01 February 2010

All-American zero

Despite laying off hundreds of workers in recent years, Focus on the Family--much ignored around these parts lately--is laying out as much as $4 million on a Super Bowl ad featuring golden boy Tim Tebow and his mother with what will presumably be an anti-abortion message. Being the nice guy that I am, I think even fundamentalist Christians should have jobs. But there'll be pie in the sky when they die, at least. CBS has accepted the ad, reversing it's prior policy, and the policy of all networks regarding Super Bowl commercials, of not airing what it deems political "advocacy" ads, likely as a result of discovering that big game ad revenue is not recession-proof.

It's hard to imagine exactly what the backers hope the ad accomplishes; even if the Tebow story is believable, there's the jaw-droppingly-obvious-to-non-insane-people conclusion that, hooray, the woman had a choice about what she wanted to do. And that's before they realize the grotesque logical result of the story, which is apparently that anti-choice nuts think all women ought to endanger their lives to bring forth the holy fetus, where good Christian conservatives will proceed with ignoring its well-being until it reaches employable age.

There's little more to be written about Tebow which hasn't already been said about the most media-fellated jock in the history of sports. Alas, the Great White Hope of a nation doesn't seem to have the kind of skills needed to continue his residency on your television set as a professional. His power-running quarterback shtick is just what professional football teams were looking for...in the 1920s. Perhaps that's why he is taking this unusual career step. While there are certainly no shortages of pious professional athletes, very few wade into the water publicly shilling for contentious social issues. Pro sports are big business, of course, and ownership doesn't want to alienate the customers, meaning athletes of any kind of political sympathy typically stick to promoting bread-and-butter non-controversial charities approved by the leagues. So Tim Tebow looks at his future life carrying clipboards and decides now's the time to make his mark while the last live snap he took is still a recent memory. Or maybe he's that delightful breed of arrogant virtuousness who believes he can be the heroic proselytizer where his forbears have failed. Watching him flounder will be delightful.