Tebow mania. You'd have to be living on the moon not to have experieced it - whether close up at a 'game' or on the 'news'. Tim Tebow, the former B roncos quarterback has been traded to the Jets (my morning news says it's not yet final - still some wrinkles to smooth out, but for all intents and purposes, Tebow is out, Manning is in, for the Broncos), and there is much speculation about what it will mean for Tim, for the Jets, for football, for the economy, for car sales, for shoe sales... Yes, I made those last three up. But, really, you'd think this whole "who gets Manning" and "who gets Tebow" was the be-all of American news, today.
I'd like to say I'm concerned but that's not it. I'm annoyed. Every time a story comes up about football and who's bidding on whom, I grit my teeth. Let's be honest here - I'm no football fan. I tried to learn the game last season, since Tom does like it. But, I failed. I can't see beyond the absurdity of it. And, I can't embrace it because... it's just a game, a silly knock down, drag'em around, chase a pigskin ball, game. Why the national focus? When was the last time a woman's sport or event received even half that attention? Even half that ... money?
Lest you think I'm whining, this report shows that women's sports are getting less media coverage than ever before: "MM: We looked at the three local networks affiliates here in Los Angeles and also the ESPN Sportscenter at 11 o'clock in the evening. The first time we did this study was 1989 and we have done it every five years since then. The first couple times we did it, 1989 and 1993 coverage of women sports on the evening news shows was about 5%. I know a lot of people back then said that the number would continue to go up as time went by and the media caught up with this explosion of girls and women sports throughout the country. Indeed in 1999 it nudged up to 8.7% of all sports coverage. Then in 2004 it went back down to 6.3% and the most recent data we collected was in 2009 and the coverage on the evening news shows has almost evaporated to 1.6%, the lowest amount ever, and ESPN is right down there with 1.4% of their Sportscenter coverage. We were pretty stunned by the drop off."
Now you get it? I resent the attention, the focus, the money and the overall fact that football is a national conversation that gets repeated everywhere, over and over and over and over and over... as if it's the most important thing about America. I resent that no women's sports or events get even a smidgen of the attention football gets. I resent that... football, a sporting event, a game, is so important it dominates the news when two players change teams.
There is a up-side. Stories about Tebow and Manning are more fun than stories about Romney and whatshisname... I keep forgetting how to spell Santorum (is that right?). However, stories about Romney and Santorum are actually important. To the country as a whole. We need to know what's going on with them. We don't really need minute-to-minute insight into the Tebow - Manning affair. Do we?
I'm just thinking out loud. You may love football and be thrilled with all the news coverage. You may think it's not football's fault that it's the game of choice in this country and that it's okay for one player to make $95mill over a period of ...what, five years? For batting his fellow players around a grassy knoll??? It's not about you. I am not judging you.
Actually, I am judging you. As part of the collective whole that makes up America, why is football so important? Why aren't you as annoyed and upset with this sport and the costs of it (made on the backs of the fans), as you are with CEOs that make millions on the backs of their low-level employees? OR, with the Feds who screwed up your mortgages; banks that have the cash but won't lend it to people who need it, only to people who don't need it? Why is that different?
Yes, I know. This is capitalism at its best. You rise to the top, people pay to see you, the money piles up, and it has to go somewhere. Give it to the people who earned it. I get that. I just don't get ... paying $1000 for a season ticket - in this economy. I don't get the hype or the fan mania. I don't get the arrogance. I don't get why it's okay for Tebow and Manning to command the high prices and we applaud them...but when a CEO takes home that kind of money, we scream.
I guess, in the end, it's not a lot different than... the entertainment world, is it? Who's sick of Snooki? How much does she get paid to be... stupid? And, who's paying her? You. And me.
There you go. The world revolves around gossip and celebrity and the people love it. When it comes to the folks in high places of business who make tons of money, the people hate it. Who am I to buck the system?
p.s. nothing against the actual men in this story