Dear Tim Tebow, Save Me From Tim Tebow …I've reached my breaking point. I can't take it any longer without saying something, finding some release from the hostile takeover of my life by Timothy Richard Tebow. I simply cannot escape Tim Tebow. Everywhere I turn, there he is – Tim Tebow. On my television. On my radio. On my computer screen. In my mind. Haunting me like something out of Paranormal Activity. A debate topic on ESPN in the morning. A debate topic on ESPN in the afternoon. A segment on Around the Horn. On PTI. On Numbers Never Lie. On SportsNation. Primetime. The Blitz. NFL Live. A SportsCenter segment in the early evening. A mention in the Monday Night Football game. Another segment on SportsCenter in the evening. A poll question. A debate the next morning. And the next evening. And the next morning. And then, interspersed in between there's the #@$%ING DEBATES ABOUT THE DEBATES ABOUT TEBOW!!! It. Never. Ends. – Awful Announcing.com
Dominant Social Theme: The work we do as sportscasters is necessary and important. What would the nation do without us?
Free-Market Analysis: This well written and clever article by sportswriter Matt Yoder reminds us again of the pervasiveness of media manipulation in the West and especially in the Anglosphere where sports reporting has been elevated to superstar status.
Tim Tebow may or may not end up being a great NFL quarterback, but he surely will be remembered for the amount of media coverage he has inspired. It's enough to float the Titanic. Yoder has it right. Never has so much been written by so many for such a small result. The oceans of print and electrons expended on the non-issue of Tebow's fitness to play quarterback is truly mind-boggling.
This is in fact par for the course. What is striking to us mostly about sports reporting is the triviality of its analysis and the doggedness with which many sports reports repeat the same stories over and over again – a point that Yoder makes in this article, excerpted above.
We've written about sports reporting and sports reporters before in the context of both steroids and Michael Vick. If we could summarize our distaste for what's going on, it would center around the essential dumbness of adults who write this stuff regularly and are willing to take a paycheck to do so. Here are some articles we've written on the subject:
It's one thing to report on sports, which can be done nobly and honorably. Great sports writing is an art form, no less than short-story writing or other artistic endeavors. But modern sports writing for the most part seems to have lost that approach.
Today's sports writers, even the best of them like Mike Lupica, are mostly content to regurgitate the politically correct dominant social themes of Western society – offered up by the Anglosphere power elite the way gardeners offer up poisonous treats to garden pests.
The idea of course is to distract people from the serious problems they face in life and work. Never mind that the Western world is imploding or that Anglosphere elites are likely plotting a possible world war. Thousands of grown men and women are writing about Tim Tebow and the possibilities of his career … or non-career.
What's even more infuriating is the way that sports reporters regurgitate the same memes over and over again. With Michael Vick, it often seemed as if every sports reporter was a vegetarian or had never heard of the way cattle are treated in the West, or that dogs are considered a delicacy in China – throughout Asia, as a matter of fact.
There is no politically correct offering that sports reporters in their apparently mindless zeal to put pen to paper will not endorse. Vick is a dog killer: Bad. Barry Bonds may have taken steroids to accomplish his homerun hitting records: Bad. Tim Tebow has an elongated throwing motion and is a fundamentalist Christian: Creepy.
Sports reporting, as it has been refined in the 21st century is one of the more reliable forms of elite programming. Perhaps it has to do with an ill-conceived sense of team spirit. Perhaps it involves a lack of a frame of reference. But reading an American sports article for the most part is like taking a bath filled with warm spit. Disgust is tempered only by the desire to dry off.
We exempt this article by Yoder. It is clever, witty and makes important points about the current herd instinct of sports reporters and the overwhelming – almost sociopathic – urge to take what is already a fairly trivial pursuit and turn it into an absolutely wretched and mind-numbing one. Here's more from the article:
Please, no more debates. No more debates about the debates. No more Skip Bayless bringing Tim Tebow into every conversation because he knows it pisses off viewers. No more cute jokes from SportsCenter anchors about the level to which ESPN shoves Tim Tebow down the collective throat of America. No more columns talking about Tebow's pants, or his girlfriends, or his billboards. Just let him be Tim Tebow.
If I could end in some way, with some plea of sanity to ESPN and the other members of the media and sports fans that read AA, it's this – stop and reflect on the absurdity … I'm writing this just as someone that loves sports and cares enough to try and articulate my concerns with the way the sports media is heading towards obsession, sensationalism, and endless debate about nothingness with Tebow, LeBron James, and eventually other athletes down the road.
Simply put, the Tim Tebow obsession symbolizes everything that is wrong with the sports media. When discussing Tim Tebow, there is little to no proper perspective, rationality, facts, or reason. Bring it back before it becomes the rule instead of the exception and the way we look at sports is irrevocably changed.
Yup, Yoder has the right idea; in our view the only problem is that he hasn't gone far enough. The incessant reporting on Tim Tebow is only part of a larger dysfunction in sports. It seems to us to be born of equal parts of ignorance and listlessness. Our question then: Why write if you care so little?
The unexamined life may not be worth living, but most sports reporters (and they are overwhelmingly male) seem never to have heard this saying. The regurgitation of political correctness is stupefying. It is obvious that one reason for the industry's obsession with Tebow has to do with his religious principals – his religiosity in fact.
Sports writers, being pack-minded, are uncomfortable with it, and this has attracted attention to Tebow and made him the butt of jokes. This is par for the course. Whether it is Vick and dog-fighting or Barry Bonds and steroids, one can count on the vast majority of sports reporters (almost all of them almost all of the time) to report exactly what one might expect.
The industry is like some sort of reverberating steel drum. No original thought is allowed and the same memes echo endlessly – relentlessly rhythmic, lulling us into a sort of trance. And isn't that the point?
Perhaps as times change and the Internet allows for more original writing and reporting, sports writing will break out of its slump. There's plenty of great writing to be had – if one is willing to put pen to paper with a certain level of determination and excitement. We're just not seeing it yet. Or not ordinarily, anyway. Maybe we're just being too harsh … or looking in the wrong places. Maybe Yoder's article (and the website he writes for – Awful Announcing) is a start …