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Say "HELLO!" To The Bad Guy

November 28, 2011

Everyone loves a villain.

It’s why Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth stayed through damn near the entire season of The Apprentice.  It’s why Carlos Irwin Estevez can get fired from his job due to a drug addiction, rehab at his own house and go on a week-long media tirade about “Tiger Blood”, “Adonis DNA” and “Winning”.

Pictured: Winning

It’s why most people take to Wolverine and overlook Superman.  The alien from Krypton that grew up in a small farm in Kansas with good ol’ fashion morals gets overlooked for the animalistic, smoking and drinking loner.

Even if those claws make him look bad-ass

It’s the type of thing that can divide something as small as a group, just off of difference of opinion.  Don’t believe me?  I’ll give you a real life example…

You don’t have to be a die-hard football fan to know the names of Michael Vick and Tim Tebow.  During the past 5 years, they have been making headlines all across the United States of America.

Timothy Tebow played for the University of Florida in the Urban Meyer spread offense from 2006-2009.  He won the Heisman Trophy (awarded to the most overrated best player in college) in his sophomore year, becoming the first sophomore to achieve such honors.  He would graduate with a bachelor’s in family, youth and community science.

After graduating from Florida, Tebow entered the 2010 NFL Draft.  He was drafted in the first round (25th overall) after then-head coach Josh McDaniels traded draft picks in the second, third and fourth rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens.  The gamble caused a lot of uproar in the NFL, and midway through the season, McDaniels lost his job.

Going into a different direction, the Broncos hired former QB and future Hall-of-Famer John Elway to oversee the football decisions and John Fox as the head coach.  Going into the season with Kyle Orton as quarterback, the Broncos went 1-4 with him at the helm.  At the request of their fans, the Broncos named Tebow the starter, and the Broncos are currently 6-5, 5-1 since naming him their starter.

Yet there is still a community of people that dislike him.  It’s common knowledge that he played in an “Urban Meyer Spread”, which isn’t the type of offense that prepares you for the NFL, that he can’t make the type of throws needed in the NFL, and that his style won’t mesh in the NFL.  He’s small, but stocky.  He can scramble, but he’s not very fast.  He throws the ball very hard, but he isn’t accurate enough.  [Editor’s Note: As mentioned on Twitter, he needs to put a few more condiments into his fastball, but I digress…]

What’s often not mentioned is that Tebow is a devout Christian, having been home-schooled by his mother at a young age.  He went on missionaries with his father in the Philippines.  The man is saving his virginity for marriage for Christ’s sake.  There ain’t too many men doing that on a normal basis.  All the man does is his job and preserve his faith, despite being in the public eye.

Did I mention that his team is 5-1?  He’s winning games right now.  Not in the future, but right now.  Especially in this day and age of “what have you done for me lately?”.

To put this in perspective, the Indianapolis Colts could use Tim Tebow.

Maybe even a guy like Peyton Manning.  What ever happened to him?

This is in complete contrast to another feel-good story from the previous year: Michael Vick.  Vick played his college ball at Virgina Tech, where he played for two years.  He was a runner-up for the Heisman in his freshmen year, placing third behind Ron Dayne & Joe Hamilton (points go to anyone who knows where those two are now).  He would leave Virginia Tech after his sophomore season.

Vick was drafted in the first round (as the first draft pick) in the 2001 NFL Draft after San Diego traded the pick to Atlanta for a first round (5th overall) pick (that would become LaDanian Tomlinson) and a 3rd round pick of the 2001 NFL Draft.

Vick would go on to lead the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game in the 2004-2005 season, where they would lose to the Philadelphia Eagles, led by Donovan McNabb.

During his tenure at Atlanta, Vick’s on-field success was sometimes marred by his off-field incidents.  In 2005, he was sued by a woman for giving her herpes and that he would visit medical clinics under the name “Ron Mexico” to get treatment.  In 2006, he was fined $10,000 by the NFL for “flipping the (dirty) bird” at fans after losing to the Saints.

Then in the summer of 2007, Vick was sentenced to 3 years in prison for “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture”.  He was released by the Falcons and lost his endorsements during his stint in prison.  In July of 2009, Vick was released from prison on good behavior and a $2,500 fine.

Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, playing behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb on the depth chart.  He would see limited time that season, playing only on the rare (and usually unsuccessful) Wildcat play.

After McNabb got traded to the Washington Redskins before the 2010 season, and Kolb was injured in the Eagles’ first game, Vick became the starting quarterback.  He would go on to have his best season, completing 63% of his passes for 3,018 yards, 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.  He also rushed for 676 yards for 9 touchdowns, earning “Comback Player of the Year Award” honors by the Associated Press.

This year has not gone so well for him; while he has completed 60% of his passes (a far cry from the days of completing 50-55 percent of his passes), he has as many touchdowns as he does picks in 11.  Not to mention that he has been out for the past two games, while going 3-6 at that time (the Eagles are currently 4-7).

Of course, Vick didn’t have the upbringing Tebow did: Vick grew up in the Ridlley Circle Homes of Newport News, Virgina, a housing section that was filled with crime and violence.  A far cry from Tebow’s upbringing, even if he may have witnessed such events in the Philippines.

People love others that they can relate to.  Who would relate to Tebow, the media darling that seems to luck into wins for his team despite being a disadvantaged quarterback?  Not that there’s no opposition on the other side; after all, why would people relate to a man that made a mistake and is trying to move on and better himself?  THE MAN KILLED DOGS!

WE GET IT!

Not a lot of people are going to back a devout Christian that happens to be a virgin by choice, because he doesn’t play for them and because he’s portrayed as some…superman (see what I did there?) that can never make mistakes.  [Editor’s Note: The “virgin” quota has been reached.]  I’m sure he makes mistakes, on-and-off the football field, even if the media doesn’t blow them up to epic proportions.

Just as there aren’t going to be a lot of people that are going to back a former felon that killed dogs.  [Editor’s Note: The “dog” quota has been reached.]  Even if said former felon is working to pay back his monetary debts by doing something he loves.

It’s what made people fall in love with Tony Montana in “Scarface”, a fictional Cuban that would become Miami’s biggest drug kingpin.  Montana came to America as a poor Cuban looking to achieve the American Dream.  A lot of people in neighborhoods that were less well off fell in love with the idea of taking what wasn’t being given to them.  Scarface would go on to influence a crux of rappers and drug dealers.

Everybody loves a good underdog story.  Someone who’s been down and out, but rises through the ashes like a phoenix.  There’s nothing wrong with rooting for the bad guy when they see the error of their ways.  Does that mean we have to rip the good guys down in order to do it?

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