The Secrets of Tebow Hatred

Posted by on Jan 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

The NFL is generously stocked with forgiven felons, including millionaire wife beaters and dog killers. So how did a clean-living quarterback with deep commitments to charitable service and miraculous last-minute victories become the most controversial player in the league?

It’s easy to see why legions of loyalists lavish love on 24-year-old Tim Tebow, who leads his underdog Denver Broncos in a crucial playoff game against the New England Patriots on Saturday night. Yet other fiercely focused fans feel no hesitation at expressing their contempt and loathing for a remarkable athlete whose behavior on field and off exemplifies the values of hard work, fearlessness and concern for the downtrodden.

A popular website called serves as a clearinghouse for denunciations, while Jeff Darlington of got a big response for a survey on what offended fans most about the Broncos quarterback. An Orlando, Fla., radio station (WJRR) used crude language promoting a public campaign to terminate Mr. Tebow’s well-advertised virginity and to break his pledge to save himself for marriage. Bill Maher, acerbic tribune of “Real Time” on HBO, got into the holiday spirit last month by celebrating a Denver loss and tweeting: “Wow. Jesus just f—- #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve!” Novelist and blogger Drew Magary proudly declares on the sports website “Not only is it OK to root against Tim Tebow, it’s practically your duty as cynical Americans.”

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