The media's obvious hostility toward Tebow has galvanized a lot of people. Yes, there are some positive things on TV. But the over-arc'ing message is one that tells us --- > Tebow is weird. And that his praying is distasteful and inconsiderate.
The media's unfairness towards him has, as it does so often these days, caused a traffic jam of fans plowing onto the Tebow turnpike. There is a BleacherReport poll that asks, "Will Tim Tebow develop into a quality NFL quarterback?" and a huge vote is running 89-11 .... in favor.
Eighty-nine! Nobody's chance is that high. Certainly Andrew Luck's is not. John Elway's chance was less than 89% when he was a 6-year veteran in the NFL. What that poll is saying is, "hey, we NFL fans looooovve Tim Tebow."
This huge fan popularity is in stark contrast to the hostility that the media exudes.
You'll notice that TV is constantly extending coverage to the (TV-created) "controversy." And it devotes air time not to Tebow himself, but to others' impressions of Tebow. You can't turn on the TV without seeing long minutes of air time given to athletes and writers railing on Tebow and how inappropriate his religious statements are.
You get the game? NBC itself wouldn't be caught dead criticizing Tebow's evangelism. They simply give the microphone to those who do.
Not much surprises Dr. D any more. But he was stunned when Broncos VP John Elway, himself a hard-drinking man, took shots against Tebow, apparently trying to undermine Tebow's success and even rooting against Tebow. This were almost unprecedented, coming from an NFL V.P. toward his own young franchise quarterback.
SSI's complaint in all this is that the media carefully prevents you from evaluating Tebow The Man by getting the words from Tebow's own mouth. You are constantly evaluating Tebow as he is described by others.
The media realizes with painful clarity that if you "met" Tebow, if you got to know him in his own words, that you would like him. And that you would realize that he is not the lunatic fringe wacko that they would like you to believe him to be.
This is true of most figures that the media hates. For example, when George W. Bush went on the Oprah show, chatting casually without a Presidential script, and without a filter between himself and the audience, the shock of the live audience was palpable. This was a likeable, thoughtful, and eminently reasonable man. Where did this person come from? We'd known him for eight years, hadn't we?
An example on the other side of the ball: Michael Jackson. After he died, the movie was released that revealed his back-stage persona. I had no idea that Michael Jackson was so nice, so reasonable, or such an amazing master of his craft.
TV warps our information flow. It happened to Tebow. The real man is nothing like the filtered representation that we'd received. Tim Tebow isn't self-superior or self-righteous. He's far more humble and down-to-earth than the average NFL athlete.
There is nothing inherently controversial about Tim Tebow. TV has manufactured a controversy.
By 89-11, NFL fans like* Tim Tebow. Television isn't fair, but Americans are. And they really don't listen to the pundits much any more.