Why Was Tim Tebow the Most Hated Quarterback in the NFL?

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After watching the Denver Broncos bow out of the 2011 NFL Playoffs against the New England Patriots, I could not help but wonder just why certain people hate Tim Tebow so much. Of course he has just as many if not more fans than haters, yet I still cannot lose track of the fact that people seem to hate him with the same passion that people hate on whole teams like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, or Duke Blue Devils.

I guess to fully understand the hate directed towards him, you have to have a grip on just why people love him in the first place. Tebow was a highly-decorated high school football player who went on to further glory at the University of Florida. While he was a member of the Florida Gators football team, he managed to win two National Championships as well as the Heisman Trophy as the nation's top collegiate football player.

After college, Tebow was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He played limited minutes in his rookie season as a Bronco, but came in almost midway through his second season to lead the Broncos to the playoffs. Attention to Tim Tebow is not only limited to the football field however. He has also been a very vocal supporter of his Christian faith, and has taken time to do mission work in the Philippines as well.

Most people would read that description and wonder how people can dislike someone with those accolades and achievements, but when it comes to Tim Tebow there is definitely a flip-side. There are fans of the game who feel that the amount of attention that he receives is not in line with his actual talent as a quarterback. There are also believers that his fan-base may be more influenced by his faith than his production on the field. Individuals have also brought into question how Tebow seems to get all of the glory after victories despite the play of his teammates. With these points in mind, take a deeper look into the reasons why some people hate him.

His Passing Ability Is Overrated

One of the reasons that people seem to dislike Tim Tebow is that as a quarterback, he does not have the typical skill set that NFL fans are used to seeing. Tebow's talents lie in his bruising running game in a spread option type of offense. This was evident when he won the Heisman Trophy and helped the University of Florida win two national titles.

Despite his ability to make quick decisions on hand-offs and runs up the middle of the field, Tebow never came across as much of a drop back quarterback. His detractors often point to his long throwing motion as one of his negatives because it gives opposing defenses time to either sack him or catch up to open receivers.

Opposing fans and even some NFL players have credited Tebow for being a great competitor, but stop well short of calling him a great quarterback. Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher even went so far as to say that Tebow was "a good running back".

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Joey Porter took it a step further with his assessment of Tebow:

"Everybody had Tebow fever last year, you know what I mean? They went crazy for what he did. I mean, but it's not like he really won games the traditional way. He won eight games, and the way he did it was a lot of good defense, a lot of good plays, onside kick, field goal kicker had the best year he ever had."
— Joey Porter


Had Tim Tebow stepped in and delivered more as a passer, you can't help but think that he may have silenced some of his critics. Many people will point to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and say that he is a version of what Tebow could/should be. Newton entered the NFL as a run-first quarterback, but quickly showed off his passing abilities and maintained them throughout his rookie season. Many doubters are wondering if Tebow will ever have that same level of comfort in the passing game. If he doesn't, it's likely that some people will never view him as a true quarterback.

Year
Tm
Cmp
Att
Cmp%
Yds
TD
Int
2010
DEN
41
82
50.0
654
5
3
2011
DEN
126
271
46.5
1729
12
6
2012
NYJ
6
8
75.0
39
0
0
Career
 
173
361
47.9
2422
17
9
NFL Career Passing Statistics Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com

The Media Is Obsessed with Tebow-Mania

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When sports media finds a good story, they love to put it on the front page. When they find a great story, they tend to ride it until something else comes along. When it comes to Tim Tebow, the media starts to revolve all other news stories around him. For many people this constant media obsession is the reason that they hate Tim Tebow.

From the moment that Tebow took over the starting job for the Denver Broncos in week 6 of the 2011 season, he was a mainstay on most sports news shows. Even while other quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady out up historic passing numbers, it seemed as if Tebow was always the main story on the news. In spite of the Green Bay Packers making a run at an undefeated season late into the year, the media focused its eyes on Tebow's run just to get the Broncos into the playoffs.

Unfortunately media exposure can often work the opposite of the way it is intended. For as many new fans as Tebow may have received from being plastered on television sets and newspapers, he had to have received just as many haters who were simply tired of hearing about him all the time.

Did Tim Tebow deserve all of the media attention he got in the NFL?

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What About His Teammates?

Tim Tebow haters will make this argument dating all the way back to his college years. They will state that he has always been surrounded by talented players which make it easier for his team to win. By winning, the credit always gets deflected back onto Tebow whether or not it is rightfully deserved.

Tebow's college teams at the University of Florida were loaded with talent, including many players that are currently playing in the NFL. However when it comes time to assess the Gators win-loss record while Tebow was in college, nobody seems to recall the importance of the other players on the field. If you were to ask some people, you may think that Tebow played every position on the field for the whole game. There is no denying that as quarterback he held more influence over the game than most, but the amount of credit he received for his college victories is stunning.

During his playoff run with the Denver Broncos in 2011, Tebow received a similar amount of credit for the victories that his team achieved. Many NFL fans and some analysts argued that the true reason for Denver's success was the play of their defense during their wins. However many Tebow fans simply credited the quarterback and his winning mentality for the reason that the Broncos made it into the playoffs.

The Blurred Line Between Religion and Football

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It is impossible to state why people do not like Tim Tebow without mentioning the role that his faith plays in it. To view the point as if people hate Tim Tebow just because he is a vocal Christian is too simple. I think that people there are a ton of people who could care less what religion Tim Tebow is as long as he plays hard and gets his team a win on Sunday. Many NFL fans just do not want to be subjected to religion while they are watching their sports. These same fans smirked when players knelt in the end zone after scoring touchdowns or mentioned their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in post-game interviews.

However with Tebow, you not only get a player who wears his faith on his sleeve, but you also get a legion of fans who seem to love him more for his faith than for his actual ability. This same group of fans who start to question whether the Broncos winning streak was more of a divine intervention than the result of the effort of the players on the field. It was even mentioned after one game whether Tebow's 316 yards passing may have been connected to the Bible verse John 3:16. This may be easy for some to overlook, but for many others it is just another reason to cheer against Tim Tebow.

Love/Hate Relationship

It is safe to say that whether you love or hate Tim Tebow that there are strong reasons for doing so. For as many reasons as I laid forth there are tons of others why people do not like him, and even more reasons why people are his biggest fans. One thing that you cannot question is that he is a talented, driven athlete who loves playing the game of football, and that his teammates seem to enjoy playing with him. At the end of the day, that should be all that matters.

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