If you happened to be tuned into a television set at around 8 PM ET on Sunday night, you might have noticed that Tebowmania was once again in full effect.
But even this impartial observer thinks it has reached grotesque heights.
Let’s get NFL Network out of the way first. During the “NFL Gameday Highlights” show on Sunday nights over the last several weeks – okay, maybe not so much the last three weeks during the Broncos’ regular-season-ending three-game losing streak (more on that later) – over Broncos highlights, you are treated to hearing Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci and Michael Irvin engage in the most over-the-top gushfest for Tim Tebow that you have ever heard: they all sing Tebow’s name in unison to the “Oh-Ee-Oh” song from “The Wizard Of Oz.” In fact, right after Denver’s overtime win over Pittsburgh, Eisen, who said it was “breathtaking how things just seem to revolve around Tim Tebow” admitted that he’ll be expecting feedback from viewers via Twitter “that I’m all breathless about it.” He then proceeds to ask Sanders if he’s ever seen such a phenomenon as Tebow “in both sports” (the Hall of Fame cornerback also played outfielder on five different baseball teams in the 1990’s). Though Eisen did have a popular line on the Steelers’ final play in regulation: “You can’t beat Tim Tebow with a Hail Mary.” (Ironically, the Broncos receiver who caught the decisive touchdown, Demaryius Thomas, has the word “Mary” in his first name.)
Then there’s CBS. The network which, you may recall, fought to the death to keep a regular-season Broncos/Patriots game from NBC for flexing on “Sunday Night Football.”
Now, there will be a rematch of that game that NBC won’t even have a say in asking for.
First of all, congratulations to Jim Nantz for finally breaking his personal “Tebow curse” in a big way. I’ve already gone into detail about how the curse had fallen into place during the aforementioned three-game losing streak to close out the Broncos’ regular season. And Nantz reversed it in a big way. Despite losing a 20-6 lead to the Steelers, who were favored by eight points on the road, the Broncos eventually prevailed in the first sudden death overtime period with modified rules ever played, that lasted all of eleven seconds. Kim Kardashian probably had – or will have – marriages that lasted longer than that overtime period.
Yes, I realize that it was just coincidence that the Broncos had lost three games in a row, with Nantz calling all of them. But you can’t help but wonder if he himself was even aware of it. You could just hear the anger seep out in his voice as the Steelers, down seven points in the fourth quarter, had recovered a Broncos fumble. Or how Nantz had been keeping track of the number of consecutive Broncos possessions without a touchdown, going back to Week 16 – a streak that would end at 21. And can you sense the sighs of relief Nantz exhibited as he called the winning touchdown? (Or as he would be wont to say, “touch?” He has a tendency of referring to a “first down” as simply a “first.”)
As much as Nantz and Simms showed their composure for most of the game, CBS’ postgame crew did the exact opposite. It may have been an extremely abbreviated edition (around this time, “60 Minutes” was already 70 minutes late on the East Coast) but the way it was punctuated might just make any sports journalist, or anyone aspiring to be a sports journalist, lose their lunch.
Watch as James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason close the segment by, you guessed it, Tebowing.
I can see three former NFL players doing it out of respect for Tim Tebow, and the game. But a former NFL coach in Bill Cowher, who may very well return to the sidelines in the future? Shame on you.
In fact, Cowher is guilty for leading the rest of the gang in the group Tebowing.
I’m afraid I’ll have to side with that follower. or Dave Griffiths, who replies to Reilly’s figure that “60/40 say no”: “Journalists: 100/0 yes.”
Look: by no means am I outlawing Tebowing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Unless you’re an announcer or an analyst with a distinctive track record. Then, there’s a problem.
I may give three-fifths of the CBS crew and most of the NFL Network crew somewhat of a free pass (notice that it’s Eisen that enables the other NFL Network analysts with that Tim Tebow “song” of theirs). But Bill Cowher was wrong in egging on the other CBS analysts in the studio with a collective Tebowing. Especially if his name is being mentioned around this time every year whenever there’s a head-coaching vacancy.
People on Twitter are actually linking to photos of the CBS crew Tebowing and adding “LOL” and “LMAO” to their tweets.
That’s not the kind of legacy that Bill Cowher would want to leave in his coaching career.
I don’t think that’s the kind of legacy he wants to leave should he ever resume his coaching career, either.
That would be, as another Tweep might put it, pathetic.