ESPN Gets Out of the Tebow Business

ESPN President John Skipper told the Sports Business Journal that his station will be dialing back on the Tim Tebow coverage.

Yes, you read that right: ESPN will be doing less Tebowing in the near future.

Skipper says the reason for that is the Worldwide Leader finally realized that mentioning the Jets backup quarterback provided them the equivalent of instant ratings sugar high, but in the long term, it was damaging their brand.

“I want people to think about what works for the next 10 minutes might not be the best thing for us for three years,” said Skipper.

So when did ESPN reach the conclusion that they’d gone a little overboard covering a signal caller who has thrown just 7 passes this season?

Not when Deadspin did their master opus take down. Not when Tim Tebow’s name was gratuitously mentioned during a college basketball game. Not when ESPN personalities donned party hats for Tebow’s birthday.

Nope. The final straw came when former ESPN radio host Doug Gottlieb said he’d been told, “You can’t talk enough Tebow.”

“I didn’t love that,” Skipper admitted.

The move is so overdue, it was even lauded by the NFL’s website…and this is a site that helpfully suggests gift-giving ideas so you can have a very Tebow Christmas.

I’m all for the move myself, because I think that much of the Tebow backlash is reaction to the way he’s been covered much more than it’s any reflection on the man himself.

Now if we can only get ESPN to stop overdoing it with the Yankees and Red Sox.

PS: I am fully aware there’s an irony to getting page hits for this post. In fact, if you want to pretend you never read this, I’ll pretend I never wrote it, and that way we both maintain our street cred.


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