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Tim Tebow And What His Success Or Failure Means For Religion

Just by being himself, Tim Tebow presents a "minor cultural puzzle", as Brian Phillips explains at Grantland today. As he elaborates, there's something different between Tebow and other players that've been openly religious over the years:

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I'm sure there are people who manage to escape the demographic rooting pattern this creates. But in broad strokes, it's fair to say that how you feel about Tebow depends on how you feel about youth groups and Elisabeth Hasselbeck and, I don't know, WWJD bracelets and raft retreats with a lot of bonfires and swaying. Other religious players are religious individuals; Tebow is a whole culture.

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...As such, rooting against Tebow sometimes feels like more than just rooting against a football player. But does that mean you're rooting against the culture he personifies? And if so, does that make sense? All hopelessly abstract questions, but Brian Phillips answers them as well as anyone we've seen so far. Check out his full essay over at Grantland.

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