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Generation Tat

Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton is a true rarity.  Not only is he talented and charming, he’s a 22 year old professional athlete who has no tattoos or piercings.

In terms of athletes, Newton is the anti- Chris Anderson:

This week, Cam Newton became  the flash point of a semi-racial controversy when Jerry Richardson, the white Panthers owner, asked him to stay un-pierced and un-tatted for the length of his employment with the team.

Many people immediately cried foul.  How could a white man ask a black man not to get tattoos and earrings, especially when earrings and tattoos are such a big part of black culture?

The False Gospel of Success

I want to tell you about a God-fearing young man who, after a standout college football career, was drafted by an NFL team and met with enough success to be considered for a starting job in only his second season.

If you think that I’m a little late in joining the party surrounding Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, you’re wrong. I’m actually arriving early for the Colt McCoy party.

It’s as impossible to miss Tim Tebow, and the circus that surrounds him, as it is improbable to take notice of Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.

It really shouldn’t be this way… but it is.

Tim Tebow is everything that America wants to believe in.  He’s big, courageous, handsome, athletic, and the son of pious missionaries who raised him right.  He’s bold, honest, strong as an ox, doesn’t touch tobacco or alcohol, and looks so good with his shirt off that shirts don’t mind when he doesn’t wear them.

He’s a two-time national champion, a Heisman trophy winner, and spokesperson for everything that James Dobson has ever believed in or dreamed about.  Tim Tebow is a generous champion for everything that is “right” and that appears to be the only wrong with him.

Tim Tebow is a winner, and he’s held up as the image of the kind of life we could lead if we would just “let go and let God.”

Tebow is the paragon of an innumerable multitude of fans, his was the #1 selling NFL jersey before he’d ever played a pro game, who don’t just argue that he’s “doing it the right way”, but who also need to believe that he is, because his success validates everything they believe in.

As a Christian I have a deep respect and appreciation for Tebow’s courage and conviction.  I also harbor significant fears for him.


Addition By Subtraction

Charles Barkley is one of the greatest basketball players ever. He’s also hilarious. His one liners (Sam Cassel looks like Gollum!) are rivalled only by Shaq for their ability to be simultaneously offensive and endearing.

Sir Charles is charming in a way that makes you take notice of his positive attributes while ignoring his less than savory characteristics which include, but are not limited to, a painfully bad golf swing, massive gambling addiction, and eyebrows that look like Little Richard’s mustache.

Charles Barkley made headlines  on Wednesday by revealing that he hasn’t spoken with his good buddy Tiger Woods since that ill-fated Thanksgiving weekend in 2009.

“You think you’re friends with a guy. You talk to him once a week for 15 years. You’re like, this dude is my friend, we do things, we have fun together… I haven’t talked to him in two years and I’m wondering what the hell is going on.”

Charles denies any knowledge or involvement in Tiger’s nearly 10 year binge with women and prescription drugs, even though he maintains that the two were close. He can’t fathom why Tiger isn’t interested in hanging out with him and other celebrated gambling womanizers like Michael Jordan.

While there are many possible reasons for the lack of communication between the two, something obvious should be jumping off the page to Barkley. (more…)

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