From Former QB to Former Convention Speaker


It is very easy to exaggerate the importance of small things. No matter how obsessive one is about details, something can always slip through the proverbial cracks.

That said, the following oversight does seem indicative to me of a broader issue.

Writing for Esquire, Matt Miller has reported:

“Former reality TV star Tim Tebow returned from the Philippines this week to find out that he’d be speaking at . . . [the] Republican National Convention next week. A number of news outlets reported that Tebow, who is currently self-employed, was speaking alongside Peter Thiel, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, UFC president Dana White, and various Trump spawn.

“In a video on Facebook last night, Tebow explained that he was never planning on speaking at the RNC: ‘I wake up this morning to find out I’m speaking at the Republican National Convention . . .  It’s amazing how fast rumors fly,” he said. “And that’s exactly what it is. A rumor.’”

However the New York Times also reported that the Trump campaign did indeed invite Tebow. The speaking line-up, as reported by The New York Times was supposed to be as follows:

“Night 1: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and Mr. Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Senator Cotton, Mr. Giuliani, Melania Trump, Ms. Ernst and others.

“Night 2: A focus on the economy: Mr. White, president of the U.F.C.; Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas; Michael Mukasey, the former United States attorney general; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a vice-presidential possibility; Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Tiffany Trump; Donald Trump Jr. and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

“Night 3: Ms. Bondi; Ms. Collins; Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Eric Trump; Ms. Gulbis; and the nominee for vice president.

“Night 4: Mr. Tebow; Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman; Gov. Rick Scott of Florida; Mr. Thiel; Mr. Barrack; Ivanka Trump; Donald J. Trump.”

In terms of the Trump campaign and its coordination with the RNC, this oversight—forgetting to actually invite the initial speaker on the final night of the convention—suggests very disorganized, if not chaotic, planning.

In terms of Tebow himself, Miller closes his piece by observing: “It’s amazing how Tebow’s remarkably short NFL career has transitioned into a remarkably shorter political career.”

Indeed, it is surprising that Miller has initially referred to Tebow as a “former reality TV star,” rather than as a former Heisman Trophy winner who led the Florida Gators to a national championship and then the Denver Broncos to an improbable division title and playoff win. But Tebow’s public displays of Christianity became a media focus that largely descended into caricature once his professional-football career essentially evaporated.

If one were to compare Tebow to someone such as O.J. Simpson—up to the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman—Tebow’s trajectory as a celebrity or a public personality would seem in many ways the inverse of Simpson’s. Which, of course, may very well mean that he will ends up in a much better place—if only because it would be hard to imagine someplace worse.


Matt Miller’s article is available at:


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