Luther Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Campbell tells Tim Tebow that his calling is outside of football.
For the first time in the history of the NFL, a player is actually bigger than the game. Like Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is a worldwide athlete. The league needs him more than he needs it.
Even nonfootball fans want to know why everyone is talking about this white kid spreading the gospel on the field. More than 40 million people tuned in to NBC last Saturday night to see Tom Brady and the New England Patriots pound Tebow and the Broncos. Two weeks ago, the Broncos-Steelers matchup received the highest TV rating in 24 years for a wildcard game. According to CBS, an average of 25.9 percent of homes in the top 56 U.S. television markets saw Tebow win his first playoff game by throwing an 80-yard touchdown pass.
No other player has been vilified for his belief in Jesus Christ like Tebow has. "Tebowing" has become a way to make fun of the guy. On a site called Tebowing.com, Santa Claus is shown kneeling and praying the same way as the Heisman Trophy-winning former Florida Gator. So are a bunch of toddlers. And of course they sell T-shirts. A pair of guy's football pants, which a jokester claims he puts on "two legs at a time," sold for thousands on eBay. Saturday Night Live even did a sketch in which Jesus suggests that Tebow "take it down a notch" on the worshipping and "read the playbook" if he wants to win.
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That's why it's time for him to quit. Tebow could fill a stadium with 70,000 people who want to hear him sermonize. If I were his advisor, I'd tell him to retire while he's ahead.
No matter how much he succeeded this season, the guy will always face unrelenting criticism because he is not the prototypical franchise quarterback.
Tebow can afford to walk away in his prime. Both the quarterback and the American people would be better served if he were spreading his gospel.
Follow Campbell on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.