Thursday, September 3, 2009

TDS, Tebow Derangement Syndrome


David Whitely, of Fanhouse, is "Gagging on all the Tebow Haterade"

Before he takes a snap and the highlight reels begin to roll and Tebow mania ramps up to an all new level, let's have a final look at "Tebow Derangement Syndrome":

T-minus three days until the most beloved and hated player in college football history begins his final act.

It's easy to understand the love for Tim Tebow. But why so much hate?

What's he ever really done besides win, behave and get a lot of publicity for it?

That qualifies Tebow as hate-able in the sports sense, which is perfectly acceptable. When a guy continually steamrolls your favorite team, it's natural to get sick of his face. ...

A sub-strain of TDS is simple Tebow Burnout. He's been on more magazine covers lately than Michael Jackson. That comes with being the preeminent player in the exploding Information Age.

Between cable TV, blogs, tweets, Web sites and traditional media, everything gets overblown. For every interview or photo shoot he does, Tebow and/or Florida turn down dozens of requests.

If he really craved attention, Tebow would have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. The number of followers in Gainesville alone would crash the Internet.

Tebow does none of that social networking stuff. He doesn't drag camera crews to the prisons or churches where he speaks. He doesn't ask minor-league teams to stage "What Would Tim Tebow Do? Nights" or tell fans to set up blogs dedicated solely to him. Yet TDS sufferers say he's a self-promoter.

Perhaps they prefer the incessant tweeting of Chad Ochocinco or Shaquille O'Neal. I'd rather read the meltdown speech Tebow made after last year's Ole Miss loss.

The words are now a plaque on the wall at Florida Field. That's a bit much, but rest assured Manny Ramirez never said anything worth hanging at Fenway's Park, unless you think "I Quit" should be bronzed.

Ramirez's many admirers in Mannywood still show up in their Rasta wigs and pour unconditional love. It makes you wonder what people look for these days in a hero.

What makes Michael Vick's Philadelphia jersey the fourth-hottest selling shirt at NFLshop.com? Why is John Daly ranked No. 448 in the World
Golf Rankings but No. 1 in many fans' hearts?

Maybe Tebow needs to fake an injury, politic for his own reality show (non-paid of course to adhere to NCAA regulations), get drunk or kill a bunch of dogs to qualify as a true post-modern hero.

Instead he raises money for orphans, doesn't sleep around, carries a 3.7 GPA and tries to help convicts go straight.

I can see why people hate him.

Actually, I really can. We like our heroes to have a flaw or two, and Tebow seems so perfect. About the worst thing he's ever done is get a personal foul for jawing at an Oklahoma player as the BCS title game wound down.

Tebow is the first to say he's not perfect, which makes TDS sufferers think he's even more pious. God help him if a cell phone camera ever catches him drinking a beer or spitting on a sidewalk or not smiling as he signs dozens of autographs while walking from practice to the locker room.

He's lived three years under the most intense microscope, yet there's never been a whiff of controversy. TDS sufferers hoping for some are likely to be disappointed again.

Tebow will just conduct himself the way he always has. If that drives you to derangement, it says a lot more about you than Tim Tebow.
Photo: Gainesville Sun/Brad McClenny
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