Thursday, May 28, 2009

LeBron and The Tebow scale.

LeBron James is a special player. He took the Magic down by himself today. And you know what? I'm feeling bereft. Really. I feel myself slipping toward a place I don't want to go to. For you see, LeBron James is on the Tebow scale of athlete hatred.

Why Tim Tebow? Because in this modern era, the journey of Tebow is the journey that most modern athletes will take for the causal fan. I shall explain, presently.

Step 1: Manic Indie Thrill

Now, you can have your professional be the manic indie thrill in some sports. But in Football and Basketball? The superstars get found early. Tim Tebow was little more than a curious glimpse as a Freshman in college. LeBron's junior year at St. Mary's-St. Vincent? That was for the cognoscenti.

But then success hits. Skills start to pay bills. And many players evolve to Step 2. What do we call step 2?

Step 2: The Raymond Stage

The player can walk on water. 20 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing touchdowns. A conference championship just because you wanted it more than the other 11 players. And even the sketchy antics, be they jorts or the LeBrons, are looked upon with amusement. Not scorn. In short, they are good.

But it does not last. Good things never do. Step three can be summed up in one line. "Look in my eyes, what do you see?"

Step 3: The Cult of Personality

Like anything good, the mainstream media has to roll up and ruin everything. Let's quote Thom Brenneman, shall we?

"If you're fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it."
Now you see, that boils down step three perfectly. The media go all bromantic on the player. And it's sickening. There are some on the twitterverse who showed relief about the abscence of Doug Collins this evening. Why? He's gone full Brenneman on LeBron. Suffice it to say, the casual fan cannot dig it.

And when the casual fan stops liking a player? What happens next?

Step 4: Backlash!

Suffice it to say, LeBron is treading that line with Jay-Z, ARod, and other people who you could consider douchebags. And when he goes to New York in July of 2010? The backlash will come out in full force. LeBron will be disliked.

But you can't stop the inevitable, right?

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