Former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, now with the New York Jets,… (CJ Gunther / EPA )
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss whether "Tebowing" — the practice of publicly taking a knee in prayer made popular by New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow when he was starting for the Denver Broncos last season — deserves a place in the popular Madden NFL video game.
Check back throughout the day for their responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
Of course there’s a place for Tebowing in Madden. It shows that the game designers have a sense of humor, and considering they work in Orlando, Fla., the epicenter of Tebow country, the inclusion is no surprise. If you think it’s bizarre that so much attention should be paid to one player — a backup, no less — consider that at least one major network plans to have a reporter stationed at Jets training camp to chronicle the quarterback’s every move, with live reports throughout the day.
As for the notion that building Tebowing into a video game is mocking Tebow’s faith, I don’t buy it. He never makes apologies for his public displays of praise and insists he isn’t bothered by the pray-action fakes of imitators. “I’ve got to believe I'm probably not the first athlete to get on a knee and pray,” he told talk-show host Jimmy Fallon last fall. “But also, on the other hand, the greatest form of flattery is imitating somebody.”
Shannon J. Owens, Orlando Sentinel
Madden football is more than just a video game for its fans. It’s a virtual yearbook of the previous season and a preview of what’s to come.
And while Calvin “Megatron” Johnson won the cover-art honors, Tim Tebow is no doubt the homecoming king of the 2011-12 NFL season.
Fair or unfair, like it or not, you couldn’t escape Tebowmania last year (and so far this off-season), so it’s only appropriate that the video game reflects the trends. Tebowing, by far, was one of those signature moments and I have a feeling this fad will stick around for a while.
Player celebrations isn’t exactly a new idea for Madden anyway. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers does his wrestling belt dance celebration in Madden 12, now fans are just waiting for the famous salsa dance from New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz.
Personally, I’d vote for the salsa dancing before the Tebowing.
Dieter Kurtenbach, South Florida Sun Sentiniel
It’s a feature that makes perfect sense. Before, during and after games, you can find players genuflecting, thanking and requesting help from the football-loving deities above. If you’re making an NFL simulation — which is exactly what Madden 13 is aiming to do — then it’s a worthwhile game-play foil to include.
But if EA Sports is looking for a real simulation, they need to consider a few more features:
What about a James Harrison indignant head-shot button?
Or an Andy Reid late-game clock management incompetence factor?
Is there a way to have contract negotiations in the game be played out solely through Adam Schefter’s 451 daily ESPN spots?
Also, the Tebowing feature should only be unlocked after passing the "clipboard hero" mode and completing 46.5% of your in-game passes.