Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Swear I've Seen This Movie Before

I've gotten a few emails like this lately. Not a huge pile of them, but about half a dozen or more. It gets a bit exasperating at times, but then I step back and just enjoy the fact that people can be so damn invested in sports.


I live in Omaha and we used to have the Czabe Show every day and I listened every day. We lost it when Fox Radio decided not to keep the show. I have continued following you through The Daily Czabe, Sporting News Radio and now Yahoo. I have told many people about the greatness of this show and I have admired your strong efforts on staying on the air and your strong efforts of the Daily Czabe.

That being said, after your current freaky, hate-mongering of Tim Tebow, you\'ve finally lost me. I don't consider myself a Tebite, but I do like the fellow. I'd prefer my daughter enjoy watching him than a tatted-up, pot smoking, womanizing wife-beater. I also enjoyed hearing critics whine and pull out whatever hair they had since Tebow was going against all their professed expertise. 

At any rate, it was more your absolute hatred that has turned me off. You might be right on Tebow's skillset weaknesses, but your rants have pushed me over the edge of saying good bye to your fine show. If you were still on the air in Omaha, I might be listening, but since I have to make an effort to find you, I find it is no longer worth the effort. Good luck in the future, Czabe, I still agree with you on most things, but I can\'t take the hate. 

Paul Reece


Dear Paul,

I am saddened to lose such a dedicated listener. Even more sad, is that a single player, and a single difference of opinion could cause such a dramatic, and final decision to leave me and my show. I understand that my opinion on Tebow is unflinching, but I don't think it is mean. Well, at least not in the context of any athlete who is a public figure. I also find it puzzling that the good things about this guy that I readily concede, are not counted in the "big picture" on where I stand. 

If I may ask, what in your mind would constitute "fair criticism" of Tebow, that does not cross over into the category of "hate?" Furthermore, would you prefer a host who is not afraid to be wrong  and stakes out an opinion (Tim certainly will have a chance to shove it down my throat in the coming months and years), or somebody who merely floats along with a stance that is considered "mainstream" and "acceptable?"

I recall similar emails during the ascendant hype of one Michelle Wie. I was steadfast in my opinion that she was nothing more than an over-hyped marketing vehicle, who was destroying her long term prospects in the game by playing hopelessly above her appropriate level.

Yet the media clamor for Michelle Wie was loud and un-relenting, and I was shouted down by many corners of the sports opinionsphere. I also pointed out how graceless and entitled she could be, and again, I was dubbed a "hater" by some.

Well, fast forward about 5 years, and it turns out I was dead-nuts right about nearly ALL of it! Not that she's "done" as a golfer, but Wie has STILL won virtually NOTHING as a pro (2 LPGA tour event).

When a player like Yani Tseng comes along - same age as Wie, 22, by the way - and just starts DESTROYING the competition (22 professional wins and counting) and the media barely bats an eye, it just makes my previous points about Wie all the more valid.

Tseng isn't a "marketable" star like Wie was once upon a time. She's quiet. Humble. Doesn't talk about playing vs. the men. She is short and plain, not tall and pretty. And her mastery of the english language remains a barrier to any endorsement opportunities.

I found out once and for all during the whole "Wie episode" in sports history, that it doesn't really "pay" to be RIGHT about things in sports that go contrary to the accepted mainstream. After all, the same herd of sports writers and pundits who lapped up every Michelle Wie (non)-milestone, didn't come back after reality set in and admit how and where they were wrong.

They just kind of wandered off to the next "big thing."

Personally, I have this delusional notion that my job as a sports talk radio host, entails trying to have as many "correct" opinions on players, teams, and games as possible. To analyze the sports landscape, and call things as I see them.

Knowing full well, that I will be WRONGER and look DUMBER than the local town drunk MANY TIMES over as the years pile up.

I don't mind being wrong. I don't mind being ripped, lampooned and skewered for being wrong.

I just don't have the stomach to "go along" with the "easy" opinion on things in sports, if I just don't feel it's going to pan out as everyone says. And I don't like to just be a contrarian, for the sake of pissing people off.

