The Tebow Effect: When Sports and Politics Collide
Who will it be first this week? Romney? Santorum? Perry? Gingrich? Paul? No, not who’ll be on top following Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary or after South Carolina’s vote. But which GOP candidate will be the first to mention the name of someone who’s getting as much, or more, attention tonight than all of them combined… Tim Tebow?
It’s Tebow Time again. I just got through watching the Denver Broncos’ Tim Tebow toss an 80 yard TD pass to stun the favored Pittsburgh Steelers in OT. And Twitter is lighting up with Tebow tweets. For a while anything #Tebow was the top trending topic. Here are a few samples:
- #Tebow threw for 316 yards…John 3:16. Coincidence? I think not (re-tweeted 100+).
- Even Chuck Norris is afraid of #Tebow.
- The last time a white Bronco got this much attention, OJ was in it!
- If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon there’s plenty of room #Tebow
There’s room on that bandwagon for politicians too. They’re not dumb. They know who’s popular, who people are talking about, who people LOVE! While Tim Tebow and his squeaky clean beliefs are mocked by some, they’re admired by others. Many, many others. No, more like adored. Actually, working Tebow into their speeches is nothing new for the presidential hopefuls in their search for votes. In Iowa last month, Rick Perry was asked if his speaking skills would hurt him against Barack Obama:
“There are a lot of folks that said Tim Tebow wasn’t going to be a very good NFL quarterback. There are a lot of people who stood up and said he doesn’t have the right throwing mechanisms, or he’s not playing the game right. And, uh, he won two national championships and that looked pretty good. We were the national champions in job creation back in Texas. So, but am I ready for the next level? Let me tell you, I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses.”
And in one of her TV ads in Iowa, Michele Bachmann compared herself to Tebow, both victims of a “love to hate” relationship because of their outspoken Christian views.
So which candidate will link themselves to Tebow first, after Sunday’s Hail Tebow pass in Denver to pick up more votes? Then again, maybe none of them will. Perry is now on early primary life support after a dismal showing in Iowa, and Bachmann’s presidential hopes have flatlined.. To many, Tim Tebow may be godlike, but just mentioning his name isn’t enough to save a political career.