Friday, April 23, 2010

Tim Tebow Illustrates What's Wrong With America

My actual title for this blog entry is The Case of Tim Tebow Illustrates What's Wrong With America, but that was too long to fit in the subject line.

I have nothing against Tim Tebow. Indeed, his tendency - or fate - to have photos of him taken with his shirt off make for good eye candy.

But here's what I find sad, and somewhat frightening. Tim Tebow didn't attend the first round of the draft yesterday. In his press conference (a college kid having a press conference!) he stated that the logistics of getting his whole family to the draft site were too much. And I'm thinking, why bring your whole family? Why not just go on your own? Obviously he didn't expect to be taken in the first round (indeed, the only people who expected him to be taken in the first round were the ones who took him) and to save himself embarrassment of having his face shown on TV after every other pick was chosen in front of him, he just decided to stay home.

At least, that had been my assumption.

But now, with photos of Tebow in a Broncos cap surfacing on the web, it seems that there actually were cameras in Tebow's own house, focused on him while he watched the draft. And presumably there was a Bronco's official just outside his door, waiting for him to be announced so that he could go inside the house and give him the cap.

And I'm thinking to myself, why does the NFL do this? Every year for probably 20 years, the NFL draft of college players is a "big deal" on ESPN. Why? The same goes for basketball, I believe. I dont' think it happens for baseball. It used to happen for the WNBA but I don't think anyone ever watched it...

But that's beside the point. The point is...who cares where these games-players go in the draft? They are men who play a game, and get paid way too much money to do so. [Indeed, I am just waiting for Obama to step in and place cap limits on how much athletes can be paid. He will probably do this for every industry except for the one that most needs it - that of lawyers.]

Meantime, where is the adulation for the geniuses, the doctors who find cures for various diseases - or who at least are looking for them. The men and women who are entrepreneurs, starting businesses that earn them their own money so they don't have to live on welfare, and enable them to employ other people so they don't have to live on welfare.

Pop quiz. How many astronauts have been in space, and what are their names? Do you know the names of the astronauts aboard the International Space Station right now? Do you even know that there is a space station orbiting the earth? But I bet you can name the entire roster of your favorite sports team. (I know I can. ; ) )

The US is in danger of losing its pre-eminent position in the world, as the best in everything. Is it so bad, to aspire to be the best in everything you do? But now, not only are we in danger of losing that position but in many aspects we've already lost it.

And one reason is, I believe, because the great "unwashed" are content to sit on their butts and watch football, baseball and basketball, and have no interest whatsoever in the arts and sciences.

I think in some respects it's because of the nature of the beast. All these athletes have "god-given" talent. Someone sitting on their butts on the couch can think, "well, if God had given me that kind of talent, I could have been a football player too."

But being well-educated is different. People actually have to work to get an education. And this implies, to those folks sitting on their butts, that these people working for an education are snobs, that they think they're better than everyone else, and so on. (This is particularly true in minority neighborhoods, where anybody's attempt to get a good education to get out of that neighborhood is typically met with both verbal and physical abuse.) Better to make everyone poor than to have the ambitious and intelligent worker become rich.

And that's a big part of what's wrong with America today.

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