ESPN President: Tim Tebow Backlash Partly Our Fault: ‘We Over Did It’


By Morgan Lee , Christian Post Reporter
May 13, 2014|10:56 pm

ESPN President John Skipper has partially blamed his sports network for generating a Tim Tebow backlash against the outspoken Christian former NFL player.

Now former New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow warms up before the start of their NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Florida December 9, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Daron Dean)Now former New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow warms up before the start of their NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Florida December 9, 2012.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Skipper acknowledged that ESPN took full advantage of the ratings juggernaut that was Tebow, 26, even when it began to disadvantage him as a person.

“We gave him a lot of attention. I’ve said before, we probably overdid it. And that makes people sort of suspicious of him. It’s not his fault. He is genuinely a very likable guy,” he said.

Skipper added that Tebow’s graciousness and openness to feedback also ingratiate him to people.

“He’s a very nice man. He says, ‘Yes.’ ‘How did I do?’ ‘How can I get better?’ and ‘Thank you.’ You can see why people like him,” he said.

Tebow is currently employed by ESPN and will call SEC games when the college football season kicks off in August. Skipper praised his new hire, adding that he shone during January’s BCS title game between Florida State and Auburn.

“We have been thrilled. We thought it might take him a little longer to get comfortable. He’s very knowledgeable. It’s beyond our expectations,” he added.

“I am so excited that ESPN has given me this incredible opportunity,” Tebow said in a statement announcing the position. “When I was 6 years old, I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC.”

Tebow did not play in the NFL in the 2013-14 season after being dropped from the roster of the New England Patriots at the end of preseason. He previously played for the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos after graduating from the University of Florida.

Tebow told reporters in January 2014 that although he is extremely grateful for his opportunity to work with ESPN, he is still prepared to play for NFL in the future.

“I feel like I’m the best that I’ve ever been as a quarterback right now, and I hope I get the opportunity to show that,” Tebow said. “But who knows what the next few months will hold?”



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25 Responses to “ESPN President: Tim Tebow Backlash Partly Our Fault: ‘We Over Did It’”

  1. Bigfan says:

    Oh I get it after you guys ran Timmy into the ground now your apologizing for your mistake? Why don’t you help get him back in the NFL?

    • Sage says:

      They think they’re doing him a favor by letting him prattle about the SEC.

      Really I think it’s all just mind tricks played on the public by stubborn HCs and GMs, and ardent haters.

      Yesterday it dawned on me that Vince Young’s winning percentage in the NFL was .632, while Jeff Fisher’s is .531. Fisher’s percentage is even boosted by Young’s. Yet it was Fisher’s cold shoulder that forced Young out of the league. Fisher’s still there, floundering away and loosing more and more.

      Tebow’s situation is parallel, of course. And unlike Young, Tebow hasn’t been guilty of childish behavior, even after cruel treatment from the Jets, Broncos and others.

      Yes, I’m calling the NFL stupid and pathetically shallow. Over time, head coaches are only as good as their starting QBs. That includes Bill Belicheck.

  2. andrea says:

    Espn – are’nt they the ones gushing over their continuing Michael Sam coverage?

    Saw an article where the Christian coalition is complaining over the double standard treatment of Tebow vs. Sam.

    But what are the Christians going to do about it? Keep whining about it or boycott the NFL.

    Now if Sam gets cut in training camp (it will never happen – he has a NFL job for life)the gays will put up a hissy fit and pressure the NFL to put him on another team.

  3. Bigfan says:

    The rule they media!

    • ck says:

      Sickening to think about as they are only the vocal minority and not the silent majority imo!!! And what do they preach…INTOLERANCE AND HYPOCRISY!! Can’t say it enough about what needs to be done to get results…BOYCOTT!!!

  4. tawk2 says:

    Yeah right, they got what they wanted. They have run Tim out of town with their biased and hurtful and unwarranted bashing. I am so sick of the media when Tim is concerned the bulk are only saying things to get their names in the limelight.

    I agree andrea, Tim does get a double standard when it comes to the way te NFL treats players. I have had it with the whole bunch!

    If Tim does not get a fair shot at being an NFL quarterback soon I really don’t think he will ever get the chance. I know how positive Tim is but when you have the bulk of the NFL including the media going against you every chance they get, you really can’t win. I pray that someone in the NFL has the vision and the guts to step up and take Tim, I know they surely will not be sorry.

  5. andrea says:

    Good Grief !!!! Word on the street is Oprah Winfrey’s network is doing a reality program with Michael Sam.

    Now, let me see – how many seconds has Michael Sam played in the NFL? Zero,zich,nada.

    I would just love to hear what his future Rams teammates think of all this.

    No way the Rams will cut him – the blowback from the media and Hollywood will be monumental.

