Tag Archives: USA Today

Why the attention to Tim Tebow?

Tim Tebow seems like a fine young man.

He put together a stellar career as a quarterback at the University of Florida. He won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate player. Then he became a pro and has, well, had a not-so-stellar career playing football for a living.

He’s tried out for various teams, been cut, come back for more, been cut some more.

He’s been hired by TV networks to provide soft features and so forth.


And oh yes, he’s also demonstrated his religious faith, which many Americans — me included — find appealing.

Therein might be the reason — his devout faith — for the continuing interest in a young man who probably never will become a full-time starting quarterback in the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed him to a one-year contract. He’s the No. 4 QB in the Eagles’ depth chart.

Will he succeed, ever? Likely not, according to USA Today: “The sad truth is that success in college is rarely a guarantee of success in the pros — quite the opposite in many cases. With the exception of Cam Newton, quarterbacks who won the Heisman have generally been a bust in the NFL.”

Tebow’s vocal fan base will keep the interest high as this young man keeps trying to find a place on some team’s roster. But as the essay attached to this post notes, the interest in Tebow has more to do with his faith than it does in football.

Thus, as today’s media culture will allow it, the drama will continue to play out.


NBC anchor getting pulled under

It’s hard to watch this, but I’m getting the feeling — just a few days into a strange saga of “misremembrance” — that a highly visible TV news anchor may be on his way out.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is still facing questions about a story he made up — or “misremembered,” as he described it — about an incident in Iraq in 2003. He had been saying for a dozen years that a helicopter in which he was a passenger had been shot down by rocket fire. It turns out the shoot-down with Williams aboard didn’t happen.

Williams reported the other day about how an Army command sergeant major had helped rescue him and his fellow passengers after their ship was shot down. The report got a lot of play and Williams stood and accepted the cheers at Madison Square Garden alongside retired Sgt. Maj. Tim Terpak, the young man who engineered the rescue. Other veterans, though, spoke up and said the incident Williams described didn’t happen the way he described it; they said Williams wasn’t aboard the stricken Chinook helicopter.


Now comes word that Williams might have fabricated what he saw in New Orleans while covering the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. Williams reported serious flooding in the French Quarter. To borrow a phrase: oops! The French Quarter largely escaped the floodwaters that devastated much of the Big Easy.

NBC News has announced it is launching an internal investigation into what Williams said and did in Iraq and in New Orleans.

Williams has traded on the trust he has built with news watchers over many years in the anchor’s chair.

It’s difficult to imagine how a viewer of the NBC newscast each night can trust Williams now with telling us the truth about what he is reporting from the anchor’s chair.

What’s more, his apology has seemed somewhat muted, as he’s sought to wrap himself in the flag. Consider this from USA Today: “On air Wednesday night, Williams said he had ‘made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,’ that the whole incident was simply ‘a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served everywhere while I did not.'”

From where I am sitting, that looks and sound a bit like spin.

NBC’s main anchorman is facing a steep climb back to respectability.