CBSSports.com columnist Gregg Doyel has had it with all the hero worship, the idolatry, the 'canonization' of the guy:
This one's going to hurt. It's going to hurt you, and it's going to hurt me..... It's directed at those who would beatify the man.... Because he's just a man.
No, he's not referring to President-elect Obama but rather Tim Tebow, the University of Florida quarterback who led the Gators to a national championship on January 8. Yet in his January 13 column, Doyel went from waging a legitimate complaint about excessive hero worship to hashing out liberal talking points regarding the open practice of faith by Christian athletes (emphasis mine, h/t NewsBusters commenter Blonde):
"There's the functional football player part of it, but we all know it's much deeper than that," [Florida head coach Urban Meyer] said. "He is so good for college football. He is unbelievable. When my daughter texts me in the morning the Bible verse he has under his eyes it's good for college football, it's good for young people, it's good for everything."
Sorry. Wrong. If Tebow were a Muslim or a Mormon, and Meyer's daughter texted him with Tebow's chosen verse from the Koran or from the Book of Mormon, would that be "good for college football, good for young people, good for everything?"
Of course not.
Tebow's religion is seen as good because it is the religion of the majority. But it's not the religion of everybody. It's exclusionary, and just because you share Tebow's faith, that doesn't mean you're right. I don't expect you, or Meyer, or Tebow, or your pastor, to agree with me.
But you're still dead wrong.
So forgive me, please, if I'm not ready to anoint Tebow as anything more than a great college football player. He is that. And he's a great young man, too. I'll anoint him that as well.
But the idolatry of Tim Tebow has crossed the line. You ask me, the whole thing is blasphemous.
Before launching his screed, Doyel -- himself a Florida alumnus -- insisted he lodges his complain both as a loyal Gator fan and a Christian:
This one is really going to hurt, because I'm going to attack two institutions that have impressed me greatly over the years: Christianity ... and Urban Meyer. My thoughts on Meyer were made clear a few paragraphs ago (perhaps the greatest coach, etc.). And as for Christianity? Not to get too deep into things, but church has been a huge part of my life over the years. Done the baptism (twice). Done the tithing. Done the small groups and the volunteering and so forth.
This begs the question that if the church has been "a huge part of [his] life," why he would react so viscerally to Tebow increasing interest among college sports fans in the Bible and Christianity. Instead Doyel blasts the "exclusionary" nature of Tebow's evangelistic zeal, perhaps forgetting that SEC football lends itself heavily, in its rivalries, to exclusionary "idolatry."
What's more, these idolatries are predicated on team loyalty, not something of more eternal worth such as, I dunno, the nature of God and man's ultimate responsibility to Him.
Perhaps Doyel's real problem is that his sacred cow -- keeping Christianity a private matter divorced from public life -- has been gored by Tebow's example.