Insane, I know, but look at it this way: If Tebow and that gimpy read-option offense find a way to beat the Pack, it’ll be proof positive that the End Times are upon us. And in that case, everyone’s going on a rampage. I’ve already got a shotgun, a machete, and a camouflage Broncos number 15 jersey ready for self-defense, just in case.
I wonder if Aaron Rodgers realizes he might soon be atheism’s greatest champion.
People are always looking for signs of God’s beneficence, and a victory by the Orange Crush over the blue-clad Patriots, from the bluest of blue states, will give fodder to a Christian revivalism that has already turned the Republican presidential race into a pander-thon to social conservatives, rekindling memories of those cultural icons of the ‘80s, the Moral Majority and “Hee Haw.” The culture wars are alive and well, and, if the current climate in Washington is any indicator, the motors are being revved up for what will undoubtedly be the most cantankerous Presidential campaign ever. When supposedly well-educated candidates publicly question overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change and evolution and then gain electoral traction by fabricating conspiracies about a war on Christmas, these are not rational times…
If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.
I admire much of what Tebow stands for. His mom’s decision to risk her own life rather than abort her fetus flies against my own – and Judaism’s – values, but neither am I pro-choice in all cases. His story is so improbable that if he were to win it all, a part of me would be wondering whether there is a Purpose behind it, just as I saw a divine hand in the equally unbelievable Red Sox victory of 2004. And it makes me wonder whether other Jews, the ones who don’t happen to have advanced degrees in religion and a few decades of rabbinic experience, might be even more seduced by this unfolding drama. Will legions of Southern Baptist missionaries hit the college campuses the very next day, spreading this new gospel of Tim? Already there is a “Jews for Tebow” Facebook page.
I know what you’re thinking, but no, this is really only the second-worst sports column ever. Still bad enough, though, that the middle paragraph quoted above has now been quietly expunged from the original op-ed at Jewish Week; I had to crib it from Dan Foster’s blockquote in his post at The Corner. (Foster also had a nifty piece last week at NRO exploring why Tebowmania has hit a cultural nerve.) The whole thing smacks of those urban legends about a spike in domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday but larded up with a religious paranoia that’s actually bizarrely flattering to Tebow. Hammerman seems to think TT really might be magical; if he took the Broncos all the way, this doofus could have an honest-to-goodness crisis of faith about it. (Just wondering: What exactly does he think the 2004 Red Sox’s role in the divine plan is?) Personally, I can’t bring myself to root against Tebow, however deep our religious differences, just because he’s a consummate scrappy underdog in a league full of more talented guys and because, as Foster explained in his NRO piece, his sheer earnestness is refreshing and endearing. He’s Rudy with a Bible, basically. In a world full of people worth disliking, why would you dislike that guy?
Exit prediction: My Jets, the least likeable team in the league, will bump off the Broncos in the AFC playoffs in a classic triumph of evil over good, thereby sparing Hammerman the ordeal of watching Christians high-fiving on the day after the Super Bowl or whatever.
Update: And now the entire op-ed is gone at Jewish Week.
Update: Via Breitbart TV, “The Five” talked about this today and even Beckel was underwhelmed.