Deep-Seated Anxieties

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Football fans know that the biggest phenomenon in the sport today is the amazing success of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, the former University of Florida star who led his college team to the national championship. Tebow has been a pro for two years and has struggled. He finally became the starting quarterback for the Broncos eight weeks ago after nearly all the bigshot commentators claimed that he just wasn’t professional quarterback material. (Boomer Esiason said “he can’t throw”). His team has won seven of the last eight games, almost all of them with miraculous fourth quarter or overtime come-backs, and everyone knows that he has been the main ingredient in the Bronco’s success.

Tim Tebow is also a devout Christian who is not ashamed to thank God in public for giving him his extraordinary athletic gifts. He doesn’t do extravagant victory dances like dozens of other players do after nearly every successful play. He merely kneels and says a short prayer on the sidelines every once in a while, usually after the game is over.

Well, this religious “spectacle” has caused what the War Street Journal calls “deep-seated anxiety in American society about the intertwining of religion and sport.” Huh? I’ve been a sports fan all my life and have watched baseball players wearing Christian crosses, home-run hitters pointing to the sky to thank God for the home run, NFL players kneeling in a circle praying when one of their fellow players is injured, etc., etc. Tim Tebow is not the first athlete to thank God in public for his abilities. When the great Sandy Kofax refused to pitch for the L.A. Dodgers in a Saturday world series game because it was the Jewish sabbath there was no proclamation of “deep-seated anxieities in American society” because of it.

The most striking thing about the MSM’s pronouncements about the alleged national anxiety (a pure myth by the way; there is no such thing as a national anxiety meter) about Tebow is that there has been no mention of any kind, anywhere, of the grotesque, statist militarization of professional sports. It is very common to watch an NFL football game that is preceded by the unraveling of an American flag the size of the entire football field, soldiers with guns marching across the field, sometimes by the hundreds, and even fighter jets flying over the stadium, all followed by taxpayer-funded television commercials urging more teenage boys to become canon fodder for the state by joining the military. The War Street Journal will never publish an article about anyone being a bit anxious about the “intertwining” of sports and statism as long as the variety of statism on display is military imperialism.

7:47 am on December 12, 2011