Move over, Keith, there’s a new number 17 in town and he’s got everyone going so LINsane that those all-night disco-caine parties from ’86 look like an afternoon tea. That’s right, folks. Just when you thought you might finally be over that Tim Tebow hangover, in walks the first EVER American born Chinese to play in the NBA. And boy can he play!
(If you don’t know who Jeremy Lin is by now, then it’s time to OPEN YOUR EYES)
Don’t worry, I’m not gonna go into some long philosophical diatribe on how Lin’s soft swishing three serves as the perfect metaphor for a hard-working, faith-based US American populous because, as you might already know, THAT’S CRAZY TALK.
What I am going to do is urge you to jump on board the LINvincible Train so you’re not all alone out there on Planet Boring. Besides overusing the same lame LIN puns, the LINvincible Train also features dramatic spin-moves and celebrity bandwagoneers… like the Colorado Rockies’ Jeremy Guthrie!
It’s amazing what getting out of Baltimore can do for a pitcher’s offseason creativity.
G’head, Jeremy! Yer doin’ it right!
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The unofficial start of the baseball season is fast approaching and that can mean only one thing. It’s almost time for season three of Eastbound & Down!
For those of you who have not yet succumbed to that lovable scamp, Kenny Powers, you owe it to yourself to check him out. And if you’ve checked him out previously and didn’t care for his blatant racism, misogyny and general ignorance, well, you probably have a good point. But me, I can’t wait for Kenny to get back on the field.
See, Kenny Powers isn’t like the rest of us. I could try to explain but I think it’s better to just let him do it in his own words: “…From one Gifted Young Athlete to another: don’t kill yourself trying to make sense of all the madness…It’s not our fault we’re awesome, playboy. It’s Jesus’s.”
Muslims don’t have a tradition of proselytizing. Sure, they conquered other societies and let them convert if they wanted to, but sending people out as missionaries wasn’t really part of the program. Even now, Muslim societies with money tend to send that money to Muslim neighbors to strengthen whatever sect within the religion they support. In short, it’s not very likely that a Saudi is going to knock on your door anytime soon and ask if you’ve had a chance to meet Allah.
In the US, we’ve taken a slightly different tack. Instead of breaking away from the missionary traditions of our European forefathers, we’ve taken it to all new heights. It’s not enough that American churches feel compelled to send evangelical missionaries all over the world to teach and convert, they also do the same at home. And all too often these efforts are aimed at the most vulnerable among us: children.
It’s not just churches. It’s also role models like sports stars. When Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin go beyond sports and feel the need to bring Jesus up in every interview, it’s a message to children. It’s proselytizing. When Josh Hamilton has to tell people that Jesus saved him from the drugs, that’s a message to children as well. And as far as I’m concerned, raping children’s minds in this way is just as bad as what someone like Jerry Sandusky did.
There’s a very simple solution to all this:
So, how about it people? How about we keep it in our pants? I won’t show you mine if you don’t show me yours.
When Josh Hamilton says, “It’s a god thing,” he’s applauded for standing up for his faith. When Tim Tebow kneels down and prays, 43% of people who know of Tebow think that god helps him win. And when Muhammad Ali cited his faith as the impetus for his conscientious objection to the draft, America celebrates his principled stand. Oh, wait. I guess that’s not exactly what happened.
You can argue that Ali is different because of patriotism or the like but it’s hard to say that patriotism alone accounts for what happened to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf while playing for the Denver Nuggets. The truth of the matter is, despite our vaunted “Freedom of Religion,” the expression of that freedom really only seems to apply to Protestant Christians and the occasional Catholic. And let’s face it, if you ask the question “What if Tim Tebow were Muslim?” you already know the answer. God help him if he were an out-and-proud atheist.
I’ve never understood the religious conservatives’ fascination with what goes on in the bedroom. It took until 2003 for the Supreme Court to strike down a Texas law prohibiting sodomy and even today, despite the overturning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and multiple polls showing that a majority of Americans now support a homosexual couples’ right to marry, these same religious conservatives continue to use people’s private lives as a wedge to drive us apart.
So, what’s truly going on here? Do they really feel so strongly about what goes where behind closed doors or is there something more to it?
Sadly, it seems to be the latter even though it has also become cliche. Take the story of Roberto Arango, for instance. The nadir of this sordid tale isn’t so much the part where the guy who opposes gay adoption rights posts naked pictures of himself spreading his cheeks on the internet. No, it’s the excuse that follows: “You know I’ve been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I’ve been taking pictures.”
But there’s always an excuse, isn’t there? There’s an excuse for how the gay porn shot ended up on a site called Grindr just like there’s an excuse for why people’s private lives should be legislated. If you left it up to people like Rick Santorum and Tim Tebow, everyone would wait until they were married to have sex (heterosexual, of course) and even then, it would only be missionary and with the lights off. Yes, this is the same Tim Tebow who kissed a guy full on the lips after the biggest (and only) victory of his NFL career.
It’s the height of hypocrisy because the same guys who tell you what you can and can’t do in the privacy of your bedroom will get full up in your face if you question why they feel the need to flaunt their faith in front of everyone on the field and millions of TV viewers. They call it their “testimony” but I call it hypocrisy and it’s that hypocrisy that makes the “Tebowing” phenomenon so hilarious. It’s what makes me laugh whenever I see a replay of Stephen Tulloch sacking Tebow then dropping to a knee to “Tebow” right next to him. It’s also what makes me crazy when people start going off on Tulloch and calling him “un-Christian” because of the move. Get out of our bedrooms and get off of Tulloch’s case.
Ultimately, the Republicans and especially the religious zealots of the party would be better served if they took a moment and listened to Clint Eastwood. When asked about gay marriage by GQ, he responded, “We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of.”
Now that, my friends, is a true patriot. Too bad no one actually listens to him. Not like they do Tebow, at least. On the bright side, though, if Tebow continues to play the way he did against the Lions, the only testimony he’ll provide is how quickly a QB can get bounced out of the NFL.
I grew up in a very Christian house and I remember being tickled pink whenever one of my sports heroes would thank god after a big win. Every Lions fan knew that Barry Sanders and JC were tight. One of my earliest baseball memories is Frank Tanana on TV thanking the big guy for helping him win the game that clinched the division and got the Tigers into the 1987 ALCS with the Twins.
But I started to wonder a few years ago: How come god plays favorites like that? I mean, why did he help out Tanana that afternoon but then totally leave the Tigers hanging out to dry in the actual playoffs? Were the Twins fans just praying harder?
Finally I realized that it has nothing to do with god at all. If Dave Dravecky and Orel Hershiser, two incredibly (some might say fanatically) devout Christians, pitched against each other, god didn’t magically flip a coin and decide which one of his children would win and which would lose. Either they made their pitches and got run support or they lost.
I guess my point is that I’d like to see us get beyond all of this. Tim Tebow didn’t win a national championship for Florida because Jesus came down and guided his passes. He won because he spent hours on the field and in the weight room preparing for those games. I’m guessing Tanana did the same thing. In fact, if there’s anything that should make you wonder about the possibility of divine intervention, consider David Wells. How that man can launch that girth out of bed every morning, much less throw a perfect game, is the only evidence of miracles that I’ve ever seen.