to this. That's why he's doing it during the Super Bowl. He believes it's literally murder, he wants to tell as many people as possible to stop murdering... Boom. Super Bowl.

    It makes perfect, perfect sense in his world. And to be honest I have nothing but time for Pro-Life people. Here are a group of people who believe so seriously this is murder and for the most part they've protested peacefully, with only a few crazies taking it to another level. They should be commended.

    Preach what you want to preach Tebow! Is it a PR disaster? Yes! I'm glad you don't care about that.

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  2. Blair just posted this vid; A response to Tim Tebow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utcxpuHF7jg

    Pretty well done.

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  3. Well done Mere!

    I thought this was perfect for you, Sports and PR. Why couldn't he just shut up and play football, sit back and wait for his Pepsi endorsement?!

    Although I don't agree with him I respect his opinions but he should have at least waited until he got drafted to start backing pro-life. How well recieved is he going to be now in Liberal American cities?

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  4. On Friday night, I brought up the Tebow topic to another sports/communications geek. I was interested to hear his take.

    He basically said this whole thing is conveniently distracting everyone from the fact that Tebow can't actually play football. The kid kind of sucks.

    I don't know if that's true, but it's an interesting way to look at it.

    So many layers. This story is onion-y.

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  5. I heard Tebow is looking at the Alouettes, he must suck if he's considering the CFL!

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  6. Tebow is a virg... ew

    i mean, its pretty easy to see things in black and white when you have zero experience

    and now i shall regurgitate gord's opinion; quit football after college as a legend. start a conservative christian church. make millions.

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Ramble on...