With his official retirement from the Mets’ organization last week, Tim Tebow now appears to have taken his permanent leave from pro sports — and from being a target of relentless public mockery despite having done nothing worthy of the slightest ridicule.
Tebow was, and is, an unashamedly religious Christian who would reflect and give thanks for his college football successes on bended knee. For that, he was abused, especially by sports radio and other wise-guy forms of sports media.
If he was intercepted or fumbled, his faith failed him, hah, hah! Recidivist NFL creeps were treated with more tolerance and sensitivity than was Tebow.
Ignorance didn’t breed the persistent mockery of Tebow, but the quest to sound cool and edgy at his expense did.
Tebow also was a victim of white media reverse racism, as no devoutly religious athlete of any color except white would have been forced to suffer the slings and arrows as he did.
The great NFL defensive tackle Reggie White, who died at 43 in 2004, was every bit as demonstratively a fundamentalist Christian as Tebow. White rarely stopped preaching “The Word” and giving “glory to God.” But his religious fervor was ignored, admired or celebrated as a cause for his NFL success.
The media even issued White a free pass when he wouldn’t back off his religious beliefs that homosexuality is a ticket to hell.
Tebow was given no such breaks, shown no such respect. When he resigned his speaker’s engagement before a church group because it preached that homosexuality is a sin, it made small, brief news, and Tebow continued to be mocked as a holy rolling fanatic. As a white, devout Christian athlete, he was always the safe choice.
Tebow’s clean sheet became part of the joke. He was never arrested, no drugs or domestic violence charges, no DUIs. He never did anything to bring his sport or himself into disrepute. Yet he was lampooned as an implacable weirdo. But that’s how justice continues. It’s a highly selective, subjective process.
And he took the time to sign autographs for all the kids, kids who didn’t yet know that Tebow, despite that nice baseball or football uniform and smile he wore, had become a target of media derision because he was among the easiest of safe targets — not a sitting duck, but a genuflecting one.
Bet on tennis coverage being awash in gambling ads
Though tennis has proven to be among the easiest of sports for gamblers to fix, the telecasts, as seen on the Tennis Channel during the Australian Open, seemed to be owned by the bad-odds sucker-betting operation, DraftKings.
Not only is the studio set decorated with DraftKings ads, panelists, including Martina Navratilova, are attached to the come-ons that include betting mid-match and cuts to the studio for changing odds.
The tennis matches appear almost like time-filler between invites to become a real tennis fan by gambling on the matches.
Is that right? NHL stat lists the top five players in per game puck possession. Good stat, no? I don’t know. All five play for losing teams. The leader, Thomas Chabot at 2:43 per, plays for 4-14 Ottawa.
When was the last time you sought psychological help because you tuned in to watch a tennis major?
Friday, after the start of the Daniil Medvedev-Stefanos Tsitsipas men’s semifinals in the Australian Open, Tennis Channel’s there-to-distract scroll six times without a break read, “Coming Up: Tennis Channel’s coverage of the 2021 Australian Open.” Then, 30 times without a break, the scroll only read “Coming Up” before the first scroll resumed its repetition.
And then that entire sequence was repeated. Sanctuary! Not until the fourth game did that scroll disappear.
The very idea that this year’s NBA All-Star game will be played for any other reason than to meet the financial terms of TNT’s contract to televise it would be to abandon the wisdom that repeats, “Follow the money.”
To expect Adam Silver to say so makes the question not worth asking in the first place.
RU ready for some big bills?
Taxpayers supporting student-athletics: Rutgers remains disabled by Big Ten Fever. According to a N.J. Advance Media report this week, the university’s internal sports debt has tripled in the past two years, from $45 million in 2019 to $140.3 million as of Jan. 21.
In the last year, Rutgers has laid off more than 1,000 employees to help fill the athletic department’s expanding black hole while also applying rising mandatory student activity fees to athletics.
One day, Rutgers will be remembered for what it was: a darned good and even affordable state college.
While we’re at it, Clemson now has two assistant football coaches making in excess of $2 million per year. With head coach Dabo Swinney at $9.5 million per, those three coaches are paid a total of $14 million per.
A fully tenured Clemson academic professor makes about $170,000 per.
Rush Limbaugh obituaries are moving in on the 21st Century record for including “love him or hate him.” Limbaugh, by the way, in 1979 worked in the Kansas City Royals’ ticket-sales department.
Matthew Volk — newly hired VP of Entercom, corporate owner of WFAN among other sports radio stations — will concentrate on, guess what? That’s right, “sports betting content.” Your assignment as a WFAN listener remains the same: Lose your money to Entercom’s partners by gambling on sports.
Cam Newton, 31-year-old soon-to-be-free-agent QB, last week said, “I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars — maybe even millions of dollars — on clothes I only wore once.” Smart, spontaneous decision-making is essential among accomplished NFL QBs.
Reader Joe Napoleone suspects that the Marlins’ decision to allow a 25 percent capacity into its ballpark is a scheme to increase their attendance.