The numbers don’t say that, those say I’m only 25. But I am. The signs are everywhere. Like in the sharp decline of nights spent bar hopping, but the dramatic rise in those spent napping and taking in an episode of Shark Tank. Or in my occasional viewing of House Hunters. Not because I’m in the market, just because I like to see what other people have going on, and maybe imagine myself in a nice Colonial, or maybe a Cape Cod.
Or, in straying from the rest of my age group, in my having come to admire, respect, and support Tim Tebow, while harboring an ever-deepening resentment for Johnny Manziel.
So you can imagine the weekend I had, watching, powerless to do anything about it, as the former was cut loose by the New England Patriots, and the latter somehow overcame the NCAA’s harsh hand of justice to taunt his way to a solid performance and dominant win.
It sucked. And it all just seemed so backward.
I’ve suffered through enough of Hollywood’s corniest to know that the good guy is the one who’s supposed to be starring in the happy ending portion of the film. And I’ve skimmed enough Greek tragedies to know that pride and hubris come before the fall, not the coronation.
And yet here we are, with Manziel at the start of another Heisman campaign, Tebow hoping like hell that the Jaguars - The Jaguars – throw him a bone, and me asking others in my age group why the Aggie’s arrogance is preferable to the Gator’s humility. Put another way, why do they back the wrong guy and tear down the right one?
Because if battle lines were drawn and sides were needed to be taken, it’s clear to me which side we should be choosing to stand with, for never have their been two athletes more perfectly foiled.
One flaunts, the other occupies a state of almost unbelievable humility.
One taunts, the other’s sportsmanship is beyond reproach.
One, even having just been investigated for accepting illegal cash benefits, conjures up the all mighty dollar when celebrating, the other kneels and thanks his All-Mighty.
In that vein, one repeatedly displays a stunning lack of self awareness and maturity, the other has only ever said and done exactly what we’d hoped he would.
One is brash, arrogant, petulant, and sophomoric. The other is Tim Tebow.
And yes, one can play and the other can’t, but why should that outweigh all the rest? Why does the inability to hit water while falling out of a sunken boat mean that I can’t appreciate everything else the man is and root for him to succeed? Conversely, why should a few touchdown passes make me forget about the selfish, immature nonsense that pro and succeeded them? Because he’s young? Because he’s in college?
He’s not that young. And, either way, a college-aged fool is still a fool – still half the person Tebow was at that age, and a quarter of the one he is now, even if twice the quarterback.
So, again, I ask why so many of my peers back the wrong guy and tear down the right one? How do they peruse the respective resumes and come away thinking that Manziel is the one who should get the girl?
Are we still punishing him for becoming the unwitting focus on an ESPN media-storm that exhausted our patience? I guess we are, because I can’t find anything else, and what a shame that is – that we can’t separate disgust with SportsCenter from admiration from one of the few in sports that truly deserves it.
And what a shame it is that everything Hollywood has taught me for the last 25-years is coming undone. What a shame that, this time, the right guy won’t get the metaphorical girl.
But then again, who knows? Maybe the right guy is getting the girl and I’m just too old to see it. I’d stay to expand on that thought, but Matlock is coming on and I need to see how my man gets his client out of this one.
Author: Joe Bianchino
Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @Joe_1045. Email him at Joe@noticketsports.com.