Over the weekend, between stuffing my face with bites of pizza fritte and Italian pastries at the local Feast of St. Anthony, a friend and I were talking about people we don’t like on Twitter and how every now and then it’s good to go through a purge. There’s no sense wasting time “hate-following” people, is there? Sure it might be fun for a while, but after a while what exactly are you accomplishing?
By the same token, what good does tweeting your displeasure/mockery over the New England Patriots signing Tim Tebow and the ensuing love affair by networks like ESPN accomplish? Even if you think you have the wittiest, most biting 140-character takedown of the former Heisman Trophy winner and the way the World Wide Leader goes absolutely gaga at his every move, in the end all you’re helping to do is stoke the fires. (Admittedly, there is underlying irony when it came to writing this post.)
If you’re in the inclination that the entire Tebow/ESPN love affair is the most pointless development in the history of televised sports, you do actually have power to help bring about change. It’s easy, too, and requires minimal effort: don’t watch and don’t tweet. Ignore it. Let Tebow going to Patriots’ minicamp this week flop like a poorly received second album and eventually it will disappear, perhaps turning up on the county fair circuit alongside the Spin Doctors in a couple years.
Whatever you do, don’t glorify what this development means to the mindless midday ESPN “debate” shows, that is, unless you somehow actually find multiple people debating contrived issues entertaining. Those shows don’t care if you’re mocking them or hating them. All they want is a reaction even if its viscerally negative. They feed on it. Don’t give them anything to eat. Hell, don’t even mention the panelists by name.
But seriously, if that’s the case change the channel. If you happen to be home during the day watch a rerun of “Bones” or something on TNT, better yet read a book or consider volunteering, maybe plant a garden in your yard. Don’t let the “debate” guys win. Look the other way and eventually they’ll get so desperate for attention they’ll say something so ignorant, it might finally be the straw that gets them canned.
There seems to be some room for optimism here. Highlights from the U.S. soccer win over Panama came before Tebow mentions on the late Tuesday p.m. “SportsCenter.” If we all agree not to pay attention perhaps we can nip this in the bud and let it be only a one-day blip on the radar.
Eventually program directors, news editors, television executives will come to realize the the public isn’t thirsting for obsessive coverage of a fringe NFL quarterback, regardless of who he is.
Problem is, they’ll always find something else as equally mindless to fill air time.
Sadly all we can do is look away and try to pay attention to the important stuff, whatever that is anymore.