  6. shaztah says:

    That was the plan all along. ESPN destroyed his career because they knew they would need someone VERY POPULAR to be the face of the new SEC network and Tim was the perfect person. I still have hope that someone will give him a shot.

    • ck says:

      Shaztah: No matter what, I, too am still hoping he gets the last laugh on all of the heads that are gonna roll b/c of the treatment he received…payback is what is needed and for that know that God has the absolute last word on it too!!!

  7. Brandi says:

    John Skipper said ESPN was going to cut down on TebowTime on ESPN. That lasted about 3 days. Skipper also said less than 5% of all ESPN Viewing is Non-Live Sporting Events. The Flagship Show of the Flagship Sports Channel, Monday Night Football gets 14 million viewers. The highest Rated Sportscenter ever was about 8 Million, following a Monday Night Game during the era of the Replacement Refs when they thought they had a story of The Replacements blowing a Game. Otherwise, a couple million. About the same as Hart of Dixie which is, what, the 200th Show in weekly TV Ratings?

    The Show that “everyone” buzzes about is First Take. During the time Tim was actually Playing, they had audiences of about 400,000. Since he’s not been Playing, they’re back to their regular around 250,000.

    250,000! Out of over 300 Million people in the Country, the majority of whom have probably never watched anything on ESPN and two-thirds of whom rarely ever turn on the channel, despite having to pay the fees because it’s bundled in their cable/satellite bills.

    OK boys and girls…WHO exactly did ESPN
    Over do it” to? The 4 million people out of 320 million in the country who watch ESPN religiously?

    MeThinks Mr Skinner is vastly over estimating ESPN’s influence. Oh it’s sort of high. Among the almost nobody in the country who watch it.

    • Sage says:

      Even in the age of the Internet, there is so much status attached to appearances on the Idiot Box that people in that medium have lost their minds. If you’re making $1M per year and 250,000 people hear every word you say, life feels pretty good to you and getting the truth right is no more important thant the choice between more champagne and much more champagne.

      This is also true in the big print media and music publishing industries. They blunder along and are in decline, but the principals are still drunk from power.

      • ck says:

        Sage: Believe you are on the right track stating that all of their idiocy is on the decline and refuse to watch so, yes, am boycotting w/a CAPITAL “B”! Maybe, when they lose the majority of their fans and money too then they might get it, but it will be too late as they will finally end up where they belong…BANKRUPT!!!

    • ck says:

      Brandi: You are right almost nobody watches it and that is why they have to get someone popular as stated before…hmmmmmmm! What a mess they truly are and exposed at that!

      • Brandi says:

        You didn’t think it was the teenagers (and teenagers emotionally, if not chronologically)who created the “All of my friends” and “None of my friends” way of thinking everyone in the world must think like they do did you? 🙂

        Y’all’ve heard me call NFL Media not just the worst, but worse than all other Sports Media and Jerry Springer Sports Media before. It’s not even really a knock on them. There is something about NFL audiences that they just want to be kept in the dark, not have to really know anything and definitely not have to think about anything at all times. The NFL Media caters to that mentality. So we get drivel, misinformation in soundbite form and once something’s turned into a soundbite, it’s like a Vines clip. It just gets played over and over and never questioned.

        And this tiny sliver of the world will never believe it’s anything but right all of the time and anyone who disagrees is an idiot.

        Some very serious people have some seriously bad demographics on the NFL. Cuban might not be completely right that it’s the NFL’s greed that’s going to blow up in its face. But he’s absolutely correct that unless something changes dramatically in the next few years, the NFL can’t sustain the structure and operations it has. Cuban calls it imploding and he’s not wrong in that description. And any possible solution the League might come up with would involve the Fans stepping up and helping keep it going. But how do you do that when the fans the League now caters to don’t even want to hear about stuff like that.

        It’s become a big mess and one of their own making.

  8. The Mascot Army says:

    You know what’s weird? Dilfer was in the spotlight when he was Tebow-bashing, but ever since he had that video saying that teb ow was fixed and NFL caliber, he’s been in the background. Coincidence?

  9. bubbaelvis says:

    Speaking of Dilfer, I would love to know if any GM, scout, or coach took a look at film or went to see Tim throw. It would be a shame if no one even gives him a look. I still feel like he is going to get back in this year. Last year the Patriots signed him in June so maybe someone is waiting until the last minute. The guy has done everything humanly possible to play so come on NFL sign him!

    • tawk2 says:

      Me too! It’s almost like Tim is taboo to talk about anymore, such a shame that his great skills and talent is being left out. So tired of the NFL!

  10. Bigfan says:

    Keep hope alive everyone. We all want God’s will for Timmy and so does he…pray!

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