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When Tim Tebow dropped to one knee following the comeback win he led against the Miami Dolphins two Sundays ago, he unknowingly began a fad that's since been christened as Tebowing. It looks a lot like icing, aside from, well, the fact that he's praying and not being forced to pound a bottle of sugary malt liquor. The nonbiblical miracle delivered that day culminated in a frenzied sideline celebration that was quickly evened out by a camera shot of Tebow giving props to the man upstairs for his uncanny ability to stink for three quarters and still lead his team to a fourth-quarter victory over the winless Dolphins.
Though I'm not much of a Tebow fan myself (did the first paragraph give it away?) and was out-of-my-mind excited to start the Detroit Lions defense in my fantasy league once I heard he was Denver's man (thanks again to the Detroit D for probably winning the week for me), I'm on the fence about whether the mocking celebrations by both Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch and tight end Tony Scheffler (who also gave the Mile High salute) were funny or just flat-out in bad taste. Tebow's never been shy about his religious beliefs and holier-than-thou acts—I didn't think the 2008 story about how he circumcised impoverished Filipino children during a missionary trip would ever go away—but where is the line drawn when commenting on someone's faith? I mean hell, I've already poked fun at him a few times in this short post. Am I in the wrong for even doing that?
NFL blogger Toni Monkovic of the New York Times ended his post "Mocking Tim Tebow" with this segment of questions:
Is it all in good fun? Tebow invites scrutiny with the very public nature of his religious beliefs, his evangelistic side. But let’s imagine that a player displayed a Muslim religious ritual or one based on Hinduism? Would it be fair to mock those displays as well? If not, why is it fair game for Tebow?
Yes, Tebow is becoming a more and more polarizing character in the NFL and is sincerely starting to get his ass handed to him by the press as well as professional football teams (if you didn't know, Detroit drubbed Denver 45-10). But will the on-the-field mocking mutate into mean-spiritedness? Has it already?