So we'll see about Tebow.

If he wins, and becomes a very good NFL starter at QB, the spoils of "I-Told-You-So" victory will belong to everyone who has railed against my Tebowian stance on Timmy Rah Rah.

I don't just want you to redeem those "how do you like him now" apples, I fully EXPECT you to!

And if I'm right after a few years, then well, I'll just shut up and move on.

I've learned my lesson. You just can't win.


  1. Steve, I understand your reaction to the hype machine. I was the same way with Jordan years ago -- even when it was clear he really was that good, I couldn't like the guy because I'd been told to like him so many times.

    But the Tebow thing is different. His boosters may be obnoxious, but they're better than the haters. He's hated by the kind of people you can't stand (and who hate people like you), and for all the reasons that should have you standing up for him. He's not hated for being a mediocre QB -- no one hates mediocrity. He's hated for being who he is.

    Sometimes two teams you don't care for play against each other, and you discover which one you hate more when you find yourself rooting for the other one. I may wish the Tebow crazies would go away, but they're far better than the people calling his family and fans Nazis. I'll take silly over nasty any day.

    1. The Wie example is a canard. THAT's supposed to establish your credentials? A lot of people said she was unproven and untested at the time. Most, in fact, who weren't paid by IMG.

      Well, if you want to feel right, go ahead. But what a lot of very reasonable, centered folks don't like about your Tebow approach is what they don't like about many sports personalities in general: the elasticity of their opinions. Two years ago you were stridently proclaiming that the guy couldn't make it at all, and now you're taking a victory lap because he is a fairly successful NFL QB who couldn't beat Tom Brady in his second year. Unconvincing. Trying to stomp out a past misjudgment with progressively more extreme rhetoric is just as silly as the games ESPN plays, but at least they have soulless profit as an excuse.

    2. I'm sorry, Tebow is fairly successful as an NFL Quarterback, are you kidding? By what statistical measure is he successful, because he won some games. Puh-Lease. Tebow is a great person, can't get over how well he treats everyone and I would like him to be good. But right now, as an NFL Quarterback he stinks and unless he has some dramatic throwing changes he will never be a great NFL Quarterback.

  2. It continues to be just sad that you don't "get it", Czabe.

    Of course you are probably right about Tebow's longevity as an NFL QB. Of course his mechanics suck. I don't think people are upset with your opinions about that stuff. I think most logical people agree with you on that stuff.

    But it's the things like your "open letter to Tebow" that have people upset. That went SO far beyond a simple analysis of a players' talent, skills, or likelihood of success and you know it! That was nothing more than a blatant attempt to get your website visitors stirred up and was quite unprofessional, in my opinion.

    Please don't insult our intelligence. Don't go on your tabow-hating rant, and then come back after the fact with sad puppy dog eyes and say, "hey guys .... can't I simply have an opinion on Tebow's talents????" That's crap.

  3. Czabe, please continue insulting the "intelligence" of these fine folks who apparently have their mouths so far open that their ears no longer work.

  4. Czabe, FYI, your opinion on Tebow is NOT against the main stream! Other than Skip Clueless, pretty much every sports talking head I've heard has proclaimed Tebow won't make it as a pro. The only difference between you and the rest of the crowd is you're actively rooting against the guy, probably if for no other reason to expand your already giant ego.

  5. I am with Czabe. I heard him mention on his afternoon show that it frustrated him that Tebow got more hype than Cam Newton when Newton was having a monster year. For sane minded people that don't judge Tebow through the prism of religion it is quite frustrating to see why ANYONE thinks this guy will be any good. He lucked into some wins when he first became the starter and as the season wore on he was exposed, HE WAS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS!!

    Czabe, I live in the DC area and consider it a local treasure that I get to listen to BOTH of your radio shows every day.
    Thanks for all the good times

  6. The reason I'm not aboard the Team Tebow bandwagon? Team Tebow. Obnoxious. Self-righteous. Annoying.

  7. Czabe, if you lose "fans" over this Tebow business, f'em. There are tons more of us in your corner on this. Keep up the good work. Southwest Tech Fighting Donkeys forever!