05 December 2011


Seeing that my Vikings got Tebowed yesterday, and also that it's Blog Month (yay inanity!), it's worth once again drawing my trademark tenuous analogy between the worlds of athletic and sonic entertainment.

In football, winning trumps everything, but the music or art world equivalent of Tim Tebow can never so prove himself: there is no winning or losing for him in the external world, but rather only in his own conscience. Those of us who work in the aesthetic realm necessarily sacrifice the privilege to conclusively silence critics of our technical means, who are eternally, so to speak, "entitled to their opinions" no matter their ignorance. Like an artist, Tebow can "suck" at the paradigmatic game as codified by small minds while nonetheless "winning" the real one. An artist can only win, however, in his own mind, and such it is that this petty codification is even more damaging to the arts than it is to the aesthetic element of athletics. The recent plights of these two institutions are nonetheless remarkably similar in this way, and tragically so.

That no one from Pop Warner through Division I and now the NFL has coached Tebow out of his serpentine release gives me a glimmer of hope that sports can remain, if only in the hands of the Jordans and Pucketts of this world, an art form. That Tebow's game itself is, like Peyton Manning's, most decisively not aesthetically pleasing is incidental; like the greatest artists, he's winning without all of the fundamentals (excepting the -ism, of course), thus reminding us, even in his awkwardness, that sports used to be compelling on an aesthetic level.

No comments: