With the impending restart of Tebow’s football career as a quarterback in the National Football League, we at AnswersFromMen.com decided to run the this article again. From September 20, 2012, we give you what would happen if Tim Tebow were a Black man.
Very rarely is it a good idea to broach the subject of race in any public forum, but this question was posed by a few readers who regularly read the “Ask A Black Guy” columns. Rather than referring this one to one of our resident African American correspondents, AnswersFromMen.com decided to ask one of our Caucasian writers the same question. Somehow, he arrived at the same answer about Tim Tebow.
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Tim Tebow. Though I do not like how often religion is thrown around a sports arena whenever Tebow is present, I definitely respect any man with the type of conviction that Timothy Richard Tebow has displayed regularly since his college days at Florida. And, the man is a winner. Yes, winning is a function of how talented and productive the rest of your team actually is, but in the waning moments of any game Tebow makes the necessary plays.
However, the question that was posed was, “What if Tim Tebow was Black?” or more to the point, “How would Tim Tebow’s career be different if he was Black?” I firmly believe that Tim Tebow would have a completely different career if he was a Black man. He has some major shortcomings as a NFL quarterback though he continues to get chances to play that position. Tim Tebow is not an NFL quarterback. He is too inaccurate. He is too unsettled in the pocket. He is too far along in his football maturation to change the parts of his game that can make him a good quarterback. The only reason that Tim Tebow is still being given a shot as a pocket passer in the league is because he is a very handsome, very Christian White man.
America by and large is a conservative, Christian nation. We believe in the God, we believe in hard work, we believe that everyone is special, and we believe that every man, woman, or child has the right to pursue his or her dreams. And, Tim Tebow is the embodiment of the American dream. He is chastened to his morals. He is a dilligent worker with immense talent. And, he is following his dream. Americans, especially most White Americans, see themselves in him. And, I see a little bit of him in me. Older men and women remember the purity of their career goals when they first began their adult lives. They see a man that they would want their daughters to marry, and a man that they would want their sons to emulate. Children see a role model who always tries to do the right thing regardless of how difficult it may seem, and a person who chases his dreams with wild abandon. Tebow’s peers know him as a tireless worker and a fierce competitor on the football field. He represents the ideals of the working class, the aspirations of the middle class, and carries himself like a superstar without the attitude and self-absorption. By all accounts from which people are measured, Tim Tebow is a great man.
However, Tim Tebow is not a great quarterback. Tim Tebow has a career pass completion percentage of 47.3% ,and no starter in NFL history has thrown for a completion percentage under 48% since the 1965 season. Only 5 players have ever passed the football at a lower completion rate than Tebow. JaMarcus Russell, a strong armed Black quarterback who could not get his receivers the ball in the league was out of the NFL after three seasons. Tebow’s race plays a large part in his public perception and his acceptance in the NFL. Michael Bishop, a prolific, strong-armed Black quarterback from Kansas State entered the NFL as an athlete because no one believed he could be a NFL QB. He was out of the league in a year. One of the better wideouts in NFL history, Hines Ward, was converted from quarterback once he left Georgia. Pat White of West Virginia completed 64.8% of his throws in college, passed for 56 TD’s, and ran for 47, but has been a gimmick player at best for his one year in the NFL. People compare Tim Tebow to Kordell Stewart (another Black quarterback) when they want to validate his position as a running quarterback, but there is no comparison. In his worst season as a pro, Kordell Stewart completed 50.2% and scored 7 touchdowns in 7 starts. In his best season, Tebow completed 46.5% of his passes with 12 touchdowns. Kordell Stewart has two seasons of 3,000+ passing yards, and in his best season he was an All-Pro, completing 60.2% of his passes with 14 passing TD’s not including his rushing scores. Kordell Stewart, an All-Pro, spent his first few seasons playing running back because no one believed that he could be a NFL quarterback. Warren Moon of the Houston Oilers spent the early years of his career in the AFL because no one believed that a Black quarterback could lead a team. Moon went on to have a Hall of Fame career as a quarterback, and is one of the most prolific passers to ever play the game professionally. Though Tim Tebow is one of the most public figures in football over the last two years, he does not even compare favorably to an average quarterback in league much less a Hall of Fame guy. His pass completion percentage is the lowest since Akili Smith’s 44.2% for the Cincinnati Bengals in the year 2000. Who is Akili Smith, you ask? Akili Smith is who Tim Tebow would be if he was black. Akili Smith is a quarterback that could not get his receivers the football, and was kicked out of the league in two years. He was woefully inadequate in the pocket and the Bengals removed him from the field despite taking him with their first pick. Unfortunately for Akili, he does not have Tebow’s skin color or personal convictions.
If Tim Tebow was not White, he would not be a backup quarterback in the NFL. He would be forced to play tight end or running back where he could utilize his skills and actually flourish. Tim is big and athletic. He is quick and decisive on his feet. But most of all, he is difficult to tackle. He has the talent to play in the National Football League, but he does not have the arm to do so. And, if Tim Tebow was Black, the rest of America would have realized that already.