What Tim Tebow Shares in Common With VP Paul Ryan

Tim Tebow arrived in New York on March 27 and sent the media into full-blown frenzy. Never has a backup quarterback held a press conference. So why is the media so obsessed with Tebow? 

Irrespective of what people think about his views, his faith, and his public demeanor, Tebow is always consistent in his ideology and rises up to the challenges. When reporters ask him to respond to criticism, as when former Jets QB Boomer Esiason said Tebow should be cut, Tebow simply chuckles and avoids the traps: “I've heard nothing but great things about Mr. Esiason … I just wish him nothing but the best and God bless him.” As Devin Gordon remarks in GQ’s September feature on Tebow, “Tebow's devout Christianity is devoutier than yours. When he thanks Jesus, Jesus winks back.”

Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate on August 9, prompting cheers from both the right and the left. Never has a vice presidential nominee’s economic plan been considered the crux of the ticket. So why did Mitt Romney pick Paul Ryan? Regardless of the criticism on his budget plan, Paul Ryan is never on the defensive; in fact he is the quarterback putting President Obama back to the goal line. Just watch their back-and-forths at the GOP Retreat and the President’s roundtable on healthcare. Though Washington insiders consider entitlement reform political suicide, Ryan directly challenges the status quo by putting his solutions at the forefront. He is not afraid to debate on unfriendly territory, and explain to his toughest opponents why his plan is the best for America. 

Tebow and Ryan are both hard workers and have impeccable character. Tebow’s hard work is acclaimed around the NFL, while Paul Ryan is a policy wonk, and noted for being one of the most diligent representatives in Washington, D.C. Tebow’s philanthropy is well-known and he has used his fame to positively influence others. As for Ryan, the president has said, “I do think Mr. Ryan is sincere. I think he’s a patriot.” Their character makes both Tebow and Ryan attractive targets for the media. The sports media tries to make Tebow complain about his teammates, the coaching staff, or just about anything. Likewise, the news media aims to make Paul Ryan back away from his budget proposals. Although both are heavily scrutinized, they will not succumb to the pressure of being in the public eye. These qualities in Tebow and Ryan scare Mark Sanchez and President Obama respectively.

Some believe Tebow will become the Jets starting QB, just like some believe Ryan will be the most powerful force in a Romney administration. The difference is that Sanchez can lose his job to Tebow, but Ryan is no threat to Romney’s position at the top of the ticket. Ryan fills in the personality gaps for Romney by being a younger face, more personable, and very charismatic as this brand is gaining traction among the youth. It makes it increasingly difficult for the Obama campaign to argue that the Romney-Ryan team is out of touch with everyday Americans. As a fiscal conservative, Ryan’s plan targets the loopholes that allow people like Romney to have such a low tax rate. Like Tebow on the football field, Ryan makes bold moves in the political spectrum that make his opponents apprehensive about what is coming next.   

Although Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has reiterated that Sanchez is the starting QB, when Sanchez throws his first interception of the season, home or away, the “Tebow!” chants will begin and ESPN’s Skip Bayless will be the loudest. In comparison, President Obama’s ideal outcome for Ryan to be the VP nominee succeeded, however all the publicity Ryan got before the nomination is playing into his favor now. Ryan showed the country that his plans are not simply rhetoric, but an outlined proposal with a clear date for when the budget will be balanced. Agree or disagree with the methodology, when Paul Ryan talks about the budget, everyone is listening, making him a force to be reckoned with. In addition to Romney’s, Ryan’s name in the V.P slot is a formidable threat to the Obama presidency, which has a constitutionally proscribed role equated to a backup

In sum, there is no doubt “Tebow time” will overshadow the “Sanchize” in New York. Similarly, Paul Ryan makes President Obama and V.P Biden feel a lot like Mark Sanchez: concerned about their job security.

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Siv Cheruvu

My name is Sivaram Cheruvu, but I usually go by Siv. I'm a Student at Rutgers University studying Political Science, History, Economics, and French. I have studied in France, interned at a conflict-resolution NGO, and worked on numerous political campaigns in my home state of New Jersey. I enjoy discussing all sorts of issues ranging from politics to sports, and regardless of your viewpoint, I think its always important to bring it to the table.

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