Joseph Goodman has a good piece, reprinted in an Alaskan paper, on the possibility of Tebow not being allowed to wear eye black in the NFL. The solution? Maybe change his name to Tim Johnthreesixteen, like Chad Ochocinco. Maybe replace Richard with Johnthreesixteen?
Kinda like it!
College football players are speaking out. And like with most movements, it all starts with a thought and a sticker. ...
Athletes are using their eye-black adhesives for blocking out glare-and for promoting self-expression.
Quarterbacks have always demanded attention, but now they are using the limelight to mourn the dead, proselytize, advertise and show support for friends.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association prohibits players from advertising a product, but that hasn't stopped some players from advertising ideas and religious beliefs.
University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has taken to this new form of mass communication religiously.
Raised by an evangelist, Tebow uses his celebrity and his eye-black strips to market his religion. Every game this season, Tebow has scribbled a Christian Bible verse onto the stickers for a national audience.
"I get plenty of requests but I like to sit down, open the Bible and find something that's important to me," Tebow said. "If people want to look it up, that's great."During last season's national championship game at Land Shark Stadium, Tebow wore John 3:16 under his eyes. That night, 90 million people Googled the verse.
"Tim Tebow is so popular and so respected ... Tim Tebow's cheekbone is going to be more valuable than someone else's cheekbone just because of the celebrity of Tim Tebow and the amount of close-ups he's going to get during a game," said Michael Gold of Hollywood-based Goldforest Brand Consultancy.
Tebow's father, Bob, said early this season that he is most proud of the far-reaching recognition of his son's eye-black stickers. It's TV evangelism at its most effective: star power, simple message, millions of viewers.
Beyond that, there's even talk in the press box as reporters from Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News sit and wait to learn the newest Bible verse and then think of creative ways to use them as metaphors in their stories.
And it's all because of a sticker, an idea and a silver Sharpie.
"Simply from an advertiser's perspective, football is the perfect place to move a message," said Robert Lopez of Greenfrog Advertising in Miami. "The sports world, everyone is constantly going there."
Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images