Defending Tebow’s Super Bowl ad

Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post just tears apart the critics of the pro-life ad featuring Tim Tebow that will run during the Super Bowl. From her column Tebow’s Super Bowl ad isn’t intolerant; its critics are:

As statements at Super Bowls go, I prefer the idea of Tebow's pro-life ad to, say, Jim McMahon dropping his pants, as the former Chicago Bears quarterback once did in response to a question. We're always harping on athletes to be more responsible and engaged in the issues of their day, and less concerned with just cashing checks. It therefore seems more than a little hypocritical to insist on it only if it means criticizing sneaker companies, and to stifle them when they take a stance that might make us uncomfortable.

I’m pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the “National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time.” For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do.

Tebow’s 30-second ad hasn't even run yet, but it already has provoked “The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us” to reveal something important about themselves: They aren’t actually “pro-choice” so much as they are pro-abortion. Pam Tebow has a genuine pro-choice story to tell. She got pregnant in 1987, post-Roe v. Wade, and while on a Christian mission in the Philippines, she contracted a tropical ailment. Doctors advised her the pregnancy could be dangerous, but she exercised her freedom of choice and now, 20-some years later, the outcome of that choice is her beauteous Heisman Trophy winner son, a chaste, proselytizing evangelical.

Pam Tebow and her son feel good enough about that choice to want to tell people about it. Only, NOW says they shouldn’t be allowed to. Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikinis selling beer is the right one. . . .

Here’s what we do need a lot more of: Tebows. Collegians who are selfless enough to choose not to spend summers poolside, but travel to impoverished countries to dispense medical care to children, as Tebow has every summer of his career. Athletes who believe in something other than themselves, and are willing to put their backbone where their mouth is. Celebrities who are self-possessed and self-controlled enough to use their wattage to advertise commitment over decadence.

You know what we really need more of? Famous guys who aren’t embarrassed to practice sexual restraint, and to say it out loud. If we had more of those, women might have fewer abortions. See, the best way to deal with unwanted pregnancy is to not get the sperm in the egg and the egg implanted to begin with, and that is an issue for men, too — and they should step up to that. . . .

Obviously Tebow can make people uncomfortable, whether it’s for advertising his chastity, or for wearing his faith on his face via biblical citations painted in his eye-black. Hebrews 12:12, his cheekbones read during the Florida State game: “Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” His critics find this intrusive, and say the Super Bowl is no place for an argument of this nature. “Pull the ad,” NOW President Terry O’Neill said. “Let’s focus on the game.”

Trouble is, you can’t focus on the game without focusing on the individuals who play it — and that is the genius of Tebow’s ad. The Super Bowl is not some reality-free escape zone. Tebow himself is an inescapable fact: Abortion doesn’t just involve serious issues of life, but of potential lives, Heisman trophy winners, scientists, doctors, artists, inventors, Little Leaguers — who would never come to be if their birth mothers had not wrestled with the stakes and chosen to carry those lives to term. And their stories are every bit as real and valid as the stories preferred by NOW.

You know, this author may believe in legalized abortion, but her fury at the feminists and her sense that something is very, very wrong when people oppose Tim Tebow and what he stands for is something to build on. I suspect lots of Americans agree with what she says. Maybe a backlash is in the making.

Football stadium for sale, cheap

How far have real estate prices fallen?  The Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions, just sold for $583,000.  The  80,300-seat stadium came with 127 acres of land.

That’s about the price of a McMansion before the real estate market collapsed.  I hope the buyer turns the Silverdome into a home.  It has lots of bathrooms and plenty of cooking areas.  The locker rooms could be turned into bedrooms.  Turn the playing field into a really big family room.  Put a sofa on the hash mark on the 50 yard line and rig up a remote for the jumbotron.  Invite 80,000 friends over.  The only problem is having all that carpet to vacuum.

If you want to lament the loss of your property value, this is the place to do it. Do you see house prices going back up?

via Silverdome’s bargain price reflects financial woes in Detroit suburb of Pontiac –

Inside the mind of a place kicker

Sally Jenkins gets inside the head of a place kicker–his premonitions, his inner voice, his getting iced, and the winning kick that takes his team to the Super Bowl.

It was 2:15 a.m. and [Garrett] Hartley couldn’t sleep, because the Inner Voice kept shrieking at him. It was telling him that he was going to face a kick that could cost the Saints the Super Bowl. Not only that. It was giving him details.

