NORMAN — One of the perks of covering the Oklahoma City Thunder is that they provide the media with a nice pregame meal. It varies from game to game, but more often than not, it’s a good meal.
Before I leave the dining area, I usually have a conversation with one of the Thunder employees. She asks me how my day is going, about the game that night and whatever else is on her mind. But last week she asked me who I was pulling for in the playoff game between the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.
When I told her I wanted the Steelers to win because I can’t stand the Broncos and Tim Tebow, she made the statement that the only reason I hate Tebow is because he prays during games.
I tried to explain to her that that was not the case. That when he was in Florida he beat Oklahoma, that he’s being treated differently than other quarterbacks who has the same limited skill set, etc. She wasn’t having none of it. No matter what I said, she stood by her belief that I was part of the ever increasing collection of Tebow haters, that is growing just as fast as the Tebow-maniacs, because of his fervent religious beliefs.
Tebow has become the most polarizing person in the world of sports. He is no longer just a sports topic, but a national debate involving religion, race, privilege and class. And media outlets are falling over each over to cover it at ad-nauseam. Some more than others.
ESPN has become Tim Tebow central. You can’t go 10 minutes on any of its seemingly hundreds of channels without seeing something on him. That includes the shows that have nothing to do with the NFL.