All That and a Bag of Mail: What if Tim Tebow Broke the Internet

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Yep, Bronco fans are really buying #15 jerseys and putting “Jesus” on the back.

After last night they’ll sell even more.

Last night Tim Tebow Tebow’d the NFL. Every single person who watched him play four years in the SEC was not surprised at all when Tebow slipped outside the pocket on a Jets blitz and scored a rushing touchdown from twenty yards out. The play, the culmination of a 95 yard touchdown drive for the win, sent veteran NFL media into paroxysms of joy. But it also brought forth the haters once more. And for the life of me, I just don’t get it. Why does Tim Tebow have so many haters?


Of all the people in sports you could hate, how can you really hate Tebow?

The only reason I can think of is his religious faith. Some people think Tebow’s faith is a fraud. It isn’t. Is Tebow perfect? I’m sure he isn’t. But is he a welcome antidote in a sporting universe that grows more sordid each week? Yeah, I think so. And if you aren’t religious, why do you care that other people are? Why can’t you just shrug off his religion and enjoy him on the field? As I Tweeted last night, replace every Tebow God reference with the McRib. “I’d like to give all the glory to the McRib.”

“The McRib gives me my strength.”

Would the haters still be furious?    

I just don’t get it.

Some athletes have haters because their actions are truly polarizing. Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tiger Woods — I get why these guys have haters. You have off-field crime issues, consistent choking in big games despite the media obsession, and the public betrayal of a wife, but what are Tebow’s hate-worthy actions? I haven’t seen any. Why the Tebow hate? It’s just so lazy. Is it jealousy? If so, why are you jealous of just Tebow. You should be jealous of everyone who gets to play a sport for a living? Do you just hate him because ESPN talks about him too much? Hate ESPN for that. You can’t blame an athlete for his media coverage.

Anyway, our beaver pelt trader of the week is Leonardo DiCaprio for his role as J. Edgar Hoover in the new movie of the same name. The movie is damn good and Dicaprio, who rolled in to Tuscaloosa for Alabama, LSU, is the best actor of his generation.  

Let’s dive right in to the mailbag. You guys have been killing it lately so we’re stocked with questions.

JB writes:

“Completely hypothetical question.  Christmas Eve, 4:30pm.  Tim Tebow has just lead the Broncos to a come from behind victory against the Bills on national tv to put them in first place in the division.  In the post game interview, he comes out of the closet, in the process saying he still has faith that his Jesus accepts all people and loves him as much as any of his sons.  What happens? That’s what finally breaks the internet, right?”

This is such an outstanding question. 

It had me dying laughing. We need a new part of the mailbag where you guys can send in sports situations that might break the internet. This is close. Just outstanding. Especially to pop in to my email while Tebow was being interviewed on the NFL Network. 

How good of a prank would this be? Tebow supposedly has a good sense of humor.  

The only thing that could make this better would be the inevitable reality show where Tebow tried to “cure” his gayness. 

But to answer your question, there is no doubt that the fail whale would show up on Twitter. No doubt at all. He’d definitely break Twitter.  

Ben writes:

How come CBS has flown under the national radar for sports screw-ups that would get ESPN crucified? First Tony Barnhart plays footsie with the SEC and you’re the only person to even comment on it and then the Armen Keteyian “exclusive” with Mike McQueary? What would happen if ESPN had trumped that “exclusive” interview?

The most amazing thing about the Keteyian interview is that it led the CBS national newscast. Did anyone watch the interview beforehand? If someone had sent me that clip from an iPhone, I’d have run it on OKTC, but primarily to make fun of the reporter who thought he had an “exclusive.” (By the way CBS won’t allow you to embed this McQueary interview clip from YouTube. Is that normal with CBS clips or are they trying to limit the number of times they can be ridiculed? Why would you have a YouTube clip running an advertisement at the front and not allow it to be embedded on other sites? That defeats the entire purpose, right?)

Imagine if ESPN had run this at the beginning of SportsCenter after trumping its “exclusive” interview. The entire sporting universe would kill them. But at least ESPN is only a sports network. CBS made the decision to run McQueary as their opening national story.  That is, they made the determination that there was nothing going on in the world of more importance than the McQueary interview. 

Simply amazing. 

As for Barnhart, that one’s still a mess. And you know what’s crazy about that story? I see the numbers on everything that goes up on OKTC. That one did huge numbers, but no one shared it socially on Twitter or Facebook. The only thing I can think is that it was bouncing around all over media circles. Your general fan doesn’t care about conflicts like that; it’s more of an inside media story. But everyone in college football media circles read it. 

As for why no one else wrote about it, no idea. There’s a double standard when it comes to ESPN criticism, I guess.  

Laurel B. writes:

If Kirk Herbstreit became Urban Meyer’s quarterbacks coach, how good of a recruiter would he be? Can you imagine any mom in America not swooning when he walked in her house? I don’t even have a kid and I want to have one now so Kirk Herbstreit will visit my house.

Herbstreit would be an insanely good recruiter.

Y’all remember my theory from a few year’s back that the hotter the coach’s wife the better a recruiter he’d be? Because both rely on the same attributes. Leaving aside inordinate wealth, the guys who most outkick their coverage are the guys who would be the best recruiters. Instead of looking at coaching resumes, you just need a coach’s wife fashion show. Give me an hour and I’d have the best recruiting staff in the country.

I asked Vandy’s James Franklin about this theory and he said, “You should see my wife.” 

So he agrees.

