After watching that pathetic 'statement' today by Tiger Woods, and remembering how equally awkward Alex Rodriguez looked around this time last year during his interview with Peter Gammons, it was more clear than ever that it is ridiculous to put professional athletes on a pedestal. Look, I'm not here to call anyone out for looking up to a professional athlete, because we've all d one it before and will all do it again. Undoubtedly, there's something special about watching another human being perform at a level we didn't ever imagine possible. Watching Tiger Woods win The Masters by 12 strokes as a 21-year-old was simply remarkable for everyone. When someone is more talented than we ever imagined, they win us over and are given passes for doing things most people would be ridiculed for.
I'm not saying Woods wasn't ridiculed, because he certainly was, but the fact remains plenty of athletes have been given passes for being terrible husbands and/or fathers, because all we want to see is these people dominating on the court. Unfortunately, in this day and age of athletes being able to play by a different set of rules (Sorry Tiger, I know you said you don't get to play by different rules, but the fact is you and all your celebrity stars do and always will) young people want to become superstar athletes not only because they love the game they are playing, but because they want the money and material items that come along with it, including the never ending line of women. Certainly the media has as much to do with this as the athletes themselves, as the media glorifies these athlete's lifestyles as if they can do no wrong.
I've been a big Kobe defender, and I think he's the best player pre-LeBron since Jordan, but when someone can go from cheating on their wife and being accused of rape to being a fairly well-liked athlete in about a decade, it shows that the American public allows these celebrities to play by different rules. When Ray Lewis can basically be linked to a double murder, get off, and be loved by all media outlets and therefore most fans of the NFL, again, it shows that the rules us normal people live by each and every day simply don't apply to the people that are more talented than us.
This is precisely why I will never understand why people dislike Tim Tebow. Look, if you are a Florida State or Miami fan, fine, I understand the hatred. Otherwise, I think the hatred is simply jealousy, and those of you who truly dislike Tebow simply haven't taken the time to understand just how rare someone like him is. He's arguably the greatest college football player in the history of the game, and could almost certainly get any girl he wants. When a reporter jokingly asked him last year at a press conference if he was saving himself for marriage, Tebow didn't hesitate to answer that indeed he was. All the reporters got awkwardly silent for a few seconds, because the answer was so unbelievable to everyone there. In a world in which athletes are praised for the women they land, and in which celebrities compare one another based on the women they have been with, Tebow didn't only admit that he was still a virgin, but he said it proudly in a room full of people.
I'm in college, and if you're in college or were in college, you understand how nice it is when summer break begins. Three whole months without worries, simply working or even taking the summer off, just to have fun with friends you only see during this time. You understand that once you're done with college, you may never see some of these people again, so you want to spend your summers having as much fun with these people as possible. Many of us simply went or are going to college and only taking classes, not playing a sport. Tebow spends his entire first semester balancing football and class, leaving little time for anything else. Despite all the work this kid puts in, he doesn't feel like he deserves a summer off. Tebow spends his summers helping kids in third-world countries. When I hear people mocking Tebow, it's almost always about how he chooses to help the less fortunate because he knows how blessed he is. So the next time you decide you don't like Tebow, or you want to criticize him, ask yourself if you'd want your son to turn out like him. A superstar athlete who is saving himself for marriage and spends his free time helping less fortunate kids... consider me one person who hopes my future son grows up to be half the man Tim Tebow already is.
I understand the doubts about his ability to transition to the NFL, but I will be pulling for him to succeed. If we as a general public are going to put our faith in one man, I vote we put it into a man that has allowed faith to lead him to where he is today. Tim Tebow, you are a rare star in a world that constantly lets down the fans. Thank you, for not being afraid of being different. It's refreshing, and inspiring.