Hail Mrs. Muhammad!

Tim Tebow.

I’m sure starting this piece of writing with his name just ensured many people’s attention. After all, his overtime victory over the Steelers (I repeat, the Steelers!) blew America away. His unconventional style of play and his “shove-Christianity-in-your-face” attitude has won him just as many lovers as critics. One thing that is for sure: he is becoming a household name. In fact, I have just added the word “Tebow” to my Microsoft Word dictionary.

High school students have been suspended for “Tebowing,” Pro-Choice supporters have started a fundraiser that encourages $10 donations for every Tebow touchdown, and, since it’s 2012, Rick Perry has compared himself to Tebow in Iowa (did Tebow forget the third part of the Holy Trinity? I don’t think so. Bad comparison Governor Perry).

As the Tebow-mania becomes hotter and hotter, a topic starts to emerge: What if Tebow was Muslim?

Well first of all, some logistics: Would he be okay playing for the New Orleans Saints? And he sure can’t do Hail Marys anymore. Nor would he enjoy playing here at University of Notre Dame.

But all that aside, what will America think of him?

Sandra Fish from the Washington Post does not seem to think that it would bode well for the Christian poster boy and Engel from Fox News brings up a completely different spin, stating that Tebow would be respected, and that “all hell would break loose” (at least the Christian and Muslim hells I’m sure) if Muslim Tebow’s religious touchdown celebrations were mocked by the players (as Christian Tebow’s prayers often have been).

I agree with Engel that mocking anybody’s demonstration of faith is not a good gesture and yes, the reaction might be much more serious if the Muslim Tebow celebration were mocked. And like Fish, I do not think America would like Tebow as much if he started all his interviews with “Praise Allah.” Feel free to call me out, but for some reason, I just don’t think Tebow would simply receive just some eye rolls or thunderous cheers if after every touchdown, he pulls out his prayer mat and bows towards Mecca (it certainly won’t be an excessive celebration penalty according to NFL rules).

I think there’s something wrong about this. As a society that puts emphasis on freedom of expression and freedom of worship above everything else, why is it that our views on a person can change solely based on his/her religion, especially when the religion praises good values like all other major religions in the world? Just look at how much President Obama had to go out of his way to show everybody that he is not a Muslim. Perhaps we really do need a Muslim Tebow to come change things up a little bit.

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

I love college sports.

I love the energy, the passion, and the live-or-die association from the fans. I love the team oriented approach, the strategies, and the varieties of styles. I love the rivalries, the traditions, and the idea that these athletes are just students like us doing what they love.

Actually, I just came back from Tobacco Roadhouse Sports Bar and concluded a full day of college football, and it was nothing short of glorious (minus the devastating Duke loss).

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Coaches vs. Professors (Salaries)

Due to the rough economy, Texas Tech University froze $3 million in faculty salary for the year 2011, and naturally, it is the perfect time for its administration to raise the salary of Tommy Tuberville, the head football coach, by 1/6th of that amount, guaranteeing him at least $2 million a year till the year 2015.

For the record, Texas Tech’s football went 8-5 last year.

But who knows? Maybe the man’s family is starving with his measly $1.5 million salary from last year. Don’t worry though, both Coach Tuberville and the athletic director declined to comment when inquired by the press.

The university president Bailey says he is “sympathetic,” but they are keeping a promise they made last year (what a man of his word! but don’t they have contracts for professors to honor as well?).

To expand more on the topic, here’s an interesting video featuring Coach Calhoun, the head basketball coach of the University of Connecticut, if you haven’t seen it yet:

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Kansas University: Now recruiting top AARP prospects

The University of Kansas Athletics Department has taken commitment and accountability to the next level: they have hired a legion of retired-folk (no, not The American Legion, but similar) to assure that their athletes attend class. The full article can be found in the Wall Street Journal’s riveting Life and Culture: Sports section.

First, I’ll set aside all jabs about Duke’s athletic superiority over that of the Jayhawks. Now, let us break down where two ethical questions may arise: one, should these athletes be tracked and two, why do the trackers have to be elderly people?

When I think of college, I think not of more rigorous academics, learning to live with another person, or consuming disgusting amounts of pizza: I think of freedom. Included in my freedom is the choice to attend – or not attend – class. By hiring trackers to check up on these athletes’ attendance, KU is eliminating a fundamental component of the college experience. Should they stigmatize these students on the basis that they are athletes? They forfeit many freedoms when becoming a student athlete, should the liberty to skip class and catch up on sleep every now and then be one of the opportunities forgone?

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