We all know Herbstreit is a great talker, but he’s beloved by women too. I mean, they absolutely love him. All ages. Plus, men love him too. So the guy would kill as a recruiter. The only real question that would have to be asked is whether he’d be willing to take a substantial pay cut.

If he’d take less money, then he’d be a head coaching candidate in five years. And if he failed as a coach, he could always go back to ESPN and dominate for another two decades calling games. If anything coaching would actually help him because then he’d have playing and coaching bona fides in the booth.

Chris M. writes:

When will the SEC announce the 2012 football schedule?

I don’t know for sure — it’s already incredibly late — but you can already figure out pretty much every game as long as they’re sticking to an eight game SEC slate. (Which I’m told they are). With the addition of Missouri to the SEC East and Texas A&M to the SEC West, this means that six of the eight games will be in division. Then your yearly rival from the opposite division makes it seven. (A&M will be Missouri’s permanent rival).

So each team only has one open game to fill.

Here’s my best guess as to what those additional games will look like. As a preliminary, I think the SEC will ensure that Arkansas plays Missouri as its cross-division game for the first year in the SEC which means Tennessee needs a new western team since Arkansas would be slated to go to Knoxville and no longer will:

Arkansas at Missouri

Tennessee at Texas A&M 

Mississippi State at South Carolina

Auburn at Florida

LSU at Kentucky

Alabama at Vandy

Ole Miss at Georgia

(I know this would have LSU and Kentucky playing three times in a row, but I tried to complete the home-and-home series as best I could. One match-up has to repeat. The other option would be to scrap the Ole Miss-Georgia game and let LSU and Georgia play again. But Kentucky has already played Ole Miss twice in a row too. You guys can send me your best ideas for the cross-division games, but I think you need to start with the premise that Arkansas will play Missouri.)

Brad F. writes 

Is it wrong that I would rather Derek Dooley be Tennessee’s governor than its head football coach?

I feel the same way.

I’m convinced Dooley would be a better Governor than he is a football coach. I’m not sure you could say that for anyone else in the SEC. Can you imagine if Les Miles had access to the state armory? Houston Nutt?

What’s more, Dooley would actually be an excellent governor. He’s smart, thoughtful, entertaining, and he always wins the press conference. So much so that I’m convinced Dooley’s future is in television. For instance, couldn’t you see Dooley as the new Lee Corso? I could. (How many other coaches could you see replacing Corso. Hardly any, right?)

How much better would Dooley be than Lou Holtz on ESPN? Anyone who watched Dooley on television could see that he’s a natural. Hell, he’s already as good as Tim Brando on the CBS halftime show.

Is he a natural coach? We’ll know by next season.

James P. writes:

Mike McQueary said he felt like he was in a snow globe. What does that even mean? Do you think he thinks that makes him sound deep? Will he use it on women?

It was an awful analogy. You’d think he’d be able to come up with something better considering he’s had nearly two weeks to come up with that line. No doubt he thought it made him sound emotionally deeper and more complex.

But I don’t even get the analogy, a snow globe is stationary. Is an immobile Frosty the Snow Man inside a snow globe really that different than an immobile Frosty the Snow Man outside the snow globe? Neither can move without someone else moving them. 

Need a better analogy? McQueary was standing in a port-o-potty and he knew that there was crap in there with him, but he just kept hoping that nobody was going to knock over the port-o-potty while he was still inside. Then somebody knocked it over and now he’s covered in feces.  

As for whether he’ll try and use the snow globe line at a bar, McQueary’s single, which means there’s a 100% chance he drops the snow globe line at some point in the near future. He’ll also pretend to cry when he says it.

Speaking of which, I’m hijacking this question to include this breaking news, Mark Emmert came out and agreed with OKTC’s position on the fact that the NCAA has jurisdiction over Penn State.

In particular Emmert cited the same ethical provisions that OKTC laid out yesterday:

Ryssdal: As the body that is charged, in theory, with guaranteeing the safety of student athletes in American colleges and universities, how are you going to do that? What is your role in something like Penn State?

Emmert: Well we have rules and bylaws that — while they were never written to address anything quite like this of course — they speak directly to the control that institutions have to maintain over their athletic departments and their programs. And they speak very directly to ethical behavior of people in those programs and we’ll apply those bylaws, and if the allegations hold up, then we’ll act accordingly.

Ryssdal: Let me make sure I understand you: There is room here for NCAA sanctions against Penn State?

Emmert: We have a very strong interest in making sure that our programs are reflective of the best values of athletics and of universities.


Today the NCAA notified Penn State that it was beginning an investigation into potential bylaw violations. What bylaw authority did it cite? The same bylaw authority we did yesterday. You can read both the NCAA’s letter and OKTC’s analysis of why the NCAA could act here.  

The mailbag is now brought to you by Counsel on Call, which is one of the best legal companies in the country.

I’ll tell you why. Because when I was writing Dixieland Delight I needed a way to make a living as a lawyer while still taking the risk of going on the road to write a book that hadn’t been sold to any publisher. That’s a terrifying decision to make because most lawyers don’t have any schedule flexibility and most of us don’t have the financial wherewithal to quit the law cold turkey.

So how could I write the book and still have money to live on? Counsel on Call was the answer.  

I had to write this book. So I took the risk and Counsel on Call provided me the safety net. I knew if the book idea bombed, or my CBS column tanked, I could always practice law with them while continuing to pursue my harebrained writing career. And while I was writing the book I was still practicing law.

Basically what I’m saying is, if you’re a lawyer and you have a dream of doing something other than practicing law — which is every single one of the lawyers reading this column right now — consider sending your resume to Counsel on Call and at least pursuing that dream.

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Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.