Welcome to issue 4 of the Tendown, my Countdown of the very best things that happened in the culture this week; last week, I talked about Sam sending Diane a telegram on the last epsiode of Cheers 16 1/2 years ago, so I'm clearly trying to keep things current. Let me put my Bell Biv Devoe cassette in my boom box (I don't ever trust a big butt and a smile. Ronald Bivens is very wise) and start the Tendown!
1st....Kirk Hiner Hates Madonna
Not more than a couple years after Sam wrote that telegram, I began my fruitless internet writing career; one of my very first essays was entitled Kirk Hiner Hates Madonna, explaining (with benefit of an X/Y axis) that it wasn't jealousy or shadenfreude which leads to our sometimes seemingly outsized dislike of particular public figures, that instead it's the distance of the level of acclaim they receive from the level of acclaim we perceive they deserve. Kirk Hiner had a passionate dislike of Madonna twenty years ago; mentioning her in his presence would have brought forth a torrent of furious invective. Today, I'm guessing he views her the way all right thinking people do. As the finest, sexiest, most talented woman who ever lived.
Last night, the biggest roar during the SEC Championship game took place when the above screen capture was shown on the jumbo video board - the moment when Tim Tebow cried.
That roar was matched by the one coming from my house. And that's because Jim Jividen Hates Tim Tebow.
Scott Van Pelt and Michael Wilbon, in their separate ESPN platforms, considered the issue of the Tebow backlash this week; SVP (talented, but exposed in the daily radio format) concluded that the reason people (like me) dislike Tebow is because there's no reason to dislike him, and that drives people crazy; Wilbon (more talented and less exposed) with the PTI topic clock ticking, said if you meet Tebow for 30 seconds you can't help but love the guy and any other opinion is not worth considering.
They're wrong. I hate Tim Tebow because as opposed to looking at him as Chris Weinke or Gino Torretta or Tommie Frazier or Charlie Ward - the discussion about Tebow has been "is he the greatest college football player who ever lived" and is he the finest man alive?
A year ago, in the national title game that Florida won't be returning to, Fox play-by-play man Thom Brennaman not only said "if you're fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it," but followed that up by saying that a prior claim by an Oklahoma cornerback that Tebow would be the 4th best QB in the Big 12 was "probably the most ridiculous thing ever said," and that a subsequent unsportsmanlike conduct penalty given to Tebow was "the first thing he's ever done wrong." Last night, even as Florida was taking a terrific beating from the Crimson Tide (and more importantly for my purposes, was far away from covering that pretty clearly Tebow-inflated 5 1/2 pt spread) the game narrative focused on the guts and glory and heart and determination and all that's masculine and right about America in a Tim Tebow shaped box. With 11 minutes left and trailing by three scores, Gary Danielson noted that if Tebow could muster up the fortitude to bring his team back (Tebow had, after all, been giving his defense a stirring sideline speech not long before, and as the sports media decided a year ago, the power of his words alone can move men to greatness) he would be the slam dunk Heisman winner (my Heisman ballot (1) Ndamukong Suh (2) Toby Gerhart (3) Mark Ingram). The thrust and effect of the game story was entirely wrapped up in how it impacts Tebow, not unlike the way every Brett Favre game has been analyzed since 1998, and it always reminds me of a Kids in the Hall sketch in which Scott played a French whore, constantly rhapsodizing about an unseen man named Tony "wondering where he could be, who is he with, what is he thinking, is he thinking of me, and whether he'll ever return someday." I expect there will be a Florida Gator game next season where the announcer will approximate something along those lines and then shudder with orgasm.
The Sports Media Industrial Complex wants to remove from Tim Tebow the burden of his self-confessed virginity is my point. He's had a terrific career, probably isn't much of a pro prospect, and likes to talk about Jesus a whole lot; everything beyond that is excessive, and it's everything beyond that which is why his tears got cheers. Especially from my house.
After the jump - the Rest of the Best Things to Happen This Week.