Tebow Derangement Syndrome Breaks Out

Bush Derangement Syndrome: the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush.

This “psychological disorder,” first discovered by Charles Krauthammer, the conservative political analyst, in December 2003, has been used to describe the completely inane babblings of otherwise “intelligent” people whenever they hear George W. Bush’s name even mentioned.  You might think that BDS would have gone into remission after the election of the “One,” Barack Hussein Obama, but two years after that historic event, supposedly sane people continue to mock and ridicule the former President, despite the stubborn facts to the contrary notwithstanding.

Derangement Syndromes continue to be popular in the world of politics (see “Palin Derangement Syndrome”), but continue to manifest themselves in other worlds as well.  In fact, DS has taken center stage in the sports world with many otherwise intelligent football analysts and commentators suffering from a severe case of Tebow Derangement Syndrome:

the acute onset of mockery and verbal “hatred” in otherwise normal people in reaction to the football prowess and play — nay — the very existence of Tim Tebow.

I wish I could say that I was the first to coin the phrase, but others began to see troubling signs of this “psychological disorder” as early as September 2009:

What we have here is a case of Tebow Derangement Syndrome, or TDS. It largely springs from Tebow’s Christian faith. He literally wears it on his face with those Bible-verse eye patches.
TDS sufferers think there’s no place for religion in sports. But if a player says he’s inspired by the death of his pet turtle, or eating chicken gizzards makes him play out of his mind, we nod and think it’s cute.  If a player says he’s inspired by a Bible verse, we call him pious and say he’s cramming God down our throats.

Tebow Derangement Syndrome (“TDS”) was somewhat muted during Tim Tebow’s last college season, when he led the University of Florida Gators to a winning record and a blow-out victory over Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl.  However, a severe case of TDS erupted when Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs-based evangelical Christian organization founded by Dr. James Dobson, announced that Tebow and his mother, Pam, had cut a “pro-life” commercial that would air during the Super Bowl.

Immediately, pro-choice abortion groups, including the “National Organization for Women,” developed full-onset TDS.  Even though Pam Tebow exercised her right and “chose” to ignore her doctor’s advice to have an abortion, the nattering nabobs at NOW, exposing the lie of their “pro-choice” language, did everything they could to vilify Tebow and his mother.  In the end, CBS aired the short, sweet , and rather inoffensive ad.

Following this outbreak, Tebow Derangement Syndrome went into remission for a few months, only to re-emerge in April of 2010 when Tim Tebow was unexpectedly (at least by the so-called “experts”) taken by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the N.F.L. draft.  As a Florida native and someone who has followed the Florida Gators closely during the Tebow years (full acknowledgement:  I am a FSU grad who married into a Gator family), I was both delighted and perplexed to see the professional football analysts’ heads explode upon hearing that Tebow was drafted #25.

Throughout summer training camp and as late as last week, TDS outbreaks were few and far between.  When Tim Tebow scored his first N.F.L. touchdown, Dan Marino and Boomer Esaison were overheard ridiculing this accomplishment.  I’m sure they were similarly dismissive of rookies Sam Bradford (whom Tebow beat in the BCS Championship game), Colt McCoy, and Jimmy Clausen.  Not!

Now, with Tim Tebow’s first start this past Sunday as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, we are witnessing once again a fresh outbreak of Tebow Derangement Syndrome.  Some, like Boomer Esiason, continue to exhibit signs of TDS.  While damning Tebow with feigned praise, Esiason, after watching (probably just the hightlights) only one game that Tebow has started, questions whether the former Gator, arguably one of the best college football quarterbacks of all time, can play in the National Football League.

Still others, who you would think might be immune to TDS, are apparently quite susceptible to catch this new, virulent strain.  Some Denver Broncos’ fans can be diagnosed with the Syndrome.  On a recent post on the Broncos’ Fan Forums, one poster asked the question, “Why is Tebow hated as a person and a player?”  One commenter answered:

I think it is because he is a Christian. Non-Christians do not want to hear about his religion and Christians get defensive when someone critiques his skills as a qb. Many people don’t like him as a qb not as a person. Religion is a very polarizing thing.
How else to explain this latest outbreak of TDS given Tebow’s stellar football performance (comparatively speaking) on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders in less than ideal playing conditions in the “Black Hole?”   I wish that I could say that Tebow Derangement Syndrome can be cured by Tim Tebow playing well on the football field.  Unfortunately, it cannot.  The more he succeeds at the game he loves to play, the worse TDS becomes.  Those with TDS continue to inexplicably say and do thing that are completely deranged (i.e., contrary to patently obvious facts).  
And, it appears that people who contract any one of the Derangement Syndromes (Bush, Palin, Tebow) are destined to live with it for the rest of their lives.  That’s too bad.  I used to like Boomer Esiason.  Really, I did.

6 comments for “Tebow Derangement Syndrome Breaks Out

  1. December 26, 2010 at 8:13 AM

    There is something else going on here I can’t quite put my finger on.

    For a better football story, one frought with real history with a cast of characters more out of a Faulkner novel with Biblical depth as opposed to what passes for “Christian novels” which fall into something of a manufactured telling;
    Consider the very strong ESPN 30/30 piece “The Best That Never Was”; about the legend of Marcus Dupree. Check the schedule. Tivo it, tape it; but make sure you see it. Will be looking forward to your take.
    Had me choked up when it was over


  2. December 30, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    Howell: Pardon this notice but I think you might like the conversation.

    Gene Scarborough’s most recent thought on Autonomy Redacted at SEBTS is worthy of your consideration in the Baptist History and Heritage discussion at http://www.baptistlife.com/forums

    Your contribution there maybe morphing David Miller’s Brick Wall Doctrine lines from SBC Voices could possibly advance the double voicing; an interesting rubric of Susan Harding from the book of Jerry Falwell.

    Consider the challenge. I will be interested to see what you say.

    In meantime, do make every effort to take the family to see The King’s Speech; and you go see The Fighter; both excellent movies.

  3. Christa
    December 30, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    I loved this blog entry. Thanks for writing it! It was amusing, and true… and my biggest pet peeve about liberals is that they seem to feel entitled to their opinion and the right to express themselves, yet Tim’s eye black is offensive. And, as a Christian enduring a very personal attack in the form of litigation from a former employer, I’m happy to stand up and say it’s kind of nice to be attacked and to watch other Christians endure similar attacks. It means the the enemy is very afraid of us and what we’re capable of, doesn’t it? And, like Tebow, my faith tells me that my God is bigger than wealthy bullies and ESPN commentators. Funny how everyone shakes their heads and has a pity party for poor Brett Favre and Michael Vick, victims of their own choices…. but an athlete that stands for God! Who does he think he is??? I’m an instant fan, you’re going on my favorites bar. Thanks!

    • December 30, 2010 at 4:31 PM


      Jesus told us in His Sermon on the Mount that we should expect persecution and that we would be blessed by God in those times. It should not come as a surprise at the hatred that has been on display toward Tim Tebow. As a committed (not perfect) follower of Christ, the enemy would love nothing better than to bring him down. That the hatred is being displayed in such a public and deranged (i.e., in spite of the facts) shows what is at stake. As a pastor, I believe in redemption. I take Tony Dungy at his word that Mike Vick is a changed man. However, that does not mean that I have to go out of my way to sing his praises like so many football analysts and even the President of the United States has done. When Favre, Vick and even some of the other rookie quarterbacks are held to a different standard than Tebow (just compare the statements of analysts), then I believe that the anti-Christian bias is evident for all to see. But, as I wrote in an earlier post, Tebow may be ridiculed by the world, but he is blessed by God. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. God bless,


Leave a Reply