While the careers of Tua Tagovailoa and Tim Tebow could be completely different, there is one thing the two have in common. They are media punching bags.
Tim Tebow was everything the Florida Gators could have hoped for. He was a talented quarterback surrounded with talent and took his Gators to a National Championship. He had good size but lacked the prototypical arm of an NFL quarterback. He was more methodical than a long ball QB.
Tebow’s mechanics were in question from the start. Tua’s mechanics were in question after his hip surgery and recovery. Tebow had footwork problems and he threw the ball with a shorter range of motion. To some degree, Tua has faced those same criticisms.
Tua is showing that he will be a far better NFL QB than Tebow was but you wouldn’t know it by the way the media take every shot they can on the kid. It could be something very simple.
Tebow was proud of his christianity. It was part of who he was and he took that seriously. Tua takes his family heritage seriously. He still brings flowers to his mother and he regularly seeks out his father for advice. To put it more clearly, both of them were different in one way. They were really down home and down to Earth guys who didn’t talk smack and rarely gave anyone something to complain about.
When you can’t complain about someone, you complain about what is good about them. And you turn that into something you can belittle. Take media personality and former quarterback Chris Simms, son of Phil Simms. Simms said “Only idiots think Tua Tagovailoa is better than Taysom Hill.”
Simms, who had a worse career in the NFL than Tebow isn’t just taking shots at Tagovailoa but also at the fans.
For Tebow, his faith was often mocked. His kneeling in the end zone after a touchdown was turned into a joke. The media laughed and poked fun at it and it continued to grow over the years. When Tebow tried to make it in baseball after his NFL career seemed over, the media followed and waited for him to fail. When he tried to resurrect his career as a tight end with the Jaguars this past off-season, the media was there, waiting for him to fail.
Tua? Yeah, many in the media are hanging around, waiting for him to fail. Why? So they can say “I was right”.
In both cases, few were saying “I hope this kid succeeds”. Very few were cheering him on and giving him positive motivations but instead picking out what was wrong. Tua throws four touchdowns and 300 yards and the media want to tell you about the two incompletions or the two interceptions.
The media loves Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow and Justin Hurts and Mac Jones. They are all “nice” guys as well but they are more abrasive on the field. More vocal leaders than quiet types. Being the nice guy that everyone wants to be around doesn’t pay in pageviews and podcast listens. Knocking them down does.
We saw this with Tim Tebow. Yeah, as an NFL quarterback he didn’t turn out very good but he never lost sight of himself and he stayed true that. I respect that a lot more than I respect someone like Tom Brady. Tua is of that same cloth. His values are as important if not more than his physical talent. So I would venture to guess that until he wins four Super Bowls and leads the Dolphins to two undefeated seasons, the disrespect will continue.