The Prick of the Pick

by Nathan Gunter


Look. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I was the only gay dude watching the NFL draft; I’m just the only one I know. Did you watch it?

I love watching the drafts every year, for the same reason other people like watching American Idol; you are watching the moment that someone’s dream comes true. It’s inspiring, in a non-ironic sort of way.

As a lifetime Sooners fan, I was excited to see Sam Bradford go first, and Gerald McCoy to follow right behind at Number 3. I got to see Sam play once this season – I saw him suffer the injury that took him out for the rest of the year. You should have heard the roar in Owen Field (1) as he walked out onto the grass before the game. It was deafening. We love our quarterbacks, but Sam is especially beloved ‘round these parts.

Which is why it was so disheartening to watch all the ESPN coverage of the draft, because it centered almost exclusively on the #25 pick, Florida’s Tim Tebow. I honestly don’t think that 30 seconds passed without a mention of him. I’ve seen at least three long-form stories on the guy since the draft.

Which gets to the heart of why I hate him. I don’t know if you watched when Oklahoma played Florida in the National Championship last year, but it was painful. Not because Oklahoma lost, but because of the ridiculous fawning from the announcers. It was out of control. They were saying shit like, “Tim Tebow’s the kind of guy, you feel like you want to be a better person just for being in his presence.”

Tebow’s all large with The Jesus, which is fine. He wears the eye blacks with the Bible verses on them (2), but what I dislike about him is that he embodies everything that’s wrong with American evangelical culture. Have you ever heard him do one of his talks to a high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes group? “You should be just like me, because I’m just like Jesus, ONLY BETTER BECAUSE I CAN RUN THE OPTION.” Yes, we should all be just like him and go spend a week every year in an orphanage in the Phillippines. And be sure and drag an ESPN documentary crew along with you OR IT TOTALLY DOESN’T COUNT IN GOD’S EYES. Those losers who do the Lord’s work with the poor year round – where’s their press coverage?

Tebow, and all the fawning newscasters with their ridiculous Tebowners (3), don’t seem to understand that playing football doesn’t make a person Jesus Christ. I know he’s a role model and people look up to him, but didn’t Jesus say to beware of practicing your piety in front of men in order to be seen by them? (4)

People hate Tim Tebow because he represents what they can’t stand about the thing he goes out of his way to represent, namely Christianity in 21st century America. He’s so in your face with it, so over-the-top. Did you see his Focus on the Family commercial? You just know he was one of those kids at the pro-life rallies with the t-shirt that said “I’m so glad my mommy didn’t abort me!”

Whatever; give me Sam Bradford any day. He’s humble, he’s quiet, he gets out on the field every game and he leaves it all out there. He smiles shyly and doesn’t expect to be assumed into Heaven for it. The kid’s a real winner, and he’s going to go far in St. Louis. I paid attention to non-Super-Bowl NFL games for the first time after Adrian Peterson was drafted by Minnesota; Sam Bradford might make me an honest-to-God fan, especially when he and his Rams run roughshod all over Tebow and the Broncos (5).

1. I KNOW the name of the stadium is Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium For The Stars And Thank You For The Money, or whatever its name is. In my heart it’s always going to be Owen Field.

2. Leading to a new rule in the NCAA called “The Tebow Rule” which explicitly bans any kind of writing on a player’s face, and, according to the rules committee “Was not inspired by any particular player.” Because those dudes don’t want to go to Hell; I get it.

3. Thanks to lifetime Alabama fan Cameron Cole for teaching me that word. ROLL TIDE!


5. Who have no intention whatsoever of playing him, it seems. Also, I promise not to be so David Foster Wallace with the footnotes every time.

Image by user dep6984 on Flickr