Sportress of Blogitude

Ben Roethlisberger Blames At Least Some Of The Tim Tebow Hoopla On ESPN

During a conference call with Denver-area reporters Thursday in advance of the two teams’ showdown this weekend, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, when discussing the unyielding attention, over-the-top fanfare, fawning, idolatry as well as the unfair expectations placed upon Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and his teammates as a consequence of the immense coverage, took a moment to take aim at ESPN and proceeded to direct at least a portion of the blame on the network’s round-the-clock, near obsessive coverage of Tebow.

From The Denver Post (via Game On!):

“I don’t think Tim’s really calling ESPN and asking them to talk about him,” Roethlisberger said. “I would assume his teammates understand it. It’s a tough thing. It’s the position we play.”

Big Ben added:

“It’s got to be tough. Every time you turn it on, you see something about Tebow. I can only imagine what it’s like for his teammates. Just watching today, it’s the Steelers versus Tim Tebow. No, it’s the Steelers versus the Broncos, so I can only imagine what it’s like for him with all the eyes and the attention on him and the pressure. It can’t be fun. I feel for him a little bit.”

Classy comments from Roethisberger, to be sure. Yet even as a person who loves to castigate tWWL at any chance, I have to argue there is much more at play here than simply the fact that Skip Bayless and the merry band of talking heads over at ESPN cannot help themselves when it comes to the nonstop, perpetual dialogue regarding “Tebow, Tebow, Tebow.” Tebow himself has to assume some of the responsibility for being such a lightning rod that attracts so much attention due to his overtly outward expressions of his faith and the many trappings that come into play any time religion enters into the dialogue.

By no means am I implying that Tebow is wrong for doing it — sure, many of us like to have a little fun with it, crack a joke or two here or there — but some of us in the camp of Tebowism wisenheimers would be hard-pressed to argue against the fact that he’s free to say whatever he wants whenever he wants to, especially when there are microphones continuously in his face practically baiting him into talking about God and Jesus. If he wants to preach the good word, spread his faith and so on and so forth, so be it, but it shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone that it draws attention, some of it perhaps unwanted.

In the end, what really matters here is that Roethlisberger will rue the day he made a slightly disparaging comment about ESPN. Those folks in Bristol don’t forget those who have wronged them. But hey, given his kind words for the guy, at least Big Ben has Tim Tebow on his side. Which is nice.