“Forty-two yards. Right hash mark,” the Voice said.

Hartley decided he needed to talk to a real voice, so he picked up the phone and called his father, Bill, a retired leasing agent in East Texas.

“What are you doing awake?” Bill asked.

“Dad, I have a feeling I’m going to have a game-winner from 42 yards out, from the right hash,” he said.

For the next few minutes, his father calmed him down.

“You know what to do,” he replied. “You’ve been doing it your whole life. So just get your mind right, and go out there and do your best.” . . .

The motion of a kick takes anywhere from 1.3 to 1.5 seconds. Adam Vinatieri has observed that what separates kickers is, “Can you do it when the lights are on?” Rarely have the lights shone on a kicker the way they did on Hartley with 10 minutes 15 seconds left in overtime against the Vikings. Instead of a 42-yarder, he was facing a 40-yarder.

There were 71,276 people in the Superdome, and yet Hartley was alone. The Vikings called time out to try to ice him. At one point, defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove came toward him, with the intention of saying something comforting. Hartley waved him away.

As he prepared to take the field, he had just two brief conversations. One was with Carney, who reminded him to breathe, and not to think. The other was with Payton. Earlier in the week, Payton had asked the kicker what he needed to hear should things come down to a field goal attempt. “When game time comes, what do you want me to tell you?” Payton had asked. Hartley had replied that he would like to hear something along the lines of, “You belong here.”

Payton found the right words. He gestured at the fleur-de-lis that hung on the facing of the loge section behind the uprights. “Why don’t you just try to hit that little fleur-de-lis,” he suggested.

The kick came off his foot perfect. “I didn’t really feel much,” Hartley said. He followed the flight of the ball for a moment, and realized it was on the right trajectory. He turned away before it had finished its flight. He told his holder, Mark Brunell, “We’re going to Miami.”

“I didn’t even see it go through the uprights,” he said.

via Sally Jenkins – New Orleans Saints’ Garrett Hartley calls on ‘inner voice’ to deliver kick in the clutch –

Pro-life ad at the Superbowl

CBS has agreed to air an Superbowl ad from Focus on the Family in which quarterback Tim Tebow’s mother talks about how she was advised to abort him. Pro-abortionists have been trying to pressure the network to not show the ad:

CBS Tuesday (Jan. 26) stood behind its decision to take a Super Bowl ad from Focus on the Family that has drawn fire from reproductive choice organizations. The network said it does not reject advocacy ads out of hand, and added that it would consider “responsibly produced ads from all groups” for the “few” remaining spots in the broadcast. . . .

That came in response to the announcement that the Women's Media Center, National Organization For Women and more than two dozen other groups have launched a campaign to pressure CBS into pulling a Super Bowl “pro-life” ad bought by Focus on the Family.

That campaign includes a letter it delivered to CBS today, according to a spokeswoman, and e-mails its members are sending today to CBS, the NFL, and advertisers in the game.

The letter calls on CBS to reject what the groups call an anti-choice ad that advances Focus on the Family's Agenda.

They argue that CBS has rejected advocacy ads in the past, including from PETA, and the United Church of Christ.

The spot in question is expected to feature Florida Gators quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother talking about how she refused to have an abortion after she was advised to do so by doctors.

via CBS Stands Behind Acceptance Of Focus On Family Spot – 2010-01-26 19:13:13 | Broadcasting & Cable.

The right teams are in the Superbowl

The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will play in the Superbowl, as seems fitting. Both teams came close to having perfect seasons until the very end. That would have set up the most remarkable Superbowl ever. But still, though my own favorites didn’t make it, I have to say that these two teams being in the big game seems cosmically just, for once. Cosmic justice would end with New Orleans winning–making up for Hurricane Katrina and all that–but I pick the Colts.

NFL playoffs

What a thrilling game it was, with the Packers coming back after spotting the Cardinals two touch-downs, thanks to two opening turnovers, and yet losing in overtime with a whopping score of 51-45.  I can’t think of any playoff game–or any football game, for that matter, that I have witnessed, in which the two teams scored a total of 96 points!  And the Packers’ strong point was supposed to be their defense.

Oh, well.  At least the Packers made the playoffs.  They missed the storyline of playing Brett Favre once again.  So who should I be for now?