What Radio Can Learn From the “Tebow Phenomenon”

 In Blog

When guys say ‘I’m not a role model’. Well, yes you are. You’re just a bad one.”-Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is a true HD character. He’s authentic, real and honest. He’s passionate, principled and inspiring. He has heart. He’s vulnerable. He’s the boy next door and an underdog.

After years of Athletes Behaving Badly with money-grubbing, drug arrests, assault charges and worse, here comes good looking, God-loving, squeaky clean Tim Tebow. And according to ESPN, he is the most popular professional athlete in the world right now after only two years in the NFL.

He is not a football fan’s quarterback; he is the people’s quarterback.

But he’s not “perfect.”  What HD character is?  While many people appreciate his faith, he pushes other people’s buttons with the on-field praying. And he talks about Jesus. A lot. He doesn’t just go to church. He’s saving himself for marriage. It’s extreme.

And his quarterbacking skills have come into question. Charles Barkley calls him a “national nightmare.” It’s the combination of his endearing qualities and his perceived flaws that are cutting through and crossing him over from the sports pages into pop culture.

He has been parodied by Jimmy Fallon (link) and Saturday Night Live. There is a “Shit Tim Tebow Says” video montage on YouTube. There is a grilled cheese sandwich with his “tebowing” silhouette on eBay. And he is now apparently going to date Katy Perry, if her minister mother has anything to say about it.

Internationally Tebow isn’t a football player; he is a phenomenon. He is as buzzworthy, and almost as polarizing, as last year’s Charlie Sheen media frenzy. Tim Tebow, like Sheen, fits The Randy Lane Company’s description of all great talent:

1. He’s a high definition character (authentic, real; consistent; tells the truth).

2. He’s dishing out sticky content (both his own personal underdog backstory and the content of the games themselves).

Last year we suggested that you channel your inner Charlie Sheen to become a true personality brand. If being a “bad boy” isn’t your thing, how ‘bout channeling Tim Tebow? Work hard. Have heart. Be a role model and a winner, on the air and off.


-written by Angela Perelli


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