Have you ever watched a video with Stephen A. Smith where he isn’t screaming from the top of his lungs? Watch this one and you will. Have you ever seen a video where you have found yourself agreeing with Stephen A. Smith? Watch this one and you might. Pick up my opinion on the segment after the jump.
That is a whole lot to process. First, let me say that while I don’t get a chance to watch many ESPN programs here in Portugal (we do have ESPN America which has some regular programming in addition to different games not covered by ESPN), First Take is not one that I would choose to watch if we did have the luxury. However, from time to time last year when the Tebow mania exploded, I often watched clips of Skip Bayless defending the heavily maligned former Denver quarterback. He was regularly ridiculed for his belief in Tebow’s ability, but stood firm each time. His opinion, even then bordered on the irrational.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Tim Tebow. I think that he is great for the sport of football, and I believe that there are a ton of people who want to see him fall. While it is not daily or even weekly, I have found myself praying for the Lord to protect him and his testimony. Again, I like Tim Tebow, but I don’t think he is a very good professional quarterback, and going back to his junior year at Florida, I have maintained the belief that he would spend some time floating around in the NFL for 4-6 years before going on to bigger and more important things.
What does all that have to do with Skip Bayless and the video? First, I believe there is a baseline here to judge Bayless’s comments regarding Tebow. Although he has been a staunch supporter, up to and including irrationality, I want to believe that if this were any other athlete, Skip Bayless would do the same thing. He is punching back against a constant media onslaught on anything genuinely Christian. Politicians, school officials, athletes. You name it. If the people live out their faith, old media wants to bury them. Skip is right. It is not religion. It is the name of Jesus.
Secondly, I believe this could hurt Tebow’s image. I’m sure that it wasn’t intentional. I realize that GQ is trying to sell magazines and that they are merely capitalizing on his fame and the upcoming season, but he posed for the pictures. They are suggestive, and it just doesn’t sit well with me. Have I said that I like Tebow? I do, but somewhere, for some reason, this just stinks to me. And, the smell is coming more from Tebow than it is GQ.
Finally, what really surprised me about this video? Stephen A. Smith’s wisdom. Get past the Bayless rant. I fully expected Stephen A. to go bonkers. He didn’t. What he did was speak clearly and logically. He reminded Skip of Jesus’ teaching (without making a specific reference) in John 15:18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” and John 16:33 “…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” He said persecution “comes with the territory.” 2 Tim. 3:12 says, “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Not only that, but he also points out that the millionaire QB can’t really be called a victim. He’s making a ton of money. (I know he builds hospitals. I know that he does wonderful things with it. Hold on and let me finish.) Much like the persecution, it goes with the territory. You can’t expect to have it both ways.
All very good points made by Stephen A. Smith. Almost all of them made without raising his voice. Is he a born again believer? I don’t know. Did he make very good points, logically. Yes. Was I surprised by all of this?
Sadly, by Tebow. Thankfully, by Stephen A.
Your thoughts welcome in the comments section.