Not many blog-post comments earn items of their own -- but that was the case with a screed on a Bleacher Report piece arguing why fans should root for Tim Tebow over questionable role models like Donte Stallworth, Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick.
Indeed, NFL Draft Notebook has offered not one but two shout-outs to Gerald Ball, who takes on everyone whose "whole agenda and motivation is the failure of EVERYONE to universally bow down and worship at Tebow's cult of personality."
Ball's point is that it's possible to love Tebow as a person without buying into the idea that he can become a great (or even good) NFL quarterback. Besides, he adds:
Tebow is FAR from the first or only person of exemplary character and/or strong religious conviction in the NFL. What you want Tebow to get so much credit for, other guys have always done and stood for, and gotten absolutely nothing, and this includes guys who are treated with disrespect by their fans and organizations. The NFL is FULL of evangelical Christians. The NFL is FULL of guys who don't get into trouble. The NFL is FULL of guys who do great charity and community work. There are LOTS of guys in the NFL who have been on overseas charity and missionary trips. Most of these guys get NO MEDIA ATTENTION for the good that they do other than a one sentence blurb in the paper IF they win that "NFL man of the year" charity work award, yet you Tebow fans want the whole sports world to pretend as if Tebow is unique, a noble prince in a league filled with zoo animals and savages.
Ball concludes with this:
Even if Tebow wins 7 Super Bowls for Denver while throwing for 5,000 yards and rushing for 1000 yards a season, people are still going to hate his guts, including but certainly not limited to Raiders, Chargers and Chiefs fans, and others are going to attribute his success to having a great team around him. That is just the way the sports world is, and that would be true whether Tebow were Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or atheist. Grow up and accept it.
These assertions prompted commenter H. Pell to respond: "Call it a cult of personality, call it what you will, but the fact remains there simply hasn't been another quarterback in history with his athleticism, his success on the field, his evangelical nature, and his charisma."
Not true, argues Ball, whose reply earned that second NFL Draft Notebook item.
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"Wrong, wrong, wrong," he writes. "Vince Young, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Matt Jones, Pat White, John Elway, Randall Cunningham, Steve McNair, Charlie Ward and Terrelle Pryor would run circles around Tim Tebow athletically. Vince Young, McNabb, Cunningham, and Ward are all evangelical Christians: Baptists. Also, Vince Young and Charlie Ward let their teams to the same number of national titles that Tebow did: 1. Young and Ward had better records as starters. Pat White was 4-0 in bowl games, a record. Goodness, Ward won a national title in football and played on an Elite Eight basketball team in the same year. McNabb played on a Final Four basketball team in addition to being the Big East player of the decade in football.
"Please, end the hyperbole."
Where's the fun in that?